So it did start by smelling right. It indeed was, too grand an entrance to be remembered. The hotel looked like a building whose backyard and courtyard were both eaten up by the nasty, beastly structures recognized as super five stars. When I walked through an okay lobby and past some very okay staff, I almost felt like this was more like a self- service place. So, I did not bother checking where the “Mash Up” was and realised that discovery did not take too long.
Down a winding staircase and a few steps later, I walked into the buzz that was quite sober. I was hungry and as my eyes started a “soul” search, I quickly found someone who became my breakfast partner. If not for that half fried, abandoned , stolen omelette, me and Pramod would have literally devoured the sessions – they were so good.
Okay, before my mean critical side takes over, I have to lay down some good points too. And I would like to, as obvious , do it my way. It was mashed up actually and I must say that’s the success of curating. The audience experiencing the event should never get into ” what I came for?” And ” what I got? ” analysis. They should get out with at least “hmm interesting”.
I will like to breakdown my understanding into 4 zones. The Classroom, The Party, The Dozers, The Thinkers. It is not in chronological order and if you don’t enjoy it, “just love it”, it will make your pain tolerable.
Quite a few interactions qualify for this type and it started with introductions. The new teams introduced themselves. The new fathers, the new mothers, the engaged yet to be married and the married who were yet to be harassed – sorry I mean ” mums yet to be mums”.
Priyanka got up and shared with us the wonderful news that she is very happy and it evoked genuine emotions on how awesome it feels till – ” it all starts.” Sarita too offline mentioned that she was missing her 14 months old baby boy and I had a nagging urge to silently agree to her silent satisfaction – ” phew I got a break.”
So babies, marriages and team mergers all boils down to love. Love is a chemical reaction and most of us know it is explosive. It was an ” idle” start( I misspelt it and realised only after I published this blog). Love Guru meets the lowest scum of banking – marketers.
It was surely Love at first sight for Karthi. The latter was talking about this speaker’s neon pink/red shoes. Love Guru for the day was aka Amit Sarda CEO for the company SoulFlower that makes handmade spa products. Yes, they should know about love but love that could sell me a little more soap bars – why not listen too?
We hate this word. It is oft abused and used most in genuinely. However, two things that he conveyed – ” Love your product ” and “Believe in it” made me think that how often I know what products that my opposite desk markets or how often I have bothered to master marketing the entire suite that my bank sells. Very often not.
He also gushed about the word ” trust”. And raised an important question : If my brand is not being reviewed , then maybe it is not even being considered. Reviews are powerful specially when you come to know someone is reading them. According to Love Guru, discovery of a product rightfully starts by analysing data. Data is like mining gold and he dropped quite a few examples of category innovations like Puja Oil and Mustache and Beard Oil.
It evoked a few feelings in people who sported one and secretly wished Amit could have sampled some bottles for the good of all. Well, whether they eventually subscribed to his products , we will never come to know after all.
Passion was evident and so much so that when Manish asked the question on sales ( he actually couldn’t finish asking it) he got a loving response on why selling is important. Yes, Amit believed in his product and loving it unconditionally is what he preached. Demonstrations are also critical to a business and he emphasized that one minute demo videos may work miraculously as product reviews.
Tejal raised a point that in an era where reviews, appreciations and practically all ego-sensical things can be bought, how trustworthy are reviews from a new consumer’s perspective. I can’t remember the response because I think , I dozed off here. So will feed this on,later.
You have to have guts to buy and then show off pink shoes. This is not criticism and it is purely a point he drove which made me really think out of the box. What if Linda Goodman wrote on “Businomics of Star Signs“. Amit dwelt on this new way of looking at data. Analyse the star signs of your customers and use them in segmentation. To think of it, date of birth is one data point that is almost always compulsory. Instead of asking so many fields, if I could identify personality of my customer just by knowing his star sign, all our up sell, cross-sell and never -sell, all business challenges resolved in a jifi. Worth a try. I can go on like Amit went on but I will like to talk about more sessions. One great line that I remember he said which echoes logic and sums up his session, crisply ” Every customer is an Influencer.”
By the way, I found some similar shoes online – order if you have the heart for them.
Moving on, the next session was the internet of something. Characteristic of passion and energy that was infectious. Harish Shankaran from MetalWorks pulled quite a few rabbits out of the hat. The one that stood out was the activity for UltraBook. Here the basic formula was to get somebody really excited and let him win a new,cool device. He also eventually became the next candidate for a Roast.
Well, what they did was married psychological emotions with aspirations – marketing sells material aspirations and they just built it in a very tech savvy manner. This activation campaign titled – ” Temptations” rightly connected the emotion to the will to earn and that hook is big enough to sell. Technology is the ultimate gimmick. We are using it to sell, prospect, underwrite, collect, upgrade, dispense, transfer and all things so why not market. Why cannot it be looked at for reinventing the process of marketing ? An SR system for all our briefs and whoever is least excited gets the output 2 days before TAT.
Bring it on Harish, 4th floor , Goregaon has many restless souls to check out the psychological impact of a possession. Seriously, I am joking.
