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The Differences Between Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing: In a Nutshell

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My job is to do inbound marketing.

With so much hullabaloo around changing consumer behavior (powered by rapid technology adoption) and the advent of smart ways using which they’re becoming quite adept at blocking interruptive marketing messages, it becomes important to understand how has the marketing evolved and the basic differences between traditional (outbound) marketing and inbound marketing.

The Internet is inundated with articles on this subject. However, most of them say the same story in different words. Having gained a lot of knowledge through different MOOCs and blogs from marketing giants like Seth Godin, HubSpot, Brian Solis, I have successfully added another value to my character – the zeal to empower fellow marketers or anyone who is just starting out as a marketer. After
all, inbound is all about helping people online.

I’ve attempted to highlight the key differences between Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing in a ready reckoner format.

S.No. Outbound Marketing Inbound Marketing
1 Interruption Marketing Permission-based Marketing
2 Marketer-centric Customer-centric
3 Involves Push Mechanism Involves Pull Mechanism
4 Focus on building Hype Focus on Helping and Empowering prospects/customers
5 Focus on finding customers Focus on getting found
6 One-way communication (Monologue) Two-way communication (Dialogue)
7 Outbound marketers have to “buy, beg or bug their way in” Inbound marketers “earn their way in”
8 Offers little or no value Delivers value
9 More expensive Less expensive
10 Less effective More effective
11 Paid search ads Organic search rankings
12            Examples :            Examples :
(a) Telemarketing Blogs
(b) Direct Emails Ebooks/Whitepapers
( c ) Blast to Paid/Rented Email lists Personalized emails to Opt-in Email lists
(d) Tradeshows SEO
( e) Cold calling Social Media
(f) TV ads / Radio ads Webinars/Podcasts
(g) Print advertising Online Videos

Do you have suggestions to add to this table? Please put them in the comments section here.

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Open Source: Hype or Hope?

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It’s no secret that a paradigm shift from early-adopter novelties to mainstream essentials has taken place on the technology landscape over the past few years. Still there are many traditional tech stalwarts out there who aren’t leveraging the Open Source. So when technology evolves at a faster pace than your company, you run the risk of going extinct. If you’re yet to embrace it, the time to dive into the brave new world of Open Source is now.

Essays by O’Reilly and Searls clearly underline how Open Source  is continuously impacting the technology landscape (but for better!). These informative pieces also emphasize the growing need of adding context to Open Source so that it continues to evolve and positively influence the technology landscape.

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Developers are the New King Makers

One key point to highlight here is that Open Source has empowered developers to an incredible degree. It has opened the doors for them to numerous software projects, absolutely free of cost besides giving them the power of controlling the code, applications and complete underlying infrastructure, like never before. The future of the Information and Technology industry gyrates around empowered and agile developers (major credit to Open Source there!). Employers that will recognize the developers’ empowerment and their growing prominence are highly likely to have an edge over those that don’t. It’s a new reality!

Stephen O’Grady, Co-founder of RedMonk

Stephen O’Grady, Co-founder of RedMonk

Stephen O’Grady rightly says this:

“Developers are now the real decision makers in technology. Learning how to best negotiate with these New Kingmakers, therefore, could mean the difference between success and failure.”

Right Pick for Your Business

Today, we’re at the cusp of BIG changes on the technology landscape, where mega-trends are changing the way companies do software development. If you own a small business, you’re often cost conscious while aiming to deliver value through your software. Open Source is the perfect pick for you in that case – quite literally, it’s 100% free of cost – all inclusive of accounting software, email servers, operating systems and lots more.

Open source is easy to use and backed up with a solid code, ensured by multiple individuals working on the software. For example, Linux has nearly 10,000 contributors. Its documentation is easily available and there are plenty of guides and literature available on Open Source on the Internet. You can also customize it to match your needs and gain that much needed competitive advantage.

Here are a few best Open Source Software:

More a Social Activity Now

Contributing to open source software is now increasingly becoming a social behavior. This social media activity (Search + Social Media = Social Development) promotes increased transparency, productivity and a brand new style of software collaboration.

