Author Archives: amrita

Google Pluses and Minuses – What Works & What’s Missing with Google+

Google’s latest offering in the social networking arena – Google Plus (Google+) has now been out for over a month. Google Plus has already surpassed 25 million registered users. To put this in perspective, know that Facebook took 3 years to reach this goal!

Google’s failure to effectively launch Google Buzz and Google Wave a few years ago, made this new foray into social networking seem like a monumental task, but it looks like this is one of their best efforts yet. The company may have finally figured out how to do social well, their key mantra being: you don’t have to share your content with everyone. Instead they expect content to be targetted to specific contacts and groups of people.

Below are my thoughts on some of the less obvious features that are awesome and some comments on what might be missing:

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Posted in Innovation, Media, Product, Social, UX/ UI | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Karma Behaviorism: Does It Pay Off?

The @Jonathanscard story is taking the world by storm. TechCrunch, the Globe&Mail etc have already written about it. (Yeah I know what you’re thinking – even credible “news” sites are nothing more than link grabbers these days).

Anyhow, I myself tried it today to see if it works. And it did!

I walked over to a Starbucks this afternoon and ordered a $3.23 grande ice-tea lemonade – and quelle surprise – a quick scan of the photo image of the loaded Starbucks card on my phone, rang the order through! The cashier was pretty impressed by my “tech skills” too. Poor guy had no idea it was simply a photo image of the barcoded back of the Starbucks card 😉

In any case, of course I was happy to get my poison of choice, free of charge to me. But the question remains: is JonathansCard a thoughtful gesture/ social experiment or a genius marketing campaign?
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Posted in Marketing, Product, Social | Leave a comment

Personal note: Amrita Missing In Action

Hi folks, I thought I’d post this note here as I’ve had many people ask me why I haven’t posted anything in some time, why they haven’t been able to reach me, get face-time with me etc. Well the short answer …
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Posted in Personal | 1 Comment

Why Social Media Is Not Working For You: A Wake-up Call

Often businesses get overwhelmed by the hype around social media and jump right into it to avoid getting left behind. This tends to lead to a circumstance where a company expects to start seeing traction, but end up only burning rubber – simply because they haven’t thought things through properly.

They then tend look for issues with their quality of content or frequency of posting (which do contribute to take up in some capacity) without really looking at the big picture of why progress hasn’t been made.

Below are some common reasons why social media may not be working for your organization (apart from the fact that you sound like a corporate robot and not a real person):

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Posted in Corporate Culture, Marketing, Media, Social | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

How To Turn Employees into Advocates and Leverage them for Content Marketing

If you’re a marketer and have ever been tasked with thought-leadership for your organization, you will know what a lonely place it can be. Becoming a thought-leader in a particular sector/ subject matter does not happen overnight. It takes much effort, consistency and reputation building to churn out stellar content that will get you to that place.

One common oversight that organizations make when deliberating over their thought-leadership strategy is that they fail to leverage the skills, influence and deep insight of their employees; in the interest of maintaining control.

So what happens? Well, everything gets funneled through “corporate accounts” and the puck ends up stopping at marketing.

This is a common problem, especially with large organizations that don’t have the same flexibility and nimbleness that smaller businesses might have. This is exactly where small B2B companies can really thrive and empower their employees to solve their content problems.
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Posted in Corporate Culture, Marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Using Influence as a Marketing Metric to Measure ROI

Marketing ROI can be one of those arbitrary phrases that sometimes has no real meaning. It is kind of like trying to put a finger on what corporate culture means. How does one define it? Measure it?

Does the term only exist so that us marketers could prove our existence… our worth to the rest of the organization? Or does it even matter what the organization feels about marketing; since every other organization in the world seems to have some sort of marketing department? And so, often I would find marketing would mean creating flyers. Or worse, doing support tasks for sales teams.

Due to scenarios such as these, Marketing ROI quickly became the de facto standard for proving the value and worth of certain marketing activities. It became a quantifiable way to prove that what we did as marketers – mattered.

The problem however was that no one really knew what exact numbers and metrics to look at! What’s lacking, even to this day, is a good understanding of what metrics work for a business and what don’t.

Having been in B2B marketing for many years, I have come to understand that some activities can be tangibly measured and some cannot. I also believe that some things do not need to be measured at all.

Einstein knew what he was talking about when he said “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
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Posted in Innovation, Marketing, Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The End of Communication As We Know It – part I

Gartner says that in about 5 years, social networking services will replace email as the primary channel for interpersonal communications for 20% of business users.

Well, this has happened across many businesses and brands already. In fact, several large brands already use social networks to communicate with their customers, prospects and partners.

Think Air Canada’s new twist on customer service, Dunkin Donuts taking complaints and Dell computers giving out deals through Twitter. Not to mention the massive number of business and product pages on Facebook and the benefits that brands associate with being a fan of those pages. Theres a lot of communication happening through those. And more importantly, it is a two-way conversation, not just one-way communication like in email.
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Posted in Innovation, Marketing, Media | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Using Facebook Comments For Your Business or Blog

I want to open with the fact that TechCrunch’s decision to use Facebook for comments is both short-sighted and paranoiac on their part.

I can certainly see the appeal of using Facebook comments – I think that given the number of people that are on Facebook as well as the number of people that use Facebook as their digital/ online identity – certainly makes a case for inclusion. However a decision to move exclusively to Facebook comments and Yahoo is extremely limiting.

In a nutshell, Facebook Comments does not solve the problem of anonymity.

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Posted in Marketing, Media, Social | 10 Comments

The Emotional Aspects of ‘Life in a Startup’

Sure, there’s all the obvious stuff about how you won’t get any sleep when you are working on a startup, how you might end up neglecting your family, friends, girlfriend or boyfriend, how you will need to develop an unimaginable tolerance for risk, how you will have to learn to live in a shoebox or worse – with your co-founder, only to work through nights while eating left over pizza slices… and many more along the same lines.

Even though we know all this; it is always the emotional aspect of startup entrepreneurship that always gets us.

Learning to deal with this early on and being prepared for some low-blows while you build, iterate and make connections, will help you get there faster while saving you some stressful moments. Hopefully.
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Posted in Funding, Innovation, Marketing, Startups | 6 Comments

123rd Annual Dinner recap – Stolen moments of a few “well dressed clowns”

The 123rd Annual Dinner, a highly anticipated soirée and a premier event in the city of Toronto, was an entertaining and spectacular night as suspected.
It was an absolute honor to have been present at this beautiful gala event hosted by the Toronto Board of Trade, featuring Jian Ghomeshi as MC and Guy Laliberté as the keynote speaker. Yes, this is the one and only Guy Laliberté who founded the famous Cirque du Soleil – watched and enjoyed my millions of people around the world.
Guy began his keynote by coming out on stage, quickly scanning the crowd with red clown noses on, and saying: Wow wow wow, I’ve never seen so many well dressed clowns in my life!
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Posted in Events, Profiles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment