Avinash Chandra



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Web Page Domain Authority Page Authority Moz Rank 97.48 94.69 7.1 97.43 38.65 4.02 94.08 85.01 6.68 92.37 68.79 5.91 89.85 69.43 6.86 89.07 65.31 5.01 88.44 90.74 6.69 88.38 90.18 6.52 87.14 89.65 6.3 82.15 56.03 5.25 81.86 59.16 5.18 80.54 70.1 6.15 79.54 55.17 5.03 77.3 60.71 5.64 72.72 60.61 5.27 70.65 61.26 5.45 68.68 70.11 5.35 68.68 70.11 5.35 67.82 60.22 6.2 62.51 53.61 4.84 59.74 65.65 6.45 59.02 53.94 5.05 59.02 53.94 5.05 58.1 53.93 4.76 54.5 48.86 4.15 53.9 45.52 3.42 53.02 46.66 3.77 52.26 54.45 5.33 50.65 52.3 4.74 50.57 51.23 4.9 50.57 51.23 4.9 50.22 41.9 3.58 49.83 49.19 4.74 49.53 57.03 5.56 48.09 43.1 3.25 48.07 49.94 4.72 46.92 50.75 4.76 46.18 46.9 3.6 46.18 46.9 3.6 45.46 42.45 3.6 45.32 37.14 2.43 45.26 36.45 2.96 45.03 42.7 3.97 44.77 38.98 3.36 43.81 33.17 5.22 43.15 46.78 5.17 42.92 47 4.93 42.88 46.13 4.22 42.38 48.07 4.33 41.25 40.69 3.19 41.23 45.9 3.73 40.33 45.63 4.51 39.88 46.5 4.71 39.4 47 3.87 38.77 47.61 4.3 38.74 38.59 3 38.56 37.42 2.96 37.88 43.86 4.06 37.72 47.12 4.3 37.44 45.06 4.59 36.23 46.41 5.74 34.4 31.45 4.15 34.3 44.56 3.49 34.27 40.18 3.96 33.95 42.88 4.56 33.9 42.03 4.24 33.86 29.46 3.37 33.34 39.03 4.82 33.32 36.55 3.25 33.3 34.29 3.96 33.27 43.12 3.81 32.48 36.6 3.93 32.32 38.46 2.08 32.18 40.78 5.94 32.04 40.77 4.15 31.98 20.99 2.96 31.63 39.47 3.88 31.39 39.86 4 31.3 31.14 4.42 30.89 41.67 3.2 30.71 37.27 2.96 30.05 39.11 3.08 30.05 37.58 2.96 30.04 25.87 NA 29.71 39.74 3.14 29.68 37.46 2.96 29.37 36.52 2.96 29.32 36.4 3.42 29.03 36.9 3.75 28.82 36.69 4.23 28.09 1 NA 28.09 1 4.51 27.99 38.76 4.07 27.89 39.44 3.43 27.39 38.09 3.68 27.25 35.67 NA 27.05 1 2.87 26.99 36.06 3.25 26.94 33.22 2.96 26.85 33.61 2.96 26.46 37.59 3.28 25.95 32.58 4.69 25.88 33.15 3.07 25.69 31.12 NA 25.46 28.7 NA 25.31 34.75 2.96 25.14 29.61 3.61 25.1 34.28 2.96 25.02 30.97 1.8 24.98 37.17 4.83 24.74 22.15 2.96 24.65 31.95 2.96 24.54 21.08 3.05 23.89 30.64 3.3 23.56 23.61 4.01 23.53 1 NA 23.06 29.49 4.52 23.05 1 NA 22.97 33.19 4.38 22.91 33.17 3.48 22.58 30.51 2.96 22.56 29.52 NA 22.09 31.68 2.96 21.84 1 3.05 21.56 27.68 2.87 21.33 32.88 2.77 21.05 25.05 2.96 20.7 25.73 2.96 20.49 27.98 2.96 20.49 31.35 2.55 20.46 29.24 3.75 20.34 31.06 3.65 20.33 1 3.96 20.13 1 NA 19.17 31.58 4.01 19 27.04 2.96 18.6 29.51 3.27 18.12 29.02 2.96 17.84 18.68 3.49 17.78 1 3.93 17.62 31.12 3.59 17.51 1 NA 17.32 26.31 3.01 17.06 25.15 2.96 17 30.24 2.96 16.59 28.86 3.35 16.58 28.51 3.84 16.26 29.26 4.44 15.57 29.47 3.59 15.51 24.95 2.96 15.24 22.02 2.96 15.21 22.64 NA 14.83 22.77 NA 14.61 23.59 2.87 14.55 27.44 3.24 14.43 21.92 2.96 14.27 24 2.96 13.86 24.58 2.96 13.77 24.62 2.96 13.22 26.14 3.07 13.17 25.21 NA 12.01 24.01 2.96 11.53 25.72 3 11.49 1 NA 11.45 25.57 3.05 11.14 23.93 2.96 11 25.42 3.24 10.96 25.49 3.3 10.24 24.04 2.96 9.58 21.82 2.87 9.4 23.72 2.96 8.52 23.62 2.96 8.52 23.62 2.96 8.46 20.9 2.87 5.59 21.16 2.87 1 1 3.48 1 1 NA 1 1 6.45
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So you are looking for password to open Aadhaar card in pdf format that you have downloaded from Aadhaar website.