This is an extraordinary league. The body takes eight hours to reach this state. Some particular experiences accelerate it. We can measure the efficacy by how much degree of sleepiness you achieved after going through this category of event.Two sessions qualified for this.
I liked the perky, pretty,plainspoken Priyanka. I liked her for two reasons – she decided to share her interactions on which senior marketers stood out as professionally sound leaders. The second reason being that she had actually connected with each and every interviewee.
The session was repetitive but she had crisp answers for every question. So we may all end up to be CEOs, CMOs, COOs one day and I think that day we need to remember what Priyanka said – ” know your facts yourself ( don’t rely on assisted help) , relate a challenge to a solution and take a ” we” position rather than an “I” stand. By the way these are good tips for a job interview as well.
Though this was a dozer, only according to me , I am still taking an out of the box way of preferring this session over others. The second exercise was a rare type but good it happened. An HR exercise that gave us a useful lesson in networking and knowing others better. The clincher was the doll making contest. We were simply executing. Does it depict the way we normally work or the way we are expected to ?
It was one girl people went crazy about. She looked like a discovery , a new product to be launched and yet remarkably “crappy” as put across by Jebin. True to the core, we have stopped asking questions – not from each other but from the consumer. We somehow only emphasize on one question ROI.
Return on Ignorance is what I term it considering we never ask the poor consumer what is a better way to be fleeced – increasing the price for more value or restricting a benefit for a lesser price.
Yawn, yawn,ZZZZ, ouch I slept on you , with you etc.etc. are reactions which you cannot control. Post this session, I was tired by the amount of learning I had. I learnt Lubaina had climbed a hill, Amol had fought a bear, Swati killed an ant, Harita bought a palace and Deepak lived in a tent. Did I cover everybody’s achievements ?
This account doesn’t get any more innovative than this. Name the doll and win a prize, sponsored by Alliances Team. Some guys already swooning or sleeping so they are disqualified.
This one had rave reviews and Nilkanth emerged as the Kotak Rajnikant. He can do everything – research, raag, rock and rise. It was an entertaining evening with Paushali’s soulful voice accompanied by Nilkanth’s guitar. You both have really inspired a lot of us to pursuit our passions to the fullest. “Do more with your life” as Karthi spelt it for us. M.O.R.E. – Motivating Offenders to Rethink Everything*.
This is a post with a lot of masala and the Bollywood Night tried to evoke all feelings and cravings in a filmy style. So some danced, some were sober, some were missing and some were cribbing. Overall, all but one dragged all to the dance floor or so I heard. It was a dance night and we did decently well on the jumping quotient.
Here is a group of some Bollywood Extras that managed a media byte.
Amish Tripathi, Author of The Shiva Trilogy and the chocolate boy as Prashant said in his introduction for him captured quite a few bytes of imagination. His insight into ” I know this English only and I will write what I know ” got me thinking that we always want to dress up our actions and hence ingenuity is lost. He visualised the stories (millions read and are reading) in a parallel universe with the ” humility of a witness”.Truth or no truth, it gives you courage and conviction to take it to the last mile.
He is a starter kit on ideas. First self published sample chapter, first self published sample book, first book trailer and my first crush on a book author.
Well, “unka aik autograph hi kaafi hai“.
As a speaker, very articulate and honest. Doesn’t shy away from his transition from being an atheist to a devout Shiva follower. A usual story of a banker turned author with an unusual success.
When I was a kid, I had seen a Disney cartoon ” Peace on Earth” which depicted that humans have fought over everything but were still hell bent on finding another reason to fight. So the remaining homo sapiens decided to fight over vegetarianism and non vegetarianism. Finally, when the war got over nobody was alive and animals took charge.
Anand Siva, an animal welfare activist,a copywriter and also a self motivated vegan, put across the same perspective in a different way. He chose to be a vegan because he was pained to realise that how far we can go to harvest animals for our food. This is no discovery and we all know the half truths. We are afraid to ask questions because we know asking them will make us feel guilty and it is difficult to change. The fundamentals were the same. We have, as humans contaminated everything, as consequence is the last thing we deal with. If the end is deadly or hurtful, we have learnt to accept it as a consequence rather than as a warning to change or bring about change.
( I hate to add but we did salivate for the home made chaas. He was trying to convey to us that we can be better human beings, in the end we all displayed one trait – ” Greed for that which tastes good.”)
He was candid, emphatic and forthright . All he said , if we look at how we eat, what we eat and why we eat, it is enough reason to survive. Putting animals to risk, danger and extreme torture gets us no where. It harms us, our children. This was a thinker and he shared his thoughts. The best part – he gave us enough reasons to make a choice. No controls, no dictacts, no circulars and no policies. Pure logic.
Watch this cartoon. It effortlessly conveys what animals think of us. Hope they could blog.
Imagine being Blogged by an Angry Cow – ” The Man who stole my Milk”
Writing this , I hope I have managed to steer away from controversies. Actually, I would be lucky to get some free, considering that they are bought to publicize every damn thing.
The Marketing Mash Up 2015 was a refresher course on everything (including the housekeeping announcements) we know but rarely implement or ponder about. Whatever food for thought it gave me, I have blogged and I hope you can add to this misery by reading it. Even if I get one “hmmmm”, I will turn a vegan.