Category Archives: Marketing

Digital Marketing, What's In a Name Creatives, Hyderabad

Digital Marketing Agency: 7 questions every brand owner wants to ask in 2019

So, before we give you a little background about us, we thought it’s best to let you know what will you learn by the end of this comprehensive blog post about the 7 key Digital Marketing questions, every brand owner wants to ask. Before we move ahead, we guarantee that this is the only and the most comprehensive blog you’ll need to read as a brand owner this year. It’s a detailed one. So, only if you’re serious about the activities of your Digital Marketing Agency for your brand, read on. Here’s a list of questions we’ll answer in this post:

1. What has changed about Digital Marketing in 2019?

2. Why should I choose a full-service Digital Marketing agency?

3. How to identify the difference between right and wrong strategy by a Digital Marketing Agency?

4. When to make a switch from my current Digital Marketing Agency?

5. How long should I continue my Digital Marketing activities?

6. How to make optimum utilisation of every penny I spend on online marketing?

7. What’s the fine print I should know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

Well, before we begin, here’s a little background of ours.

We are What’s In a Name (WIN), a full-service Advertising & Digital Marketing Agency in Hyderabad. Incepted in the year 2010, we have built quite a few Regional & National brands from scratch. We’ve been equally recognised and awarded for our Branding and Digital Marketing capabilities, regionally & nationally. We’re one of the very few Advertising Agencies to be Google Partners.

We’d started as a Print Advertising Agency; we’ve worked our way up to add Digital Marketing to our repertoire of services. It took us a couple of years to complete this transformation. So, unlike most other agencies, it was not an overnight change. And through the process, we made sure we understood the subject and delivered measurable results. 

To know more about us, you can click here.

1. What has changed about Digital Marketing in 2019?

Well, simply put, we’d say; a lot.

But there’s more than meets the eye. The recent updates across various properties of Google; read Google AdWords, Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), Google MyBusiness, Google Analytics, et al. 

There are tons of changes in every property of Google since last year. And that will undoubtedly impact every Digital Strategy.

Google MyBusiness

Unfortunately, most business owners don’t realise the importance of maintaining good hygiene across their MyBusiness Pages. Well, this includes Google Maps and a whole lot of stuff. 

It is a single dashboard that you can use to communicate with Google about your “physical” business location. Everything, from sharing the exact pin location, phone number, and information matters. It is a crucial snippet that pops up in every search we make on Google. It is also called a “Snack Pack” or “Local Listing” in the Digital World.

And that’s not all. 

You can also share some posts the way you do on other Social Media Channels like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Plus, some specific offers that you’d like to share with your customers. So, there’s a lot of stuff you can do there.

Infographic on Google MyBusiness. Digital Marketing Agency in Hyderabad.
Infographic Credit: Social Media Today

Google Analytics

Last year saw Google giving a complete make-over to the UI of the Dashboard. And it looks pretty cool. But it’s not just all good looks here. It does a lot more stuff too.

The unique search box, allows you to ask some direct questions like “What is my average page load time?” And this is to help the rapidly growing “Voice Search”.

Now you’d ask how does the speed of your page matter?

Well, thanks to the fresh updates by Google, it’s one of the top three ranking factors. Let’s assume your SEO (more on this later), is pretty similar to your competitor’s across various metrics. So, Google will by default show the fastest loading site higher. Speed could, at times, even beat websites with good SEO. 

SERP (Search Engine Result Pages)

SERP, as the name suggests, is nothing but the results that Search Engines throw the moment you type a query. One of the significant changes from last year, that’s likely to get crazier this year, is the inclusion of separate ranks of your website on PC and Mobile, for a particular Keyword or Key-phrase.

So, if you type “Best 3-star hotels in Hyderabad”, and see that your brand is ranking “Number 3” on PC, it could rank “Number 8”, or 20, or beyond 100 on mobile. So, the work of a Digital Marketing Agency doubles up. We need to maintain rankings across devices.

As per a statistical report in Statista, currently, India has around 420 million Mobile Internet Users, and this number is likely to increase by another 100 million Mobile Internet Users by 2023. 

So, it’s high time we begin to think mobile-first. Something that Google has been advocating for a while too.

