‘A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others are determined not be done.’- Marge Piercy

February 8, 2016

This year had begun with a bang for us and it continues to bring us good fortune. We have been blessed with yet another proud moment for Ittisa! Our CEO Sneh Sharma is featured in “Super Women-Inspiring stories of 20 women entrepreneurs” by Prachi Garg.

What is Superwomen-Inspiring stories of 20 women entrepreneurs and who is Prachi Garg?

Superwomen is a book penned by Prachi Garg telling the world inspirational stories of 20 women entrepreneurs who have broken all sorts of boundaries to reach where they are today. Prachi herself is no less a tigress, she is the founder of Ghoomophiro.com, her passion for travel spawned the idea of a new travel planning service startup and lead her to the path of entrepreneurship. In her entrepreneurial journey, Prachi faced setbacks, surmounted them in her stride and achieved the goals. Today, Prachi is a successful entrepreneur with two startups. She says “Most women often don’t pursue their dreams because of familial pressure or various other reasons”. Superwomen is about those women who took a different approach in life, stood against all odds and made their dreams come true.

This book features budding women entrepreneurs such as Sneha Raisoni-Founder of Tappu Ki Dabba, Richa Singh-Founder of YourDost and many more inspirational women. In her book Prachi describes our Founder-Sneh as “An exemplary and revolutionary entrepreneur who has refined the digital work spectrum for women”. And boy, do we agree?

The book, takes us through Sneh’s career path just like with the other women featured in the book. From her move to Bangalore from Shimla to her founding Ittisa, the book takes us through each milestone and obstacle in her path to success. Prachi takes us through each story with a passion as fierce as the women she features.

We are beyond excited to have been featured in the book that describes Ittisa from its birth till what it is today. Two years ago, Ittisa was Sneh’s brainchild that ever so cautiously stepped out into the startup world. But, because of her undying spirit to make Ittisa the first ever all women media agency, it crossed the 1 Crore mark in a mere 7 months of its inception. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Prachi Garg for penning our struggles and achievements into a book so stirring.

Today, we can proudly say that Ittisa is growing with a big team of dedicated designers, digital media strategists and content writers along with a star studded client list. It continues to leap forward with Sneh in the lead.

We would like to congratulate all the superwomen who have been featured in the book and salute their determination to keep going in the face of any obstacles.


What Digital Marketers must Learn from the Recent Google plus Changes

August 5, 2015

For a digital giant like Google, changes are constant. When two months back it was a major algorithm change, last week brought in the fresh news about yet another major change in Google’s kitty. And this time, it’s for Google +.

The announcement states that Google is splitting its social networking site, Google +, into different focus areas. Launched in 2011, Google + may not have had a dream start but it has since then been an integral part of Google.

Compared to its competitors like Facebook ,Twitter or Instagram for that matter, Google + definitely takes a back seat. Looks like the men behind the scenes have finally woken up to face the reality.

So with the latest announcement to fragment the social networking platform, digital marketers around the world have one question in mind – “How should we adjust our strategy as a result of these Google + changes?” A list of things to keep in mind about recent Google plus changes are:

1.   Social Networks are breaking up

recent google plus changes

In an interview, Google’s Senior Vice President of Products, Sundar Pichai, gave an overview of the changes when he said, “I think increasingly you’ll see us focus on communications, photos, and the Google+ Stream as three important areas, rather than being thought of as one area.”

Google + is breaking up & this is not a novelty in the social networking space. Remember when Facebook broke off its messaging application & started facebook messenger?

These moves are strategic and are where social networking is headed. In recent years, with the intertwining of the social and the mobile, the myriad of services offered by these platforms are fragmenting and turning into applications that are more mobile friendly & are easy to use.

The fragmentation of Google+ isn’t an indication of the social network dying as much as it is observing the changes in the space and adapting to those changes. Had it not made an attempt to adapt, Google + would eventually have bitten the dust.

2.   Google no longer in line with facebook

So the day has finally come when Google decides that it is wiser to not compete with facebook for social networking supremacy. While some see Google’s move as a confirmation that Google+ is essentially dead, others see the possibility that Google+ might now be in a position to matter.

