Monthly Archives: April 2012

How you say it matters more than what you say

Advertising world is interesting (and funny). Every soap brand advertises to be the best for your skin, every car maker claims to give the best fuel efficiency & driving experience and every mobile phone company states that they make the best phones in the world. The message is the same, so what really matters is how you deliver it.

In order to find the best way to deliver the message, you got to know your consumer. What your consumer likes? What are their interests? How they spend time? What are the issues they care about? What kind of messaging worked for them in the past and what didn’t? In other words you need to understand the ethnography of your consumers.

The basic idea behind ethnographic research is to make sure your message is formulated in the right way so that it has the maximum appeal on the target consumer. But this has an added advantage too. It is not always possible to define a target group of consumers by demographic profile. Many times the target consumer group spans across standard demos. So when you reach out to the consumer based on their psychographic profiles, you make sure it appeals to the taste and interests of your consumers.

One of the best ways to do ethnographic research is on the internet. Human beings are social in nature. They talk. They share information and knowledge. They emote their values and concerns. Internet has provided them the best place to do so effortlessly. Social networks have now become the natural place for people to discuss everything from interest and activities to likes and dislikes.

At MavenMagnet we have developed capabilities to listen and understand this information at a macro level without violating privacy of individuals or interfering in their conversations. Our proprietary technology is smart and sophisticated to identify your target consumer group and sketch their psychographic profile.

Advertising involves a lot of creativity. I believe creative people are geniuses. They have the power to add life and excitement to anything from a bar of soap to a bottle of water. Our goal is to empower them with just a bit more critical information about the consumer so that they can channel that message to have a much greater and profound impact.

Competition and Innovation

Competition is a prerequisite for Innovation. Competition motivates the leader to out innovate and stay ahead in the game. It makes the companies doing the catch-up to think outside the box to beat the leaders. A business lacking competition often stagnates because there is no need to innovate.

There are several examples where competition has led to innovation and lack of competition has led to stagnation in the same industry. The best one that comes to mind is the web browser industry. In mid 90s, the browser industry had fierce competition between Netscape, Microsoft and a few other players. Between 1995 and 2001, both Netscape and Microsoft came out with six versions of their browsers out-innovating each other over and over again with new releases every few months. Eventually Netscape became less relevant and IE captured about 90% of the market. For the next five years starting 2001, there was literally no innovation in the web browser industry till new browsers like Mozilla, Firefox and later Chrome started becoming relevant. It took Microsoft five years to come up with IE7 in 2006. And since then, competition has fueled innovation for the three big players coming out with new features in the browser every few months.

The same dynamics is visible in many spaces, be it video games, cell phones, hybrid cars or social media. There are always lot of other factors in play like macro-economic conditions, state of the broader industry etc., but competition is the driver when it comes to innovation.