If you have not yet downloaded your PDF Aadhaar card copy, you can download it from the web-link here: .

Once you have downloaded the E-Aadhaar PDF copy (this is the only format that is available on the Aadhaar wesbite), you will notice that it is password protected PDF file.

The password for PDF file is generated basis your own unique information. Every password is of 8 character.

Aadhaar Card Password

UIDAI has done an amazing thing here, instead of making you wait for password they have created a unique password by default based on your own unique information.

The 8 characters of Aadhaar Card Password are made as follows:

  1. First 4 characters are the first four letters of your name in CAPITAL letters.
  2. Last 4 characters are your Year of Birth (in YYYY format).

Well to make your life simple here are some examples of how to create the password:

Example 1:

Your name is Amit Gupta & Your Year of Birth is 1989.

Then your E-Aadhaar password is AMIT1989

Example 2:

Your name is RAM SINGH

Your Year of Birth is 1945

Then your E-Aadhaar password is RAMS1945

I Hope this helps. Will keep you updated if there is any change in the direction from the Government.

Mobile Apps are a dominant factor in people’s lives. But apparently only a select few. It seems that people are averse to downloading and trying out new apps.

Media analytics firm comScore recently released its annual Mobile Apps Report which states that –

A majority (51%) of all smartphone users report downloading a grand total of zero new apps per month.

That’s right – don’t squint – you read it correctly – ZERO.


We have known for a few years now that it is hard for new apps to attain a permanent space on the user’s mobile phones, as the popular & often used apps are hard to replace. In fact, Facebook and google account for the two most-used apps out of the top 10 most popular mobile apps.

Don’t get me wrong. Apps are great. They create new standards of consumer experience through their rich and interactive interface. Which means more and more sites are now developing a mobile first approach (which is great) and are also offering mobile apps with rich functionality (which is not so great: read ahead to find out why).

Have you heard what David Murphy Founder and Editor of Mobile Marketing Daily said?

The future of mobile is the future of online. It is how people access online content now.

Mobile Apps Usage

Usage of Mobile Apps is increasing.

As per the latest from ComScore’s 2017 U.S. Mobile Apps Report, the average consumer spends 57% of digital media time on Mobile. It is interesting to note that 88% of the mobile time and 50% of the overall digital time is spent on Mobile Apps.


Desktop & Website Usage

Desktop usage is 34% of digital media time. What is interesting to note here is that total web site usage time is 43%. Both Mobile and tablets users connect to the internet through the website on these devices.

What is in for a Small Business Owner

Two years back when I started my marketing technology venture all the start up founders were obsessed with a mobile Apps. No matter what was the Business Idea, the mobile app was critical to their digital marketing strategy.

Mobile apps used to be criteria for securing funding. In fact, it used to be a milestone. The modus-operandi used to be:

  • Launch a mobile app
  • Ensure millions of Downloads
  • and you will be floating in money

Well, it happened for a few startups, but not for the most.