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Whatever be the case, marketers can now stop looking at Google + as a sidekick to facebook.

3.   The importance of using multiple networks

The recent changes in Google+ is a timely reminder to all digital marketing agencies & professionals to not stay overtly dependent on any one social networking site because in scenarios like these you would be left stranded.

social_network

One needs to stay indifferent of any one platform. In other words, content should be developed in such a way that it can be placed on multiple social media networks & in earned or owned media.

4.   Google’s Services repertoire is vast & will stay connected

Owning the Android market positions Google as a strong player in photo sharing and mobile. Android Police recently revealed that the Google Drive team may be releasing updates that would enable Google Drive to take on photo and video back-up responsibilities that were once taken on by Google+.

While Google+ is fragmenting, it appears the brand is planning to leverage its existing repertoire of services and best utilize these in the near future. Google services will, therefore stay connected & ever significant.

Finally, what every marketer should remember is that Google hasn’t rolled out these changes yet. Only the announcement is made. So it’s best to stay aware and ready for changes, with the understanding that the way we treat Google + is soon going to change.


Boost Offline Sales – 7 Ways Digital Marketing Boosts Offline Sales

June 24, 2015

Recent trends in e-commerce have indicated that mobile connected devices such as smartphones and tablets have become the face of the new retail movement. The reach of brands and retailers has never been this powerful. But what is it about this movement that has made companies so successful in reaching their consumers?

The answer lies in the convergence of online and offline marketing. When retailers have a multi-channel presence, Search Engine Marketing becomes a powerful tool that enables multi-channel sales – this includes offline sales as well.

Several consumers are inclined to research online before purchasing offline. Marketers can take this new inclination as an opportunity to tap into the potential of the internet to influence the customer’s decision-making process.

Here are 5 ways in which brands can use digital marketing to boost offline sales:

boost offline sales

Online Reviews to boost offline sales

83 percent of consumers are of the opinion that online reviews heavily influence their offline purchases. The more positive reviews your brands can boast of, the better. Besides, it is common knowledge that Google favors local listings that have more reviews with higher rankings.

While faking reviews or inducing positive ones are definitely frowned upon, a brand can always ask its most loyal customers to promote the brand through reviews. This can be accomplished by maintaining a systematic SMS and email database.

Social Engagement to boost offline sales

You cannot capture conversations surrounding your brand and industry just by setting up an online community. According to a study by Forrester Research, consumers now consume more than 500 billion social brand impressions a year.

With such big numbers in the picture, it cannot be emphasized more that monitoring and engaging your customers on social media is necessary to respond to relevant conversations, to make sure you’re driving the consumers to your brand.

Email campaigns to boost offline sales

Most consumers receive three to five permission-based emails a day. Bombarding consumer is an ineffective method of boosting sales. The key is to ensure that your brand is incentivising profitable actions, all the while tracking ROI.

The easiest way to do this is by using coupons. But to achieve the desired goal, and to make sure that customers are waiting for the coupon before purchasing, is to have a smartphone-friendly coupon landing page – something that all retailers online do today very effectively. Coupon codes are used increasingly today at retail shopping outlets.

Mobile Search Advertising

When it comes to providing hot leads, smartphone search engines are leading the race to the top spot. The accuracy of phone map results enables customers to locate stores faster than ever, making it an indirect marketing channel.

To capitalize on this, you have to make sure that the right keywords and ad copy are being used on your landing pages, as consumers need to see your store as quickly as possible.

Brand Search Advertising

Big brands engage in pay-per-click advertising on search engines. It is easy to see why: PPC ads work hand in hand with outdoor advertising and traditional media. They help reinforce the brand name, brand message and brand loyalty.

It is very important to increase brand awareness from traditional advertising by keeping your PPC messaging relevant. Simply put, your PPC ads should send out the same brand image and message that your offline ads send out.