IT

Conclusion

If you and your organization are mulling over the plans of joining the army of the increasing number of empowered social developers, now is the time to start. Get started with Open Source today!

Mobile Persona – What’s that?

To adapt to the ever-evolving mobile ecosystem, enterprises need a holistic mobile strategy that unifies disparate systems and works well now and in future too. Building a holistic enterprise-wide mobility strategy requires you to understand your mobile personas (suppliers, customers, employees and partners) – their needs, goals, behavior patterns, preferred devices and technologies across various business functions such as sales, customer support, marketing, etc. The more information you pack into your mobile personas, easier it’d be for you to incorporate relevant mobile capabilities for each of your target personas. enterprise-mobility-apps-persona

Studying mobile personas in detail will help you generate a fantastic user experience attuned with the functional requirements of users and empower them with these mobile-enabled capabilities to optimize performance, boost customer acquisition, retention and delight, and drive business growth.

Why Putting Personas First?

Technology and market forces are the two important factors that drive enterprise mobility. With enterprise mobility focusing on front-user interfacing apps, many brands have switched on from traditional emailing to addressing the end user’s mobility needs with persona-based mobility solutions.

With multiple mobile personas for enterprises to handle, enterprises have a gargantuan task of crafting mobile strategies and applications for different platforms and programming languages.  44% of U.S. enterprises are mainly focused on building mobile applications for native devices (e.g., iOS, Android, Microsoft), and 39% that are focused on mobile Web development.

New Persona-based Mobility

The brave new world of mobile interactions has resulted in new mobile business models that focus on fetching competitive advantage for the organizations. Most mobility use cases focus on:

  • Understanding customer behavior from multiple angles
  • Delivering enhanced customer experiences
  • Boosting employee productivity on the go.

It’s no secret enterprises love data, especially when it’s about its different user profiles in this increasingly mobile world. This persona-based data is actionable and there’s nothing sounder than user-centric mobility decisions. As the enterprise successfully crystallizes the user personas, it becomes easy for them to decouple relevant business contexts and build different mobile use cases. This mobile persona building exercise filters the relevant business functions that match up to the specific personas and discover new entry points to serve all users effectively (with security as an essential element across all functional areas).IMG_1128

The success of any persona-based mobility gyrates around the User Experience (UX). With UX packed into productivity tools such as enterprise apps (for sales, CRM, marketing, etc.) and customer apps, enterprises can deliver enhanced productivity for employees and superior customer experiences (like small price tags, easy-to-use and safe payment systems, etc.) for customers, respectively.

Truly mobile users do not like to see the whole dog ‘n pony show. So, mobile engagement across specific points holds vital significance for brands of all sizes today. Leveraging mobile persona data available and predictive models, enterprises can add personalization and intelligence in apps to deliver a great UX for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-employee (B2E) apps.  Many new B2C apps have rich, built-in personas with apt mobile functions integrated to cater to specific user activities in situational needs. Each app must have a unique UX in accordance with each persona’s interaction expectations and mobile behaviors.

To address the mobility needs of each persona, enterprises need to understand the various user profiles and their relationships and behaviors w.r.t different business processes (like talent management, sales, delivery, etc.) and subsets. There is a huge difference in developing and deploying mobile capabilities for enterprise-based and consumer-based relationships.

Evolving Challenges of Enterprise Mobility

With mobility adoption rising more than ever and enterprises leveraging mobile apps to connect with their users, traditional security architecture is not reliable anymore and IT dreads data leakage and security breaches. More than 50% of enterprises support more than one device type thereby exposing the internal network to a wide array of malicious apps.

The three prime factors that contribute in posing enterprise mobility challenges are:

  • Proliferated use of mobile devices and apps
  • Rising levels of mobile access & unrestrained data sharing across multiple lines of business
  • Highly fragmented mobile device platforms

With all these factors working in full force, most enterprises suffer from the below listed challenges of enterprise mobility:

  • Security
  • Cost Management
  • Legal
  • Compliance issues
  • Enterprise Applications

To address these evolving mobile challenges, enterprises today needs to look beyond lock-and-wipe capabilities and embrace a holistic enterprise mobility model to secure the enterprise across all devices, databases, applications and network.

