The ‘Mighty’ Pen’s Journey From A Sword To A Swiss Knife

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Breakthrough Moment

2007 – Working at an advertising agency

Week 1 – I love this life. My chance to pen down sexy copy and become famous (doesn’t matter if I have to slog 10 years for it)

Week 5 – Hunt for a new phone after my first stipend comes through(10 years look tough with this amount of money)

Week 6 – Confident about my purchase because a friend had a great experience and the review on Labnol blog gave it a good rating

Moment of Truth – Did I look at a ‘creative’ advertisement during my research?

Not really. This is me, an advertising drop out who realised that no one listens when you speak about yourself, what matters is what others say about you. This was just the time when another new reality of ‘market saturation’ was surfacing. Hence, for a new brand to enter a cluttered market and make its mark it was important to create a category. For example when Kellogg’s entered a country that woke up to paranthas any amount of advertisement around cold breakfast cereal would be too bland for the Indian taste buds. Hence they built the category of “health food” before embarking upon an advertisement campaign. Building categories is a function of changing behavior through endorsements from people who matter. For example doctors, health experts, friends, family and the media in the Kellogg’s case. This belief in third party endorsements made me shift to Public Relations and now Social Media Marketing.

My breakthrough moment for me came as a result of the following realisations:
• Identify people with whom you have affinity – The digital medium allows you to target these people
• Build a relationship with consumer through shared values – Social media encourages interaction rather than  a static flow of information
• Crowd source for product development – Listen to your consumers first and foremost
• Stay real for long term sustenance – Engage naturally and stay real, superfluous conversations will die
• Social media is a tool and not the cause

 The UnBox fellowship in Digital Activism got me excited because it involved “movement creation” by shared experiences from diverse backgrounds. The opportunity to work closely with Breakthrough on the Bell Bajao will further my belief in simple and brilliant campaigns involving ‘people like me’. More on movement marketing and the excitement of cracking that ‘idea’ to sustain the Bell Bajao campaign coming up. Stay Tuned:)

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