Without a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, it is very likely that your business will lose out on at least 50 percent of a potential market. Offline and traditional media tools are very effective when it comes to creating brand awareness, but you cannot rely solely on TV, Radio or Print to seal the real deal any longer.

Consumers’ media habits have undergone a massive paradigm shift, with the internet claiming maximum responsibility for it.

While this doesn’t mean that your brand needs to invest large amounts of money on creating and maintaining an online presence, it does mean that brands have to think about how best to reach out to their customers online to develop offline campaigns and boost sales accordingly.

Content marketing to boost offline sales

Creating impactful and engaging content has now become the go-to online marketing strategy to boost offline sales. Studies reveal that writing blog posts or write ups with links given to a particular brand or website work wonders in subtly promoting a product and creating a long lasting impression on the consumer’s mind. With the correct strategy, content marketing can become a great way to attract the right kind of traffic.

Experiential Campaigns

Experiential campaigns have blurred the line between online and offline marketing tactics. These days, many brands use unique experiential marketing campaigns as a tool to create positive buzz about their brand. The campaigns are then promoted through various social media platforms to enlighten consumers. These experiential marketing campaign videos, shared on social media, not only engage consumers but also showcases tangible experiences which in turn help to boost offline sales.


Going Social: Dil Dhadakne Do’s Digital Marketing Strategy

June 4, 2015

Zoya Akthar, the director behind the massive entertainer Zingadi Na Milegi Dobara, is all set and ready for the release of her next flick, the multi-starrer Dil Dhadakne Do (DDD), across cinemas on June 5, 2015. However, the journey to its long-awaited release started months ago. We’re not talking about production here. No, we’re talking about the movie’s promotion and marketing efforts, which have been simply outstanding.

If Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara raised the bar when it came to using social media as a means to market a movie, DDD doesn’t just raise the bar even higher, it sets all new standards. Which other movie has gone that extra mile, and started its social media efforts a whole year in advance, at full steam? Here is a sneak peek into DDD’s stupendous digital marketing success:

FACEBOOK

The promotional mood was set on May 26, 2014, when DDD film producer Ritesh Sidhwani updated a status that was shared by the official page of the movie on Facebook.

facebook promotion

This triggered the movie’s digital marketing campaign. It got the ball rolling in the right direction, as people began talking about it on Facebook. Soon, updates began to trickle in – but none of them had anything to do with the movie itself. Photos of starring celebrities – Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh, et al –began featuring on the movie’s Facebook page. They were teasers of an unusual kind, because they were fan-friendly. Pictures of locations where shooting took place, pictures of the cast and crew lounging on the beaches of Barcelona, and the like. This generated a lot of interest among fans.

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The page shared the starring cast’s photos from different channels, using cross-channel linking effectively. Videos were shared on Facebook, too, on which people shared their heightening interest to watch the movie.

YOUTUBE

No movie’s social media campaign is ever complete without the proper use of a dedicated YouTube channel. The DDD team released behind the scenes videos of the stars on the sets, teasers and trailers, and were prompt with the new tactic – dialogue promos. The music partner – T Series – was also quick in its scheduled and well-timed released of teaser videos of songs in the movies, which in turn were shared by the full cast and crew of DDD.

The film too had its own Instagram account, where there were real-time updates galore, including everything from the cast having fun together during lunch breaks, to their meeting with Milkha Singh (set up Farhan Akthar). In a matter of 2 months, the account had posted more than 150 photos on the media tool.

INSTAGRAM

With celebrities being so open today on Twitter and Instagram, fans are pouring in just to get a glimpse of their life secrets. DDD’s marketing team tapped into Instagram’s full potential to rope in the interest of fans ever more. Priyanka Chopra, in particular, was tireless in her efforts to keep her Instagram account both personalised as well as promotional.

The film too had its own Instagram account, where there were real-time updates galore, including everything from the cast having fun together during lunch breaks, to their meeting with Milkha Singh (set up Farhan Akthar). In a matter of 2 months, the account had posted more than 150 photos on the media tool.