Conclusion

Today, many enterprises worldwide are grappling with their existing mobile strategies, marred by unworkable expectations, unclear requirements and erroneous organizational policies. Amidst this new wave of mobile capabilities, these enterprises are struggling to adapt and leverage mobile opportunities. The time is right for them to rethink and restrategize their mobility model using a persona-based approach.  It’s critical to recognize the fact that persona-based mobility is not simply an institutional fad.

In fact, it’s a strategic approach to manage mobile environment for different user profiles in your enterprise. Not only, does it change the way your different personas (customer, employees and partners) interact with your brand/offerings, but also helps your enterprise gain competitive edge, enhance business value, productivity and customer satisfaction, while cutting the total cost of ownership. However, these enterprise mobility solutions should be designed focusing more on user experience and core business functions. Wearable technologies will have a significant role to play in the future of Enterprise Mobility as wearable technology and context are inter-linked.

Roses as Gifts: Perfect choice for any or special moment(s)?

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.”George William Curtis

So true.

Are you tired of sending or receiving same, boring fruitcakes, cookies or eggnog as birthday or anniversary, Valentine’s or farewell gifts? Think about a gift that you would love to have in your hand and has a complete, unique story to tell. A gift that is highly likely to bring a smile to every receiver’s face. Yes, you’re right! It’s flowers.

While most (almost all!) flowers are beautiful, the rose stands out owing to its immense beauty, varied colours, subtle fragrance and rich history. Roses add emotions to silent messages of love and covey the right meaning to the receivers by virtue of their varied colours.

So if you’re a sender, you need to be extra careful in choosing the colour since every colour of roses has a traditional meaning that speaks volumes about the emotions of the sender (that’s you!).

Read on to find the meaning of each colour of rose.

Red Roses

Love, Respect, Passion, Power 

Red roses signify true love and romance. Since time immemorial, red roses have been playing a significant role in conveying the sentiment of deep love, respect and passion and spicing up the relationship to an incredible extent. It’s a perfect gift to surprise your partner with a bouquet of red roses on any or every occasion – be it your first date or her birthday or wedding anniversary. The fact that their prices shoot up exponentially on the Valentine’s Day are a testimony to the value it offers to the senders and receivers, alike. Red roses are also a symbol of courage and power.

Yellow Roses

Friendship, joy, new beginnings 

Yellow roses are a symbol of platonic love devoid of romantic depth (simply put, friendship bundled with joy). From olden days, yellow ryellowoses have been used to cheer up people, express gratitude or convey the message of get well soon. Yellow roses are a perfect gift to send to new mothers or achievers congratulating them on their recent success or show your care and affection to your loved ones. Yellow roses also symbolise the grit to set up something new.

White Roses

Purity, Innocence, Spiritual love, Loyalty 

As we all know, white colour stands for peace, pristine purity and innocence. Hence, white roses symbolize chastity, spiritual love, innocence and virtues like unending loyalty. A bouquet of whitwhite rosese roses forms the bridal bouquet all across the world. These white rosessignify that the bride is ready to commit her undying love and loyalty to the groom. They are rightfully called as bridal/wedding roses. White roses are also looked upon as a mark of reverence.

Pink Roses

Beauty, Grace, Elegance 

Pink roses symbolize beauty, refinement, deep affection and grace. These roses have deep significance and can be commonly seen embellishing bridal arrangements. The sender pinkcan easily convey congratulations or admiration to the receiver though pink flowers. These also symbolize the heart-felt appreciation and respect from the sender to the receiver. These lovely roses also are a symbol of fun, sweetness, innocence, elegance and alacrity.

