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.

YOU CANNOT CHANGE WORLD VIEWS , CHANGE YOUR STORY

I have been grappling with the insight , it is difficult, maybe impossible to change world views.

I see this in conversations now in school alumni groups and families.

There are two polarising views.

Each sees theirs as being the truth.

Each is trying to change and challenge the other view.

Only it does not change , there is conflict.

I have seen friends leave groups , stop talking to each other.

What is happening is , you cannot change world views , it’s tough, impossible.

Those that hold a view , connect with stories that fit into their world view.

Rather they always held that world view.

Stories tapped into their world view , made it stronger.

Let’s take the world views on for and against vaccination.

Those who are against vaccination hold their world view.

They find stories and research to support their world view.

Similarly Vegans have their world view .

Any story that taps into their world view resonates.

Time and energy to change world views is inefficient.

As a marketeer I would be more efficient telling a story that connects with the world view of the hero of my story.

Rather I don’t tell the story , the story is already told by the customer, I only tap into it.

Steve Jobs understood this .

He understood who the hero of Apple’s story was .

Those that challenged the status quo , those who think different , those that appreciated clean design were the hero of Apple’s brand story.

The campaign ‘Think Different ‘ tapped into this emotion.

The target audience already held the world view.

As a master storyteller Steve Jobs told them the story they wanted to listen to.

Good marketeers tell stories that their customers want to listen to.

And stories have the power to charge world.

Sanjay Mudnaney

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

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

HOW MARKETING CHANGED

When consumers started consuming Entertainment, Brands switched to becoming Entertainment, Storytelling.

As head of marketing , 30 years back , I managed big advertising budgets.

The medium was mass media. Print publications.

What I could control was the communication creative and the print publication I chose for the Ads.

As a marketeer I would hope to interrupt my target audiences.

The same followed with television medium.

Interruption was the game.

The smartphone changed everything.

Price of data dropped.

Consumers took charge of the data they consumed.

Consumers can no longer be interrupted by advertising.

Consumers consume content.

Over 80% of the data consumed is video.

Consumers consume Entertainment, Stories , Information, Education.

When consumers started consuming Entertainment, Brands switched to becoming Entertainment, Storytelling.

Brand Storytelling is the future of marketing.

Products became part of the story, almost like product placement.

One more trend alert – consumers appreciate Brands that are humane are concerned about community not just profits.

Brands will start telling stories of good.

Real stories , that touch the heart.

Below is an example of new #Brand#Storytelling , has 10 million views.

Good stories are remembered , shared.

Watch the Bittu Story . Video, Story , Local , Brand is at demonstration.

HOW PUBLIC RELATIONS HAS CHANGED

The intermediary is no longer relevant to get your message out.

What you need is a platform that has your target audiences. In PR terms stakeholders.

In my early days as Head of Corporate Communications I would do media rounds.

I had to build what was called Media Relations.

‘Reputation’ is one of the most critical assets for an organisation.

Negative media coverage could damage reputation with serious repercussions.

A positive Brand image with stakeholders was essential for business.

And thus intermediary media played an important role.

The media was more accessible to large organisations.

Media coverage by a third party was more believable than advertising.

The world has changed.

1. The intermediary has been replaced by digital platforms.

2. Digital platforms are accessible to anyone, even a one person business.

3. You can get your voice heard , anyone can on digital platforms.

4. The new Digital media has given a rise to a new breed – The influencers.

5. The control has shifted to the consumers, they decide the content they consume.

6. Content is consumed Digitally , mostly on mobile.

7. Digital media is on 24×7.

8. Reputations can be built and damaged rapidly .

9. A newspaper article can get dated , forgotten. On Digital media every thing that is out there stays , forever.

10. Online Feedback and Review is a powerful tool for customers to voice their opinion on Brands , Products and Services.

11. You can build Brand presence by being strategic and consistent .

12. In the Digital world 80% of the content consumed is video.

13. Audiences have switched off from interruption marketing.

14. In the Digital world audiences consume Entertainment, Stories , Information, Education.

15. In the Digital world it is easy to measure impact unlike traditional print media PR .

With these changes Traditional PR agencies are no longer relevant.

