Mar.19

Modi’s Brand Ambassadors in Uttar Pradesh

Today we will witness history in making when BJP Hardliner Hindutva leader, Yogi Adityanath will take oath as head of state. He would head first BJP government in Uttar Pradesh in 15 years.

The 44-year-old saffron-clad Yogi of the Gorakhpur mutth is a firebrand hindu leader.

It is told that Five-term MP from Gorakhpur and a hardline Hindutva leader Adityanath was a unanimous choice of the party’s 312 MLAs and that Adityanath himself asked for the two deputies – Keshav Prasad Maurya, and Dinesh Sharma.

The beauty of these three candidates is that none of them incidentally is an elected member of the UP Assembly. They represent three different strong caste base in UP – OBC, Brahmins, and Thakurs.

I see this as master stroke by Modi and Amit Shah. A precursor to 2019 election. The team UP is the brand ambassador of the brand Modi. A statement made bold and clear to the citizens of UP and India. We all will witness rhe impact of the bold decision. The fate of Modi in all future elections will also be based on the decision the team UP makes.

In my views lot is riding on these three individuals – Dinesh Sharma, keshav prasad Morya, and Yogi Adiyanath.

Dinesh Sharma has been Lucknow Mayor, wonderful organization builder and administrator. He is a professor in the commerce department at University of Lucknow.

It is said that He is a sincere and quiet worker. He is also admired by both Hindus and Muslims in the state capital. He is probably the only soft-spoken, friendly, good-natured face among the leadership.

He is Brahmin face of the UP government. UP is, probably, the only state in India where Brahmins have vote share in double digits. The Brahmins vote share in UP is excess of 12 percent and this move to my knowledge is to consolidate the Brahmin vote bank.

Keshav Prasad Maurya, BJP state chief, is relatively young, energetic, and organization builder. He is also RSS karyakarta.

In my views appointment of a RSS karykarta as deputy CM will send a positive message to RSS cadre. The cadre with this move will feel happy, hopeful and engaged.

It is also said that Maurya was once a chaiwallah and a newspaper vendor before he joined the RSS. He just not come from the humble background but also is the face of OBC in UP which collectively controls 40 percent vote share. Maurya as deputy CM will also make the OBCs of the UP happy and hopeful.

Yogi Adityanath is Hardliner Hindutva leader, and is known for his strong pro-Hindu views. The Yogi is mathematics graduate, which probably gives us comfort that yogi’s views will not only be just religious but will have some element of analytics and reasoning into it.

He is just 44 and have been elected 5 times as MP from Gorakhpur. He also has image of always approachable and helpful to the citizens of Gorakhpur.

Yogi will help BJP polarize the vote bank and consolidate the hindu votebank. Moreover, he will also help attract the strong SP Yadav vote bank. He will also attract Thakur vote bank.

In my views Yogi with help of Triple-Talak will also attract women Muslim vote bank.

The team UP is designed to win election 2019 as BJP has got itself a Thakur candidate and a strong Hindu face -Adityanath, RSS Pracharak and an OBC candidate – Maurya and a Brahmin face Dinesh Sharma as the face of its government in the state.

These three candidates will help BJP increase vote share in UP but the team have to work hard and demonstrate that they have not deviated from the development agenda. As of now, we can only hope that Team UP will be focused on the development and not on polarizing voters and popular-religious activities.

For all those who don’t believe in team UP, remember we as of now have no other option but to believe what Adityanath promised. He promised to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ agenda, and strive for “good governance”.

I wish UP great governance, and law & order.

Politics

Mar.03

Digital Marketing is The Best Medium for Election Campaigns

TV Channels, and newspapers for long have been perceived as strategic for political communications, and for voters’ decision making processes but in recent times, Internet and mobile has changed the dynamics of political communication, political campaigns and party management processes drastically.

