Digital Media Campaigns and Movies

Did you change your profile picture to include the light saber? Regardless of whether one has seen the original installments of Star Wars or not, today, the world has so ubiquitously come to know of the film – even millennials born way after the movies released – thanks to a clever digital media campaign. From Google to Facebook, Star Wars was a pretty interesting way to wed the internet with the intergalactic. But if you’re thinking theirs was the only marketing mix that included the digital media for the world of films, think again.

Author – Team Inception

Categories: CMO, Inception, Inception Business Services, Marketing, Movies, Star Wars, The Hunger Games, communication, Importance of Marketing, innovation, Men in Black, Social Media, Uncategorized

How to do “more” Marketing with fewer people

“I wish I had more time and more money” – this is something we eternally hear entrepreneurs and business heads saying a lot! If you are one of these people, be assured that help is at hand. Read on to know how to get more hands and brains to work for your business, allowing you to do and get more done.

With reference to marketing initiatives, many businesses still shy away from taking the first step. Some of the successful businesses say they have got thus far on the engine of great sales, so why waste precious time on Marketing. Some others definitely want to get their marketing function working better but are intimidated by the idea of hiring, managing and directing a team of marketers. Some others still are simply daunted by the thought of increased investment in marketing, without knowing when or how it will start paying back some ROI.

We have numerous instances of clients who have held back from rolling out even basic, cost-effective marketing initiatives  - such as email newsletters or social media presence. Why? Simply because they don’t know how to get started or how to sustain the effort, when it completely depends on their own time/availability.

We, at Inception, do understand this hesitation. We understand that when you build a brand and business with painstaking effort, you don’t want sporadic attempts at your marketing effort to confuse your target audience. If one had unlimited resources and expandable managerial bandwidth, perhaps it is possible to hire the best marketing talent and also put in required time to get things moving the way one wants. But buckling under resources constraints, we see businesses that let the status quo remain.

Hear it from us here - why you don’t have to let it go at that!

The comforting truth is that today, given the spurt in new ways of collaboration and interesting ways to outsource work, you don’t need huge budgets or a fancy marketing team to get your marketing initiatives see the light of day.

Freelancer, ODesk and Elance are some places where you can find efficient and effective freelancers to take over many parts of your marketing execution. Just be mindful and  pick someone who has a credible track record of completed work on the portal and also who understands/belongs to a similar diaspora as your business or target market.

Another relatively recent trend is to hire an entire marketing team on an outsourced basis. At IBS, we offer growing businesses an option to hire us as their marketing teams. We take on multiple marketing projects or even very specific marketing activities to help diffuse the bandwidth clogging faced by business owners. We bring not just specific individuals who will think, plan and execute a client’s marketing function but a team of enthusiastic marketers to back them up and handle the every day nuts and bolts work that goes into marketing.

Talking to us at Inception will get you not just an “agency” but a Marketing Ally - who works with you to set your marketing goals, helps you figure out what kind of email marketing would work for you, how your social media pages could be used better and not just that – what is your overall budget for getting everything done. Early on, we figured that growing businesses have a limited pocket and whether they are paying our fees, the email marketing software cost or FB ads  - the money all needs to come from the same place. Which is why, we come to every client with a CMO mindset. Our first job is to translate what you say you need from Marketing into specific areas of work that are best likely to deliver those results. And then see what are the best ways to do so within your overall budget.

Are you still finding excuses to not spend time on your marketing? Start somewhere simple - like email marketing or blog & content or social media. Now you know, where to find the right kind of help :-)
           

About the Author:  
Pavithra is Founder & Partner at Inception Business Services. A Marketing & Management professional with a keen interest in people and passion for ideas, Pavithra moved from being a Banker & Wealth Management professional to entrepreneur. Working with start ups, Brand management, Customer engagement, Content creation and Coaching/Training are areas of work that most excite her. She is a multi-tasking entrepreneur, mother of a 4 year old and wife of a businessman. Mail her at pavithra at inception.net.in
Author – Team Inception

Categories: Inception Business Services, Marketing, Work, Customer Service, Importance of Marketing, innovation, Marketing with fewer people, Outsourced Marketing, Strategising