Apart from all this, content still remains the king. The only difference is that the focus is now primarily on original, interesting content only. Gone are the days when stuffing excessive content would guarantee a top result on the search engine result pages. Though some website might still enjoy the results of the old strategy. They will soon be pushed behind by new, better content. It’s just a matter of time.

Backlinks are still important. But silly, irrelevant back links will do more harm than ever before.

Finally, the most important metric is the speed of your website; the speed of loading a page. If it’s not under 3 seconds, you’ve got reasons to worry. Of course, this varies from industry to industry and device to device.

2. Why should I choose a full-service Digital Marketing Agency?

As a brand owner, you’ve got a zillion things to tackle. And having some clue about the Digital Marketing or Marketing activities carried out by your Digital Marketing Agency, is a great thing. However, if you are investing more than a few minutes a day on this subject, you’re losing out on crucial time that can help you scale your business, better still, improvise your product or service.

There’s an old saying by William Bernbach, one of the legends of advertising from the 1950s, “A great Advertising Campaign will make a bad product fail faster.”

There are a lot of brands who consider having two different agencies for their brand. As there’s a dearth of a full-service Advertising & Digital Marketing Agency, brand owners think it’s best to opt for the best of both worlds, albeit differently.

If you’re going keep two legs in two boats, you’ll invest most of your time maintaining balance, and there will hardly be any time to make progress. Picture this, and you’ll understand what we’re saying.

And in most cases, this can be harmful to a brand. It should be considered only as a last resort. If you’ve got an excellent full-service agency, it will solve a lot of issues with you. Most importantly, your valuable time can be invested in a place where it matters the most – your business!

Finally, a full-service advertising & digital marketing agency will make sure that your brand tone and personality is standardised across various channels of communication – online and offline. It might sound simple, or unimportant. But this is complex. And if your current agency has nailed this for you, don’t disturb the composition. Focus on growing your business.

So, look for an agency where every single job is planned and executed end-to-end under one roof. Well, that’s the true meaning of “Full-service Agency”. Isn’t it?

3. How to identify the difference between right and wrong strategy of a Digital Marketing Agency?

Digital Marketing, compared to traditional advertising, is highly quantifiable. However, if your agency-to-be promises absurd numbers that sound too good to be true, you’ve got your answer. Listen to your inner voice. Don’t fall for that trap!

Like any business, or branding exercise, Digital Marketing is a difficult process too. So, it’s going to take some time. Have patience. 

A lot of agencies try to play foul on the biggest weakness of an entrepreneur – “cheaper costs”. Well, it is indeed possible to bring your digital marketing costs down. But then there’s a limit to that as well. If your agency begins to keep your advertising Demographics broad, it will be much cheaper to execute. But you’d be doing a big disservice to your brand.

“Get three quotes. Hire the Digital Marketing Agency that quotes the lowest.”

It is a mindset that could do more harm than good. 

It can be summed up in a saying, “Pennywise. Pound foolish.”

When an agency is chosen only because they are charging less, take a pause, and ask yourself. “When is the last time, I’d given a heavy discount on a good product of mine?” It would mostly be in cases of dead stock, an outdated model, or worse still, something that’s of poor quality.” 

Voila! You’ve got your answer there.

Cutting corners is a great thing. But cutting the right corners is an art. An agency will make or break all the millions you plan to invest in your brand’s marketing activities. So, you might win the battle by negotiating a “seemingly profitable deal”. But you’re certainly going to lose the War!

Finally, a lot of brand owners believe that not sharing the data of the final conversion/revenues from the leads with their agency is a smart move. Unfortunately, it’s not the right approach. 

Picture this. You share the exact data of the sales you’ve generated against each lead your agency has provided. That complete the circle for your agency. With this, they don’t just know which medium is working great for you; they can also determine what type of ad is working for your brand. And hence, they know where their strength lies. And they will work towards giving you better results.

Unfortunately, brand owners think that informing the agency of the success of their work will back-fire. The truth, however, is that NOT informing them about their success back-fires. The mindset that the moment an agency gets to know that their work is showing results, they might hike up their fee is pre-historic. Creative people crave appreciation; honest appreciation. They do have a dimension them that’s beyond money. And not hitting the right note there will only hamper your business.

