Posts in Digital Marketing

Will AI Replace Human Copywriters?

If you are in the marketing industry, you may have heard people questioning whether artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually replace human copywriters. (Thanks to OPEN AI & Chat GPT) With technology advancing at a rapid pace, it’s natural to be concerned about the potential impact on jobs that require creativity and language skills.

However, as someone who has worked with AI tools and seen their capabilities firsthand, I can confidently say that it is unlikely that machines will fully replace human copywriters anytime soon.

What Copywriting is and why it’s important?

Let’s start by defining what copywriting is and why it’s important. Copywriting involves creating a message that effectively communicates the desired information or calls to action to a specific audience. This requires a thorough understanding of language, tone, and the target audience, as well as the ability to generate creative and compelling ideas.

While AI can certainly assist with certain tasks, such as generating ideas for headlines or suggesting alternative word choices, it cannot replace the creativity and human touch of a skilled copywriter when it comes to crafting a message that truly resonates with an audience and effectively communicates the desired information or call to action.

Brand Personality & Target Audience

Brands have different tones of voice and personas that they connect with, and it is crucial to create a human touch that drives actionable results for the brands. As a marketeer, you understand firsthand the importance of being able to connect with an audience in a meaningful way and generate ideas that are both creative and effective.

In addition, copywriting is often closely tied to branding and marketing strategy, which requires a level of understanding and insight that AI is not yet capable of. While AI may be able to assist with certain tasks, it is not yet able to fully replace the role of a human copywriter.

In conclusion, while AI can certainly assist copywriters with certain tasks, it is unlikely to fully replace the role of a human in this field. The creativity and understanding of language, tone, and audience that is necessary for effective copywriting cannot be replicated by machines. As a marketeer, you can rest assured that the right marketing and copywriting skills will continue to be in demand for the foreseeable future.

Important Digital Marketing Trends To Follow In 2023

As we approach the end of 2022, it’s important for businesses to start thinking about their digital marketing strategies for the coming year. Here are some key trends to keep in mind as you plan for 2023:

  • Personalization: With the abundance of data and the advancements in artificial intelligence, businesses can deliver highly personalized experiences to their customers. This includes personalized emails, recommendations, and ads tailored to individual preferences and behaviors.
  • Video content: Video is an effective way to reach and engage audiences, and it’s expected to account for more than 80% of all internet traffic in 2023. Businesses should consider investing in video marketing through platforms like social media, YouTube, and more.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning: These technologies can be used to analyze customer data and predict their behaviors and preferences, allowing businesses to deliver more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
  • Social media marketing: While social media will continue to be important, businesses will need to adapt to the evolving landscape of these platforms. For example, the rise of TikTok and the decline of platforms like Facebook will require businesses to adjust their strategies.
  • Influencer marketing: Influencer marketing is a popular way for businesses to reach their target audiences, but it’s important to work with authentic and transparent influencers who align with the values of the business.
  • Voice search: As more people use virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home, optimizing for voice search will be crucial for businesses to be easily discoverable.
  • Chatbots and messaging platforms: The use of chatbots and other messaging platforms for customer service and support will continue to grow. These technologies provide efficient and convenient ways for businesses to communicate with their customers and can be integrated into websites and social media platforms.

In addition to these trends, there are a few other areas to consider as you plan your digital marketing strategy for 2023:

  • Content marketing: Creating high-quality, relevant, and valuable content that meets the needs and interests of your target audience will continue to be a key aspect of digital marketing.
  • Mobile optimization: As the use of mobile devices for internet access grows, it’s important to optimize your website and marketing efforts for mobile. This includes making sure your website is mobile-friendly and designing email campaigns and ads that look good on mobile devices.
  • Customer experience: Providing personalized and seamless experiences across all touchpoints, such as websites, social media, email, and more, will be increasingly important for businesses looking to differentiate themselves from the competition.
  • Interactive and immersive content: Technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality will become more prevalent in digital marketing and can help businesses create engaging and memorable experiences for their customers.

By keeping these trends in mind and adapting to them, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and effectively reach their target audiences in 2023.

Digital Strategy: 5 Parameters to Check if you are on the right path

Digital Strategy Test

Your organization has a department of digital marketing. It is working day and night. Campaigns are on the track. You are spending significantly. However, sales and revenue level is not constant. Activities are many but results are few. Whether you have the right digital strategy or not?

Hold on! we will together evaluate your strategy this time with the 5 well-researched points. They are the backbone of a digital strategy, and if you feel you are hammering them, ROI is gonna multiplex. It’s our claim!

Five powerful ways to know if your digital strategy is correct

1. Measure the value of website traffic

Measuring the value of website traffic is super important. Marketing efforts can bring many site visitors through page rankings, paid advertisements, etc. But measure whether your website traffic is bringing out any value or not. Are they contributing to ROI calculation? Is your web traffic staying with you for a long time? Are they converting into leads? Are these leads converting to customers? What is the percentage?

Action: Use Google Analytics, Hubspot or any other marketing tool to analyze your website traffic. See which source is bringing the results for your business. Rework on your digital strategy or tweak if needed.

Tip: Use better CTAs across your website to get better results. 

2. Check the alignment with trends

Following digital trends is vital to come out of the history pages. You should know what is going on in the market, what your prospective customers are inclined towards, what updated resources are in use in the market, what innovative approaches your competitors are following, and so more. In short, try to be relevant and create a better impact. 

Action: Follow ThinkWithGoogle, Google Trends, Sites like Social Bakers & stay updated on the trends & competitors.

Tip: Keep an eye on what your competitors are promoting through Facebook, using the Facebook Ads library.

3. Is your digital strategy clear and precise?

Check whether the digital strategy is precise or not. First, examine your specific marketing goals.

Your goals can be, for example,

  • number of visits on your website
  • number of shares on social media
  • number of positive Google reviews
  • number of leads
  • etc.

Secondly, set timelines for each goal.

