INTERRUPTION MARKETING IS DEAD !

The control has moved from the advertisers and sellers to consumers.

There was a time when we all read newspapers,

This was the time of mass media,

Advertisers hoped to interrupt the consumers,

Pay attention to their message and buy their products and services,

Then came television , advertising had similar objective ,

To interrupt consumers .

Then everything changed with the advent of internet and the smartphone,

With the smartphone in hand consumers set the agenda .

As data prices fell they became consumers of data.

Now the consumers  visit social media platforms to learn , to get entertained , to get information , to participate in connected communities , to build and be part of tribes.

The control has moved from the advertisers and sellers to consumers.

Stories are consumed because they are entertaining, they inspire .

Humans are naturally wired to listen to stories, share stories.

Good stories are remembered and shared.

Video content is 80% of the traffic on digital.

Visual stories stand out .

Brands need to learn , stop selling and tell stories.

Stop interrupting and focus on entertaining and educating.

Consumers switch off from interruption.

Real stories well told , inspire action,

Stories mean business,

Most important, when data is forgotten in minutes, stories are remembered over the years.

Future of marketing is Storytelling,

Every Brand has a story,

Every Organisation has a story ,

Every Cause has a story,

Every Startup has a story,

Every Leader has a story,

Every Employee has a story ,

Every Client has a story ,

Every Beneficiary has a story,

Every Tribe has a story,

Every Culture has a Story ,

Dig deep and you will find each one of us has a story.

Every story is based on universal human truths.

As humans our desires and fears are similar.

From ‘Here’ to ‘There’ is the most powerful story ever told.

Stop selling, start storytelling.

In the Digital world we are the stories we tell.

HOW BEING VULNERABLE CAN MAKE A BRAND MORE POWERFUL

A brand is like a living person.

It needs to be authentic to build trust.

No person can constantly be winning.

There will be days of struggle , days of failure.

There are moments of truth.

“Always good” is based on untruth.

Trust cannot be built on “Untruth”.

Can a brand be authentic and own up failure, say sorry ?.

Can a Organisational or Person brand share vulnerable moments ?

It’s difficult to be vulnerable. But it builds trust.

I experienced these both at Mastek where I headed Corporate Communications.

Mastek was the first company in the IT industry to give a profit warning ahead of quarterly results.

There was no precedent.

Obvious repercussions were bad press , investor calls .

Yet it emerged more powerful as a transparent and ethical brand.

The next story is of vulnerability.

Ashank Desai the Co Founder had an difficult early childhood.

There was his story of poverty and struggles.

Ashank has shared his story and lessons to inspire youngsters.

This has made him a strong person brand.

Being Vulnerable is strength.

Real heroes are authentic, they also fall.

Yet they get up and fight back.

Make your brand story more powerful.

Tell a authentic story. Be vulnerable.

A STORY MEANS BUSINESS

I took Shaktiman to Chennai and created chaos.

Parle G sales was having a tough time in Chennai.

We decided to take Shaktiman to Chennai.

I had built the first pan India integrated marketing services company with presence in 124 markets.

Parle products was our client.

I knew the power of stories.

I knew that Shaktiman (Mukesh Khanna) was a hero for children.

As a character he stood for good values.

Was aligned to the Brand Story.

We worked on a plan to take him to Chennai.

Kids could meet him at an open ground.

The only condition for entry was cut the newspaper Ad and attach two empty Parle G wrappers.

We did a integrated campaign Ads , school promotions , PR.

On the D day Shaktiman was on stage.

We waited.

We expected a maximum turnout of ten thousand.

The police commissioner was chief guest.

On that day was chaos , over one lakh crowd turned up !

Kids came in school busses.

Each wanted to touch Shaktiman.

Their hero was in front of them.

Parents too wanted to touch him !

Next day front page news in Chennai was Parle G Shaktiman comes to Chennai.

Parle G sales shot up in the South , market share was captured.

A Story can inspire action.

A Story means business.

WHO IS THE HERO OF YOUR BRAND SYORY ?

I started my career in marketing as a product executive.

AD Narula who was my first boss gave me the appointment letter and said “you are in charge , your neck is on the block”.

And I was truly on my own.

This was my first job.

I had to design and market a computer education product for Chartered Accountants.

Now I don’t have great liking for accounts and here I had to create and sell a product to Chartered accounts.

I did one thing I was good at , listen with ‘empathy’.

I met CAs and asked them their pain.

Accounting was rapidly getting computerised , they were afraid of losing business if they were not ready.

I designed a product to solve their problem and then very clearly communicated the message.

