Why I am putting 50% of our budget into video marketing for 2017

Video is eating the world. The rise of video consumption on social and mobile platforms in 2016 is staggering. More video gets created in 30 days than all the TV channels have created in 30 years. Even Facebook expects to be a video only platform in 5 years!

Not having a video marketing strategy for 2017 is like not having a smartphone strategy in 2008 or not having a web strategy in 2000. A CEO can wait but fall behind his competitors and play catch up over several years.

Our experiments with social videos shows us three key insights:

So what should your video strategy for 2017 look like? First, get a partner who understand both the communication & story-telling aspects of videos as well as uses tools to identify distribution channels & communities, analytics & monitoring to give you best bang for buck.

We have created a 3-pronged video creation strategy for our brands for 2017. At the top is videos created by top branded influencers with social story telling themes; at the middle is videos created by mid-level/undiscovered digital/social influencers with stories around their own digital/social brand personas; and at the bottom is user generated videos that are real, unedited, raw and socially authentic and spicy.

And yes, over 50% of our budget for 2017 will go into video production, distribution, promotion, analytics and monitoring.

Interested in learning more? Call us for #marteching ideas that stretch technology & marketing.

Posted On:  December 29, 2016,  By Arvind Jha

Is your brand a great story-teller? Or is your brand ‘THE STORY’?

At the beginning of the 20th century, two initiatives were conceived as marketing devices – one to sell more “Tyre”, the other to sell more “Newspaper”. 100 years later, both have grown to become powerful brands in their own right. Today we know them as Michelin Guides (b. 1900) and the Tour de France (b. 1903).

At a time when there was no such thing as TV, brands could not buy mass attention, so they had to earn it, from scratch, by creating world-famous brand properties.

In an age of super-saturated communication, perhaps we need to start thinking less about brand narrative and more about brand drama. It’s not enough to do great story-telling anymore. It’s not enough to ask “what is our brand saying?”. The post-TV, digital-social-media world demands that brands create their own story, building a digital/social property that will earn its media reach through its unique existence. The question brands should be asking is “what is our brand doing?”

As a #marteching team promoting the concept of “movement marketing, we just loved this awesome article on ‘Story Doing” that opens our minds to a new way to look at digital-social-media marketing.

Call us to discuss how you can create and build a movement that will let your followers take your brand message across social and digital media. To see an example of what we have done for an herbal products brands visit Proud of My Color page on Facebook.

Posted On:  August 29, 2016,  By Arvind Jha

Are you looking at a “movement” that makes your customers “owners” of your brand?

Most brands use social media as an extension of their print and TV strategy. Companies are pouring in Huge Monies into social marketing and are wondering – where is the ROI? As engagement is low, reach is low and every post needs more $$$ to promote.

If you are nodding by now, clearly you are also facing this on your own social media strategy?

What is the solution that breaks this low reach, low engagement without high marketing spend model? What is needed to convert your followers into “owners” of the brand?

The solution lies in what we call “movement marketing“. Create a powerful cause that your customers, followers believe in and will support with passion, energy and fierce ownership. A movement that gives its community a larger mission to achieve in life.

Consider for example our latest campaign. Originally conceived by the client as a play against fairness bias, we strategically turned the campaign into a “mission” and “movementto celebrate natural colour and raise people’s voices against fairness bias.

The result? India’s largest community of young women and men against ‘skin colour bias’. 2,00,000+ vociferous user-fans who “speak for the cause”. All done on a shoe-string budget. A fan community that helped the product advertisement film reach 7.5 million views on social media with less than 20% paid views. And generated 10,000+ comments and engagement. A video based communication strategy that saw 170k % growth in video views for the brand.

Wow. How do you do that?

  1. We use a UNIFIED STRATEGY across web, mobile, social to take your key messages and turn them into causes that the consumers can relate to. And instead of selling to the followers, we LISTEN TO THEIR IDEAS as they take the message forward.
  2. We use complex #MARTECHING (marketing + technology) tools to (a) drive higher traffic, (b) optimize social media spends, © extract insights from analytics, (d) measure and extend social platforms to consistently out-perform traditional advertising or digital agencies.