Thirdly, examine frequently whether the goals are aligning with timelines or not. AND most important: Check whether your objectives are aligned with your business goals. If you are only using like ads to drive likes on the page, you should not expect people to visit your website, if you are only using boost posts to get likes on a post you can’t rely on the same to drive your leads. 

Have very clear objectives that connect well with your business goals. 

Action: Follow the objectives & KPIs part in this post: 7 Proven Steps to Succeed In Social Media Marketing (Follow step 1)

Tip: Keep your goals in numbers with monthly milestones. 

4. Reexamine buyer persona

Any marketing strategy must have a well-constructed customer profile. Whether you are writing a blog post, updating a social media post, revamping the website, using backlinks, or launching a campaign, it should be targeting your potential audience directly.

If your evaluation of followers says- you have 1000 followers, but none of them can be your customer, what’s value then? 

Action: 7 Proven Steps to Succeed In Social Media Marketing (Follow step 2)

Tip: Always use a minimum viable audience and keep optimizing on the same. 

5. Do you have a content strategy?

Your content strategy starts with understanding your consumers, understanding their pain points and providing them with the right solution. In simple words, your content should be the spokesperson of the services you offer. Help, your prospects as much as you can with your content so they believe in your authority and pay you for your services.

Keep it simple, there are only two things a content can do; Educate or Entertain, you need to pick which track you would follow based on your target audience.

Sit down and evaluate your digital strategy, we are sure these points will help you evaluate things better. Let’s connect soon to discuss your project. 

Action: Follow the same post mentioned in the above points and look for Step 4.

Tip: Create content pillars for different objectives & different target personas.

I am sure, by now, you are in a better position to evaluate your digital strategy. You can also follow this post to understand social media strategy in a better way: 8 Questions to Create Effective Social Media Presence.

Apple’s Privacy Updates (iOS 14 Updates) have a huge impact on your Ads

Thanks to Apple’s privacy updates now it’s tough to sell services on Facebook. The impact is serious and we have seen it closely.

If you are selling something where the decision is made in the first click itself or in the first visit to your website. You can still win.

But when you have a longer cycle to bring people finally to your leads funnel and then customer list, Facebook is no more an easy platform.

From the increased CPM to increased CPC & CPL, your entire journey becomes costly.

And this is not just for iOS, this is affecting all the devices as Facebook has made changes for all the devices. Even Facebook knows if Apple has done it now, Android would be the next to follow.

This will surely change the dynamics of digital advertising. From where I see, the focus is going to be more towards brand building activities with Social than to directly focusing on generating leads/sales. This will be a big setback for SMEs who rely on daily leads and sales through FB.

More focus would come on bringing people to our owned channels be it websites or apps so the reliability of the social platform goes down.

This would also give room for other players too. 

What’s your take as a marketer, business owner?

8 Questions to create an effective social media presence

If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner, a marketing manager or someone who is responsible to grow your business and have tried your hands with social media marketing. But nothing has worked out for you yet, there may be some basic mistakes that you are making.

I understand that you must be overwhelmed with the information available online. You don’t know where to begin, what to do what to check and whatever you try seems to be working initially but doesn’t convert into quantifiable results. Don’t worry you are not alone.

You just lack a proper strategy for social media, a holding hand who can walk you through the right steps and get you there where you deserve to be. Let me try and give you the steps that you need to take or the questions that you need to ask that would help you align your social media presence.

A very basic mistake that usually startups and SMEs commit is by jumping into social media without thinking of why what and how of social media marketing. Initially, it may look all good, but as I said earlier, it won’t help you get results.

So let’s waste no more time and jump to those questions which would help you shape up your social media strategy and create an effective presence that not only looks good but also helps you to drive quantifiable numbers.

1 _ Do you have clear objectives for social media?

A common answer that you would hear is, yes, I know what I want to achieve. I want to grow my sales. Another evolved answer you may get would be, “Yes, I want to build brand awareness”. If you are in luck, you may find a person who would revert, “Yes, I want to get engagement on social media channels”.

Trust, me these are the reasons you are failing or they are failing on social media channels. Because these objectives have no clarity no timeline or simply no destination. Whenever we talk about objectives on social media, we need to be very specific.

An entrepreneur may be a great visionary, he would have a vision of achieving something great, but he needs to put time-bound objectives to drive results for his business. Same goes with social media marketing too. You need to have very clear and timebound objectives.

So let me give you an example of the same.

If you are a dietitian and you have recently started your private practice, you are going to start your social media activities. So you will define your objectives as:

  • Creating awareness about my personal brand/company for the first month
  • Getting people to engage with my content during this time period
  • For the first month, I want people should know my brand name
  • For the first month, I want people to know me as a dietitian

This may seem still not super clear because it is not unless it is connected with proper KPIs and followed by a few more steps that will be covered in different questions in this post. So let’s move to the next point.

2_ Do you have KPIs to measure your objectives?

You know your objectives, but how will you measure them? Which metrics you need to look at that will give you a better understanding of your campaign.

A KPI or key performance indicator would help you to the first benchmark what do you want to achieve and then track it on a regular basis to see where have you reached. In very simple words if your objective is the awareness you can track it with these KPIs: Reach, Impressions, CTR (Click-through rate) or brand mentions etc.

KPIs itself is a huge topic, I would highly recommend reading this article from the Digital Marketing Institute on KPIs. Check the link at the bottom of this post. [1]

3_ Do you know your target audience?

If you are a business owner and you don’t know who do you wish to sell, we have a serious problem. The main reason your business exists is that you solve a particular problem of your TG (target group) with your products or services. All you need is a marketing approach to define them so that you can reach out to them easily on social media channels.

The best ways to define your target audience is using buyer personas. A typical persona would have demographics, psychographics and pain points of your ideal customer, and how would you connect with them. When you visit a target persona you would know how to communicate with this person or this group of people.