4. When to make a switch from my current Digital Marketing Agency?

Simply put, never!

Well, the longer the association you have with your partner, the better the understanding. The amount of time you’ll need to spend on them will be way lesser. And that time of yours could be worth millions.

So, it’s not like the association should last forever. But if there’s not substantiate issue, it’s best to continue. A lot of brand owners, try to bring in their ego, and fool around with a good agency, in greed to exploit. 

Then there are others who are always “Window Shopping”. Or want to divide the work of their brand into more pieces than that of shattered glass. 

So, it’s a never-ending cycle.

The trick is… if you’ve got the right composition, don’t waste time tinkering with it. Just nurture it, water it, and let it blossom to give you results that you can’t even possibly imagine. 

Remember, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

5. How long should I continue my Digital Marketing Activities?

As long as you intend to keep your business alive. 

Well, they say that a business without promotion is like you winking at a girl in dark. Only you know what you’re doing.

Most business owners suffer from an ideology that once my business makes enough money, I’ll spend on Branding & Marketing activities. Unfortunately, it works the other way around.

So, once you begin to spend money on these activities, in the right way though, your business will begin to flourish. Your business will have more awareness. And that will in turn lead to more customers, over a period of time. The term “period of time” is crucial here. It all takes time.

Another big misconception we’ve got about our spends on any marketing activity is that if it’s not generating enough business, it’s not good. Well, there are tones of factors that determine whether a potential customer decides to give his details to you in the form of a lead or not. In cases of an e-commerce platform, there are varied other reasons why a potential customer would choose to buy from you.

It’s not always about the efforts by your Digital Marketing Agency. For all you know, you keep changing your agencies thinking, they are unable to crack this for you. And pretty late in the game you get to know that the issue is with your product, price, service, etc. It also depends on how your audience perceives your brand. And whether they find it valuable or not. 

For example, a brand like Coca Cola, doesn’t promote themselves thinking that every time you see one of their commercials, you’ll immediately buy a bottle of coke. That’s something they’d love though.

So, it’s a process. It’s called brand recall. It’s a slow and steady process of promoting or advertising your brand across various channels, thereby building a strong brand image. All this needs to team up with a good product or service though.

So, in most scenarios, business owners tend to forget the “intangible” brand-building impact their Agency’s marketing and advertising efforts will have. So, it’s not always about sales. And not about instant sales for sure. The journey of a customer is pretty long from the time they see your ad, to the time they repeatedly see your ad, to the time the slowly build a connection and an affinity with your brand, to the time see your ad again, and then have a recall, and finally make a purchase. So, you ought to be patient.

Remember, if your product or service is good, the only marketing effort, online or offline, that goes waste is the one that’s not consistent!

6. How to make optimum utilisation of every penny I spend on online marketing?

Firstly, make a comprehensive list of products/services that are highly profitable for you. Apart from this, focus on basics, and stuff that’s influenced by season, event, time-of-day, geographic location, and other such factors, etc. 

Share these details with your Digital Marketing Agency. Also, tell them openly about the challenges, draw-backs, points-of-differentiation, etc. An agency is like a doctor. The more the information you share with them, the better the results/treatment you can expect.

Next, don’t go for just vanity stuff.

For instance, a lot of people know that “content is king”. 

There was a time when the more the number of pages you’ve got on your website, the better the prospects of it ranking higher. The more the number of blogs you write, the higher the chances of it dominating the search results for you.

Now, some part of this still holds good though. But Google is highly focused on content that’s unique, original, interesting, and solves the customers’ problem.

So, there could be a website that posts a new crappy blog every other day, and then there’s one that publishes an excellent blog just once a week. There’s a good chance that the latter will rank higher. So, though there’s some emphasis on quantity, quality is still a more important factor. 

It leads us to those who want to upload 30 posts a month on their various Social Media Channels. Worse still, those who wish to post multiple times in a day. Well, there’s a Science behind posting. There’s also some common-sense needed.

A lot of Social Media Channels consider “over posting” as spam. Plus, when you upload content on your Social Channels and don’t spend a penny on promoting it, you and your family are the only ones who’re going to consume it. 

