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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Three Musketeers Visit Village Schools!

It was a long pending thing. We had to visit few village schools as part of a course project to study the realty of Government Schools. It was not as bad as we thought. With the help from NGOs, they are improving.

For me it was the first visit to an internal village. If I had not taken this course on Social Entrepreneurship, I may have never gone to a village in the near future. It was an amazing experience; or rather an eye opener!

Wonderful people, some really talented children, very helpful teachers and villagers! that is a short brief about my visit to few villages in Hoskote in Bangalore! For a more detailed narration about our visit...please visit

An altogether different experience, different perspective and a different project in the middle of strategic marketing and financial projects...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review : Understanding Digital Marketing by Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones

If you want to know what information overload is, think about online marketing! There are plenty of blogs, books and resources about digital marketing, online marketing and social media marketing. Daring to write another book is a rare thing. Yet I chose to take the book on Understanding Digital Marketing by Damian Ryan and Calvin Jones from library to learn more about digital marketing :)

If you are a person like me who wants to have all the information under one umbrella, this book is right for you. Also a word of caution - if you are a pro in online marketing, this book may not be for you.

I liked the book and its worth reading!

The book gives a good coverage of all aspects of digital marketing starting from good web design to online PR and interactive media.

One area I felt, the authors could have spent more time was on analytics. For example, it just touches the topics of A/B testing or web optimizer without giving much insight.

The chapter on Email Marketing is really nice; the one on social media needs improvement; considering the information available on social media is too much; I believe its OK :) A nice introductory chapter on affiliate marketing is also provided; however I felt it could have been also much better.

Though the book has its own blah blah gyaan, I felt this is one of the books that give some real insight or at least good knowledge bank for a new comer to the world of digital marketing! worth reading....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review : Effective Proposal Writing by Vasudev Murthy

One good thing about studying one of the best B Schools is you get the opportunity to hear directly from in horse's mouth in many courses. Elements of Management Consulting is one of those electives I took this quarter and Prof. Vasudev Murthy is the instructor.
Can consulting skills be taught in a class?

NO was the emphatic answer given by the professor on the first day of the course. But few soft skills, best practices and valuable tools can be taught in class rooms. The book Effective Proposal Writing by Vasudev Murthy serves that purpose.

Very lucidly written, the book provides some good insights into written business communication.The most important part I liked in this book were the two example proposals provided. The chapter on 'Organization of a proposal' is also nicely written and worth it!

Some of the other useful things I got from reading this book were the concept of fog index and proposal checklist provided. The internet resources provided in the book are also worth viewing.

Overall a good book for a practitioner.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Can I buy some time???

One quarter gets over....before the time we submit all my due assignments and projects, the next starts...

I think someone should discover how I can buy some time ;) Q6 is over. It was an interesting quarter with most of the subjects being slightly philosophical! I got the opportunity to visit some village schools(more about that in a later post), work on two industry projects, take some career realted aptitude tests and listen to few social activists like Nikhil Dey, Vasimalai et al. who have shaken this country. I also got the opportunity to listen to our former president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and sit very near to him! The best celebrity I have met in IIM Bangalore so far.
One grade has already come and so far that is my highest ever!(3.91/4). So happy! I have been worrying for sometime since my CGPA had been consistently in a downward slope; in this quarter I am expecting it to stall to a flat level.

Fortunately, it is December, the grant holiday season!. So I believe I will be able to buy some time :) I am not going home and planning to invest time in studies, exploring etc. - see how dedicated I am? :P

I have been reading so many books these days since I am exploring new domains of marketing in office and exploring interest areas for final project....so expect lots of book reviews soon!

Closing this post by sharing with all of you an interesting talk by Daniel Pink on the science of motivation.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Marketing Communications - A Sneak Preview

This elective opens the door to a plethora of career options. Each topic in this domain is so vast that you can select further individual courses for many of them. My intention here is not to write in detail about the intricacies of this domain.

Irrespective of whether you are in B2B or B2C, marketing communications play a vital - how else it could have become one of the 4Ps! Promotion has taken a very important role that many a times other Ps are forgotten or not given equal importance. On a lighter note, read about similar finding in IBM CMO Study

If you studied Marketing 101 or you are in this field, I am sure you could not have missed the phrase - 'Integrated Marketing Communications'. As I understand, IMC is nothing but utilizing all the marketing channels in a comprehensive, mutually complementing fashion at an optimal cost. Gone are the days when print ads or television ads alone were enough; the channels to reach the end user has exploded so much that not only can one ignore other channels but have to be very vigilant in utilizing them.

Thus it essentially revolves around one P of the 4Ps - Promotion.One may think that IMC is all about promotion. However IMC plays its role in branding and also pave way to managing the challenges like marketing expenses accountability, rapid improvements in technology and other developments like increased importance of database, internet and social media marketing.

Major promotional tools include, but not limited to the following:

  • Advertising (Good old advertising techniques, role of ad agencies, metrics, media buying etc.)
  • Direct Marketing (Database marketing, telemarketing, direct ads, collateral etc.)
  • Interactive Marketing (Internet marketing, mutimedia/interactive media)
  • Sales Promotions (coupons, discounts, psychology behind influencing buying behavior etc.)
  • Public Relations (Publicity, role of PR firms - remember Radia tapes, if you are in India ;) )
  • Personal Selling

In a single MBA level course in Marketing Communications, one will get the opportunity to get a flavor of each one of these. There are few universities that offer Masters level courses in IMC alone which deep dive into each one of these. A look into the detailed curiculum of such courses gives you a better understanding of what MC is all about. A couple of courses I came across:

Northwestern University's Masters Program
West Virginia University's Masters Program
A comprehensive list available @ Grad Schools

Limiting IMC to just to promotion won't be fair. It plays an important role in a firm's marketing strategies, branding and pricing. Communications happen at three levels:

  • Corporate (The Vision, Mission, Image etc.)
  • Product/Services Marketing(4 Ps)
  • Marketing Communications
In a course like Marketing Communications, we learn two aspects - creative strategy(the creative side) and media strategy (the platform for execution)
Few important articels that touchbase important concepts in Marketing Communications:

FCB Grid (Foote, Cone and Belding) [A nice illustration available here]
Elaboration Likelihood Model (details)
Rossiter-Percy Model (details)

Concept of Effective Frequency and Effective Reach
Importance of Word of Mouth (a nice article)

A good article on the role of ad agencies in IMC. Understanding the role of ad agencies and how it works is an important take away from this course.

I know, I was not able to clearly articulate what all you will learn in this subject; but hey! my intention is just to give a sneak preview; it is difficult to capture all that you learn in a 30 hours course or a course where you spend 18 months :)

I hope this post helped.... Please provide your comments!