I would highly recommend checking this post about “7 proven steps to succeed in social media” that I had posted earlier in 2017. In this post I have given a detailed outline of defining a target persona in step 2 of the post, check the resources section for the post link. [2] 

sample target persona

4_ What platforms you are going to target?

Don’t jump on each and every platform, specifically when you are just starting with social media marketing. Based on your objectives and your target audience you need to decide the maximum 2 platforms, to begin with. Be it LinkedIn & Instagram or Instagram & Youtube. Just for the sake of being present, don’t jump on each platform.

Learn more about each social media platform, understand why people spend time on these channels and build your strategy accordingly. Focusing on one or two platforms would give you time to connect with your audience regularly. It would also help you to master these platforms and then move to others.

5_ Have you defined a solid content strategy?

You may have already read and heard so much about content if you are a digital marketer or an entrepreneur who has been using digital marketing to grow their business. There is no doubt content is a crucial element of your overall marketing strategy. If you don’t have a proper content strategy, you won’t get any significant results from your digital campaigns.

Here is a long yet informative video that would help you to understand the process of creating a solid content strategy for your brand.

Once you are ready with your content strategy, you need to ask yourself the next set of questions.

6_ Do you have a team to handle this?

You can’t win the battle alone, you need the right team to help you achieve your desired goals. You can hire a team in-house if you have budgets, or you can outsource that totally depends on your style of business. If you are just starting and running short on budgets, it is better you take help with experts to build the strategy and use freelancers from the micro-lancing websites to execute your strategies.

Outsourcing content creation would not be very difficult when you are in a service industry or if you have only one or two products. But when you have a pool of products giving briefs to the designers or content writers would become a task. If you are an entrepreneur you may not be getting enough time to handle this.

In an ideal scenario, if you hire a complete in-house team, you need a graphic designer (can be a part-time resource), a content writer, a social media manager (who can strategize, handle pages and run paid ads). In this case, you would also need a Marketing Strategist or Manager who understands your business and can show the path to your newly formed social media team.

7_ Are you ready to respond to comments and queries?

Once you start posting content, once you start to advertise, people would ask questions, leave comments and would like you to interact with them. If you are not present on your social media and you are not engaging with your audience, your platform would more look like a dead platform.

In order to tackle this situation, you need to have a dedicated person who can handle all your social media comments and queries, respond to inbox messages. Someone who has the understanding of your business, who can help clients or prospects answering their queries with the appropriate answers.

You should also create a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their respective answers. Keep this sheet handy give it to the person who would be responsible for social media community management. Use tools like Hootsuite, or Zoho Social to manage all comments and queries under one dashboard so your team doesn’t have to log in separately to various social media platforms.

8_ Do you have a dedicated budget to promote your posts?

If you don’t have budgets to invest in paid advertising, don’t waste your time thinking you will get any business. The market is super competitive, and without regular media spend you will not be able to reach out to your TG. So it is better not to jump on social media at all and wasting time if you are not ready to invest in paid advertising.

It will take a lot of time if you want to go all organic, and honestly the pace market is moving, nobody has got any time. If you are in business, you need to move fast, you need to build a monthly sales cycle, and for that, you need prospects and leads. It will again go back to the same point are you ready to spend money on ads?


Once you have found answers to all these questions, you are ready to kickstart your journey on social media. If you already have a presence on social media, you would still find this post helpful to align & see if it is actually working good for you and how you can further improve it.

Resources:

[1] https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/digital-marketing-kpis-how-to-choose-and-track

[2] https://faizanization.com/7-proven-steps-to-succeed-in-social-media-marketing/

5 Biggest Real Estate Marketing Mistakes

Before we jump on to talking about Real estate marketing mistakes, let’s build a platform for our argument.

If you look at any big company anywhere in the world, the first investment they make is in real estate. Just look at how much properties Ambanis & Tatas own in India, how much properties Google & Facebook own in the United States. Even an ordinary or early investor also thinks of investing in the real estate to secure his earnings and get assured returns. 

However, with the challenging economic situations Real estate marketing has become a difficult and challenging process. It is a continuous process

With growing rentals and changing lifestyles, owning a property is the priority of every married couple. They prefer to pay EMI than to pay for their rent. Talk to your 5 friends and see their current status, either they already have a home loan or planning to get one this new year 🙂 

Time is never the same

However, with the changing times, specifically during these days, when nobody is even thinking of an investment, real estate as well gets a hit. Every time there is a recession, the real estate market always gets a hit. It has become really important for real estate companies to plan for situations that are going to come in the future. 

From your project timelines to marketing spend, everything has to align and a calculated fund needs to be collected from the profits you make to handle such critical times. If I would have released this post 6 or 7 months earlier (before COVID, when I had written it but didn’t publish as it was not complete) nobody would have paid attention or would have considered listening. 

But now, the situation is different, very few, I am saying very few companies are being able to survive during this time. For most people, everything is shut and no sales happening. 

It also goes back to the time, when you were in a rush to generate leads and sell your properties. I understand you need floating capital to run your business, but you could have paid some attention towards building a brand that people would rely on. That people would say, they will take care of our investments, they will help us sail through this crisis.

What would you get this post?

As I am all about marketing, and bread and butter are about marketing, in this post I am going to mainly focus on those crucial advertising & marketing blunders that could have saved you in difficult times. 

If you are a marketer, or a realtor and reading this post, I want you to please go through all the points mentioned in the rest of the paragraphs, and let me know your thoughts. I am telling you, if you can accept and understand these mistakes and rectify them, you will be in a better position down the line in next 3-4 years and your brand will be more powerful than it was earlier. And you will have a far better potential to fight against situations like these. 

So without wasting any time further, let’s start with those critical mistakes of real estate companies that are causing them to lose in the longer run. 

real estate marketing

1. Corporate Communications Vs Marketing

Yes, if you are a big real estate developer, you would surely get it where I am heading to. The reason for keeping this as the first mistake is because this can be rectified easily. Most of the companies Communications team or Corporate Comms are different than the marketing teams. In various companies, you would see a differentiation with the Marketing team and Retail teams. I am not against having marketing, communication teams separately. 