Did someone say vanity?

Bang on!

So, upload three posts a week or 4 posts a month. But make sure they’re all promoted. 

Now that doesn’t mean the organic reach is a myth. Or stuff doesn’t go viral. It certainly does.

But that’s for few rare pages and brands. 

7. What’s the fine print I should know about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) & Social Media Marketing (SMM)?

Oh! It could be a good subject for another blog post. But we’ll try to answer this in brief.

Every channel comes with its pros and cons. Just because your friends are getting good results on Instagram, doesn’t mean you will too.

Let your agency do some research on this. Have some faith in them. Assist them with all the information about your business.

Search Engine Marketing is a long-term commitment. If you think, you’ll get someone on board for a few months, reach a good rank for various keywords or key phrases, and then you’re mistaken.

What most people know about Social Media is just half knowledge. It seems pretty easy. People think they can boost a post on their own, and avoid the expense of a Professional or an Agency. Well, just because someone roughly knows how the gears of car work, doesn’t mean they can be good drivers; rather safe drivers. Isn’t it?

It’s a similar scenario. To have half-baked information about boosting a post is one thing. To have complete in-depth knowledge about the subject is another. 

There’s way too much that goes behind the scenes in Social Media. It’s Science. It needs thinking. It needs experience, it needs common sense. It needs business understanding. Most importantly, one needs to be updated with the ever-changing landscape of Social Media. A good Agency can help you make the most of it.

Search Engine Marketing or SEM, on the other hand, is way beyond Social Media Marketing. It has infinite permutations and combinations. It’s an ocean. And it’s changing rapidly too. If one doesn’t keep themselves abreast with all the updates and changes, they might lose the game.

Also, most of your Digital Marketing activities will have an impact on each other. For instance, your Social Media Engagement does have an affect on your Brand. It is thereby impacting your SEO. 

Bonus Tip:

In our day-to-day business activities, at times, we forget who we’re working for. The end customer who pays to buy your product or service is, and will always remain, the hero of every story. So, stop making your Marketing activities centred around you unless you want to end up being your only customer! 

King of B2B Social Media Marketing and what all it can provide.

In this era of Social Media Marketing (S.M.M), on a tentative basis, we miss out on one of the “Big Guns” of  B2B Social Media Marketing. Yes, you know where this is going, it’s   LinkedIn!

B2B social Media Marketing

 

 

 

Here is an overview of LinkedIn:

  • Why is LinkedIn considered as the king of B2B Social Media Marketing? Because, people who use LinkedIn generally don’t come on to it to upload “selfies” but rather are people who are thinking about their careers or companies.

With 2+ people join LinkedIn per second globally and 2/3 users of LinkedIn are not Americans…with the total of nearly 500 Million users ranging from Mass Affluent/influents, decision making opinion leaders to College students come together on LinkedIn

What is LinkedIn Advertising? :

  • Well, as the name suggests LinkedIn Ads is the Advertising platform provided by LinkedIn for Social Media Marketing. Even though LinkedIn’s Advertising domain is not as strong as Google Ad Words it does work out pretty good on many levels with ‘Target Audience’ being really specific one can rely better.. and further filtering options given vary from Region/Country, Company and some advanced options such as “Similar Audiences” , making it better to work on their B2B Social Media Marketing.

Ok, say I’m impressed, what options do I have on LinkedIn Ads? :

  • Someone wise said, “People with great connections get 13x more opportunities in life.”…No! We just made that up. But you get the point. When it comes to LinkedIn Ads, we have a range of Ad formats which LinkedIn named them as..
    • Sponsored Content
    • Sponsored Inmails
    • Text Ads
    • Dynamic Ads
    • Programmatic Display Ads

Oh! Fancy words! Care to Explain? :

