About Chaaya Baradhwaaj

Chaaya Baradhwaaj founder of BC Web Wise. Her opinions here are based on watching the digital media evolve in the country very closely for over two decades.

Fish’s Day Out

Chaaya3July14Doing agency offsite workshops is fun.. and it’s not just about drinking, dancing and partying all night. We made it into an action-packed creative stimulii event involving each and every member of BC Web Wise, including our admin and HR so that across teams we had a buy-in on what we do, and we could pick brains from not just people who did their jobs but those who are their potential audience groups.

Talks. Teas. And Thoughts.
BC Web Wise WorkshopBC Web Wise WorkshopBC Web Wise WorkshopDay 1: We met at a large auditorium with enough daylight to keep the creative energies flowing. Presenters included team heads from various teams who shared best-in-class practices from across the local as well as global markets and shared ideas on what more we could do, the need to go beyond the obvious and the need to go beyond the brief.

We even invited guest sessions from One97 and Telibrahma to open our eyes and minds to opportunities in the mobile space that we may have not seriously and regularly considered.

The morning opened with a song and dance to get the early birds their adrenaline rush. People were shuffled and then reshuffled to ensure cross-team bonding. And to keep the enthusiasm levels from dipping as the day wore on, there were spot-quizzes and prizes.

Hitting The Road – Day 2 :
20140726_074455 DCIM100GOPROWe met at a resort in Utan, just an hour and half’s drive away from our agency headquarters at Bandra, Mumbai. This time, the morning started with a scrumptious breakfast, the resort’s signature dish of ‘idli puriyal’ doing what the song and dance had done the previous morning.
The team then headed to a comfortable conference room where everyone was re-grouped into 8 teams of 7 or 8 members each, every team a motley bunch drawn from different departments of the agency, again ensuring cross-team participation and bonding.DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPROMyself, our in-house client

At around 11.30 a.m the brief for a live project “1 million downloads for Oojle, our mathematical game app” was then shared that each team would pitch for and compete against each other. As would happen, a handful of members missed the briefing and had a slightly later start than the rest.
IMG_3877 IMG_3879 IMG_3883 IMG_3886 IMG_3887 IMG_3888 IMG_3893 IMG_3894 IMG_3899 IMG_3904 IMG_3913 IMG_3916While a few teams found their cosy spots in the air-conditioned meeting room, many headed to the green lawns to rackle their grey cells with nature and to spark their creative fire. One team even huddled together in one of the many rooms booked for the sleep-over in the night. Chart papers, sketch pens and markers flew around between team members as they put their plans together to be presented within an hour.
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A ten minute extra time was given to wrap up because they did have loads to plate up! Pens were then snatched away so no one could write any more and each team presented their plans one after the other. As mandatory, every member of the team that presented had to be a part of the presentation. This enthused team members who otherwise were the backstage folks, and new stars emerged as every member participated in the sessions. The presentations rolled on till almost 3 pm. The enthusiastic teams forgot their lunch; we were so totally having fun! And finally the winners were announced!

Winners take it all!
The winning Team D – Yash (Copy), Sheetal (Strategy), Yuvraj (Servicing), Kunal (Design), Punit (Media), Sushil (Coding), Prachi (Scripting), Amit (Programing) made a clean sweep, leaving their nearest competitors behind by a 10-point margin with a score of 85 on 100. As true to the brief, the team is now working on the plans to make Oojle a success. And we hope to keep everyone updated on the progress with our blog feeds.

Drink like a fish/ Sway like an octopus
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The late lunch was followed by long hours in the pool, music and dance in the rains till the wee hours of the morning. And whoever tried to sneak away, was ordered back by me!
Boy.. did we have fun over the whole 48 hours!

The next workshop dates are still not out. To be a part of it, join our team! Drop us a mail on info@bcwebwise.com .

Is Niche Social Networking the next big thing?

“What is the next big thing?”

Chaaya3July14

When it comes to social media, the frequency at which this question is being asked is astonishingly high. Attribute it to technology, which had made it possible to churn out new concepts as easily as they are debunked, or consumer trends, which are far more volatile than they have ever been in the last century, the fact remains – the social media landscape is changing and evolving right before our eyes.