Talk to us if you are looking to build a loyal social community that will take over the brand. We will find the cause that turns your brand into a “movement” your customers want to own. Register today for a complimentary 30 min discussion. Or respond with your contact details and we will be happy to schedule a session with you.

Act now! Status Quo is Not A Strategy In A Changing World.

Posted On:  August 1, 2016,  By Arvind Jha

Building a WhatsApp Media Distribution Empire of Your Own

Email is passé. Most consumers sign up on websites, services using Gmail. And it is rare for your email land into the Gmail inbox. More often than not, your weekly/monthly status mails, promotional mails, offers land up in the promotions tab with less than 0.1% views. You might as well be burning money.

Mobile app notifications are an option but it takes huge effort (and cost) to build, maintain and distribute the app. Social media pages were offered as a low-cost attractive proposition but the engagement levels and reach levels have reached abysmal levels and unless one pumps in huge promotional campaigns in social media, chances are your beautifully curated content is not reaching anyone.

So what should a corporate / organization looking to get its messages out to the larger world do? How to ensure you build a digital media reach? How to get the power of the crowd to work for you?

The answer may lie in WhatsApp. With over 400 mi active users in India and a very high ease of use factor which has led to a high sharing /forwarding culture, WhatsApp has become the platform for social engagements. School classmates, office groups, RWA groups, Club groups, Interest groups, political groups – we all have hundreds of groups which exchange information of all sorts – mundane (and sometimes irritating good morning messages) to funny pictures, videos, links, news, op-ed pieces, propaganda stuff, defamatory stuff – WhatsApp has the slice of life content that appeals to everyone.

Building a WhatsApp channel

WhatsApp is a personal tool and not amenable to automation (hope the company will fix it soon). Yet, even in its limited way, it offers a great opportunity for brands / corporates / social organizations to create their own media distribution outlets.

How should brands approach this task? Here’s a high-level plan:

Step 1: Identify the target community -> helps in creating the campaigns driving acquisition of primary partners.

Step2: Create acquisition campaigns to motivate & inspire target community to engage with the brand / corporate / social organization

Step 3: Create capacity to handle incoming traffic; message templates for welcoming partners; message templates for expected roles / content and value

Step 4: Create a content strategy for WhatsApp network. What kind of content will work, what frequency, what format etc.

Step 5: Create capacity to handle enquires & messages

Step 6: Create a mechanism to review & adjust

Case-Study: Banjara’s WhatsApp network

Over the past 3 months, we have created a 5000 strong WhatsApp distribution contact for Banjara’s, one of our marteching clients. The network was created by targeting bloggers, primary product users via social (FB), AdWords (keyword targeting), email (CRM) and SMS (visitors at retail outlets).

The target audience was invited to connect with the official company WhatsApp number to received advance product information, fun videos and posters and exclusive contests which would be available only to this network.

This network is then used to distribute product videos, brand concept videos, user generated videos around brand campaigns (#BinTheTube for example see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPtpMmbuv5Q, user-generated reviews / review videos; user-generated comments on social posts and relevant content. The recipients are encouraged to share and report if their friends and associates liked the share. Special contests and schemes are run for this network and free samples; gift hampers are used to incentivize the partners.


The Banjara’s WhatsApp network has become a key resource in helping spread the brand messaging into the WhatsApp channels. If we assume that 5-10% recipients are sharing the content onwards across 3-6 groups, it gives the brand a like reach of 150,000 – 300000 (assuming 100 members in a group). The secondary and tertiary sharing is harder to assess. One anecdotal proxy is to measure how many content pieces are shared back with the brand executives 


If you have a savvy social content strategy backed by powerful emotional story-telling, building a WhatsApp based media distribution network of your own is highly recommended. Such a network can only grow over time and will yield significant cost saving in media and social media expenses over time.

Posted On:  July 8, 2016,  By Arvind Jha

Does Having A Celebrity Brand Ambassador Work on Social Media? Across All Audiences?

Brands have been using celebrity brand ambassador since 30+ years. Famous actors, actresses, sports stars & now even literary figures have been used as brand ambassador drawing the persona and the appeal of the celebrity to build / strengthen the brand persona, trust & appeal.