As per comScore report, though Americans are spending a lot of time on Mobile Apps, most of them are NOT downloading any new apps.


Most (51%) of Americans have not downloaded any mobile apps, and their number is increasing (49% in June 2016). Lesser than 32% of users have downloaded less than 3 Apps a month.

Facebook and Google Rule the Mobile app usage. Most of the Apps in top 10 are old Apps with the exclusion of Snapchat.


Majority of App users access less than 20 apps a month.

You will be surprised to know that the number one mobile app (namely – facebook) takes away almost 50% of their app usage time.

On top of it, top 10 apps account for nearly all the time they spend in apps.


That leaves very little room for newcomers.

You will be surprised to know that even Apps like Snapchat are finding traction among youngsters. Mostly only young people.


So what is the Bottom-Line

It seems we might have reached a “saturation point” for mobile apps.

It is going to be very difficult to break into the league of mobile apps a user wants to have or use.

This is the reason, why new mobile apps have been struggling to find success for several years now.

Therefore, if you are starting off unless you are targeting millennial’s, it does not make sense to invest in a mobile app early on.Save










JOHN WANAMAKER (Source: Wikipedia)

If John Wanamaker were alive today, he would have loved Google Attribution. The new attribution tool from Google would have made him happier. Do you know who John was and what is attribution meaning in marketing?

John Wanamaker was a marketing pioneer, who famously said:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

The essence of what John said decades back is this:

  1. He Truly believed that marketing works
  2. However, he was not sure what is working
  3. How much it is contributing to his top line and bottom line

Well, This is something, which has challenged marketers for ages.

Why John would have Loved Google Attribution

The new Google Attribution tool can capture all the interactions consumer had with your brand both online and offline.

It will enable you to attribute due credit to all the touchpoints by their impact on their purchasing decisions.

Therefore, if John was around today, he could have directed all his marketing budgets towards interactions adding to his bottom line instead of guessing his marketing approach.

Google Analytics provide Attribution Data, so Why we need a new Attribution Tool

Before your customer purchases a product, he does multiple interactions with you and your competitors. Several of these interactions could be online, and several could be offline:

  • Online Interactions: Organic Search, Display Ad, Search ad, Blog, Video etc.
  • Offline Interactions: Store Visit, Print Advertisements, TV ad etc.

Hopefully, these interactions help her make up her mind to buy your product instead of your competition.

The impact of these interactions is not uniform and difficult to predict. Therefore, when it comes to advertising and promotions, marketers follow “SPAY & PRAY” approach. They believe that something will work and their sales will increase.

Over the years Digital marketing has been gaining popularity as it allowed marketers to find what caused an increase in their sales.

Digital marketing has been instrumental in identifying SOME of the fundamental causes of sales increase, however, primarily online only.

Digital Analytics tools such as  Google Analytics, helped marketers to determine the impact of digital marketing activities to an extent.

However, most ignored that Google Analytics data is based on last click attribution. Therefore, what you knew about the entire purchase process was not a complete picture of the real world and consumer life moments.

The attribution models in Google Analytics were standardised and did not represent the real world.


Google Attribution is the end of Last Click Attribution

Google takes its business very seriously. Therefore. now it is applying all its learnings to the new Attribution Tool that will represent the real world.

The new Google Attribution tool will bring together its:

  • Thorough understanding of consumer intent
  • Data and machine learning

The objective will be to make user experiences more assistive and useful than ever before.

So what does this all mean for a digital marketer?

  • It will be easier and better to connect with consumers the moment they seek assistance.
  • It will be easier to determine how much credit each ad and keyword gets for your conversions.
  • You can reach customers earlier in the purchase cycle.
  • You can find opportunities to influence customers earlier on their path to conversion.
  • Use a model that works best for how people search for what you offer.
  • Improve your bidding: Optimize your bids based on a better understanding of how your ads perform.

With the introduction of Google Attribution, all this is going to change for marketers of all sizes. Google Attribution is a new product to answer the question that has challenged marketers for ages.

It promises to measure the impact of a marketers efforts across devices and sales channels.