The mistake is they work in silos, the retail or marketing teams focus is towards products and sometimes brand, corporate comms is busy building corporate identity and doesn’t care of an individual customers’ opinions. 

For a small developer, they may not have corporate comms or even marketing manager, for them, it is Just their sales head who is handling both the responsibilities. In that situation as well people simply forget brand building activities and jump on sales, because he or she doesn’t have any KPIs of the brand, his management is interested in only sales figures. 

It is not wrong to focus on sales, but if you would have spent some time building your strong presence with your consumers. If your customers would say, I vouch for this brand, you would still have seen your sales happening despite the situation. 

Let’s make it simple

Let me make it super simple and easy to digest for everyone, you need to give equal attention to your marketing activities and corporate communications, at the same time there should be sales happening always to survive. All you need is to align all these teams together, create interdependent KPIs so that they have no choice but to work together.

And that leads us to the next mistake…

2. No single system to align your Sales & Marketing

We discussed in earlier point to have all the teams working together and no silos. But if you don’t have a system to handle this, your efforts are going in vain. At the end of the day, there will be blame games, there will be no synchronization. 

A single platform that brings sales & marketing activities all under one dashboard would not only help your teams to align but will also help you to monitor things in a far better way. You will be able to track returns from all of your real estate marketing activities. 

Consider having an evolved platform like Eloqua or Hubspot that can help you to create various workflows to align your teams and work complementing each other. Have track of everything and optimize your campaigns in a far better way. 

And that leads to our next point…

3. No Systematic Approach to Conversion Optimization

Conversion optimization could only be possible when marketing, sales & the top management of a real estate sales, broking or development company would start working in sync with each other. (As already emphasised earlier)

When I am talking about conversion optimization, it is not just about having a sales funnel, or running an offer ad, or having pixels and analytics installed. It is not even about sending emailers on and off and expecting people to revert.

I am talking about having a systematic approach where you have sales and marketing working hand in hand to optimize the overall conversion rate and maximize your real estate marketing efforts. Get more intelligent with your sales and marketing. Make use of an intelligent tools like Eloqua, Marketo or Hubspot that can help you gather lead intelligence, score your leads, create workflows, automate things, measure every touchpoint and have all of your marketing channels under one dashboard. 

You need to build your conversion flywheel instead of having a funnel. As promoted by Hubspot, we should all move from having funnels to having a flywheel where your important actions of attracting, convert and delight go hand in hand. 

Funnel to Flywheel

Consider you are getting 100 lead a month, and you are spending around 50 USD per lead. You are spending 5,000 USD a month to generate these many leads. You are currently able to convert 1% of the total leads, which leads to discarding of rest 99 leads. If you add it up to a year you can look at how many leads would go wasted and how much many eventually just went in vain. 

Also, at the end of the year, you would again start a fresh campaign to start generating leads when you don’t have a system. But when you would have a system that not only captures these leads, it gives you insights about the people such as pages visited, time spent on each page, responded to which communication or have ever checked email or if they have downloaded a floor plan or a property brochure. This kind of insights will help you create better campaigns and nurture these leads further. 

This would help you to optimize your conversion rate and surely you can increase it by 3-4% just by implementing a system. 

Check out Hubspot’s philosophy of going from a funnel to a flywheel. 

https://www.hubspot.com/flywheel

4. Not Giving Importance to Brand & Community Building Using Social Media

I have seen a lot of developers in India, a lot of property brokers in the middle east, they don’t pay attention to using social media as a brand-building tool. They majorly focus on running lead ads or conversion ads and trying to sell them the inventories they have. I am not asking you to stop those, I am asking you to consider the social media for a long term vision when working on real estate marketing. 

Let’s understand it this way. Right now we are all going through a tough time, every business is struggling, and surely thinking of an alternative way of generating business. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a huge fan base that listens to you, connects with you and engages with you on various topics that you share? You could have just went out and started another conversation with them during the crisis. 

But, right now you don’t have that audience. You never shared anything to help your audience make a better buying decision earlier, why would they listen to you now?

Am I making sense?

If this has started to make sense, let me come to my point. Real Estate companies should give utmost importance to building their online brand. Connect meaningfully with their TG and help them make smart buying decisions. 

You need to be sharing value-driven content, that helps them achieve their objectives, helps them to fulfil their dream of buying a house or getting returns on their investment. Listen to what they think, engage with them through social media channels, start a dialogue and have constructive discussions with your audience online. 

This way, you will be able to create a brand that would not just survive in the difficult times, it will surge and come out shining during the unprecedented times.  

Check out 7 step formula to create right social media strategy for your brand: https://faizanization.com/7-proven-steps-to-succeed-in-social-media-marketing/ 

5. Least or no importance to Data-Driven Real Estate Marketing

Honestly, this post is not about all the real estate companies, there are some great examples too. I would be writing a review of 10 real estate companies who are doing great in the region (next month). I am talking about the majority of the companies those who don’t pay attention to data in their real estate marketing campaigns. 

One, you don’t have a system to keep things organized, two you don’t pay attention to data and your decisions are mainly based on assumptions and opinions. However, the ideal way should be to take decessions based on insights and data. 

All your real estate marketing campaigns should be driven by data, and for that, the first step is to capture the data in an organized way using the right tools. Getting help from a data scientist can help you further to optimize your campaign and results. 

Let’s conclude

This brings us to the end of this post. Things are always easier said than done, but if you can have everything properly in place it would do wonders for your business. And, honestly, it is not that difficult as well. Thanks to technology, everything is easy, with one or two right tools you can avoid all these mistakes and get better results from your marketing efforts in the long run. 

