Sameer Agarwal

His views, thoughts, introspection and rants

Archive for the ‘social-networking’ tag

What’s the buzz about Digital Marketing?

with 5 comments

Seriously. Everyone seems to be talking about it. Suddenly. Maybe it’s just the world around me. Maybe it’s just the world in me. But it seems that everyone has recently discovered Digital Marketing as a strategic area for focus. And yes, I’m using the word ‘everyone’ in the corporate sense here.

What’s so new about it I ask? Is the term ‘Digital Marketing’ being used because of the trigger provided by ‘Social Media’? Why, the internet has been around for what seems like forever now. Isn’t that digital? Weren’t companies marketing on the internet? Was that not digital marketing? What is so different now?

Maybe Social Media is what is different… Maybe it’s about mobile marketing. Well, what maybe! I think that’s what IT IS. Analyst after analyst is talking about this huge opportunity. In the B2C (no surprises here) and in the B2B space (whoa!). Sure why not. After all it’s all about user generated content. Your users are your customers. And they are building content now. And they are listening to their fellow customers and not You or the Press necessarily. So you go where your customers are. Because customer is king.

So fundamentally the marketer is doing what she ought to do. Good for them (marketer). Good for us (consumer). Just that the marketer is closer to the customer now. Not a bad thing for sure! And that I guess is the buzz about digital marketing…

But what’s so fundamentally different about Digital Marketing I ask. Nothing really. Just that the technology is different. Or is there anything more? Has the ‘different’ technology impacted the behavior, or sensitivities of the customer?

Well I think it has. The customer today is much more informed and empowered than ever. To my mind, marketers have but no choice to be completely naked before their customer today. No more fancy designer clothes to enhance your endowments…! (pun certainly intended). You are what you are – and there’s no escaping it – just do your best job to be seen everywhere. That’s quite an irony though! By that logic a “less endowed but easily available” ‘thing’ will attract more customers!

Some things never change I guess….Digital Marketing being no exception.

Written by sameer

August 10th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Social Investing – Try MoneyVidya.com

with 23 comments

Imagine you’re a 30 something who has some money to dabble with and are NOT an i-banker (or the likes). Actually take out the 30 something bit; you could be whatever age but meet the following criteria:

  • Have some money AND want to invest in stocks
  • Internet Savvy

If you meet the above criteria, how do you pick which stock is right for you? Do fundamental analysis? Yeah right! Do you have the skills, the time and/or the patience to do it? Well of course you could access some syndicated research, or read opinions from ‘experts’. But then, so many people are saying so many different things. What else could you do? Umm..

Well, you’ll ask your dad, or your friend who always seems to be making money in stocks, or a random colleague… a someone you trust. Now don’t lie. MOST of us pick stocks like these – do what our ‘circle’ is doing. Right?!

How about this? How about getting opinions from your dad, your mom, your pan-wallah, your friend, an analyst and another analyst, and your friend’s dad and your friend’s dad’s friends and their friends and their sons and their pan-wallahs and their sahabs and their friends? Whoa! More complex than fundamental analysis? Well not really. How about having a community of random stock buyers who share their picks and then leverage that collective opinion? After all, the stock markets (Indian stock markets being no exception) seem to react more on perceptions and emotions than anything else.

Buy that point? Go to moneyvidya.com and check it out for yourself. There are reasons I am advertising/reviewing them:

  • This concept is close to my heart. Read my previous entry in this regard – Honey I’m late again
  • I think the MoneyVidya guys have done it as good as/better than I visualized it
  • This is a useful concept and perhaps readers of this blog could get some leverage for their stock-picking from MoneyVidya

Ok so I said I’m advertising and reviewing MoneyVidya. Let me do the latter now:

Pros:

  • Great UI – easy to use, intuitive
  • The copy on the site is great! Very easy to understand, concise; very professional
  • Registration process is simple; the data-capture forms are pretty neat
  • Navigating the site is pretty simple. I did not have to struggle moving from one section to another

Improvement Areas:

  • Registration/all forms on site.Clicking on Submit gets a “Web page can’t be displayed”. Refreshing/reloading the page solves the issue. But many people may give up there. Don’t know if it was just me? I was using Chrome browser.
  • “My dashboard” could have “what’s this/help” links. For example, I was clueless about how I acquired the “Improver” and “Helper” friends. Same goes for all pages – for example when you’re posting a tip it won’t hurt to explain what “Stop Loss Limit” is.
  • In the search results, it will be great to have ‘mouse-overs’ on the Buy/Sell sentiment percentages. For example, if it is a Reliance Ind 100% sell sentiment then it won’t hurt to know if 100 people think so, or just one. Also, for stocks that don’t have any ‘sentiments’ could perhaps be indicated as such. Overall, I think the search results UI could improve. 
  • It may be technically complex, but it will be great to have search crawl over all ‘searchable areas’. For example, if I searched for ‘Reliance Industries’ I expect to see buy/sell sentiments, discussions, polls; everything about this stock. Again, I think the overall Search/Advanced Search module needs improvement

However having mentioned all the improvement areas that I did, I still think MoneyVidya is your best bet. Kudos to Gautam and team (people behind MoneyVidya).

Written by sameer

March 23rd, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Honey I’m late again

with 12 comments

Oh yeah I am and I feel like kicking myself. For months now I’ve been thinking of an idea to link up the stock market with social networking. I mean using the “wisdom of crowds” to decide which stock to pick. After all don’t we follow tips given by analysts and friends!

Good idea, yeah… but the trouble is that I just kept thinking and someone else executed! Stumbled across CafeStocks which is still in beta doing exactly the same thing that I kept thinking about for several months. I mean it’s exactly the same thing that I was thinking – sharing tips, ranking stocks based on tips received, ranking people who provide tips, the works! 

So many times we just think, and think, and do nothing beyond it. I remember Michael Dale (corporate trainer) once saying this, and it’s so apt:

You’ve it all figured out in your mind. Now DO IT!

Hope I take some learning from this and don’t miss the bus the next time I’ve some idea.

Written by sameer

May 19th, 2008 at 12:25 pm