Traditional Advertising agencies are no longer relevant.

Traditional Corporate Communications is no longer relevant.

Reinventing needs a mindset shift.

It is not just a title and role change.

I have been helping small businesses to build their Brand presence with good success.

The direct outcome is Business besides building long term brand.

I find many large organisations are slow to move .

What is stopping change is being in comfort zones .

Guarding the turf , surviving will no longer sustain. Sooner or later your game is up.

The time to change is NOW. What is your opinion?

Sanjay Mudnaney

Marketing Strategist

HOW IS INTUITION RELEVANT IN MARKETING ?

Data and I have not been on the best of terms . I have been told I operate from my gut 🙂 I am anecdotal.

Gandhi has been one of my marketing inspirations ! ( you will know why later in the post )

Heading sales teams I always leaned on gut feeling to turn around loss making businesses.

I observe , almost like a fly on the wall.

I saw the sales team focused on targets rather than the person in front of them.

I took away the money target and set a friendship target for my sales team .

“Make a friend” I said. And things turned.

I am fascinated by human interactions and I can get into the shoes of those I observe , literally.

Many of the actions I took to choose a particular direction were from gut feel .

They turned right , saved time.

Intuition is that feeling in the gut that nudges you to move in a direction.

Sometimes it is the warning of a change that is about to happen.

As a marketeer with over 30+ years in the field I would have encountered many situations.

They are stored in subconscious mind.

I believe it is this subconscious mind at play along with the creative side of the brain.

Observing that which is not even yet expressed by a consumer as they have no reference point is what my strength has been.

Steve jobs is an example of an marketeer who operated from intuition .

He said “I began to realise that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis.”

What could be the reference for an iPod ? or an iphone ?

The story of Dmart an India version of Walmart unfolds with observation of how women in urban India shopped.

Every grocery (kirana) store in India had incidentally a man on the counter and he knew the entire family and their purchase history.

These kirana owners have a super computer stored in their brain.

They remember every member of the family and also what each one prefers.

When my wife calls her local kirana store owner he recognises her with just voice .

He knows her purchase needs even before she would tell him.

This is the reason new generation of Indian women from traditional joint family homes would prefer to remain anonymous while they shop freely.

A kirana store owner is a threat to that privacy of shopping.

That is the secret sauce of Dmart , women and men get to shop freely anonymously without a sales man or woman hovering over you.

You are left to take your time while shopping.

This is freedom for the women from traditional joint family homes in India .

It also helps to cut costs for Dmart.

They recruit a few employees and they are local , from the lower income strata . There is another story on why they do this .

This is pure observation the founder got by visiting kirana stores. No data , no market research. Pure old school observation and hunch.

I heard him speak about this and why he does not consider data based research in his decisions.

Similarly there was the Liril soap AD where a young woman is bathing under the waterfall, having fun in a bikini.

Alyque had this observation of changing times and women in India seeking time for self , having fun , being liberated from tradition.

There was simply no reference in all the cases , no data to back.

I belong to the school of marketeers who has strong observation, empathy and intuition.

It helps me and my clients cut time with innovations.

Many times I have taken calls contrary to data because simply there is no reference point.

Any new creation or idea would not have a reference for how consumers would behave.

Gandhi used ‘non violent resistance’ as a way to fight colonial occupation.

He could mobilise masses and let the British with little room to counter such an agitation.

It was called Satyagraha (fighting for the truth).

This was a brilliant marketing strategy and had no reference from the past.

All struggles had been violent till then.

Gandhi was a great observer and he had strong intuition.

Every leader and innovator has this quality of operating from intuition and taking what is calculated risks.

Is there a way to build intuition? Or is it a gift ?

I feel everyone has this natural capability, we lose it by

1. Not being open

2. Not trusting our gut feel

3. Not taking calculated risks

We restrict possibilities by being closed . I have trusted intuition in my marketing.

What is your opinion?

Sanjay Mudnaney

http://www.CrowTales.in

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