TWITTER

Twitter was one of the smaller fractions of the movie’s social media marketing efforts. Relying primarily on cross-linking, Twitter helped the film in a small yet significant way as it did garner some popularity amongst loyal fans, who kept the hashtags trending. The film came up with hashtags that weren’t just about the film, but surrounding elements as well. There were contests run around hashtags such as #PhirBhiYehZindagi (a song from the movie), asking audiences questions. These were retweeted and favourited extensively. Other hashtags included, #2DaysForDDDTrailer, #DilDhadakneDoWithHiFi and #LeonardoSeDilDhadakneDo.

DUBSMASH

This was where DDD really grabbed attention. Dubsmash, a craze among the collective youth of the nation (and incidentally, the TG of the film itself), was used by Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra, both cast members of the blockbuster. It was no coincidence that the stars took to the media tool, though – it was pure, classic strategising: get fans to watch the video, indirectly remind them that their movie is forthcoming, thereby reinforcing a desire to watch it.

MOBILE  MARKETING

Athough DDD didn’t have fancy apps like films like Krish and Ra-One, it did create contests that saw a lot of participation. @Pictures, which secured exclusive telecast rights to the film, invited viewers to share their fun and crazy family photos/videos via Whatsapp. This was part of the movie’s ‘Crazy Family Contest’. Shortlisted winners, @Pictures promised, would get to hang out with the cast of the movie.

The efforts that have gone into the digital marketing process of DDD cannot be attributed to one person, team or channel alone. It cannot be more evident that everyone has pulled their support for this movie, and harnessed the power of social media perfectly. The movie did something unusual by shifting focus constantly from the movie to the stars to their ‘behind-the-scenes’ goofiness. DDD’s team also went the whole hog and used the latest ‘BAE’ meme to connect with younger audiences. The cherry on top, however, was use of Dubsmash to generate more buzz than ever, on social media.


Cliches in every Digital Marketing Agency

May 27, 2015

Life in an agency is loud. Quite literally. It’s not quite a creative digital marketing agency if you don’t have people shouting out random things from their cubicles or desks or bean bags. Every agency employee comes with his or her own quirks and idiosyncrasies. And in a creative agency like ours, we see these quirks rear their heads more often than not.

There are five kinds of people who make up our team, and each has her own quirks. Here’s a sneak peak at what they might be caught saying from time to time!

THE WRITER

The writer in every agency is forever looking for inspiration. Your personal life is never off limits to a writer hungry for content. What you thought was a harmless confession to a friend on a drunken night, might show up on a client’s social media as a juicy tidbit days later! And by juicy tidbit we mean a post that has you cringing and saying, “Wait! Is that…. my story?”

writing

THE DESIGNER

The rock music loving, kurta wearing, politically aware, my-brain-doesn’t-work-until-I-smoke junkie is a cliché, but definitely true. We always go for the ones who look a little wonky. The weirder, the better. True story.

designer

THE DEVELOPER

“Don’t worry if it doesn’t work right. If everything did, you’d be out of a job.” – Mosher’s Law of Software Engineering

Seriously. Sometimes we think they create bugs just to test our patience and make us feel stupid. They are the most hard-working and qualified members in any creative team and also the most monotonous. To them, a spade is just that. A spade.

developer

THE SEO ANALYST

The SEO Analyst in every agency is like a hard-to-please client. You work all week to come up with a fabulous creative you’re sure your client will love and the SEO Analyst decides that the phrase you used isn’t catchy enough. The second most annoying members in an agency, they are the reason we work overtime on Friday nights. But, they are also the main reason our clients see fast results and we love them for saving our ass again and again!

seo analysis

THE SALES GUY

“Remember, you only have to succeed the last time”
Even if it takes you a 100 times to get there!
The sales guy in every agency is nothing if not thick-skinned and persistent. You know those classmates you would run to avoid as soon as you saw them approaching? Yeah. They’re the sales guys – the ones who can talk your ear off and actually take money from you for doing it.

sales

So there you go! We’re all a bunch of creative misfits, but put us together, and we fit in just fine. Perhaps it’s all the quirkiness that acts as our glue!