Himanshu Bhagat

Ex-Googler. Hustler. Digital. Always Curious. Optimise & Automate!


Follow The Bread Crumbs…

The trick to effective media planning is to be able to find the answer to: What am I planning media for?

In other words - one needs to discuss & deliberate on the goals (or outcomes) from the media plan. What is it that one wishes to achieve? Once that is out of the way, rest of the steps come in order if one follows the bread crumbs (the steps, clues, tools & cursors) to achieve the goal.

In the movie - I, Robot - Dr. Lanning left breadcrumbs to Del Spooner (Will Smith) so he could find out about the threat posed by VIKI. Eliminating the threat was the goal, which was pretty clear.

Similarly, once the goals are clear, we can get into detailed aspects of creating an effective media plan. Watch out for my next post on that.

Startup is a State of Mind

Wikipedia defines a startup to be an entrepreneurial venture which is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing or offering an innovative product, process or service.

If we brood a bit - every venture that ever started was aiming to solve exactly these requirements. At least, most of them. Decades before 'startup' became a fashionable word - even the big corporate of our day were starting up. They were new. They were trying to solve a problem. They were facing obstacles and trying to find the fastest & the most efficient solutions to the problems their times would permit.

Because, how would we have developed and moved forward had it not been for the existing-isn't-enough attitude that people of the times hadn't fostered?

Wasn't Infosys a startup? Narayana Murthy had to run pillar to post for licensing to buy computers for his offices in India. That was the challenge at that point of time and he persevered to solve it.

At a micro level, I believe that Startup Is a State of Mind. It is about one's ability and nature to be a hustler or a problem solver or a hacker. An organization and the framework that it works in forms the external factors to proliferate or inhibit those qualities possessed by an individual.

Focus On The User & All Else Will Follow

The above statement is one of the ten commandments that we followed at Google. As time passed by, Google’s philosophies became the benchmark to the growing digital world.

In order to focus on the user - what essentially became important was to track their journey. Tracking gives us deeper insights into our customer’s behavior. It provides us with a wealth of information to focus on the user and reach out to her, right?

There are two key things that I want to talk about tracking the user:

Customer Journey is Non-Linear

We often think that the customer journey is the AIDA Model and make our marketing plans accordingly. However, in the complex world when the user is exposed to a blizzard of marketing messages - the journey spans the online-offline world. Customers move from Awareness to Interest to Desire and back to Interest and to Action with many more combinations of this.

It takes time for the user to finally reach the Zero Moment of Truth.

Plan Marketing to be Platform Agnostic

As we focus on the user - we need to forget the platform. This is a natural extension to the first point. Since a customer/user journey is not limited to a particular platform or the interaction world (online or offline); marketing strategy should follow a communication approach and not a platform approach. Right communication moulded for different platforms will produce the magic.

Deliberate on what will appeal to the user and where will automatically get answered.