WHEN THERE IS GLOOM, CAN A STORY SPARK HOPE

It was this very question that got me to start Heroes of India YouTube channel.

Global pandemic had been announced.

The world was locked down.

There was uncertainty, gloom.

The storyteller in me wanted to change the narrative.

With stories of hope , of real heroes.

Those who did not walk away.

Those who chose to make a real difference in our world.

I wanted to tell these stories through short films.

Even if I could inspire a few or get a few to support their work.

I would be happy.

But I had no budgets , no experience, no team and it was lockdown.

Excuses.

I used the Nike slogan ‘Just do it’.

I wrote a few mails , support poured in.

The team happened.

The team took on the challenge.

Today we have made 12 short films on YouTube.

Do you believe that the narratives we tell define our life ?

Do you believe the world needs stories of hope?

Do you want to be part of this movement?

If yes, Join me in spreading the stories of good.

Can you help us cross the one thousand subscribers milestone?

Subscribe to https://lnkd.in/dhvZuxP

Are you a content writer, video editor, digital marketeer ?

You can join as volunteer.

Drop me a mail at sanjay@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

THIS IS THE FUTURE OF MARKETING

Post pandemic average time people spend on their smartphones has gone up by 25%.

80% of the traffic in the digital world is video.

Consumers have switched off from interruption advertising .

They consume content.

Visual content is what is consumed.

A well told Story is consumed , touches the heart , entertains , educates is shared can go viral in the digital world.

Brand Storytelling is engaging your consumers , pulling them into the story with visual storytelling.

The Brand is not the story.

The Brand is part of the story.

Think of it as intelligent product placement in a film.

Consumers are more conscious of Brands they consume.

They connect with Brands that care about their environment, communities and people.

Brands that tell stories of good build a positive brand perception.

The future of marketing is Brand Storytelling.

The future of Brand Storytelling is Digital , Visual , Local language visual storytelling .

Brands that tell stories of good, connect with the heart.

The Brand and Social Responsibility departments in an organisations are different , managed by different teams.

Having worked both as head of marketing and head of social responsibility in a global IT company I see a great possibility to build a bridge.

I see a great opportunity for coming together of Brands and Good to make a positive impact in our world.

Visual Brand Storytelling will connect Brands and Good.

Stories of good are watched , remembered and they are shared.

Because we all want to share HOPE .

In a world filled with gloom consumers seek Brands with empathy.

The future of marketing is GOOD.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder http://www.CrowTales.in a Brand Storytelling Company

Founder Heroes of India http://www.YouTube.com/heroesofindia

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

IN THE WORLD OF MEMES AND VIRAL VIDEOS – PR CHANGED

It is a cliche to say PR has changed, we all know that . Internet and smart phones with low data costs changed not only how we consume news and views but what we consume.

Today we use our smart phones for entertainment , education , information, shopping , booking cabs , flights , hotels , food delivery , making payments.. and the list is long . It’s one device that our world revolves around.

And then the pandemic hit us. almost overnight we had to sit at home , locked down . It was this device that saved us , kept us sane , we stayed connected with friends, family , and news around the world .

As the intermediary print media disappeared in the lockdown , the change which was gradual got accelerated. Advertising money moved from print to social media.

The big shifts I have experienced working with clients and also co founding a digital startup that will continue in the future are as follows

1. The Intermediary is less relevant : Earlier organisations would chase media (journalists) , today every organisations can broadcast directly to its audiences. Social media has democratised content production. Anyone can be a broadcaster.

2. Journalists move to organisations: Journalists have a knack for news and storytelling , as jobs become scarce in traditional print media journalists moved to organisations in communications and content writing to tell stories on the digital media.

3. Content becomes Visual : 80% of the traffic online is video content as consumers shift to being entertained on social platforms. Visual storytelling will become greatly in demand in times ahead.

4. Influencers are the new intermediaries : Brands are chasing influencers on social media as they have a fan following which can be leveraged and the association also endorses the brand.

5. 24×7 On the Edge the story of a crisis : As there are advantages of being able to broadcast online there is also the other side , a negative side, in a polarised world news will spread rapidly and can damage the brand overnight . In this scenario reputation management takes a different meaning .

6. Storytelling takes centre stage : Consumers and stakeholders consume content and Brands will become storytellers. Every organisation has stories, stories of the founder , organisation , culture, people , clients and community. The future of PR is storytelling in the digital world.

