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NGR's Blog

A weblog is an online, semi-personal journal offering the opinion and commentary of the authors.

Our blogs feature thought leadership on a wide range of business issues, with a particular focus on helping companies grow. Here you'll also find blogs about emerging technologies and career experiences from select employees. The opinions of the writers do not necessarily reflect the position of NGR on these subjects.

Design For Change

Complex software projects like NGRPulse, NGRERP, etc, have a long development cycle. You are passionate about technology and someone has to nudge you to start the project. Then you start understanding the domain a bit. The first people who you talk to will sow seeds that will go very deep and will form the genesis of the project. You start giving form to your ideas.

Then you start finding "how" to execute the ideas. You learn about software development, you learn about databases, you learn about web servers and web frameworks. Somewhere down the line, you don't like the frameworks out there so you start to write your own. After a while a prototype is emerges. You are forced to implement it immediately because the legacy software has crashed and the original developer has left the country. You work on your prototype, fixing bugs under pressure and veiled threats from users.

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What business opportunity will 30 million plus new internet users in 2012 really represent?

As I started to reflect on this question, my first thought was to look at all the amazing trends that we have witnessed in the Indian Internet landscape in 2011. Here are just a few for context. The total number of Internet users crossed the 120 million mark; ecommerce is now in excess of Rs. 40,000 crores annually; the Indian Facebook population is touching the 40 million mark; there are 50 million mobile data subscribers; new companies and eco-systems are being created around cloud computing, online advertising, mobile applications, web infrastructure, online travel, and much more.

By multiple estimates including reports published by BCG and McKinsey, India will reach somewhere in the vicinity of 250-350 million Internet users by 2015. I took a liberal interpolation of those estimates to arrive at a number of 30 million new users that we will add in the coming year. That’s a staggering number – and larger than the entire population of Australia if you like those kinds of comparisons. However, to truly deconstruct this number and get a sense for what the potential impact this will have for a business looking to leverage this user base, we need to look carefully not just at the users but also at the following ‘inverted iceberg’- where there is more than that meets the eye below the surface.

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5 Ways to Re-Engage Your Inactive Subscribers

You have diligently gone through the process of establishing which of your subscribers are actually inactive and more importantly why. There could be a number of reasons for this, but one of the most likely is that your content simply isn’t interesting enough to grab their attention, either in the subject line or in the body of your emails. These are the subscribers that you want to target your re-activation campaign at.

Re-engaging (re-activating) your subscribers is a good idea for a number of reasons. Firstly, the process costs less than if you were to try and acquire new subscribers. Also, having inactive subscribers on your list can harm your reputation and deliverability. This is because client interaction is becoming increasingly important in the filtering decisions with ISP’s. With the aim of identifying spammers, these ISP’s turn old email addresses in to ‘spam traps’ or ‘honeypots’ and monitor email marketers that constantly send emails to these invalid addresses.

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Give Your Sales the Lead Management Edge

Lead management has become a basic necessity for marketing purposes. B2B marketing departments, thorough as they are with their motives of accentuated investment returns, encourage the employment of an optimized lead management process. Nurturing your leads on a mass scale will not provide you with the sales figures that you have been aspiring for. Because each prospective lead’s requirements differ you need to customize your lead nurturing plans accordingly to achieve the maximum.

The lead management lifecycle is a known fact — capturing, nurturing, scoring, timing the leads when they are sales ready and evaluating. An effective lead management helps you to identify the needs of your customers and close the sales deals efficiently. There are different sources of communication, such as the email, phone, social media, etc., where you can meet your prospective customers. Strike and build a relationship with them and nurture them by providing them with research materials and statistics so that they can come to a conclusion regarding the products they want to purchase.

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Are You Really Engaging With Your Subscribers?

Can you honestly say that you feel the love emanating from your loyal subscribers?  If the answer is ‘no’ and the feeling is more like that of licking a cactus, then you could assume that you aren’t engaging with your subscribers very well, if at all. As you know, engagement is one of the first things you need to establish and meticulously maintain if you want to reach the goals you have in mind. If the thought of this strikes fear in your heart and mind, fear not! Engaging with subscribers has become infinitely easier over the past few years and today there are scores of different online platforms you can choose to connect with your valuable customers on.

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Building a Digital Franchise Organization

Thanks to the rapid growth of technology and an Internet savvy populating, building a dynamic and paperless franchise organization has become extremely easy and cost-effective. Today, a large number of growing franchise organizations are actively implementing technology solutions to create new revenue opportunities, streamline their operations and cut costs associated with paper-based processes. In fact, some of the fastest growing franchise concepts (with growth rates of over 40-50%) out there are more then 90% paperless and attribute a big part of their success to technology.

Current technology solutions can help to enhance all aspects of franchise operations including sales,marketing, operations, support, financials, customer management, training, supplies, etc. Implemented properly, they can provide franchisors and franchisees with the competitive edge necessary to win over new franchisees and customers while reducing costs to improve profitability. Lets take a look at some of the franchise operations that can be enhanced by leveraging technology.