In recent times the impact of digital marketing in the political campaigns have also increased as the engagement level of voter on web and mobile devices have increased over years. This change has happened as the smart phones, tablets and laptops have penetrated both, urban and rural space. Moreover, politicians and political parties have experienced that mobile is very effective communication device in the media dark markets. It will not be wrong to say that smartphones, tablets, and laptops are the most important and powerful screen that connects and provides platforms to engage voters and politicians.

In my opinion, politicians and political parties have start seeing traditional media as a mode of entertainment. Moreover, for them it is no more relevant as it used to be a decade back. I am not saying that TV Channels, and newspapers have completely lost its relevance. It is still relevant and help political parties influence voters and form opinion but the relevance of new media such as web presence, blogs, social media, news portals and aggregators, mobile campaign, influencers engagement, bloggers outreach program has increased.

Traditional media is not seen as the preferred tool to win voters and serve the purpose of politicians and political parties.

New age media is seen as a rich source of information. Moreover, the digital ecosystem is effectively used to manage and keep voter’s attention. Ubiquitous reach is one of the exciting part of the digital marketing. It has also made it easier for political campaigns to reach target audience at a lesser cost compared to that of traditional marketing and that is why New Age campaigns ‐ digital marketing, mobile marketing, and social media have already become a key communication tool in political strategies. In recent past we have seen major success of online political campaigns be it Obama, Modi, or any other global powerful politician, their success can be attributed to a successful new age campaign.

The success of global leaders like Obama, Trump, Modi, etc. can be attributed to new age campaigns.

The Digital Marketing Journey

The success of global leaders like Obama, Trump, Modi, etc. can be attributed to new age campaigns. The first big digital marketing success was Obama campaign. Though the Obama campaign was first global success the first Indian success of political digital marketing was Modi Campaign.

The Obama campaign became successful not once but twice in a row. In my views, the dynamics of the Obama Campaign was different from the dynamics of the Modi Campaign. The influencing factors viz. geography, demography, internet and mobile penetration were different in both campaigns but one thing which was common in these campaigns were treatment of the campaign. I believe each campaign is different and we need to find our own parameters to influence and engage voters.

The journey of designing a successful new age communication is not easy. For a campaign to be successful, online presence of political party and politician must be thoroughly planned. In my views, and in simple terms, an effective online presence means being where your audience is in the digitally connected world. There are many ways to do this, such as web presence, blogs, social media profiles, social media engagement with influencers and voters, owning and co‐owning content spaces, and interaction on third‐party channels, etc. The effective online presence is not enough to win the game of political digital marketing, but definitely is the first step towards the success of the voters and politicians engagement.

An effective online presence means being where your audience is in the digitally connected world.

It is important to focus on the empowerment of voters. Indian voters now have seamless access to news, and information required to become active participants in the country’s democratic process. Moreover, we are witnessing vibrant and connected voters who are demanding explanations for all the acts of the political party, politicians and government and also advising political parties, politicians and government. It makes engagement with voters the most important element in the political communication. The issue of how to proceed further in order to achieve high level of engagement with the public can be addressed by answering several questions:

  • Is the Political party and Politician ready to engage on the new age media platforms?
  • Are they ready to change with changing media dynamics?
  • Is there a willingness to interact with the public on the new age media platforms?
  • Are they prepared to deal with criticism on the new age media platforms?
  • Do they have time to devote to what is created on the new age media platforms?

At first the answers of the above questions will help digital marketer understand the seriousness of the political party, or candidate towards digital marketing journey. It will also help digital marketer structure the digital marketing campaign based on the level of seriousness and engagement of the political party, or candidate. Once digital marketers have the understanding of the interest level of politicians and political parties in the digital marketing campaign and the level of engagement they want on the digital marketing platforms, designing a successful digital marketing campaign roadmap becomes easy.

Digital natives are the biggest influencers and their interest needs to be taken into consideration when developing digital political campaigns.