What is Attribution meaning in the context of digital marketing?

This is one question which I frequently hear from my client. Therefore to clarify let me share what essentially is the attribution meaning in a generic sense and digital marketing.

Attribution Meaning in a Generic sense

In a generic sense, attribution is the act of giving that credit where it is due. It is essentially acknowledging that something has taken place due to work of a particular person or thing.

This is crazy.

All of us are masters of attributions. Do you remember your childhood!

Well, I am not going to say anything further on that so let us move further.

Attribution meaning in Marketing

In marketing, attribution is the act of identifying and giving credit to a particular marketing activity that resulted in sales increase or helped you achieve a marketing objective.

Marketers deploy several marketing and promotion campaigns to influence the sales. Attribution helps you quantify the impact of each marketing actions on a consumers decision to buy your product.

Understanding of the causes of increase in sales helps you optimise your marketing budget as you can deploy it to activities that generate higher ROI.

Therefore attribution is something which is constantly under scrutiny. However, in traditional marketing, it was quite difficult to identify real causes of the sales increase. Therefore John Wanamaker said ” Half………”.

Meaning of Attribution in Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing primarily takes place online. As digital technology enables it to be much more insightful and accurate through attribution.

In digital marketing, attribution helps you assign credit for sales and conversions to touchpoints in conversion paths. Attribution helps you prioritise between paid & organic search, email, affiliate marketing, display ads, social media and more.


So What is Google Attribution

Google Attribution is a multichannel, multi device sales/performance measurement tool that enables a marketer to assign credit to a particular touchpoint depending on its contribution to conversion.

What it means is that Google Attribution can help you assign credit for sales and conversions to touchpoints in conversion paths.

Why Google Attribution

A customers purchase journey is quite complicated today.

Your business can have dozens of interactions with a single person – across search, social, email, display, video and on your website & retail environments. Your performance in all these consumer life moments defines the success or failure of a sales funnel.

As these interactions happen on multiple devices and channels, it is tough to measure them.

With Google Attribution, you as a marketer will be able to track a customers purchase journey and will be able to make adjustments in your sales funnel.

Google Attribution is a simplified version of Attribution 360, which is an enterprise-level offering.

What is ailing current attribution models in Google Analytics

Your business can have dozens of interactions with a single person – across search, social, email, display, video and on your website & retail environments. These interactions define your success.

Your performance in all these consumer life moments determines the success or failure of a sales funnel.

However, historically with Google Analytics tool, you have been crediting the sales to the last known interaction consumer have with your business before conversion. This practice is known as last click attribution.

Please note that last-click attribution is/was the preferred method for both Traditional marketing and digital marketing.

Last-click attribution model ignores all the touch points that precede the final touch before a purchase or conversion. Therefore this method ignores the contribution of all other individual touch-points.

Google attribution aims to simplify the multichannel, multi-device attribution.

What is so unique about Google Attribution

With this new attribution tool, Google is saying goodbye to the default last click attribution method.

Yes, with Multi-Channel funnels report and model comparison tool a marketer was able to draw some additional insights. However, that is nowhere close to what the new Google attribution tool can do.

How Google Attribution works

Google Attribution integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics, Google AdWords and DoubleClick Search without the need for any additional tagging.  Once you connect these tools with Google attribution tool, it will process your marketing channels data to provide you with a complete view of your performance.

How Google Attribution works
How Google Attribution works

Google Attribution tool generates insights on prospective customers. It helps you understand your sales funnel and consumer behaviour.

These insights will be useful to you as a marketer to prioritise your investments. If you connect Google Attribution tool directly with your AdWords account, you can draw ideas to optimise your ad spends.

Google collects purchase or conversion data from data from Adwords, Analytics or Doubleclick. All this data along with cross-device & cross-channel info is used to analyse which touch-points have engaged the prospective consumer.

Google Attribution allows you to quickly switch to data-driven attribution to take advantage of machine learning. With data-driven attribution, you can easily assign credit to each step in the consumer journey.

This complete info is critical to understand typical user behaviour. You can compare the users who convert and those who do not.