The product was a hit , it surpassed the certified Autodesk course in revenues.

Very early in my career I understood, it is not the organisation or brand that is the hero of the story.

The hero of the story is the customer , always.

This is one big mistake organisations make they focus within, on themselves.

They focus on adding features to make the product better.

You get paid to solve a problem, whether you are in a job or in business.

Who is the hero of your story and what is the problem you are solving in the world?

#marketing #branding

A STORY ON FABRIC

A denim jeans , how can it be any different from any other denim jeans.

The fabric of any denim jeans could be from the same factory.

And then one has a story and puts it on the fabric.

I noticed this story on the inside pocket of my jeans.

This is the story ‘Why’ I wear Levis.

The story of Levis is the story of Wild West and the cowboys.

The story is why we connect with any brand.

Our Story is why people connect with us as brands.

What is Your Brand Story ?

#brandstory

Sanjay Mudnaney

A SMALL BUSINESS STORY

Every business has a story.

I met Renuka after my cycling today , she has a food truck that sells healthy detox juices.

I asked her her story.

Renuka had lost her job of 19 years during the pandemic.

She was managing the CRM at a real estate company.

The business vanished , “we were like white elephants for the company, I was fired after 19 years.” she said.

I did not find any regret in her voice.

Renuka has a charming smile and is a happy person.

I proved her further, why healthy juices .

She said her parents suffer from Parkinson’s and diabetes.

She learnt the benefits of healthy juice detox from her grandmother.

One thing has changed for her after she started the business, she now gets up early at 4 am to make the juices.

“ I was never a early person but all that changed after the job loss” she says.

He food truck is called ‘Naividyam’ which means ‘offering to God’.

She is not just in the business of making juices for her her work of healthy juices is an offering to God.

I made a small video on her story from my mobile phone and shared it on my social media.

There are stories and and stories .

We forget to tap into the power of story to build human connections.

When a brand story integrates with that of the customer magic happens.

Renuka can be just running a food truck selling healthy juices , but she has a story.

The story of her struggle , the story of her food truck , the story around her healthy juices , then the stories around her customer.

We forget to tap into the power of storytelling in business.

Renuka is inspiring, I like her spirit to fight back.

She has no regrets but a lot of hope.

That is the story of every business owner. The story of hope despite the challenges.

Tell your story

Sanjay Mudnaney

#brandstory

http://www.CrowTales.in

7 THINGS I LEARNT FROM GROWTH HACKING FOR A CLIENT

Yesterday my very first client I worked with after I got out from the Corporate world as a marketing strategist and coach hit 5x business.

Yes it feels good even as the pressure now mounts to sustain the momentum.

This is what I learnt from the experience

1. Passion – the client is completely passionate about what he does , he is not just there to make profits but is completely committed to making a difference to the customer segment he serves.

Of course profits are essential to provide world class service but the driver is purpose.

The very first questions every brand and business needs to ask whatever the size maybe – “Why do I exist ? – what will happen if I do not exist ?”

2. Trust – He was my first client when I stepped out from the Corporate world as an marketing entrepreneur and coach.

He trusted me and has stayed the trust for the long run.

Yes there were results at every step but he has completely trusted my calls and the way I guide the sales and digital teams both internal and external.

This is most essential, many clients are impatient and keep second guessing or they keep listening to many voices .

This creates confusion and does not help in staying focused.

In any business it is essential that you focus and if you have a coach might as well listen to him.

Sometimes a good coach may tell you unpleasant things but that is the role. Listen !

3. My Belief – I personally believe in what my client does and that he adds value to his clients. I call this #blessed work .

You get paid for doing good work is what I love. It is meaningful work.

If I as a Coach did not have faith in my clients work and potential I could not have helped produce the growth outcomes.

4. Team – it takes a team to produce outcomes. We have a highly passionate and committed team .

In my work with clients as a Strategist and Coach I work with both internal and external teams. Wherever needed I pull in expertise from my network.

Again the client provided me the space to take my decisions.

A orchestra is as good as every performer.

5. Focus – It is essential to focus and not get distracted.

Being consistent needs a lot of patience and hard work.

The client has stayed the course for long term with sharp focus.

In the digital world Focus and Consistency are the most important keywords.

6. Investing to Delivering the Promise – the client understands the importance of a satisfied client, rather he calls them ‘family’ .

He is consistently investing in people , process technology and innovation to help scale and deliver the service promised.

(many in the competition even copy his innovative protocols)

I do believe that word of mouth is the best marketing.

We are seeing a consistent growth in organic traffic that comes through referrals.