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Market Your Company When Budgets are Tight

When the money is tight, the general rule of thumb is that small businesses need to tighten their purse strings and draw back from efforts like marketing and advertising.

But what if companies actually spent more on their marketing when things were tough? Could marketing department managers just this to their bosses?

It is not a big secret that many small businesses falter not long out of the gates; with some reports stating more than three-fourths of businesses go under in their first year.

While the reasons can vary, one of the main reasons companies bite the dust early on is they do not understand what their special niche or true market really are. Without understanding these areas, many companies are doomed for failure.

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Vacation trips and e-tourism: the NGR solution

Today, 39% of the overall vacation trips are booked on the Internet. Email marketing is the most cost effective and easiest way  to communication online.

Email marketing is an ideal complement for your website for a decent presence over the Internet. With one among the NGR's packages that fit your needs the most you'll be able to increase your online bookings and give a boost to your CRM strategy.

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Customer Retention: 7 Ideas

As marketers we are often so focused on new customer acquisition that we sometime forget to pay attention to the customers that we already have. That would be a massive mistake.

It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. You are 4 times more likely to close business with an existing customer than you are with a new prospect.

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10 Low-Cost Tips to Maximize Your Trade Show ROI

Integrating social media tools and online marketing extend your trade show presence far beyond the event itself. As an added benefit for these shaky economic times – their low cost help boost your overall trade show ROI.

Trade Shows – Relationship Marketing in Action

The B2B world is a perfect match for social media marketing. Why? Because both are all about building and nurturing relationships for long-term, ongoing loyalty. It’s not a quick-sell mentality. Trade shows give you the chance to meet your prospects and current clients face to face.

But don’t wait until the show and just see whoever turns up. Use these tips to generate pre-show interest in your company and pull prospects to your booth during the show. Then continue your marketing after the event with a clear follow-up plan.

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How B2B Marketing become responsible for everything

B2B Marketers are trying to make everyone happy. The CEO needs revenue. The sales team needs qualified leads. Customers need information. Everyone is looking at marketing to make it happen. If you're a B2B marketer, you may feel like the success or failure of your company rests entirely on your shoulders.

So, how did B2B Marketing become responsible for everything, including sales? Is there a way to fix it?

We attempt to answer those questions by examining the evolution of modern marketing that has brought us to this point. Nothing happened overnight but here we are, feeling like we need to do more when in fact the solution may be doing less and spreading the responsibility. First, some background…

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Benefits of Online Surveys for B2B Marketers

Understanding the needs and pain points of current customers and prospects is an important aspect for planning out B2B marketing campaigns. Traditionally, marketers would look to telephone and print surveys for needed marketing data. Depending on researchers to gather, input, compile and error check surveys results led to higher costs and missed marketing opportunities.

Today, B2B marketers have a new option for gathering this information – online surveys. The web provides exciting, flexible and social options for conducting surveys:  it’s just so much more efficient than traditional means. 

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Communication is the key to Customer Relations

Are you wondering what’s happening to your customers? The truth is they maybe wondering what’s happened to you. Think of your customers as friends. You communicate with your friends regularly. Sometimes it’s just to keep in touch and other times it’s to let them know about something special that’s going on. But what happens when you don’t hear from your friends for a long time. You begin to wonder what’s going on.Why haven’t they called or emailed you? Are they still around? Maybe they have new friends and do not have time for you anymore. Maybe they haven’t heard from you in so long they think you’ve forgotten about them. In any case it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and stay in touch.

You need to be thinking of your customers with this same philosophy.Just because someone did business with you a year ago does not mean they will continue to think about you and remember you a year later when they need something else. If they don’t hear from you or see your promotions, chances are, they will forget about you and do business with another company who is maintaining some form of communication with them.

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Experience Based Marketing

Experience-based marketing is not a new concept, as it has been around for a while and many B2C companies have had a lot of success implementing it. The challenge is for B2B companies to use such techniques to advertise and market. Experience marketing gives the target audience a first hand experience by giving the audience the ability to touch, feel, see and know your offering or product.

Max Lenderman, the author of "Experience the Message",  says engaging potential customers is more important than shoving advertisements into peoples' faces. With an attention span of 8 seconds which is equal to that of a goldfish, it is really hard to reach the target audience minds with one or two or even 10 instances of our marketing campaigns. I like two examples that Max Lenderman gave at the Art of Marketing event.

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B2B Branding – Why it matters

There are very few prominent B2B brands in the general market. A big reason is that many B2B organizations view marketing as a necessity for B2C firms and instead concentrate on personal selling for B2B relationships. In this neat article by Prof John Quelch, he says that Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and GE generate far more B2B revenues than sales to end consumers.

He further discusses why B2B firms should try to build brands.

B2B marketers have to address thousands of small businesses as well as enterprise customers. They cannot do so economically using the traditional direct sales force. Branding gets the word out and established share of mind. All this helps, when a potential prospect has a need that requires to be fulfilled quickly.

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