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Job hunting can be very tiresome, sucky and all those adjectives which convey quite the negative sense of zero involvement in doing something. Just because of the great powers of the internet overlord, I just realized we can do the same using none other than Time Magazine. Oh well !!

Peter Norvig (Research Director @ Google) has this on his bio / self introduction page (Scroll down to the last section on his webpage).


From Time Magazine

Achiever of the year - You


File it under other achievements / information and it will quietly act as an inflexion point on the resume. In addition to the great keyword combination – “Person” “of the” “Year”.

Nay sayers might say that only Peter Norvig can get away with this, but yeah also the other 6 Billion homo sapiens as well.

In two words –

Ingenious and crazy style brilliance



This marks the start of an idea I had in mind for long. Why not start a marketing nuggets post that acts a small aggregator of news / views on marketing from around the web (and by definition around the world. With a 10 – 15 word blurb on what the article says).  Let’s start –

Views on Marketing in Apple (via Branding Strategy Insider)

Marketing by exclusivity. The author asks – did you exclude a customer today? Interesting thought.

Danone – Reaching the bottom of the pyramid (via WSJ)

Seems like its always the question of price v/s grammage debate while trying to evolve a model to reach out to the bottom of the pyramid.

Facebook and the rise of semantic web (via RWW)

How Facebook (and other host of companies like Best Buy etc) plugged into Semantic Web via a technology called as RDFa / OpenGraph (in my understanding works in the direction of meta information tagging) which might lead to a powerful tool allowing marketers to contextualize their offering ever closer.

Unrelated note : It also marks the debate between recommendation versus search.

Related note: Best practices for marketing on Facebook happening on 28 July (Organized by Altimeter Group and the influential Jeremiah Owyang)

Some great real-time ads from Nestle (via Google Reader)

Vuvuzela Epic Wimbledon Match

Recent Fastrack advertisement (I so love their tongue-in-cheek boldness which clearly excludes the ages to which the brand does not want to be associated with)


Fastrack advertisement


Let me know – egghead

Living alone in Chennai, one usually frequents hotels that have built quite the reputation for themselves as those who have crossed over. Crossing over not necessarily out of the borders of the state but to North India and the whole wide world.

Such an example is Hotel Saravana Bhavan. They have crossed over to North India and locations in UAE, America, UK, SE Asia and many more. As it happens with the outreach, the traditional idli-dosai-meals menu now has a smattering of North Indian dishes as well.

What follows is multilogue between a bunch of North Indians who arrived to one such restaurant in Chennai for their lunch (I was sharing a table with them munching on a rather over crisp Bhatura).

NI 1 – “What should we have for lunch, bhai log?

NI 2 – “What else but some Idli / dosas? I guess they wouldn’t have any roti-subzi.”

NI 3 – “Or we could have a bhatoora (glancing sideways to my plate).”

By this time the menu cards arrive and the guests promptly start searching for the Bhatoora entry in the menu with no success.

NI 1 / 2 – “I guess they would not call it Bhatoora here. I am damn sure they must be calling it some weird name that the local janta can understand. Anyways if we can’t get it we will have something else.”

NI 3 – <Smug laugh>

Once the waiter comes to get the order and this happens –

NI 1 – “Chole Bhatoore” (In a rather sub sonic voice)

Waiter – <Pause> (Apparently waiting for the guest to tell the number of plates they would like to have)

NI 2 / 3 – “It seems that they don’t have it, let us go for something else”

The guest order some other dish and go on with it.

The interesting takeaway from this incident is three fold –

The guests are saying, without pointing out, that Chole Bhatoore though visible as a dish cannot be found in the menu card.

Also, despite both the parties knowing that what they want exists / can be delivered, they miss out on an opportunity to eat it / serve it.

Misinterpretation of silence is dangerous. While the guests thought that indeed their suspicions were true, they waiter stood there counting for the next input, in the form of number of portions, to be communicated.

The guests ate whatever they did not want to eat and went away. However they went away forming an opinion / an image that indeed this restaurant does not have North Indian dishes at all.

The irony of it all being, I was sitting there eating what they wanted. At one point the guests pointed at an entry in the menu card labelled “Chana poori” and remarking – “Probably this is what they call Bhatoora here”, followed by a guffaw of laughs.