7. Brands and good : Consumers , clients and employees are increasingly looking at brands to support good in communities . Brands and good will connect with stories of good told in the digital world.

8. Leadership needs to be visible: Leaders need to be visible , vocal and demonstrate character by taking a stand for what is right for their people , clients , community and our planet. Leaders that leverage the social media create a positive brand voice. The social media is also going to be a listening platform for leaders .

9. Leverage social media to build Tribes : Organisations and Brands can build Tribes on social media and engage them . PR is no longer just talking but a two way communication, it is building a community around the brand.

In the very early days of social media I had built an alumni and employees community at a leading Indian IT company on social media . We kept the community engaged with the organisation and it turned out to be the best brand ambassador and PR for the organisation.

I have started seeing many PR agencies aiming to reinvent themselves by training their staff in digital communication but this change is more deeper .

It is a shift that needs understanding of consumer behaviour in the digital world combined with good storytelling.

The digital world offers a level playing field , disruptions can happen overnight. The future is going to be exciting and an adventure for digital PR .

As a communicator I am looking forward to the changes, are you?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

http://www.CrowTales.in

HOW PR HAS CHANGED

Traditionally news and views covered by media influenced public opinion which was largely print followed by television .

Today public opinions are formed on social media and the action is rapid . All stakeholders, clients , employees , shareholders , prospective clients , prospective employees, community are now spending a lot more time in the digital world.

It is easy today for almost anyone to become a broadcaster and not depend on the intermediary news channels to carry their story.

Similarly it is easy for stakeholders to get their voice heard and spread on social media .

This is reputation on the edge 24×7 , before you know it news can get viral and damage brand reputation.

Mass media has been replaced with intelligent targeted media communication on social media . One can build engage and convert tribes to fans.

Digital reputation is built around Good authentic Storytelling aligned to the brand message.

Educating , Inspiring and Informing your tribes on social media is all the more essential today.

Most of the content consumption on the internet, almost 80% is video content .

Is PR ready for this change ? Having led Corporate Communications in a leading IT company and then at a startup I founded , I noticed agencies struggle to understand the new medium.

At Crow Tales the digital storytelling company I co founded , we could build brand reputation for our clients and also help them drive business with authentic visual storytelling and education.

This change is not about just adding digital as a division or recruiting a digital marketing team but completely rethinking PR in the age of fake news and deep polarisation.

There is a shift of public opinion favouring more humane organisations, sensitised to sustainability and community issues .

Consumers are more inclined to reward organisations that have profit with purpose at their heart and do meaningful business.

For example how Organisations acted in times of COVID reflects on how public would see them going ahead . How they treated their employees, partners and how they supported the community in these most difficult times will definite their character.

It is time for Brands to tell stories of hope , of a better future by connecting with stories of good .

As a digital storyteller I am excited about the future of marketing and PR are you ?

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

BRAND AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

The outcomes of Project Deep blue indicate that is possible to align Brand purpose with CSR .

Mastek an IT solutions company wanted to build its employer brand in the campus , it suffered a low brand recall. Mastek is a global IT solutions company with a unique people culture and high social conscience. We needed to communicate this brand message at the campus. The traditional route would be sponsorships of campus events but there fear was getting lost in the noise.  

Project Deep Blue was designed as a campus contest which would connect social sector , students , employees and the brand Mastek. Students had to solve real problems of the social sector through IT solutions. The students would be mentored by Mastek employees. The project was not superficial and needed 4 months of intense interaction and working as a team.

Through the process of participating in Project deep Blue students experienced 1. The unique people culture of Mastek as they interacted with Mastek mentors 2. They gained real life experience of solving social sector problems 3. They were exposed to subjects like design thinking and building IT solutions from experts at Mastek.

The result was that in the 4th edition of Project Deep Blue over 800 student teams participated in the contest ,a strong brand recall as a socially conscious organisation and a IT solutions company has been built at the campus and most important the unique people culture was experienced by the students in interaction with mentors. Mastek mentors too gained by engaging and learning from fresh out of the box thinking of students. The social sector gained with out of the box IT solutions developed by the young students. Mastek gained by instantly recruiting the best talent.

The outcomes of Project Deep blue indicate that is possible to align Brand purpose with CSR . I am of the opinion that in the digital world telling Brand stories around CSR would help build Brand Trust and align CSR with business. What are your thoughts ?

Check out the video of contestant feedback on Project Deep Blue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyulIb_3ID0&list=PLWpXLvyorqav3B0O21rHTHUDj0YNmrVmm