  • Isn’t Social Media Marketing majorly depending on fancy words? ok, let us not bore you by getting into micro details we’ll keep it short.
    • Sponsored Content: Helps you promote your updates to targeted audiences on different channels like desktop, mobile, and tablet. Drive awareness and leads in the world’s most viewed professional news feed.
    • Sponsored inmails: “Inmails” is short for the mails one receives (Inbox). Sponsored Inmails can help you reach your target audiences right in their LinkedIn inbox and deliver personalized messages that drive more conversions than email.
    • Text Ads: Text Ads help you reach your target audiences by allowing you to add a compelling & clickable headline, description and even a 50×50 image. This is one way you can start reaching your target audience in minutes on LinkedIn Ad platform. These Ads will appear on the homepage, Results page and Individual Profiles as well.
    • Dynamic Ads: These are the Ads which appear on the left of your home page which will help your profile to connect you with the Ads and allow you to precisely target decision-makers and influencers with highly relevant and customizable creatives on LinkedIn giving it a real personal touch. According to LinkedIn “60% of marketers say personalizing the customer experience is their top marketing objective.”
    • Programmatic Display Ads: Programmatic Display Ads are 300×250 standard display ads on the right column of the desktop. considering LinkedIn to believe that ‘61% of advertisers cite inventory quality as a leading challenge’ Programmatic Display Ads bring your business in front of the world’s largest, most engaged professional audience of influencers and decision-makers with efficiency and control.
  • We at What’s in a name help you confidently get your business in front of the world’s largest, most engaged professional audience of influencers and decision-makers with efficiency and control.

360 Degrees Branding Case Study – www.zip.in

Overview:

Zip.in is an online Supermarket, based out of Hyderabad. Until recently, it was operational in Hyderabad only. But soon it will expand to other cities across the country. The website has over 8,000 listed products that includes categories like fruits, vegetables, frozen food, pet care, organic food, stationery, essentials and many more. The BETA website went live in November 2014, and the final website went live in December 2014. Then began the 360 Degrees Branding effort to take the brand ahead.

360 Degrees Branding

Challenges:

The first challenge was to strengthen the business segment. That’s because a significant percentage of people were either unaware, or skeptical about an option to shop for groceries online.

The second challenge was the fact that there were quite a few customers who were unhappy with the service & products that they received from competition. It was almost impossible to get them to try online grocery shopping again.

The next challenge was that Zip.in delivery was available in limited locations only.

Finally, we had to spread brand awareness, define its positioning, reach out to the right people, increase website traffic, focus on conversions, and make it all happen with limited budgets. Hence, a 360 Degrees Branding Strategy was formulated.

Target Audience:

We were talking to a huge range of audiences. But our primary audience is a working couple that lives separately. They realise the importance of having good and wholesome meals. However, as both husband and wife are working, it becomes difficult for them to buy groceries regularly.

The secondary audience is the single, corporate employees who are either lazy or don’t have time to buy groceries; thanks to their erratic and long shifts. They are our secondary audience because these would be small ticket size customers. And that’s because they would mostly survive on Maggi (of course, when it was being sold), canned juices, bread, butter, etc.

The tertiary audience is not direct consumers, but influencers. These could be teenagers who would help us spread the word to the decision makers – their parents. These also include retired senior citizens who would help us spread awareness and share the information with their children.

With this we were clear about “Whom” we wanted to talk to. But the question was “What” should we talk about? Once we were clear on our target audience, we decided to understand their pain. We began thinking like customers. We also did some backend research to know how the competition was treating customers. After putting all this together, we came up with a 360 Degrees Branding Strategy.
 

Communication Guidelines:

We were sure that our 360 Degrees Branding Strategy should comprise the following:

Our communication should be simple, and it should be easily understood both by a techie and a retired senior citizen.

Creativity is not the most important thing here. That’s because in a bid to be overtly creative, we didn’t want to move away from our objective of simplicity. Making sure that we take the message home.

The 360 Degrees Branding communication should establish the business line clearly. This is for those who don’t really know how it works.

The communication should work as a confirmation tool to those who are just at the fence. They want to try the option of online grocery buying, but are slightly doubtful.

The communication should make use of the competition analysis that we did. As the competition had captured a greater market share, it was important to understand how they have peeved the customers, and how we can give a believable assurance to these customers.

Also, it was important to make sure that the layout of the campaign was standardised, and that it stands out in a clutter of Newspaper ads, hoardings, online banners, etc. So, achieving high recall was imperative.