The Migrating Online Population
There has been a lot of debate about prominent social networking websites losing ground. In fact a study by Princeton predicts that Facebook may lose 80% of its core users between 2015-17. Facebook countered this study with it’s own research. And of course with Facebook taking over upcoming networks like Instagram and connecting with its existing network would mean a rerouting of audiences back to itself. But this brings to light an important trend – people are moving. An innumerable number of social networks have come up in the past year, most of who have championed a particular niche to be their USP.

There has been a lot of debate about prominent social networking websites losing ground. In fact a study by Princeton predicts that Facebook may lose 80% of its core users between 2015-17. Facebook countered this study with it’s own research. And of course with Facebook taking over upcoming networks like Instagram and connecting with its existing network would mean a rerouting of audiences back to itself. But this brings to light an important trend – people are moving. An innumerable number of social networks have come up in the past year, most of who have championed a particular niche to be their USP.

Niche: A better business model?
The rise of ‘niche social networks’ has been an interesting one and there has evidently been an imminent need for them by the looks of it. For one, it helps audiences break away from the clutter of information on general social networking sites which is often a mix of personal information sharing, work related information, articles and cat videos. Niche sites work great for people with particular interests, and let’s not forget the first ‘big social network’ MySpace capitalized on the niche of music too. For entrepreneurs who are interested in entering the social network business, competing with existing giants in the field almost impossible. So it makes sense for them to discover a section of the internet population that has a specific interest and cater to it. Lastly, niche social networks are the greatest boon for advertisers in digital media. A narrowcast approach helps them directly reach their audience, on a platform that is completely dedicated for it.

Marketers will also need to understand and acknowledge that in a medium that is inherently fragmented, reaching your target consumer in the right environment can often be a challenge. Targeting this audience via niche social networks will soon become the order of the day. Given that targeted community networks operate on low volume and high value, such networks are sure to command a premium for reaching to the exclusive audience communities they are building.

Some interesting niche social networks
Contrary to popular belief, there is an abundance of niche social networks out there.

Here are some of the ones that sparked our interest

Archh
Archh is a social network that caters to the global community of professional architects, interior designers and allied professionals. Basically, think LinkedIn for applied design. Members can exhibit their work, share stories, seek out potential clients, post job openings and stay in touch with news from the industry on the website blog.

Catster
Catster is a network for cat lovers and owner. People can adopt cats, get information on pet care, behavioral training and even create profiles for your pets. It also has a counter part called dogster for dog lovers

Sophia
Sophia is a website that helps connect students to renowned teachers from around the world. It has a number of free tools and services for teachers in particular.

The Car Community
Car community is a social network and forum for car enthusiasts. People can showcase their cars or modification projects with details about it.

Global Dance Network
Global Dance Network as the name suggests is focused on dance. Members have their own ‘dance wall’, profile and digital dance resume. Members can also read up on useful dance related articles on the site.

With increasing clutter in main stream networking, it is time to look at these emerging channels to build relation with your core customer groups.

Why Mobile Should Be An Important Piece of Your Digital Marketing Plan

There is ample awareness about mobile penetration, and an increasing number of users now getting online through their mobile phones. However, there is still hesitation on how real these numbers are and what the audience is doing via mobile internet. Compiled here is pieces of research and reports, akin to those of a jigsaw puzzle, that when put together give a clear idea on how much is the penetration, what is being accessed on mobile internet, why these numbers can go up, where is it going, and which way should your digital marketing plan be headed.

STATUS OF MOBILE INTERNET IN INDIA

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According to the last report of IAMAI and IMRB, of the total 150 million internet users in India, there were around 87.1 million mobile internet users till Dec. 2012. What’s more, on an average, a mobile internet user spent about Rs 198 towards internet expenses.

 

In fact mobile internet access had surpassed desktop in November 2012 as per Global Stats data specific to India:

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THE BC WEB WISE EXPERIENCE

In recent (mid-2013) web analytics we have observed that brands and corporates including NGOs, B2C and B2B categories, that are not updated with mobile friendly content get an average of 10 per cent of traffic on websites as well as Facebook. Clients ready with device agnostic pages and content, traffic from mobile is rising and hovering between 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

FUTURE GROWTH PROJECTIONS

According to the latest report of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), till January 2013, the total wireless subscriber user base was 862.62 Mn of which 708 Mn i.e. 82.08% were active mobile users. However, as analysed by GSMA Director General Anne Bouverot, on an average, each user has 2 sim cards and in terms of unique number of subscribers, there are about 380 million actual users – about 26 per cent of the total population.