7. Investing in marketing- the client has been consistently investing in both performance and brand marketing.

We have consistently used client member storytelling that is authentic and inspiring.

Your work needs to speak and speak loud. And what better than your own clients telling their stories.

Whenever I wanted to initiate innovative marketing campaigns the the client was willing to back me and invest in the calls.

One more important learning I always carry is , “THE REAL FUN IS IN THE JOURNEY, NOT THE DESTINATION.”

A good client helps you discover the best within you

Sanjay Mudnaney

http://www.sanjaymudnaney.com

PUT YOUR EXCUSES ON HOLD

The cage is fictional, there is none , we create our imaginary cage .

The day I understood this I experienced freedom.

When you put your excuses on hold the other side is joy.

In school and then college I was always on the stage participating in elocutions and debates.

I loved the stage and the audience in front of me.

When I would be on stage I would be in a zone.

I loved to communicate ideas , enrol and inspire audiences.

I could get those around me find their expression and express more fully.

But then life happened. I put myself on hold.

There were more important things to do.

“I will do it some other day in the future” I said “when the kids are grown up , when I have enough money in the bank , when I am well settled.”

I kept postponing my dreams to the future.

Then I turned 50 and it occurred to me I have finite time.

One day I made a bucket list and I jumped head on.

I wanted to sing , I went ahead and recorded my first song in a studio. It’s there on YouTube.

My first song recorded in studio

I bought myself a professional home studio equipment , now I sing whenever I feel like.

I wanted to cycle . I was warned it is risky and this is not my age .

I went ahead and bought a cycle , I invested in the best I could.

I am now a cyclist, I cycle every day , weekends is for long distance.

When I cycle , it’s just me and the wind on my face , I can feel the freedom.

I wanted to see the stars I went ahead and bought a professional telescope.

That experience of watching the planets was surreal.

Felt the vastness and being one with existence , limitless.

I wanted to write a fiction story book . I did that and self published it . It’s on Amazon .

I got my first royalty check , felt good.

I wanted to teach non profits the art of fundraising with storytelling.

I travelled to five cities and over 500 non profits in India attended my workshops !

I always wanted to start my business.

I kept postponing afraid of the unknown.

I finally jumped in at 55 !

It is profitable and growing.

But more importantly I am doing what I always loved to do , helping individuals , businesses and causes express themselves fully . Live their potential.

I wanted to tell stories of good through films . I had no experience, no team and zero budgets.

One fine day I just decided I will do it . And that too during peak lockdown !

In a few months we have made over 10 short documentary films .

Launched the YouTube channel’Heroes of India’.

We now release two films a month.

I wanted to camp next to a waterfall overnight in heavy rains.

Camping next to a waterfall

I did that , the sound of the water splashing against the rocks and tapping of raindrops was out of the world experience.

From a typical corporate formal life , no fun wardrobe and look , I decided to just be myself.

A small step but one more step in the direction of freedom.

I love being myself

When I stopped my excuses , I truly found my joy.

Have to do it for pay check was an excuse.

Have responsibilities was an excuse.

What will others think was an excuse.

I cannot do it was an excuse.

I am not capable was an excuse.

I will do it sometime in the future was an excuse.

Excuses kept me safe in my comfort zones.

We have reasons , many excuses, why we postpone life.

We make up by trying to live on the weekends.

We trade our joy with a cage.

Sometimes the cage is golden. Yet is after all a cage.

When I look deeply there was no cage , it is all our own creation.

Now I have stopped all excuses , I have started living every day , every moment.

I have no regrets as every step of the journey has been a learning experience.

I refuse to die with my song in my heart.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

P.S – Passion project is a message, life is finite , don’t die with your song in your heart

WHEN EVERYONE IS SELLING , TELL A STORY

We get on any social media platform and we find it filled with Advertising.

Everyone seems to be selling something.

We are identified by various data points stored on us by the platform, maybe thousands , some even we may not be aware of.

The trail we leave behind on the digital world is monitored.

Algorithms try figure out what we are most likely to buy.

And the advertisements show up on our feeds.

This is interruption . We switch off.

We don’t come to social media to buy. We come because of our reasons.

It gets irritating, annoying at times .

Like a street Bazar with many stalls each of them tries to grab our attention.

Except we did not plan to come to a Bazar.

Grabbing Attention is critical , there are so many advertisements that throw up .

The algorithms and machine learning are always learning to read our minds.

“What are we most likely to buy” is the key question being asked by the platform.

This is their monetisation model . Nothing comes for free .

The term digital marketeers use is performance marketing. Digital Marketing that drives business and can be measured.

Interruption marketing has now moved from physical to digital world.