Do not forget to connect with me on Social Meid channels. If you liked this blog, I had written a similar blog for overall digital marketing mistakes that you should check out: https://faizanization.com/digital-marketing-mistakes-you-should-avoid/ 

17 Major takeaways for a marketer from Modi’s landslide victory

As we witness a landslide victory of the Modi led BJP in the Loksabha elections 2019, here is my quick analysis of their marketing campaign. I am going to list down a few points that have made sure they succeed over their competitors. Read this post from a marketer’s point of few and see if you are using these strategies in your marketing campaigns.

1) India is a dynamic market which needs a 360 marketing approach. BJP ensured that with their integrated campaign: (TV, Print, Social Media, Word of Mouth, Influencers, Brand Advocates (the entire IT cell)). If you want to do a mass level campaign, you need to all in with a 360 approach.

2) Emotional value first and product second. BJP’s performance may or may not be great during the past 5 years, but they always connected with their voters emotionally making sure they believe in their intentions. As a result, all of their voters believe that BJP at least tried. 

3) TOM (top of the mind strategy) works wonders. The landslide victory of BJP is a clear indication of the same. They have always been top of the mind of their voters through several campaigns during these five years. It is not just the election campaign. They have been campaigning all this while. From Swacch Bharat Campaign to Modi Ji ni Accha Kaam Kiya hai and several other campaigns. 

4) Comparative communication always works to convince the consumer. They might not be the best-performing party today, but they stood better in a lot of aspects when compared with their competitor (The Indian National Congress). 

5) A brand is always driven by a personality. If you don’t have a face, you mostly don’t stand a chance. BJP from the day one has been claiming to make Mr Modi as the PM of the country again long before the campaigning started. Whereas there was not a single strong face from the opposition. We saw Rahul Gandhi shying away from the question of being a Prime Minister. Whereas Mr Modi has always been vocal about “Mujhe 5 Saal Aur De do!”

6) You need to start your campaigns long before your competition. We all have witnessed how aggressively BJP campaigns started while everybody else was dreaming in their own worlds or was busy handling internal party politics. 

7) Ensure adequate media budgets with the right distribution on each channel. From TV to digital, from radio to print, BJP has been all the places with their clear cut message that their audience can’t ignore. 

8) When you do good, pat your back. Don’t shy away from taking credits. Be it the first surgical strike or the second one at Balakot. BJP always took the credit and it worked for them. Your consumers need to know what good you are doing and how good your intentions are. There might have been 6 strikes during Mr Manmohan’s tenure at PMO but Congress never took pride in doing so or at least never advertised about it. Forget about using defence for political agenda, just consider they did something good, and they took credit for the same or advertised it well. 

9) Always work on a positive image building exercise and never give a damn about anything negative. We have seen from the first year of Mr Modi at PMO to this date. He has always been involved in creating a positive image of himself. Be it doing Yoga or hugging every other Prime Minister or President, he has always been seen building a positive image of himself. He never gave a damn about anything negative being spread about him (allegations or reality, whatever it could be). He kept focusing on building a positive image. And this is what a brand should do. 

11) Partner with a great strategist who understands the ground realities knows the market and can translate the sentiments of the people. Amit Shah, in this case, has played a superman’s role to make sure Mr Modi wins this election. He played a strong head strategist who knew what every constituency meant. Addressing the needs of the people and going hyperlocal in their campaigns utilizing media and local bodies, he made sure this revolutionary win. 

12) Keep innovating, not just with marketing but with the actual products. Let the products itself be a driving force for your brand. E.g. Swacch Bharat, Startup India, Digital India etc. etc. All these schemes of the BJP Govt were thoughtful with their positioning and innovative with the way they have campaigned. 

13) Keep your existing audience engaged and make sure they believe in what you are doing. BJP successfully retained their existing seats by making sure they are always there for these people. WIth an always-on communication with their existing audience through Man Ki Baat, Social Media and well-planned interviews.

14) Look for newer markets and opportunities. This time BJP focused on newer constituencies and made sure it added to their overall success. 

15) If people have negative sentiments about your existing campaign, simply change it and rework on the entire new strategy. BJP didn’t give tickets to many sitting MPs only because there were negative sentiments amongst people about these MPs. They brought fresh faces or fresh ideas and won. 

16) Your audience has no time to cross verify what you are claiming to be or what statements you are making. This You need to take that advantage and share as much information as you can that they start to believe in your reality. BJP did the same, from painting Nehru as a bad PM to putting Modi as a better solution. Don’t judge this point from the moral grounds, just try and understand this is how marketing works and this how people have been enforcing their brands. I mean we all drink Coca-Cola despite the fact it is too bad for our health. 

17 ) Build a force of your brand advocates & influencers who would promote your brand for you. In this case, BJP’s so-called IT cell or the troll gang played a vital role. Ensuring everything coming from the party to reach out to the masses. Let your people believe in your product, and they will lead your brand from all the fronts. 

Let me be straight here, I don’t buy the idea of Modi or BJP overall. I feel the Govt could have done much better in the past 5 years on so many fronts.

This post is purely an analysis of a marketer. And I have been a fan of Modi-Shah duo since their win in 2014. Even if the Govt didn’t do anything better than what Congress did earlier but they surely well played with their advertising game. 

Best Practices To Maintain A Clean CRM Database


This article has been contributed by Mr. Murtaza Amin, founder of BizProspex a B2B Data company that helps you to optimize your B2B lead generation process.

In this article, we will learn about the best practices for maintaining a clean CRM database. However, let’s understand what customer relationship management comprises of and how it helps your organization.

What Does A Customer Relationship Management System Do For Your Organization?

crm org.png

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an amalgamation of technology, technique, and tools to identify, contact, develop, and retain customer connections. CRM software systems make it easier to maximize the resources you allocate to sales and marketing departments in yourorganization. To summarize what they do, CRMs ensure a smooth flow of communication and outreach among your stakeholders. Essentially, they prevent any untoward outcomes caused by a lack of quality, real-time, dependable information. Their end goal is to make sales more relaxed and increase profits at the same time. No modern business organization can do without a CRM system.