Orange Roses

Intense desire, Fascination, Energy 

Fiery orange roses symbolize different tones of meanings – fire of passion, intense desire, fascination and energy. These brilliant orange roses compete with red roses in infusing passion into romance. If you’re fascinated with someone and wish to express your feelings to him/her, orange flowers can serve as the best carriers of your intense desire for that loved one. You can also gift orange flowers to anyone admiring him/her on recent accomplishments.

Now that you know the true meaning of the different colours of roses, it’s time to choose the colour that is apt for the occasion and send over a lovely bouquet of those roses.

Does Content Live in a Silo? Hell NO!

The whole marketing industry is going crazy behind Content Marketing these days. But what actually content marketing is? Does it make sense to say that it’s a strategy to use content for great marketing results. But that’s not what it is.content

Content does NOT live in silo. It only fetches results for businesses when used in combination with other marketing channels and innovative marketing practices. It’s one of the planets of the vast inbound marketing solar system. Confused? Read further.

Content can fall flat on its face (or be ineffective)  if NOT used with:

SEO – Many marketers think content marketing is all about creating more content and the easiest way to do that is through regular blogging. However even great content can deliver no value, if it goes unnoticed or if your target audiences are not able to find it. SEO is a surefire way to ensure that your remarkable content gets found and read by the right set of people i.e., your target audiences. Marketers should ensure that the helpful content that they create must be optimized well for keywords used by their target audiences to locate certain products or services on search engines. That’s how content attracts organic traffic.

Social Media – With social media euphoria gripping humans across all age groups, geographies and business sectors, almost every brand wants to tap this huge real estate and engage with their target audiences across varied social media channels. For enhanced content reach and visibility, it needs to be distributed imperatively across relevant social media sites (only those where your target market hangs out frequently). Popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. are the online avenues, where readers love to share the infotaining content that you create. Hence as a smart marketer, make it easy for them to do so by integrating social media sharing buttons in each content piece that you push out on the Web. Not only does it increase your content’s reach or effectiveness, but can also help you engage with your target audiences easily and help them address their challenges with your useful content. If your content succeeds in solving their challenges/pain points, no wonder these readers can also become your brand evangelists. So keep feeding them with awesome content on their most favorite online destinations!

Email marketing – Some businesses see email marketing as the most powerful tool in their marketing arsenal to connect with their contact database. Email can really help your content get out there and grab many more eyeballs. Without email marketing, your content’s reach is constrained drastically and can make all your content creation efforts go waste.

content-marketing-statsIt’s damn simple. Content forms the beating heart of your inbound marketing strategy but ONLY when it’s used along with other channels (a few of them listed above!). Don’t sandbox your content. Give it wings and let it soar high and wide to cover the complete horizon of your target audiences.

 

 

 

Supreme sacrifice of a War Hero goes to vain….Shame on our Diplomatic Class!

An LPG agency allotted to the parents of Saurabh Kalia would not compensate for the irreparable loss they’ve suffered. A statue erected in Amritsar would not bring the pride back. A nursing college built as memorial in Palampur would not heal the wounds of his parents. “Saurabh Van Vihar’ would never have any Saurabh come there for a stroll.

Saurabh-Kalia-A-national-hero

Saurabh Kalia — Justice Delayed or Denied?

He might be an inspiration to many Amits, Akshays, Puneets and Neerajs to join the Indian Army and don olive green; he was certainly NO top gun in the politics or industry. He and his family paid the price for belonging to the most downtrodden species in India – Common Man.

I might seem like a blogger with forked tongue to be spitting venom against our current political class over and over again. However, I feel shattered to discover that it’s not only our political class that has repeatedly produced its evidences of political impotence against Pakistan. There is one more culprit of Captain SaurabhKalia. Any guesses? To my disappointment, it’s none other than the same institution for which I have had ultimate respect for – the Indian Army.

For some of my ignorant friends, who keep busy reserving their seats in the movie halls or reading new alter ego tantrums shed by Salman Khan, here is some information for you all about the blood-freezing case.