The digital marketers also need to understand that there are millions of voters – native digital voters who have developed a certain digital sense that helps them filter information better and faster. Digital natives are the biggest influencers and their interest needs to be taken into consideration when developing digital political campaigns. It is important to monitor behaviour of the digital natives on web, mobile, and social media on real time. The objectives of campaign monitoring initiative can be classified in following activities: Identifying influencers, identifying the voters who are in favour and voters who are against the political party or politician, creating relationships with voters and influencers, managing grassroots mobilization initiatives, crisis management, obtaining insights for content engagement, interaction and engagement with fans and followers, conversations with candidates, politician, and spokesperson of the party, evaluating for strategic information. The campaign monitoring helps us understand the voters’ sentiment and hence helps us design the political communication.

A successful digital marketing campaign can help us identify the individual who will cast vote for the candidate.

The engagement of the voters, social listening, and analysis of their sentiments is most important element in the success of campaign. We all know that digital marketing is mostly engagement driven and provide us with huge data for analytics. The data which we get form the digital marketing campaign can be mapped with historic data on voting habits and other relevant parameters to get sentiment analysis. The result of the sentiment analysis is used to define the course of political communication.

Point of View,Politics

Feb.16

Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing in India

In the last few years we have observed that there is a marked shift in consumer preferences towards digital media consumption as compared to traditional forms of media – television, print press, and radio. Digital media has not only gained importance as preferred choice of media consumption but also has gained on time share. Globally, people are spending more time each day on digital rather than traditional forms of media. Moreover, we have also witnessed that the digital media consumption pattern is also shifting from desktop to laptop and tablet and now to mobile. It will not be wrong to say that we are fast moving towards the mobile lead digital economy.

Global advertising expenditure across all platforms will grow 4.1% in 2016, reaching $537 billion.  – A survey by ZenithOptimedia.

The increasing popularity of digital media has provided for a paradigm shift in the global advertising spends. Marketers are following the changing trend and increasingly allocating their budget to digital mediums – search ads, display ads, social media, email marketing, and others. According to Technavio Market Research global digital advertising spend is growing at a CAGR of around 9 percent. Yet another report from Juniper Research suggest that the digital marketing spend is set to grow to $285billion by 2020. This new numbers suggest that by 2020 the digital spend would nearly double the current estimated spend of $160bn for year 2016.

The growth of digital advertising in India is also attractive and in my views, it has huge unlocked potential. According to the ‘Digital Advertising in India’ report, jointly published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International, the online ad market will reach INR 70.44 billion by December 2016. The report also suggest that digital advertising spends is close to 12 per cent of total advertisement spends in India and it is growing at CAGR of 35 percent.

We all understand that this consumption shifts towards digital and social media has impacted customer’s mindset and is forcing advertisers to focus on the new platform – search ads, display ads, social media, email marketing, and others. According to CII-KPMG reports, digital advertising in the country is expected to cross the INR 255 billion mark in 2020, growing at a CAGR of 33.5 per cent.

Digital advertising spends close to 12 per cent of total advertisement spends in India – IAMAI and IMRB International report

In the last few years we have observed that there is a significant increase in content consumption on social media platforms. Much of this digital market’s growth both globally and in India can be attributed to the fact that these platforms are interactive and engaging for users. Since the customer engagement rate of these campaigns is relatively higher than the traditional media, advertisers are rapidly adopting it to increase customer base.

In line with global trends, the Indian consumer is increasingly consuming the content on digital platforms. Over years, increasing internet penetration, mobile device proliferation and availability of language content in all formats has helped fuel the use of digital platforms. The easy availability of mobile devices, improved networks, data connectivity, access to internet, and application development ecosystem has also helped increase the digital consumption as one can consume desired content anytime, anywhere. This growth in internet usages is seen both in rural and urban India. It is observed that social media and entertainment viz. music, and video, games, general search, and emails are the attractions of Indian mobile internet users.