The Best Practices to Maintain a Clean CRM Database

While CRM system integration is essential, quality is of the essence. A poorly managed CRM may end up doing more harm than good. Employing a customer relationship management program without powering it with cleaning and hygiene practices can be disastrous. Here we’ve detailed the best practices to apply for a smooth-running CRM system.

Validate Email And Phone Fields At The Form-Filling Stage

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As a marketer, you know how reluctant some people can be when it comes to sharing contact information. Additionally, it isn’t uncommon for people to try and sign up using made-up emails and false information. Such information is worth nothing to your purpose and takes away from precious resources. However, there are ways you can avoid such data entering your database.

One way of getting closer to a clean CRM database is by incorporating validations within your forms. Important information fields like email addresses, postal addresses, names, phone numbers, etc. should have verification systems in place. Employ systems where unless the customer or prospect completes the validation, they won’t be able to proceed. This extra step avoids fake or false data entering your database. In the long run, it prevents any drops in efficiency or wastage of resources.

When You Import Contact Lists, Stick To The Essentials

Importing contact or lead lists from a data solutions company is very widely-accepted and popular among businesses. There is much to be said for the ease and cost-effectiveness of such records. Thanks to the vast data vendor market, there is no shortage of databases. Additionally, these machine-mined records are very exhaustive and comprise many fields of prospect information.

A clean CRM database requires prioritization. When you import contact list data into your CRM system, it becomes necessary to be organized and methodical. It may be tempting to collect or hoard all the information you have purchased. However, this is inherently counter-productive. When you import data from lists, stick only to what you need. Ask yourself if the information you’re adding will help you achieve organizational goals. According to the custom fields that you genuinely need, import the relevant data. Focus on what’s important and don’t let the unimportant things pull you down. By adopting this practice, you’ll see that your customer relationship management efforts aren’t an overwhelming task. You get closer to achieving a clean CRM database by prioritizing in this manner.

Identify Data Fields To Avoid Incomplete Contact Records

For smooth customer relationship management, it is essential that you identify which data fields hold the highest importance to your cause. Moreover, if you want to market to contacts in the future, having the right data about everything you consider before selling to someone is critical.

For this reason, identify the right data field before you consider any contact information complete. Decide what tags are so important that without this information you wouldn’t consider it to be a fully populated and complete contact record. Can you do without their email addresses or designation? Will the contact information help you effectively if there isn’t the last purchase date available?

On you determine what fields of information hold most value, it becomes easier to maintain a clean CRM database. After all, you won’t include any garbage data that has no value to your efforts.

Evaluate The Right Format And Stick To It

The process of exporting data from one system to another is usually via the use of a .cvs spreadsheet. Even when you purchase data lists, typically, such spreadsheets are imported and then integrated to a similar sheet maintained in your system. However, there is a correct way and a wrong way of doing this.

For the best results and a clean CRM database, it is imperative that you merge the format of the new information to the form that works best for your operations. A clean CRM database demands that data from exported files get sorted as per your CRM system’s data existing format. First of all, your existing setup most likely holds information that you need, in a way that you need it. By maintaining a standard format with specified fields (name, date, percentage, industry, type etc.), you minimize confusion and optimize productivity.

Routinely Weed Out The Duplicates

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Wrong data is undoubtedly a hindrance towards your aim of getting a clean CRM database. However, duplicate contact information an data records are even worse. Such records are known to bring tremendous, often unfixable damage to your marketing efforts. After all, if you have two records of the same person, how ill you assuage which one is the more up-to-date one? In a market where customers are expecting highly-personalized experiences, how will you keep up with duplicate records? Moreover, won’t you risk annoying someone by repeating yourself or your message?

To prevent any of these confusing situations from cropping up, it is necessary that you regularly check your database for any duplicate records. Any records that have no value to your efforts serve no purpose and should immediately be discarded. A clean CRM system will never have any duplicate information.

Track The Lead Source

First of all, not all leads and prospects are created equal. Depending on where the lead’s information came from, you can assess their importance to your efforts. One way of doing this is to assess the source of your leads.

lead source.png

Figuring out if they came from sources that you paid for or if they organically seek you out can help you deliver better customer experience. Moreover, it also helps you pick the most appropriate strategy for communication with a prospect based on what they most likely need. Tracking the sources of your leads can also help you segregate them based on common attributes, easing the strain on marketing and sales processes. Maintaining a clean CRM database requires this step.

Get Rid Of Dead Weight

The contact information of leads that have been unresponsive serves no purpose. Apart from taking away time from your sales outreach efforts, it only keeps confusing your team members. Most importantly, you need to understand that not all prospects or leads will convert in the future. It is best to accept that not everyone you keep contacting will lead you to a sale.

If you have contact information of people who have been staunchly unresponsive inspite of multiple outreach methods, it may be time to get rid of their information altogether. Don’t buy into this suck-cost fallacy and cling to dead weight. The way to a clean CRM database demands that you get rid of this unwanted data.

The Bottom Line

Customer Relationship Management is so integral to your organization’s growth that it dictates the success of all your efforts. This just means that you can’t afford to be lazy with CRM cleaning and maintenance anymore.

However, while your organization can have some useful practices in place to ensure data hygiene, it might not be enough. Managing, up-dating, mining, or verifying the authenticity of database records is best done by skilled professionals. Surely, your Sales and Marketing teams don’t have expendable time to put into maintaining a clean CRM database. In such a scenario, it becomes essential to have a  CRM cleaning solution partner on-board.

Most importantly, having a service provider that conduct manual CRM database cleaning is the best. Such processes have an added edge of human intelligence powering them, as compared to automated processes.

Get in touch with us at BizProspex to know how manual data mining services can help your organization today!

11 Most Common Digital Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Have you tried digital marketing and it did not work for you? Have outsourced it to someone but you were not satisfied with the results? Have you stopped investing in digital as it does not get you the results you need? Well, read this blog and you might find the digital marketing mistakes that you would have probably made. Those might be the mistakes which lead to failure of your campaigns.