And ahoy, we are not dead. -egghead

For the record –







Unlit filtered cigarettes
Image via Wikipedia

Not withstanding the recent spate of advertisements on the hazards of smoking and the pixellated photos doing rounds on cigarette packs, this is what was overheard at a local panwari (Roadside shop) –

“They have destroyed the aesthetics of the packs” (Musing over the pack)

Talk about end user involvement and acceptance 🙂


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Inspiration is hard to come by these days with school life coming to an end. Anyways what a way to rev up those old engines. Want to know what customer service is – have a peek at this image


Customer service

Customer service


The big screens are all HD terminals with ads (I presume), however the story is in the comments. Seeing the busy area someone wants a low key lounge areas and bingo it exists and someone in the JetBlue organization scouts for such comments and lets the world (and the customer) know that the low key avatars also exist as well.

Well done JetBlue!

Hat Tip – Scripting News Flickr Account, Scripting News


Of course everyone around says that there is a disconnect between theory and practice. But when one melds practice into theory it becomes a potent weapon. Case in point – USAA. USAA is investment, banking and insurance service provider to military members and their families. USAA has an extremely good CRM which knows the family history of a customer when he calls up. Therefore if I was calling up USAA for a transaction, their database is so good to know that I have a son turning 20 this year. This provides their sales reps immediate opportunity to what may be called as “cross-selling”.

Cut the chase to India. I am not claiming that analytics is not being done, already, but I see great potential for certain service providers which I will elaborate below.

  1. Category 1 – Mobile service providers – Mobile providers are sitting on huge data which at the moment seems under-utilised. For example, I land in Chennai, for the first time. The mobile service provider for once knows for sure that I have landed in Chennai for the first time. They can send me an SMS titled “These are the 5 things that I can seek in this city”. If the subscriber likes the service he/she can subscribe to it paying some fee.
  2. Category 2 – Banks – I am just puzzled at their potential but still they are sitting idle. They collect our personal details to the extent of our birthdays etc. What are the potential – based on my age – they can create products or cross sell their existing products. When I am nearing the age of 30 – sell me a house loan (which almost everyone requires). At the age of 45+ – sell me a pension fund. Simply offer me a customised plan on my birthday. “We see you will turn x years old in the next five days, here is what Y bank has to offer on a limited basis to you and your family member”. Seeing the context, hell yeah, I wouldn’t mind it.
  3. Category 3 – Credit card -Analyze my transactions for the past year. It will reveal a lot about me and my likes / dislikes. If ICICI were to do such an analysis, books would clearly emerge as my first love. Do you realise the “cross selling” potential here. Infact aggregate this data over their customer base and there you go. Nice targettable micro-segments.
  4. Category – 4 – Any service provider who collects my date of birth – Customize offers
  5. Category – 5 – ATMs – Banks could analyse the volume of cash transaction on an area by area basis. Given that users will be allowed to take out cash from any banks, abstracting the ATM layer, banks can gain a lot. Suppose in my area, I withdraw a lot of cash from a Z bank where I don’t have an account. My own banker, Y bank, can aggregate the transactions in my area to see whether that is the case indeed with other customers of Y bank. If yes, then Y bank can open a separate ATM branch in my locality. Vice-versa if an ATM is not generating that much cash withdrawals, then close it down and open one where the volumes are more. Across bank data can be used to arrive at these volume details. Lot of inter-bank collaboration can be used, if Y bank’s ATM serves more Z bank’s customers, then share the data and charge’em for it. Vice versa hold as well.

Here is a campaign well done – CROSSWORD


Crossword clearance sale

Crossword clearance sale


Okay I am a sucker for books, accepted. Still the Brio offer sounds a good enough reason to move my ass and visit the sale. This is what I was referring to in transaction analysis for credit cards.

What are the implementational issues – in terms of software. What will be the issues? I don’t know. Whatdya reckon, let us know.


Okay this is a time to take a break from regular shake-the-earth observations about marketing going on this earth.

Take a look at this which landed in my Google Reader – An article about a cricket in the Marketing and Media section of Livemint.


WTF, no seriously.

WTF, no seriously.


Anyways these days because of the enormous input of Marketing and Sales related “education” that my brain is always in a fix when all these things happen –

  1. Reading a line which says “brand new habit” (I am wondering brand – woohoo where is it and then I realise that is the normal english word)
  2. Whenever I see an advertisement, immediately the brain does some swift calculation on the TG, the creative brief, the storyboard and whether there will be recall or not.
  3. Ads inside toilets – immediately a voice shouts “interstitials”.

See each career has its own risks. Share in your risks and curiosities !!