What is unique about this attribution model

Google is trying to remove the boundaries between virtual and offline worlds. As mobiles are increasingly breaking those barriers, the insights from this attribution tool will be significant for marketers.

As a marketer now you will be able to take advantage of their advanced machine learning and mapping technology to increase and measure your sales at a physical store.

In future, the store visit measurement technology will encompass YouTube TruView campaigns, in addition to Search, Shopping and Display campaigns.


To do that Google is collecting data from credit card firms (to begin with they are tapping 70% of the credit and debit card transactions in the United States).

Benefit of Data Driven Attribution

Consumers connect with businesses much before they make a purchase. These interactions happen in multiple ways which may or may not involve:

  1. Organic Search
  2. Paid Search ad
  3. Display ad
  4. Emails
  5. Referral
  6. Affiliates
  7. Store visit
  8. and several others

With a Data-Driven Attribution credit for a conversion goes to the actual conversion driver and not the last click. Therefore Data-Driven attribution represents a real world consumer behaviour.

Key benefits of Data driven attribution

  • Helps you identify and differentiate between performing and non-performing keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns.
  • Allow you to optimise your bidding based on real consumer behavioural data for your account.
  • Choose the most appropriate attribution model for your business. You do not need to depend on robotic attribution models and apply guesswork.
  • A marketer can track consumer journey and decide where to deploy maximum resources to drive profitability.

So what do you think?

It will be interesting to note what you think about this development from Google.

Frequently Asked Questions

1 What can you learn from attribution reports?

Attribution reports help a marketer understand the priority of different touch points in a sales funnel. Based on the insights determined by attribution model you can optimise your marketing investments.

2 What is an attribution model in google Analytics?

In Google Analytics an attribution model is the rule or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths. For example, the Last Interaction model in Analytics assigns 100% credit to the final touch points (i.e., clicks) that immediately precede sales or conversions. In contrast, the First Interaction model maps 100% credit to touch points that initiate conversion paths.


3 What is Attribution? What is the meaning of Attribution?

In a generic sense, attribution is the act of giving that credit where it is due. It is essentially acknowledging that something has taken place due to work of a particular person or thing.

In marketing, attribution is the act of identifying and giving credit to a particular marketing activity that resulted in sales increase or helped you achieve a marketing objective.


In digital marketing, attribution helps you assign credit for sales and conversions to touchpoints in conversion paths. Attribution helps you prioritise between paid & organic search, email, affiliate marketing, display ads, social media and more.

4 What is Marketing Attribution?

In marketing, attribution is the act of identifying and giving credit to a particular marketing activity that resulted in sales increase or helped you achieve a marketing objective.

Marketers deploy several marketing and promotion campaigns to influence the sales. Attribution helps you quantify the impact of each marketing actions on a consumers decision to buy your product.

Understanding of the causes of increase in sales helps you optimise your marketing budget as you can deploy it to activities that generate higher ROI.

Therefore attribution is something which is constantly under scrutiny. However, in traditional marketing, it was quite difficult to identify real causes of the sales increase.

5 What is an Attribution Model? What is the process of Attribution?

An attribution model is the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.

For an Example:
A customer finds your site by clicking one of your AdWords ads. She returns one week later by clicking over from a social network. That same day, she comes back a third time via one of your email campaigns, and a few hours later, she returns again directly and makes a purchase.

  • In Last Interaction model icon In the Last Interaction attribution model, the last touchpoint—in this case, the Direct channel—would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.
  • In the Last Non-Direct Click attribution model, all direct traffic is ignored, and 100% of the credit for the sale goes to the last channel that the customer clicked through from before converting—in this case, the Email channel.
  • In the Last AdWords Click attribution model, the last AdWords click—in this case, the first and only click to the Paid Search channel —would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.
  • In the First Interaction attribution model, the first touchpoint—in this case, the Paid Search channel—would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.
  • In the Linear attribution model, each touchpoint in the conversion path—in this case the Paid Search, Social Network, Email, and Direct channels—would share equal credit (25% each) for the sale.
  • In the Time Decay attribution model, the touchpoints closest in time to the sale or conversion get most of the credit. In this particular sale, the Direct and Email channels would receive the most credit because the customer interacted with them within a few hours of conversion. The Social Network channel would receive less credit than either the Direct or Email channels. Since the Paid Search interaction occurred one week earlier, this channel would receive significantly less credit.
  • In the Position Based attribution model, 40% credit is assigned to each the first and last interaction, and the remaining 20% credit is distributed evenly to the middle interactions. In this example, the Paid Search and Direct channels would each receive 40% credit, while the Social Network and Email channels would each receive 10% credit.






