If you are yet to start, here is how to be pro-active and avoid all the common mistakes that can become a reason for the failure with digital.

Let’s consider the fact that digital marketing is not the silver bullet you have been looking for to solve all your business problems. However, it is surely going to be one of those important steps which would lead to your success.

The most important thing to understand about making a digital campaign successful is to avoid common mistakes that are well known and can be avoided. You can get carried away with the excitement and start doing or implementing something that is not required and that would not actually fetch any results.

This post is going to be about those common mistakes that most of the business owners or startups make that leads to failure or rather unsuccessful attempts with digital marketing.

1) Having no clarity of objectives & KPIs

You need to be super sure what do you want to achieve from digital and above that what to actually expect from which channel. All you should do is define your objectives or goals aligning them with your business objectives. A lot of you might put engaging your audience as a goal or objective. That’s great but you focus on something which can’t guarantee if people are meaningfully engaging with you. Just getting likes is not the criteria for anything.

Always focus on the real engagement, getting people to call or message or share their queries or give you feedback, just pressing like button is the side effect of thumbing they keep doing every day.

2) No understanding of the target audience and targeting the wrong people

This should not be the scenario usually, but with most of the cases, people make this mistake. When I say this should not be the scenario, I feel every business owner or business manager, or sales manager or marketing manager always understands who is their target audience, so why should they not target them right on digital channels? Assuming every business understands where is the acceptance of their products and services, they should first create their target audience.

Once they have the demographic and psychographic analysis of their target audience, they can know better which channels to target and how to target on social media channels. When you don’t do it, there is a higher possibility of your campaigns being failed or not being accepted by the audience, because you are not showing your ads to the right people.

Follow this post to learn more about targeting and creating target personas: http://bit.ly/SMMSuccess7Steps

3) No competitor data or analysis to compare or benchmark

We love to live in a bubble of our own assumptions and hypothesis. And that my friends become a parasite for the business. Not doing research and not looking at the moves your competitors can be really dangerous for the business.

Thinking of what we are doing would work, without checking if the competitors already tried, succeeded or failed. Whereas you know what has worked, what did not work in the same domain you can craft your campaign or strategy accordingly.

Most of the first-timers with digital, don’t actually do it and when they fail, they blame the medium. I blame them!

4) Neglecting your campaign insights, analytics etc

You have set your objectives, you have done your homework with your target audience, you are sure this campaign would work but what if you are not tracking it properly. Everything can be right and just because of not tracking the insights of a campaign can lead to another failure.

It is always recommended to monitor your campaigns closely, keep monitoring which ads are performing better, which types of posts are getting more engagement, from which platform you are receiving most of your leads etc. Look at as many aspects as you can and then decide how to move forward.

You can’t just set the campaign “Live” and forget about it. It needs optimization based on the results you get. If you don’t understand the details, hire someone who can do it for you but don’t let it unattended.

5) Jumping on new trends without having a clear goal or objective

Facebook launched blah blah blah or x y z, you jump your focus to the new tech when you actually have clarity if it is for you or not. The new trend could be in social behaviour, social media usage, social media technology or anything. If you jump your focus their, you need to be super sure of what you are doing, if not just wait for the right time.

People jump to one thing from another, they start to do everything, whereas it takes time to get something established.

6) Lack of Planning & Synchronization

If the campaigned is not planned and timed well, it does not translate great results. If you want to achieve great results from your campaign you should have patience. It would require lots of planning about everything involved in the campaign.

What has happened before and what is coming next is really important. You can’t just do a one-time thing. Your planning should be in sync with what you di earlier. It would help you to get better results.

7) Not paying attention to online consumer behaviour

We talk about it, we put it in the presentations, but when it comes to actual implementation most of the digital campaigns are literal translations of their offline campaigns. To win digital, you need to think digitally all the time. Sometimes which works offline might as well work online but that will not be the case always.

You need to understand how consumers behave online, what they like, what they dislike, how they interact with content online, how they make purchase decisions. When you consider all these parameters during the planning process, you would definitely come up with a better plan.

For God sake, stop considering Social Media as just another medium to distribute your ads!

8) Doing Things in Isolation 

One of the most important factors that affect your online campaign is not to synchronize it with each of your team members. Everybody should participate actively, this should not happen that half of the people in your team do not even know about it. You need to get everybody in sync and launch it with a bang.

Marketing or digital marketing team should bring all the other departments onboard and then execute the campaign. It not only gives you a morale boost but also helps you building employee advocacy which helps in translating better results from the overall campaign.

9) Neglecting/Underestimating the Importance of Social Media Platforms & Mobile

I clubbed two important reasons in one. Because somehow they are related to each other. Let’s talk about the first one first. If you don’t value social media in your overall digital campaigns. You are surely going to lose a huge amount of money that social could have saved for you. The CPC (cost per click), the CPL (cost per lead) is way cheaper than the other digital channels. Above all social media gives you the opportunity to put yourself as a brand and connect with your audience meaningfully.

You are likely to lose the battle when social media is not given a priority.

There are people who value digital and they understand the worth of social too but their focus is never mobile. The entire world is using mobile devices to surf the internet and if you are not focused on mobile then who are you talking to? When you don’t plan your campaigns and creatives according to mobile devices it won’t lead to great results.

10) Not Spending Money Wisely

There are people who don’t invest a dime and yet say the digital channels suck. I am not talking to those people at all. Let them first taste the water and then will talk about the nectar. I am talking to those people who have spent huge money on digital and still struggling to find the value.

There are hundreds of factors that affect the selection of medium and then the budget of the campaign. One thing you should always keep in mind that you need to have a balance in your spend on Branding Vs Sales. You can’t just go sales sales sales always neither going only for branding would help your business to grow.

When I say you need to have a balance, you need to spend wisely on every campaign. Sales should always be a focus of your tactical activities. However, ongoing spend on social media helps you build a brand presence which one should not ignore. As mentioned in the previous post, even for lead generation social media is giving amazing results, for even highly targeted niche.