Celebrity brand ambassadors worked great on TV as the medium was best suited for their status, personality and charm. The broad reach of TV and the lack of specific targeting necessitated choice of ambassadors with large, broad-based following. But does the same apply to social / digital media? Should brands continue to use their celebrity films /ads on social media? When brands target audiences narrowly, how does celebrity factor impact campaigns?

As part of our early #marteching experiments we were tasked with taking a celebrity ad film (for a hair oil brand) and achieve maximum coverage of target audience in specified geography. The analysis of our multiple campaigns on Facebook reveals an interesting data point / insights into how audiences engage with celebrities that may be useful to other marketers. Here is our case study – The Impact of a Gorgeous Actress on Social Media!

The Brand Ambassador

Tamannah Bhatia is a leading actress of Telugu and Tamil films. She has also appeared in a few Hindi films. Through her successful career, Tamannaah has become one of the most popular celebrities in South India. In addition to acting, she also participates in stage shows and is a prominent celebrity endorser for brands and products.

The Brand

Samvridhi Hair Oil, is a relatively new brand of hair oil introduced by Banjara’s Herbals, an upcoming consumer products company with a portfolio of herbal products sold predominantly in south India markets. Clearly, Tamannah Bhatia is a great choice for a hair oil brand given her long black hair.

The ad film

Banjara’s created an ad-film that focusses on the top USP of the product – rapid hair growth via the communication line – grow your hair 8 inches in 8 weeks. Tamannah endorses this via a hand gesture which became very popular in AP & TN via sustained TV advertising. The ad film is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMDbscrSzrg

The challenge

Even after spending a fair deal on TV advertising with local channels, the brand awareness surveys showed very few target users were aware of the product / brand especially on social media. Could it be that social media users were not viewers of regional channels? Social media users, especially women in the 25-35 age bracket were the primary target customer for the company. If they were not able to recall the product or the ad, clearly the TV advertising was not reaching them. Something had to be done different.

The campaigns

Pariksha’s social media #marteching team took all the data from Banjara’s website (www.banjarasherbals.com), the buyer data/insight from the marketing team, the analytics from the youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMDbscrSzrg, where some money had been spent) to understand what works, what does not and how to position the campaign.

The campaigns were created with a “teaser” communication approach – playing on the story of the ad film where college girls reveal the secret of their long hair to Tamannah. The plan was to make users curious and use a preview of Tamannah to get clicks to the video. Since the company wanted deep coverage of social media users in the target markets, the budget was appropriately calculated based on total addressable users and average cost per reach / cost per view. Multiple campaigns were designed with different creatives and different target groups so that the user behavior could be analyzed and some insights gathered – the primary being reach-to-click ratio, the cost of views, the time duration of view etc.

The results / Insights based on data
  1. Though the brand has been targeting the 18-30 female consumer as its primary end-user segment, the view-to-reach ratio (The number of end users who viewed the celebrity featured ad from the number of people who were served the ad) suggests that the highest appeal for the celebrity is in the 30-45 female segment. Of course the difference is small, 49% for the latter to 45% for the former.

    An interesting observation is that even though there is slightly higher engagement of the older audience the population of older audience on Facebook is smaller, which increases the cost per view in their case (see Table 2).

    Video Campaign View/Reach
    Samvridhi TVC Women 18-30 0.45
    Samvridhi TVC Women 30-45 0.49
  2. The appeal of the celebrity begins to go down once we increase the age range for the target audience. The hypothesis that the celebrity appeals to senior citizens and 40+ women with young kids is resting on shaky grounds.
  3. There is a dramatic reduction of cost per view if we add young men (18-25) to the audience. A top actress and celebrity is clearly a draw for this target group. But few of them are “buyers” of the product and/or even referrers for the product. Marketers may be lulled into believing that they are getting significant eye-balls but in fact the brands are burning $$$ by targeting non-consumers and providing the audience only an “entertainment” option.

    Video Campaign Cost per Result (INR)
    Samvridhi TVC Women 18-30 2.27
    Samvridhi TVC Women 30-45 3.08
    Samvridhi TVC Men & Women 18-30 1.25
    Samvridhi TVC Men 18-25 1.13
Posted On:  June 28, 2016,  By Arvind Jha