People for Start-ups

CAPITAL P
While doing my research for this article, I was amazed! When you type ‘resources for start-ups’ the most common and top of the line entries focus on financial resourcing, idea resourcing, design resourcing and so on. So little has been said about ‘people resourcing’. Getting the right people is half the battle won, for after all, they are the ones who will take the company forward.
Here are some important things to keep in mind while hiring for your organization.
Sharing the vision:
In this day and age of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Job sites etc. it is easy enough to get applicants to see and apply for a job at your company. However, irrespective of which level you are looking to hire for, an important criteria in the process should be to ensure that the candidate shares your company’s vision and truly believes in your proposition. The candidate should understand the values on which you have established your start-up, the path you chose to expand the business and be able to identify and contribute to these through his or her own skills. Fantastic growth and hence immediate increase in pay, on-the-job perks etc. are things that many candidates look for when they join start-ups. While growth in Start-ups is definitely faster, the expectation of immediate rewards can lead to disillusionment and disappointment in newly hired candidates. So while recruiting for your start up, remember to give a balanced picture and focus on the vision rather than on the compensation.
The Law of Averages:
When recruiting for your start-up you will find a lot of young talent applying for the positions. While it is tempting to hire fresh young candidates to keep the enthusiasm and energy going, it is equally important to have a few seasoned employees on board. Senior team members tend to bring in a practical angle and are great at handling relationships given their years of experience. They discern the possible and the probable and add tremendous value with their insights. The cost of such resources may be higher but well worth the investment. The ultimate goal is to have a good mix of young talent that is enthusiastic and buzzing with ideas and having experienced hands giving direction and shape to the organizations development. Once the balance is achieved, you have a winning workforce!
Equity- A start-up’s best tool!
What happens when you start a company with minimal capital and are keen on hiring talent? Today, the trends are shifting towards offering a part salary and a part equity stake. Many start-ups are extremely successful in attracting the right talent by offering compensation through equity- wholly or partly. The advantage of this set up is that often you will end up attracting those who are genuinely interested in the company’s business model and want to be part of it. “The people you want to attract to your business are the people who want equity”- Bill Harris, founder of Paypal (See what else Harris says here ). People come on board for the challenges that the start-up offers and are happy to be compensated for their work through equity. As an owner, you are also sure that your liability is limited to the performance of the business and are not taking on the burden of fully salaried employees.   The flipside to this though, maybe that your relinquish decision making to some extent. However, if you can find a perfect trade-off, this approach may serve you very well in the long run. You can read up on how to calculate equity here.
Keep looking- even if you are not hiring right away
Almost every guide on hiring for start-ups has this point. And yet I believe it is not emphasized enough! From personal experience, I have seen that keeping your mind and doors open can land you resources you would have missed out on had you believed otherwise. So many hires happen without it being part of the plan. If you meet a like-minded person who you think will fit into your business scheme (maybe not today but sometime in the future), express your desire to have them on board. Even if they do not consider it immediately, they know that there is an opportunity open to them to consider. And even if they will never consider it, they may know others who will form a good fit for your organization. So stay open to networking, not just for business but also to procure the right talent for your organization.
People contribute directly to the organizations performance, and hence getting the right people and offering them adequate reason to stay will put your company’s growth on the right trajectory!
If you’d like to read up some more on hiring for your start-up, here are some reference links:
For more interesting perspectives on People and Talent for start ups and young organisations, join us for Inception Day on 1 st June 2013. Our People Panel promises to be a great forum for talking about this. To confirm your participation at the event, click here:  http://event.ayojak.com/event/inception-day-2013

About the Author:  
Madhumita Ganapathy  - Associate Consultant at Inception Busi ness Services
Madhumita is a brand marketer known for her exuberance and zeal for getting things done. An MBA grad, Madhu started her marketing career at ITC and has been with IBS since mid-2012. She has contributed immensely to shaping  some of our young client brands. She now supports us in her new role as Associate Consultant based in Connecticut, USA. Apart from her passion for brands & marketing, Madhu loves classical Indian dance, travel and writing.
Connect  Madhu on LinkedIn.
or
Connect with her via email at  [email protected]
Author – Team Inception

Categories: 4P's of Marketing, Inception, Inception Day, Marketing, People, Start Ups, Business, communication, Customer Service, Empathy, Employees, innovation, P's of Marketing