The focus of marketing is slowly shifting towards digital. I have heard people talking about how digital marketing is so much superior to traditional marketing.

Some say digital marketing is going to eclipse traditional marketing, then some say both are going to coexist.

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Difference between TV and the internet was how far you sat from the screen. TV was an 8 foot activity, and you were a consumer. The internet was a 16 inch activity, and you participated. I think the sitting down thing is similar. You’re not going to buy an armoir while standing on the subway.
Seth Godin

Is there a merit in discussing Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing.

Or if the history is repeating itself (Time in history when electronic media took it wings and print media started losing its dominance) this time with the evolution of digital marketing.

Just like Print & TV, are we moving towards the convergence of the two?

In a survey of over 330 organizations, 98% of respondents said that offline (traditional) and online marketing are merging.(3)

The above statement from Interaction 2017 report says a lot. It is not about Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing, but about the convergence of the two. To be successful, a marketer needs to leverage the two to build their value proposition and consumer experience.

We are seeing changes in underlying technologies in both hardware and software that are advancing us from the Information Age to the Intelligence Age.(1)

The above is happening at a rapid pace. IoT is something which is driving the above and it is going to revolutionise the marketing in future.

It is all about consumer

As a marketer, my decisions will always be driven by consumer needs.

I believe that consumers today hardly compartmentalizes between digital or traditional media. For them these are touch-points. Their needs and demands determine their interaction with the media.

Therefore, As a marketer why would you consider or deploy them separately?

Deployment of a marketing strategy should encompass both digital and traditional marketing techniques to help you meet consumer demand.

Therefore, you need to think digital when you make your marketing plans. However, when I say think digital what I mean is that you must include digital in your marketing communication plans and use it to take better decisions of your traditional marketing techniques.

The unending debate

You must be wondering:

If consumer does not care about the difference between digital and traditional marketing, then why everyone is always talking about Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing.

Why the debate?

Well, the reason is within our sales and marketing organisations.

Our marketing teams still live in silos, therefore to accommodate them our marketing strategy and process also still lives in the dark ages.

While several large organizations just focus on Traditional marketing methods. New generation startups put a lot of energy in digital marketing practices.

Look at ubiquitous giants like Google or Apple, these brands are investing in both traditional & digital marketing methods.

For consumers digital or traditional media are a way to achieve their ends. Therefore, both traditional media and conventional media must coexist.

Both need to support each other to enable the consumer take an informed decision.

Rapid Growth of Digital Media

This is another reason due to which Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing debate is unending.

As per Interaction 2017(1) Digital media is growing faster than traditional media. In 2016, digital marketing methods captured 72 cents of every new ad dollar and TV 21 cents. In 2017 this is projected to be 77 to 17.

However, what you must note is that digital is still not as big as traditional TV –  yet.

The share of TV advertising was 42% in 2016 and is projected to be 41% in 2017. The share of digital marketing is 30.7% in 2016 and is expected to go up to 33% in 2017.


Digital marketing media is growing with small-sized advertisers and thereby winning share from traditional marketing media. However, the large advertisers are still not using it as they should.

Digital marketing media will take some time before it starts to gain share from big advertisers, who still prefer traditional marketing media for building the brand. This is primarily happening as big advertisers want to have control over the content where their brands are featuring.

Big Advertisers have been concerned about the quality issues digital marketing media have been posing advertisers of late.

Why CMO’s Need to Become the Digital Evengalists

As per a McKinsey survey,(8) marketing and distribution are the primary focus of organisational digital drive. Almost 49% of companies have reported investment in digital for marketing and distribution.

Consumer adoption of digital is growing at a rapid pace. Therefore, it is quite sensible that organisations are using it for customer interactions and marketing.