Indian digital advertisement spends outperformed expectations in 2015 and is expected to cross INR 255 billion in 2020, states FICCI-KPMG Report 2016 

In India, the smartphone penetration has changed the digital content consumption behaviour. The content consumption in urban, and rural India is now being driven by smartphones. This has led to increase in mobile advertisement spends which has reflected a significant growth. According to FICCI-KPMG Report 2016, mobile advertising spends in 2015, were estimated to be at INR 9 billion, is now expected to grow at a CAGR of 62.5 percent to reach INR 102.1 billion by 2020.

Digital advertisement spend per capita in India still continues to significantly low in comparison to the top five spenders – U.S., China, Japan, Germany and U.K. According to the current growth assumptions, India is expected to be about 0.6 percent of global digital spend in 2015 indicating significant headroom for growth.

New Media

Feb.15

Making of Brand Arvind Kejriwal

It will not be wrong to say that politics in India is all about mathematics of emotion, and storytelling. We Indians believed in the script – ‘Power of Common Man’. India has witnessed rise of many common men into huge political leaders using the script – ‘Power of Common Man’. There are many mass leaders viz. Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mamta Banarjee, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Deve Gowda who have built huge followers base on the story line – ‘Power of Common Man’. The latest in the list is Arvind Kejriwal. Not only he used the story line ‘Power of Common Man’ effectively but he also took the script to the next level.

The success of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal in the Indian politics can be attributed to an anti-congress wave and the fatigue among the middle class with a persistent corruption problem. It was the time when the educated middle class was frustrated as they found themselves politically exploited, fooled and marginalized. Indian voters who always believed in the ‘Power of Common Man’ was witnessing rise of caste-based politics, politics around religious issues, etc. Arvind Kejriwal had make use of the situation to their advantage and created a mass movement against the corruption with help of mass movement India Against Corruption. The anti-corruption movement India Against Corruption became the genesis of political party AAP.

Arvind Kejriwal is a master story teller. He is one who not only scripted the story very well but also executed each part of it with all honesty and sincerity. The story of ‘Power of Common Man’, is no new story for Indian voters, this story was told to Indian voters in the past and this time the story was shared with Indian voters by Arvind Kejriwal. This new story helped Arvind Kejriwal build the brand “Arvind Kejriwal”.

The journey of brand Arvind Kejriwal was not very tough but it was not an easy task either. The first major task for Arvind Kejriwal was to build a strong personal brand and he managed to build a very strong, trusted and approachable political brand. Building a political brand is not an easy task, a politician needs to build a positive image and sustain the image. Arvind kejriwal has been successful in building the brand and here is how the brand Arvind Kejriwal was built. In my views, the key elements which helped build brand Arvind kejriwal include:

Storyline with new twist: Arvind Kejriwal, instead of focusing on one religious group, or caste based politics, or income based classification of vote bank created a new segment of ‘Aam Aadmi’ and promoted it with his anti-corruption stand. This new segment of Aam Aadmi crated a new mathematical equation based on a new emotional connect.

A Brand-New Voter Segment: The targeting of ‘Aam Aadmi’ with clean image enabled him to garner support from every corner of the town. This new vote bank was not about fifteen, twenty, or thirty percent of vote share but possibly every common man could associate himself with this new equation. This change was not about reengineering old equation, it was brand new mathematical equation in the political world.

Party with a Difference: Arvind Kejriwal, has always maintained that he and AAP are different from all other political parties. He maintained one single voice that Arvind Kejriwal and AAP stands for issues of citizenship, governance and accountability and they don’t believe in consumer politics of Congress or majoritarian politics of BJP.

Party has Origin in a Mass Movement: The success of Arvind Kejriwal can also be attributed to the success of India Against Corruption Movement. Arvind Kejriwal from day one has been advertising his party as a movement despite having registered it as a political party.

Symbol Connecting Common Man: The act of connecting with common man can also be seen in the selection of election symbol – Jhaadu (broom). The Jhaadu has been successfully utilized in delivering his anti-corruption message, which was the core of AAP promise.

Anna Topi a Symbol of Trust: A traditional symbol like the Gandhi Topi or Anna Topi which stands for an old world value like social change worked very well in favour of AAP. The power of Anna Topi was successfully adopted by AAP by changing the print on the cap to “Main Aam Admi Hoon” from earlier “Main Bhi Anna”.

