“I See. Said The Blind Man !”

In the world of Data Science & Data led decision making, a lot of executives across the corporate ladder suffer from “I see, said the blind man”. “We do enough & we know enough” is a resonating statement across corporates and teams. In reality, a very few organizations have a holistic understanding of their data, the science of data analytics, available technologies to analyze & use it to enhance business decision making.

Running a data driven operation was simpler ten years back. There was limited data available and there were limited data analytics options available. It was easy to grasp few simple tables and charts at the end of a quarter and plan a strategy around that. The mathematics and science of data analytics has not changed over the years but the amount of data available as well as the increased computing power has crowded us with choices & options.

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Ted Talks, But does Ted listen?

Making a Robust VOC Mechanism for Customer Delight

A leading bank in Asia had commissioned us a few years ago for a short consulting assignment, where I got to know their marketing leader. What was extraordinary about her was that she would start each of her days by listening to customer calls from her call center for at least half an hour. She would tap into the system that recorded the calls and listened to a random bunch. This ritual was sacrosanct and part of her schedule every single day, and she was committed to it even during the days of travel. Now for some, this might seem extreme, but hopefully not shocking. Most leaders understand the value of listening to the Voice of Customer, or VOC, as it is called, and there is enough literature about why it is important to listen to the VOC. But truth be told, very few of us make it a point to listen to this VOC and act on it on a regular, proactive basis. Over the years, the nature of VOC and our relationship with the VOC has changed.

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Alignment Of Marketing & Sales

By industry definition; sales has to sell and getting numbers is their KRA; getting more profitable business is Sales KRA. Marketing on the other side is responsible to create that demand, the hype and the pull for enabling sales. So who calls the final shots? Who is more powerful? Marketing or Sales?

An Expectation of sorts

Marketing expects sales will give them all the credit for their success viz. improved revenue and profitability to Marketing and the reason for failure as “their inability” to sell effectively. Sales expects marketing will build the brand so strong that customers will queue up to buy the product. Marketing will ensure that we get 100% “qualified leads” that will help sales guys to close more deals. This is true in every situation whether its BFSI, FMCG, Automotive, IT ar Consulting. Marketing is supposed to be the more glamorous role of sorts with “corporate” location and functions; while sales is the classical “feet on street” role where you meet real people and real consumers.

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Of Myths and Stories and False Propaganda

A new year brings 365 new opportunities. To do more. To make mistakes. And to learn from them and grow. While this is certainly what I wish for you, dear reader, there is one mistake I hope you stay away from this year, which is to take some of the social myths on their face value. This is concerning because most of these social myths are out there ,without people knowing them to be false and without anyone calling them out.

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Usefulness and Ease of Use: Two Mantras for Successful SST (self-service technologies) to Improving Brand Loyalty

Recently, a five-year-old story went viral once again about how McDonald’s reported that restaurants that introduced self-ordering kiosks experienced an average of 5-6% increase in sales. This is not just about them. When Chili’s added self-ordering kiosks to its tables a few years ago, the chain too saw a massive 20%increase in dessert sales.

We have seen these self-ordering kiosks and tabs in a few cinemas and restaurants as well, and in principle, self-ordering would seem like a natural solution that provides a win-win. I, for one, being a foodie, find the self-ordering solution delightful. I can choose what I want, at the pace I want, change my order, customize it if required, with no one to judge or look over my shoulder. And what more, there is one less social interaction! For a foodie and an introvert at that ,this is a blessing.

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People Centric Business- A Confluence of Infrastructure, Technology and People

Do you know People (Employees, Customer, Investors, and Business Partners) generates more data points in a company than any other factor? Invasion of mobile phone has accelerated the pace of data generation. A research said, an average person looks at his/her mobile screen more than 600 times a day. Social media has already taken world by a storm with an exponential growth of more than 80% per annum. Internet speeds are increasing day by day, with fibre networks being made available across nooks and corner of the country. The work boundaries have melted with anytime anywhere working condition. This phenomenon is something, which is also talked in business circles under the new strategy of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) or CAMSS (Cloud, Analytics, Social and Security). Indeed, this is an era of data and digitization for run business.  

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Marketing Through Influencers

Was watching an old Bengali movie. The protagonist reaches Puri Railway Station. As soon as he alights from the train he is surrounded by Ricksnaw-Wala. Tonga-Wala & T8Xl-Wala offering him a ride to the “best hotel” in town with a complete package offering for 3 days of tour inclusive of a Panda/Priest guided Puja & Tour of the Sacred Sri Jagannath Temple. and a ”Nulia (local lifeguards) guided swimming experience in the rough seas of Puri. etc. The Hero gets very confused but ultimately falls for the smooth-talking Rickshaw Puller and decides to book the hotel which he was recommending.

Now the question is why did our protagonist settle for the hotel which the Rickshaw Puller recommended and did’nt I check in at the more renowned properties of Puri* &. why did the Rickshaw puller so fervently recommend this lesser known notel* The answer to question number 1 is, because of the power of Influences marketing and Answer to question number 2 is ..well ..even a 4-5 year old boy would give you the answer.

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