The conflict is consumers have a different reason to visit social media platforms .

They visit social media platforms to learn , to get entertained , to get information , to participate in connected communities , to build and be part of tribes.

With the smartphone in hand consumers set the agenda .

The control has moved from the advertisers and sellers to consumers.

Stories are consumed because they are entertaining, they inspire .

Humans are naturally wired to listen to stories, share stories.

Good stories are shared.

Video content is 80% of the traffic on digital.

Visual stories stand out .

Brands need to learn , stop selling and tell stories. Stop interrupting and focus on entertaining .

Because the control has shifted and consumers switch off from interruption.

Real stories well told , inspire, build trust, touch the heart.

Most important, when data is forgotten in minutes, stories are remembered over the years.

Future of marketing is Storytelling in the Digital world.

Every Brand has a story,

Every Organisation has a story ,

Every Cause has a story,

Every Startup has a story,

Every Leader has a story,

Every Employee has a story ,

Every Client has a story ,

Every Beneficiary has a story,

Every Tribe has a story,

Every culture has a story.

Dig deep an you will find each one of us has a story and our stories are common.

As humans our desires and fears are similar.

From ‘Here’ to ‘There’ is the most powerful story ever told.

Stories well told can inspire action , build tribes.

Stop selling, start storytelling.

In the Digital world we are the stories we tell.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder at http://www.CrowTales.in

Brand Storytellers

DROP YOUR AGENDA TO FULFIL YOUR AGENDA!

I have been reflecting on the subject ‘What is the concept of business and why does all commerce exist ?”.

If we look around most of the time of the human race in the world as we see today revolves around the idea of ‘Money’ .

‘Money’ is central to everything, things we can buy , things we can experience, status , power even health services we can access with money.

Either you are a seller or you are a buyer as an individual or as a collective called the organisation.

Employees sell their time and expertise to organisations , organisations sell services , expertise or products to the masses .

Central to every transaction is “Exchange’ and if we dig deeper there is the concept ‘Perceived Value’.

When you dig deeper there you find there is ‘Agenda’ . “Why do we do anything?” . Every human being at any given point has an agenda.

Why do you do a job , why do you run a business, why do your customers buy . There is an agenda .

The agenda is always about ‘Me’ , break it down people are interested in ‘Self’ . No one is interested in the ‘other’ .

This is an interesting contradiction, all the while when any exchange is happening there are two parties and there is an ‘Agenda’ .

Even every noble cause has an Agenda , religion also has an Agenda.

‘Getting’ and Giving’ are two sides of the agenda . And there is fair exchange.

Agenda of Individuals

1. Survive : pay the bills , stay healthy

2. Thrive : fulfil desires

3. Fame : Get recognised and liked

4. Belong : family , friends, community

5. Contribute : Individual talent that is valued in the world , make a difference

6. Spiritual : ( a false belief , those who truly understand would know the falsehood of ego at play ) Going Beyond self

Agenda of Organisations

1. Maximise Profits and returns for stakeholders ethically

2. Consistently Grow in a profitable way

3. Survive through difficult times

4. Solve a problem in the world

How is this useful ?

Whether it is individuals or organisations they have THEIR OWN AGENDAS.

Yet the interesting part is is to fulfil Your own Agenda , you need to fulfil the Agenda of others – whether individuals or organisations!

It is in this space that VALUE Exchange happens. The question individuals and organisations ask is

“What is the Agenda being fulfilled and what the value they get so what is the value they they are willing to pay for”

Naturally low the perceived value , lower the pay.

Perception is not just the quality and quantity of service and product delivered but a more complex equation of how it is seen in the mind . Perceptions are held in the mind . A label can decide the value . It has to do with emotions. The shoes may come from the same factory but add a label and Value jumps . It’s fulfilling an higher agenda of being seen and liked .

Money is nothing but an exchange measure of the perceived Value delivered .

Where things go wrong is when individuals and organisations focus on personal agendas . No one is interested in YOUR AGENDA.

Do you hear these statements

“I want to grow a million subscribers”

“This year we will make a record sale”

“I want to change the world”

No one is interested in your agenda . Full Stop .

The other place things go wrong is when there is safe play . Playing safe you become a commodity. And commodity will be replaced sooner or later with something or someone cheaper .

When organisations become ‘Me To’ and offer commodities the only way to survive is by offering the lowest price.

The way to Thrive with Your Agenda then is

1. Fulfil the agenda of others – solve a problem for clients , customers , employer , donor

2. Be valuable – Don’t follow the crowd , Stand out , be different, be rare , be authentic