Party of Common Man: Arvind Kejriwal also managed to create an image that he is one amongst the voters. He is the common man. Arvind Kejriwal with his middle-class dressing sense with thick muffler, old blue sweater, chappal, et all has managed to create a unique brand image in modern-day politics. The human face of Arvind Kejriwal can also be seen in many of his small and big actions.

Saying Sorry is Humane:  Kejriwal managed to promote a face of common man by accepting his mistake of joining hands with congress, and yet another mistake of resigning as Delhi Chief minister in 49 days.

Kejriwal has kept his promise noble and ethical. AAP’s story is perhaps the simplest of all other contemporary political stories.  Arvind Kejriwal has drafted the AAP Story and his personal branding carefully.

 

Politics

Nov.13

Basics of Online Reputation Management

Reputation management is the understanding or influencing of an individual’s or business’s reputation. It is the practice of monitoring the reputation of an individual or brand, addressing contents which are damaging to it, and using customer feedback solutions to get feedback or early warning signals to reputation problems. It is important to have well defined, and developed online reputation management program. The key elements of the online reputation management include:

Branding,New Media,Social Media Marketing

Oct.24

Email Marketing – Spam List

Writing the subject line and email content for emails can be one of the most stressful steps of email marketing. It is also critical as most ISPs and email clients use various filters to scan incoming email to determine if they should be delivered to the inbox folder or spam folder. The spam filters check for spam triggering words in the subject line and email content based on their weightage. It is important to know that spam words carry a weightage and not all are of equal importance.

Email Advertising,New Media

Oct.11

The Return of Jungle Raj

In 1999 when I was preparing for a few MBA campus interviews, which were scheduled at Mumbai, our Father at St. Xaviers College suggested me to mention that I come from Ranchi and have done my graduation from St. Xaviers College instead of mentioning Bihar. At first, I did not get the logic of mentioning Ranchi but I realized the impact of it when I was not rejected or penalized in interviews for my Bihar connections. I realized, I was given opportunity to present my case unlike other candidates who were not even given opportunity to present their case, forget getting selected. Those rejections were result of brand Bihar and status Jungle-Raj.

Politics

Oct.09

Brand Rahul Gandhi

In market-driven politics, the shelf-life of a leader as a brand is somewhat also linked with the ability to attract audiences – Janta. It is important for a leader to be confident, decisive, mature and spontaneous. There has always been concern if Rahul Gandhi possesses all these qualities. The charisma of the leader reflects in the performance of the team. We all know that under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, Congress has lost many states and the new addition is – Kerala and Assam. Moreover, its performance in Tamil Nadu is deplorable.

Politics

Aug.30

The Rise of New Muslim Vote Bank

In India, the world of politics remains same only the reference point changes. On the one hand there is a political party which has aligned its ideology with RSS. This political party has been classified as non-secular or communal as it has differentiated itself from all others by aligning itself to the RSS and various Hindu ideologies. In my views, this is a classic case of differentiation as not only the party in question but also all other political parties (who claim to be secular) have labelled it as non-secular or communal. In the process, all other political parties helped it come to power by joining their share of voice against this party and polarized the voters mind (as they claim – politics of polarization). As they say, BJP is the only non-secular or communal party. In their views, there are two other not so non-secular parties – AkaliDal and the Shiv Sena (both these parties have aligned themselves with the BJP).

Politics

Aug.16

Winning Election by Caste Based Vote Bank in Uttar Pradesh

It will not be wrong to say that the Indian democracy is based on ‘cast system’. It sounds very derogatory but is sadly true. The main governing force as in cast vote bank in any part of India is function of –  Muslims, Dalits, Brahmins, and various segments of OBC. It is important to understand that within the core segment, we have two dominant castes – Dalits and Muslims which is mostly united and form the biggest ‘vote bank’ in India.

Politics