CROWD SOURCED FUNDING – AN INTERESTING WAY TO FUND YOUR BUSINESS IDEA

You wake up one morning and it hits you. The product or service that wants to get created stands in front of you and beckons you. Sure enough every entrepreneur has faced this moment - the moment your idea stares you in the face and awaits your efforts to make it a reality.   And it is here that your journey begins- you hit the drawing board and plan how you want your product or service to take shape, who are the people you want to rope in and what your ultimate goal is going to be about. And that’s when you realize you need a lot more than your idea- you need money. 
It’s a common journey for most entrepreneurs. While the ideas and resources required may vary from case to case, the common need for most is the dough (so to speak). A lot of entrepreneurs begin with investing their own savings, mortgaging assets and borrowing from friends and family. Yet there’s that point where one realizes- this just isn’t enough. Additional funding is the only solution to this roadblock. The options available today are numerous ranging from bank loans to Angel investors to Venture Capitalists and so on. 
However, the focus of this article is an interesting angle to fundraising. Kickstarter.com is a US based fund raising platform that provides tools to raise funds for creative projects.  Launched in 2009, Kickstarter has had over 96,000 projects that have been launched on their website since their inception. While you can read more about Kickstarter.com here, in this article, I am focusing on what it really stands for and how you as an entrepreneur can fund your project using a similar concept.
The basic model is that of crowd sourcing funds. You have a fabulous idea and not enough monetary resources. Wealth, on the other hand is distributed. This is not about a few big Angel Investors or VCs trying to make money by giving you a boost. It’s about the number of people who believe in your idea and are willing to back you up with their own small contribution. 
The core concept of Kickstarter hinges on the idea of connecting likeminded groups of people- when you find a set of people who see value in your proposition, they will (literally) put their money on you. It brings together people who are genuinely interested in seeing ideas through and helping people achieve their fund raising targets. It allows participation of a multitude of people who may not have millions of dollars to throw into a project and yet can be a part of a fabulous, one-in-a-million idea by contributing as little as $5. The rewards offered, give them the feeling of having and owning a badge or a title of an investor and the chance to receive uncommon, project-related merchandise. The promise of an early preview or early benefits in association with the business idea drives individuals to make the contribution and opt into a cause they believe in. And most importantly, it makes this group of investors belong to a community of those who have contributed. In marketing parlance one could say this model attracts the innovators and early adopters. In many cases it even attracts the early majority.
So if you have a fantastic idea waiting to see the light of day and your biggest constraint is money, just look around- you may find that there are many who believe in your idea and are willing to invest in it in their own small ways. Build a fundraising program that is inclusive and accessible to a large group of interested investors and ensure that you make them part of your journey. The quantum of money one can bring in is not necessarily a criterion for an ‘investor’. Ensure that one can donate a minimum amount (based on the tiers you set up) and yet become part of the project. Attract the ‘right kind’ of people to invest in your idea. Design the fundraiser to catch the attention of those with interests similar to your business’s idea. Passion for similar things often leads to heavier investments by individuals. 
It definitely beats the other option of doing an Initial public offer hollow ! Without the hassles of regulatory shenanigans, you can get access to a large base of investors. The one thing you must remember is that when you crowd source funds, you owe every investor the courtesy of being accountable to them especially because they don’t have the big regulators protecting their interests. You got to respect that.  
When you begin to look around, figure out the value you can deliver to an investor at various levels of investment. Include them into your grand plans and reward them with exclusive previews, merchandise, access to resources or whatever else you can offer through your business idea. You will be surprised at how many people are actually interested in making things happen for your business! Insignificant as a small contribution may seem to begin with, remember the saying little drops make an ocean!

(For more ideas and perspectives on how to fund your business, register and attend Inception Day 2013 and catch our panel discussion on Finance & Funding. Click here to know more.)

About the Author:  
Madhumita Ganapathy   - Associate Consultant at Inception Busi ness Services
Madhumita is a brand marketer known for her exuberance and zeal for getting things done. An MBA grad, Madhu started her marketing career at ITC and has been with IBS since mid-2012. She has contributed immensely to shaping  some of our young client brands. She now supports us in her new role as Associate Consultant based in Connecticut, USA. Apart from her passion for brands & marketing, Madhu loves classical Indian dance, travel and writing.
Connect Madhu on LinkedIn.
or
Connect with her via email at [email protected]
Author – Team Inception

Categories: Capital, Finance, Inception, Inception Day, Investors, Start Ups, Crowd Sourcing, Funding, Ideas for business, innovation, Raising Money

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