11) Not Utilizing Influencer Marketing Wisely

Influencer marketing is a great way to bring word of mouth online. People who have authority in their domain by creating content and gaining followers can help you reach out to a larger group of people without spending hugely on advertising. When considering Influencer marketing, don’t rush to celebrities. Look for micro influencers (10k to 30k followers). They have sufficient followers to help you spread your reach and limited attitude not to ruin your campaign.

Select the right people to work with, and plan your activity well in advance with the influencers too. Don’t just invite them to attend your events, have them try your product or services, let them experience and talk about it accordingly. You can follow one of my previous posts on Influencer marketing here: http://bit.ly/InfluencerMarketingKnowHows

Be reasonable with everything you do!

If you want to get amazing results from your digital campaigns, you need to be reasonable with all the factors. You can’t be biased about the channels, you need to look at the data and see how your audience is going to perceive this campaign. Use common sense and invest time & money wisely on the right channels. Learn from the mistakes of others, don’t get carried away with every trend and always make wise decisions.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post, let me know in comments what you think about the failures in digital marketing and how to tackle them.

The Most important Sales Checklist for every Entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow should accept the fact that the world has changed and they need to disrupt to survive. You can’t any more work in silos and win the battle alone. You need to explore the power of collaboration and then negotiate the deal to crack it.

Every sales effort, be it for a luxury brand or for an insurance policy, needs to be driven by data and should be in accordance with how people would react to it. Social media has changed the entire consumer buying journey. You need to understand how to connect with your prospect or lead at every stage of buying journey. You can’t just use one medium to do everything (unless it is social media in general).

Prospect to the Customer journey

A typical approach of converting a prospect into a customer could simply go like this:

  • You reach out to people through social media ads
  • They start to follow you on your page and blogs.
  • You build consideration amongst these people about your brand and business through value-driven content (blogs).
  • You offer them discounts through emails and chatbots
  • Once they show interest you can follow up on individuals through WhatsApp, email or call.
  • In short, the entire sales process is now driven by digital tools and so your daily checklist would be created accordingly.

Now to understand there are certain things which are to be taken care of by your Marketing or Content team or person, e.g. Social media ads, blog posts etc. Your role would be to pursue your lead through different channels in a not so pushy way and make sure that the conversion actually happens.

All you have to do is to put this as a checklist in your task app as a daily repeat task (use Evernote or Basecamp or Flock or whichever software you are using) And make sure you follow all these on a daily basis and not miss a single one any day.

Point#1 Check your Sales Objectives & Targets 

You need to remind yourself and actually check what and why do you want to achieve something. You should have your sales objectives clearly defined, you should also have your targets set for monthly sales and daily sales. Revisiting every day your target would help you keep motivated and it would work as a reminder that you need to work really hard to up this game.

Point#2 Create Daily Agenda

You could be an amazing negotiator, you could be a super salesman but you need to have your daily plan of what all needs to be done today. This can typically include:

  1. Followups required for previously contacted leads
  2. New lead calls/emailers/WhatsApp messages
  3. Meetings/Online demos/Skype calls with most interested clients
  4. Research and study about the new leads

Don’t push yourself too much, all you need is to have things logically in your list. You understand your business and your sales process better, you would be the best person to create your daily agenda. I would recommend you to do it compulsorily.

Point#3 Revisit Your Customer Personas

You should always have your ideal customer persona or persona of your existing customer. Revisiting the customer persona would make you understand your existing leads in a better way.

A typical persona would have demographics, psychographics and pain points of your ideal customer, and how would you connect with them. When you visit a typical target persona you can know which leads would fall in which category and how effectively you can initiate your communication.

A typical persona looks like the following (if you have not created personas, I would highly recommend checking this post about success steps in social media where you can read the step 2 to find out how to create a target persona: https://faizanization.com/7-proven-steps-to-succeed-in-social-media-marketing/ )

sample target persona

Point#4 Keep your emailers and messages handy 

You should not be writing emailers every day. Create email templates for introduction, followup and almost every regular email that you need to send. I am not asking you about the regular promotional emailers. You need to have templates defined and being revisited every day for the everyday emailers.

It won’t just help you to save time but to improvise your communication with your clients on a daily basis. The only key is to first have these templates created and then revisiting them every day to improvise. Every time you read something that you wrote, you can make changes for the good on every revisit.

Point#5 Research Your Leads and Do a Qualification test

Before sending any emails or making a call, it is crucial to do research about these leads or contacts that have been shared with you. You can check the following in each of the lead and see if they qualify as a lead by comparing with your personas:

  • Check their social media profiles
  • Check their business website
  • Check their personal blogs
  • Look for their presence online by doing Google search
  • Match the details with your personas if this lead match with your criteria or not

Point#6 Second Followup 

The reason for keeping it as a checklist point is to emphasize the same on a daily basis. Most of the sales people you would speak to would say this that sales actually happens after the second follow-up.

Always have a system to follow up on your leads, don’t automate your followups, customize it for each of your important leads. Automation would definitely help when it comes to a large number of leads and product being a low price product.

However, with high price products and less number of leads, especially with the service sector, automobile, and real estate, it is super important to send a custom followup email or message or do a call according to that specific lead.

Point#7 Cold Emails/Contacts

To achieve your goals, sometimes you can’t rely on your leads coming from ads and website. You need to go one step ahead and speak with the people who might be your customers.

You have your target personas with you, all you have to do is to reach out to these people through LinkedIn or Facebook or Instagram and tell them about your services/products.

You need to be super creative with your communication. Communicate with them as you are solving their problems with your products or services. Or show them that you are helping to save their money or help them achieve a better life.

Keep this checklist in front of your work desk or use software to not forget about it. If you are an entrepreneur have your co-founder to report about your tasks daily, if you are an employee or a salesperson, share this report with your boss too.

It will help you to not miss things and get amazing results for your business 🙂