Captain SaurabhKalia, an ex-IMA alumnus, who got commissioned in Indian Army in 1998 got his first posting in the 4 JAT Regiment (Infantry) in the Kargil Sector. Zealously guarding “Bajrang Post” at the height of 14,000 feet, Kalia was the first army officer to have reported large-scale intrusion of Pakistani Army and foreign mercenaries in Indian side of LoC (Kargil). On one of the routine patrols in Kaksar sector at Ladakh, he along with other five soldiers entered into a scuffle with Pakistan armed forces. The brave captain and his troop ran out of ammunition. Soon after, a platoon of Pakistan rangers captured them before Indian troops could reach for their rescue. For 22 days in a row, these captivated soldiers were meted out a barbarous treatment, a treatment beyond all peripheries of humanity. After being subjected to extreme torture (that one cannot even possibly think of), their mutilated bodies were handed over to India by the Pakistan army on June 9, 1999. Their postmortem report lays bare the fact that the Pakistan army had burnt their bodies with cigarettes, punctured ear-drums with hot rods, pierced eyes before removing them, dismantled most of the teeth and bones, fractured their skulls, chopped their lips, nose,  limbs and private organs of these soldiers before firing bullet wound to the temple. [Source: Wikipedia and Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s (MP) letter to the External Affairs Minister, India].

What a tragic incident!The mere thought of such physical and mental torture inflicted to these soldiers rips my soul apart. I fall short of words to condemn the obvious. But more than that, I lash out on our incapable political class that has the gutsy quality deep imbibed in them to do multi-million dollars scams and then stash that plundered wealth of common man in their Swiss bank accounts, but are mere lookey loos when it’s the occasion of raising such an important issue fearlessly against Pakistan on a World Forum.

Next, I question our “otherwise so responsible” media houses. Except Times Now spearheaded by Arnab Goswami, which other channel has flashed this story even a few times since 1999? Being a politically enlightened citizen keeping a hawk’s eye on all the news channels, at least I do not remember any other news channel debating this issue in the recent past. Well, I can understand the issue of TRPs or may be their glamour-struck prying eyes are too busy monitoring Shahrukh-Salman’s spats. I duly understand that Captain Saurabh Kalia’s news must not have had stirred such interest or garnered high TRPs for them.

This tragic case that has made a father run like crazy from courts to varied national and international organizations for not one or two but 16 long years to seek help in raising this issue on an international level to make Pakistan apologize for treating the prisoners of war (POWs) with ultimate brutality and defying Geneva convention. Don’t trust me? Look at some of the replies that Dr. Kalia (Captain Saurabh Kalia’s father) has received from some of the embassies:

Britain: We are seeking from the Indian Army a full report of the postmortem, unfortunately without any success so far.

Germany:They had contacted the ministry of external affairs and had not received a reply.

Saurabh-Kalia-A forgotten Kargil-hero

Captain Saurabh Kalia: Father’s lone battle of justice continues even after 13 years?

(Source: Wikipedia)

In the last 2—3 days after Times Now held a Newshour debate on this sensitive case, I see a lot of reactions coming in from different sections of political class, senior Army officials and some prominent personalities.  A lot of mumbo jumbo!

I heard Army chief saying that Army has repeatedly raised concerns on Kalia’s death and written to Ministry of Defence and the National human rights commission (NHRC). For the first time ever, I feel that in spite of making a tall statement of extending full support to the bereaved parents, Army has failed its standards of morality and ethics. Determination and dedicated are the traits synonymous with Indian Army. But why have these traits faded in pursuing the case of a slain martyr for 16 years?

It’s a shake-up call for the Indian Army. If such is the laid back attitude of one of the greatest military forces of the world, why does it complain of the young people turning their backs from taking up Army as a profession (or rather a way of life, as they call it!). Why should parents send their sons to serve the nation if the nation does not care about the martyrs?

