Social Business and the Indian Social Economy

After Roti, Kapada aur Makaan? Socialise !

If you want to create a Brand or a  Non-Commoditised business in the B to C space, you need to go after all the irrational things a consumer does with his emotive mind to feel good and alive. Basically, Party! This is not new. Even as cavemen, if we had a good hunt, we celebrated with a Good Feast. There is a huge economy which has grown around the feel good, and our social side. In today’s context, No better way to describe the economic impact of socialization than the infographic  below on  Facebook. The great thing about social and experience businesses is that they only succeed if they are not commoditized. Almost like your favourite cigarette brand . You keep smoking whatever the cost 

 What does this mean for Indian Startups ?

As per Facebook Adverts we have 120 Million Socially active people in India in the Age group 18 to 65+. That’s an extensive, granular documented audience base with Detailed Demographics, not only by age and gender but Relationships, Politics and Life Events. Besides this,  you have all the psychographics of Interest and Behaviour. All this is available by a census, by area and community. Other platforms are catching up ,but lag on granularity.

Never in the history of marketing have you had a user and potential buyer persona so heavily profiled.

Search and Social Media Platforms have democratised Marketing.It’s no longer the playground of the Big Brand Club. This solves the biggest problem every Startup has. Marketing ROI with limited resources

1. Startups have the ability to Target a very focused user base economically and profitably

2.Get all the tools, analytics and dashboards of the Biggest Brands and the companies in the Business for Free.

3.Marketing Media weight and Scale – In the non Internet Era, this was always a barrier to Entry. No longer. To a Facebook or Google a $ 1 spender gets the same weightage as a $1000 spender . His user engagement for Facebook and Relevance to Search for Google make the difference

What a Startup needs  are a) A product that solves a problem b) The digital marketing smarts to get the attention of people who need this product or service. In most cases if it’s a Hand made product or self-service. It does not need capital, Just Orders Etsy is a platform that connects scores of home and handmade artisans with buyers across the world. In this context, I find it insane to see the amount well-funded internet startup’s including Flipkart spend on Media like Print and Television. They still have old school Media Planners and Marketing Heads who make judgements on limited data to buy full page Jackets on Times of India and Sponsor Cricket on  TV & not Youtube. Print is dead in today’s world on ROI metrics. Print on any Media Metric for digital companies is  10 times more expensive.

The reason brands don’t succeed with digital media is, because they have not turned marketing into a content and user engagement function. Digital Media is more about creating or curating media that engages along with your product and service, rather than a media buying function.

Mass Media one to many is comfortable. Make one advert, plug it into Cricket and sit back. Who would like to be on a constant content engagement, Treadmill? Unless you prepare for this content marathon you are not ready for digital social marketing. Any one of those TV campaigns can fund a content and engagement company for a year, giving year round Ad ROI.

Find the right customers to fund your business or learn why they won’t buy!

This is called Product and Market fit. If you have it, you don’t need venture money, you will fund your business.  It has become easier than ever to find the right customers now, especially for Social and Culture Product and Service companies. Let me illustrate this from a startup I am mentoring. at BindassParty.com  It’s  a Party and Event Marketplace. It allows you to search, create and book a Party at a venue or schedule it at your home or office. Once you are done, you can even launch it as a Ticketing event, or simply use the tools to manage attendance. Now that you have the context, let’s get to the illustration.

For us, the right customer is someone who wants to or will Party. Now in TV or Print this is impossible. The only alternate is to get Birthday and milestone dates of consumers we want to target. 

Facebook allows you to target on several parameters that help us to select audiences that are already in a consideration set to buy an Event from BindassParty. Now, what’s the cost of an experiment like this? $ 1 or Rs 65 to Reach Laser Targeted User markets.

If you are Targeting Social Intent and Benefits the Time is here and Now!

If you have a Good Service to offer, there is absolutely no cost to Entry. Here is how a Typical Startup in Social Media can Budget

  1. Website – WordPress Free  with a Free Plugin for E-commerce Woo Commerce
  2. E-commerce open source sites are free and you need to pay a small amount to customise.Opencart and Magento are popular options
  3. Website hosting Rs 500/- Month
  4. Social Media Business Pages – Facebook, Tumblr, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram Free
  5. Cost per single campaign Rs 60 to Rs 300/- for a Reach of 1000

A  lot of Local Business’s have Figured this out. Startup Entrepreneurship is alive and well. The Bridal Rental Store below,is probably finding customers all over Kanpur.

The Anarkali Dress’s sellers is hitting customers globally.

They are using Facebook Business pages to create viral communities to build their Brands. Dressing is Social and is Natural engaging content on a Social Platform. In fact Instagram is reported to be the best vehicle for Social Business Sales Today. Pinterest is the largest media contributor for Etsy Sales.

This brings me back to my theme. Marketing is no longer an Entry barrier to Scale for a Social and Culture Startup

If he or she is fulfilling a need, he can find a market on Social Media without even creating a website. Your Sales can generate the capital to grow your business. Let’s take a Media Personality. There was a time when a publication like the Times could make or break an aspiring public figure. Now they can command more engagement and Impact with a single post than the Times of India .

Currently Face Book can make you engage one on one with a 48 Million 18 + audience per day in India vs 7 Mn TOI  or 120 Million over a Month*

Take the case of 18-Year-old Kendall Jenner.  This is the following for her Instagram Profile 37.3 Million crazed readers for FREE. She can change the destiny of many brands. See what her single Post on Instagram can do . Get a 1.1 Million Engagement ! Find a Spokes person like her and build a community .You may be selling media ,instead of buying it . Switch your marketing hat to building and retaining audiences  , rather than just reaching them.

 Are you ready to Kendall Jenner your Business on Social Media ?

*Data as per Facebook Adverts

Reproduced from an old article by Arvindra on Linkedin

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