Finally, we wanted to make sure that the communication connects with the audiences. They should be able to visualise themselves as customers of www.zip.in. So, we did decide to keep it real too.

PS: Of course, the content was tweaked to suit various channels, but certain things were retained to establish connectivity. The idea was to benefit from integration. So, now we knew “how” our communication should be. But it was time to decide “What” our communication should be. And we came up with the following 360 Degrees Branding Strategy.

Print Campaign:

www.zip.in | 360 Degrees Branding | What's In a Name Creatives

www.zip.in | 360 Degrees Branding | What's In a Name Creatives

Brand Video: Produced by Namesake Productions

Radio Jingle: 

  

Digital Ads:

360 Degrees Branding | Case Study | What's In a Name Creatives | www.zip.in
Screen grab of Facebook Sponsored Stories Ads.

 

360 Degrees Branding | Case Study | What's In a Name Creatives | www.zip.in
Screen grab of a Re-marketing Ad.

360 Degrees Branding – Media Channels:

News Paper Ads – Times Of India, The Hindu

OOH – Hitec City, Gachibowli, Kukkatpally, Uppal, ECIL

Fliers – Somajiguda, Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills, Madhapur, Hitec City, Kondapur, Gachibowli, etc.

Radio – Radio Mirchi

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – On Page & Off Page Optimization, Directory Listing, Products Listing, Link Building, Goal Setting & more

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – Google AdWords, Web Banners, Blog

Social Media Marketing (SMM) – Facebook, Twitter

YouTube Marketing – Video Content Production & Promotion

Retargeting – Google & Facebook Retargeting Ads

The Results – 360 Degrees Branding:

64.3% rise in website traffic.

38% increase in orders.

33% increase in average order ticket size (price)

19% decrease in bounce rate, indicating better traffic quality.

98% customer satisfaction ratings re-iterating that every branding effort needs to be teemed up with a good product or service.

For questions regarding advertising of your product / service,
please click here.

Advertising Agencies: Ever wondered how the best do it?

Ever wondered what the first Indian advertisement looked like? When Englishman James Augustus Hickey started making losses on his newspaper (India’s first) business in 1780, he resorted to advertising . The newspaper didn’t survive for long. But India was gifted a terrific new medium of communication. The first Indian ads mainly revolved around simple & direct messages. And featured a mailing address. Times have drastically changed since then.

Advertising History | What's In a Name Creatives | Top Advertising Agencies
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Best Advertising Agency In Hyderabad – What Could Be Their Milestone?

Milestone is synonymous to words like business, organizations and entrepreneurs. It is what liter is to liquid – a measure. It is like any degree or credential that you’d have; more of a brand value of an organization and an individual both. We all know the dictionary meaning of the word “milestone”. In fact, this word is overtly used in a zillion places (read presentations, annual meetings, client reviews, appraisals, etc.). We hear this word so often that it almost puts us to sleep. But have you ever wondered on what could be the milestone of the Best Advertising Agency in Hyderabad?

Best Advertising Agency

The Best Advertising Agency In Hyderabad:

Celebrating milestones is certainly of the best things an organization and a leader can do. It peps-up the environment, boosts the productivity of its people and helps the organization climb up the ladder. But in this quantitative world, where every conversation has to lead to a visible gain, every meeting has to lead to a materialistic conclusion, every penny has to lead to a negotiation, we tend to place our milestones with an approach that is too narrow, and sometimes hollow; we place them where the results are. The bests don’t do that. Specially, the Best Advertising Agency in Hyderabad would never!

An organization is never about a single person. As much as you call yourself the leader who’s done it all, it is always about a set of people. Despite the fact that you’ve been responsible to bring these people on-board. Entrepreneurs tend to get way too aggressive while placing their milestones. At times, they are so aggressive that they tend to ignore any other person who’s associated with this milestone. The situation then looks something like this – A leader who’s seeing a milestone clearly, has conveyed it to his team as clearly, is moving at a fast pace towards it and is also pushing his team with the same force. His team, however, just pretends to be moving with as much zeal. And what comes next is a reality check. After a half yearly review, the leader along with his team is nowhere closer to the milestone!