McKinsey Research forecasts that the total number of Mobile Internet users will increase more than five-fold to 450 million by 2015. Another recent report by Boston Consulting Group stated that the total number of Internet users in India is expected to increase from 125 million in 2011 to 330 million by 2016. The report noted that, at present, around 45% of online consumers in the nation use only the mobile to access the Internet. This is expected to increase to 60% over the next three years.

India’s only official internet and mobile association – IAMAI is the most conservative in the projections expecting the number of mobile internet users reach 130.6 million by march 2014 and 164.8 million by march 2015.

THE CATALYSTS FOR GROWTH

Google and Bharti Airtel are encouraging trials to catalyse the adoption of mobile internet. Airtel mobile customers in India can freely access Google online products, including the first page of a Web site linked from search results. Customers will be prompted to purchase a data pack if they click a second link on the Web site they reached via a Google Search, or if they need to download attachments from Gmail.

Vodafone India recently slashed its 2G Internet tariff by 80 percent to 2 paise / 10 KB from 10 paisa / 10 KB earlier. Vodafone also introduced One Time Trial Packs in April this year for 2G and 3G at very affordable price points of Rs 25 for 2G and Rs 49 for 3G, together with a 500 MB data transfer package. The intent is give its customers a taste of mobile Internet and its advantages at price points that a customer won’t think twice to say yes to.

RURAL INDIA IS RAPIDLY ADOPTING MOBILE INTERNET TOO

A Financial Express feature reported that at eBay India today, every one minute a mobile accessory changes hands and every two minutes a mobile handset. It has 4,306 e-commerce hubs today, of which 1,015 are hubs in rural India, indicating that consumers in the smaller towns of India are a major force in this online growth story.

PRIMARY USES OF OF INTERNET ON MOBILE

According to a study done by Opera the Top mobile sites in India are:

  • google.com
  • orkut.com
  • facebook.com
  • youtube.com
  • getjar.com

An I-Cube Survey in June 2012 reveals a wide range of uses of mobile Internet.

Mobileinternetuses

REASONS FOR USING MOBILE INTERNET V/S DESKTOP

Here is what a device agnostic survey done by Opera Software and On Device Research revealed:

  • 49% of people who are using the mobile Internet either never, or infrequently, use the desktop Internet.
  • India has emerged as the 2nd largest base of mobile only Internet generation after South Africa.
  • For 41% Indians, mobile phone is the only possible way to access Internet

Why Mobile Internet

SMARTPHONE PENETRATION & INTERNET USAGE

If you look at smart phone penetration, and since smart phone users are most likely to access the internet, Mary Meeker’s (partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and former Internet analyst)  latest report on Internet Trends in India suggests that we will have 67 million smartphone subscribers by the end of 2013, recording a 52% growth YoY.

Google India and Ipsos study on smart phone users revealed the following:

– Only 6 per cent don’t use their phones to connect to the web.

– 94 per cent smart phone users use the phones to connect ot the web.

– 56% of smartphone users accessed the Internet multiple times a day

– 40% surf the Net at least once a day.

– 76% of smartphone users in India access social networking sites

– 77% of smartphone owners download/ listen to music,

– 33 per cent use it for download / playing games

– 32 per cent read newspapers or magazine.

PROVIDER’S OF MOBILE INTERNET CONNECTIVITY IN INDIA

  • Airtel 3G
  • Aircel 3G
  • Vodafone 3G
  • BSNL 3G
  • Tata Docomo 3G
  • Idea Cellular 3G
  • Reliance 3G

DOES YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING RUPEE CONSIDER MOBILE INTERNET USERS?

If you are building a website today, but are not planning on revamping it for the next 5 years at least, then you need to prepare not just for the internet user today, but also those who will visit your site over the next five years. If you are doing Facebook marketing, posts may be viewed on the mobile, and have to be optimized for mobile screens. And if you are doing a Search campaign, on the go search is very likely to be the most popular approach from the difficult to reach target consumer, reaching him or her on the mobile may be critical today.

To maximize your ROI, it is time to have a device agnostic approach to your content, creative and media strategy.