There has always been a tiff between defence forces and the Government but it’s high time the men in combats rise up for their own cause. The Government rewards dead soldiers posthumously. What is that for? Doesn’t Captain Kalia’s case highlight the fact that only trophies, posthumous gallantry awards cannot salute bravery and martyrdom? They ought to be shown their due respect for the great services they render to the nation. Why do their families need to struggle for getting the allotted lands or petrol pumps? Watch the movie “Dhoop” (based on the true story of Captain Anuj Nayyar, MVC and his family) to get an idea about the struggle of the father of another martyr captain.

Indeed, it’s not just a case. It’s the question of pride of the country. Captain Kalia and other five soldiers are truly our national heroes.

It’s my appeal to the entire Indian community to stand up together, raise such a loud voice on the international platform that it gets heard and brings down Pakistan on its knees to apologize to India and vow to treat prisoners of war with respect they deserve.

Let’s get this martyr’s father the justice, that he has been fighting a lone battle for 16 years.

Arvind Kejriwal: The Reason Behind Congress – BJP New Found Friendship

Agent of America. Bomb thrower of Indian politics. Identical twin of Rakhi Sawant. A mosquito bite which “causes minor irritation“.

His kitty is full to its brim with these tags. He’s no political czar yet standing firm against top guns in politics. He has dared to lift the lids of many boiling political pots. He’s a common man with an uncommon thought process. He’s not a common fly but a dangerous mosquito that bites political nuts big way. Accused of hogging the limelight, Arvind Kejriwal remains unfazed by criticism and is here to play long innings in Indian politics.

Arvind Kejriwal: The Reason Behind Congress – BJP New Found Friendship

Activist-turned politician Kejriwal has sussed out the pain points of the common people like you and me. The country’s democracy is in jeopardy. Economic growth of the country is wilting with steep inflation graph. There are scant opportunities left for common people to milk.

Amidst this political and social chaos, here’s this man who is inexorably exposing the fraudulent deals of these political Big Daddies and the long-prevailing nexus between political honchos and corporate beneficiaries. And, the irony is that the same anxiety-prone political nuts quash the allegations made by Kejriwal, and out of their sheer desperation and fake attempts to hide their nervousness, counter-blame him for attaining political mileage out of these unsubstantiated allegations for his upcoming political party.

Deceitful Robert Vadra’s land deals; gross financial irregularities committed by Salman Khurshid’s NGO in executing welfare schemes for physically-disabled people; Gadkari’s involvement in grabbing crores of land from some of Maharashtra’s poorest farmers in partnership with Ajit Pawar; humongous black money stashed in Swiss Bank by politicians and industrialists and many more. These are some of the political fiascos brought to the light by this anti-corruption crusader turned politician.

Congress and BJP, political enemies otherwise, stand united today. Why? No Brownie points for guessing! To mask their toosh and political wrongdoings. Unable to pick up the gauntlets thrown by him, these political czars have put on a shameless appearance and made some bizarre statements in attempts to exonerate themselves from the allegations.

Dialing back his rhetorical bravado, Digvijay Singh made a ridiculous comparison between Arvind Kejriwal and Rakhi Sawant. What a pity! The truth lays bare in front of the country that the person who made this preposterous comment is a member of the party that today stands almost nude in front of the people of this country.

Countless scams, sloppy economic policies, corrupt team of political guns spearheaded by a “tragic figure” (as cited by the world media) and still some ministers going ahead with rabble rousing. What a loss to the country!

My recent conversations with some politically enlightened friends amuse me when I hear some of them saying “He’s good enough to make allegations but not taking them to some logical conclusions.” Let me throw my volley of questions to all of you my dear friends, who harbor the same opinion.

Which door should he knock in order to get these sinners punished – CBI or any other constitutional body? So, should we expect an independent probe from the same institutions, which are under the direct control of the government? Should we believe the inquiry reports if we hypothetically believe that CBI interrogates the Prime Minister for coal scam? Well, that would be nothing short of whims and fancies.

Sadly, it’s a moment of political hypocrisy. And, the one who has dared to push the nozzle of the fountain of exposes of the financial wrongdoings of the ministers of current political parties gets bestowed upon by inventive tags such as “Agent of America”, “Bomb thrower of Indian politics” and many more!