Well, the reason was that the team was never in the consensus with the leader. They felt that the milestone he set was too unrealistic. It’s good to be crazy. But to be the best, you’ll need to be a little realistic too. Unfortunately, in this case the Best Advertising Agency was not.

Now, you may argue that you’ll never be able to set a milestone that would be accepted by every single person of your core team. This is possibly a realistic and a common scenario too. But have you ever heard of the word majority?

Exactly! When the majority of your core team decides to agree with your milestone(s), the probability of you, as a company, achieving it is way higher.

At least, this way you know that more than 50% of your team is with you. In fact, you can get them to set the milestones for themselves. This way they’d be taking more ownership of reaching these milestones too.

This is an unorthodox way of placing milestones. The only difference is the fact that the probability of achieving these milestones is a bit higher. The flip side however, is that your core team might not necessarily be as aggressive as you are. Hence, it might work out milestones that are less aggressive. But they’d certainly be more achievable. Here, the choice is yours; you can either set milestones that look great on paper but might not necessarily sound realistic and achievable to your team, or you can let your core team set simpler but highly achievable milestones.

In our day-to-day rush to meet business challenges and work towards innovation, we tend to forget that milestones can be placed differently.

In business terms a milestone is perceived as a destination. Very few leaders feel it’s a journey. But one of the most effective placements of a milestone is somewhere in between.

To evaluate the effectiveness of this strategy of placing a milestone, an Art Director of the Best Advertising Agency, invited a few creative writers. These writers were divided into two teams – Team A and Team B. Both teams were given a brief to work on a launch campaign for one of its clients. This was the launch of a new energy drink – Octane. The client wanted to position their drink in the premium segment. They were well aware of the existing market leader in this segment. Due to smaller marketing budgets, they wanted something that was not just a strong launch campaign, but would also help them place their product in the premium segment. The writers wore their thinking caps, and began to pen down some interesting ideas. After a long brainstorming session, both teams realized that they had to create an aspirational value for the brand. They also decided to focus on their target audience who’d in-turn become brand loyalists. The teams then started working independently.

One of the creative communication ideas by Team A was to create an in-the-face ad concept to take the market leader head-on. The headline for this concept was “Wings are for birds. Real men fly with Octane!”

Team B, on the other hand, worked on a concept that was subtle but equally strong. The headline for their concept was “Octane – Packed with NEWclear Energy.“

Both the concepts were shared with the client. But the Creative Director of the advertising agency chose to reward one of the teams (Team A), the moment the concept was shared with him. However, he was not too convinced about the concept that Team B shared. He knew it was great too but he decided to wait until he heard from the client.

After a few days, the client got back saying that they liked the concept by Team B better. In fact, they shared a very valid reason for the same. They felt that though the first concept was strong, it clearly divided their audience and boiled their product down to an only-for-men product.

The Creative Director then realized that he had misjudged the client and the idea that was shared by Team B. He, later, decided to call Team B and reward them too. By now, both the teams were rewarded. The only difference was the timing. Though, the concept shared by Team B was finally approved by the client and they were rewarded by the Creative Director, they didn’t really like two things about him – he rewarded them only after the client approved their concept and the fact that he rewarded Team A way before he heard from the client. There was clear discrimination and he came across as biased. However, what didn’t really work for him was the timing. Not something that should have happened  at the Best Advertising Agency in Hyderabad.

The idea of placing milestones differently is more about understanding the fact that a milestone is not a destination, it’s not even a journey; it’s in between! Well, in business terms, the journey in this case was the process that involved the teams working on ideas. And the destination was the client approving these ideas. But only if we choose to place our milestone, when we are closer to the destination and when we have put in all our efforts, it would work wonders for an organization and it’s people. We can choose to, without discrimination, reward our people and celebrate the mere fact that the best efforts were put in. This should be unbiased and irrespective of the final outcome (client’s approval in this case). This might not necessarily guarantee the project to you. But this will certainly let your people know that you value their efforts purely as they are; without being biased or influenced by any external factors.

The milestone should be placed where you end up putting all your efforts – just before the destination is reached. That’s the hallmark of the Best Advertising Agency in Hyderabad.

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