As a CMO, you can help other members of the management team understand and adopt digital and help your organisation stay ahead of the competition.

Focus of Companies Forward Looking Digital Strategies
Focus of Companies Forward Looking Digital Strategies

Why CMO’s need to focus on Convergence

Consider a consumer buying cycle. A customer goes through several stages before she makes her mind.

As per a research by McKinsey,(5) proliferation of media and products requires marketers to find new ways to get their brands included in the initial-consideration set that consumers develop as they begin their purchasing decision journey.

Mckinsey also concluded that due to the shift away from one-way communication—from marketers to consumers—toward a two-way conversation, marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth.

Therefore as a CMO, you need to align all the elements of marketing. Your marketing strategy, investments, channel selection and messaging should be tuned to the consumer’s decision journey.

Technology Focus of CMO’s

Market Research firm Gartner(2) predicted that by 2017 a company’s chief marketing officer would be spending more on technology than the chief information officer.


That seems to be on track. Take a look at this infographic talking about technology spending in 2016 from Gartner.

The focus of CMO’s technology spends are in the following three areas:

  1. Website
  2. Digital Commerce
  3. Digital Advertising

Their investment in the three areas is driven by increasing convergence of traditional marketing methods and digital marketing methods.

In a survey of over 330 organizations, 98% of respondents said that offline (traditional) and online marketing are merging.(3)

Both types of marketing activities are increasingly being deployed to achieve short-term business and long-term consumer experience objectives.

How CMO’s can Leverage the Convergence

If you are a CMO either you will be scared of what is going to happen in the future, or you will just love the change.

Marketers need to be on the lookout for the upcoming innovations. You will be seeing several new business models, methods and what not.

It is not possible for me to predict what all you are going to witness, however below are some things which will cause significant disruption:

1 Knowledge: Learn from Others

Digitization has started transforming industries. However, different industries are at different stages of digital adoption.

Therefore if you are a CMO of a less digitally evolved company, you can connect with a non-competing Industries CMO and learn from them.

Degree of Digitisation Across Sectors
Degree of Digitisation Across Sectors

2 Data: Leveraging Big Data

Savvy marketers always looked into the data for consumer insights, product inspiration, consumer trends. It did not matter to them what the form was. However, the data available to marketers was pretty limited.

Most of the data available came in only after significant investment was already done in communication or in the product launch through market research.

With the digital data gathering techniques and analytics, now marketers can track complex behavioral data. Now they have access to something they have never imagined. At times they know more about the consumer than the consumer knows about himself.

This behavioural data is popularly known as Big Data.

The real benefit of Convergence between traditional marketing methods and online marketing methods will happen primarily with big data. With data and convergence, companies can decide what to communicate to a consumer at a specific life stage.

3 Content: Leveraging Consumers information needs

You need to ensure that your organization is tuned to such a requirement.

As a CMO, if you can do it, you will be able to connect with your consumer in the right place at the right time with the right message. It does not matter if it is a Traditional marketing method or digital marketing method.

Convergence of Traditional and Digital Marketing enables Consumers Buying Process
Convergence of Traditional and Digital Marketing enables Consumers Buying Process

What the above just means:

Depending on the stage of the purchase process, consumer have different types of questions. While in the awareness stage consumer establishes need of a specific type of solution, in the decision stage he actively evaluates different brands.

Therefore different touch points come into picture during this process. As a Brand, if you seamlessly manage these touch-points, the chances are that the customer will choose you.

You know what happens if you lose touch with her during this process.

As a marketer, you need to consider purchase funnel and activate communication tools that help you close the loop.

This is where the convergence between digital marketing media and traditional marketing media come in picture.

4 Brand Messaging: Leveraging Insights of Traditional Marketing

John Wanamaker, a marketing pioneer, famously said:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

John is not alive today. However, if he were, he would have got his answer today with digital. Today marketing is no longer a guesstimate. With digital marketing, it has become a scientific process to deliver superior results. Cause and effect analysis is much easier to attribute to strategies and actions.

However, the question remains: What to communicate to motivate a consumer to take desired actions?

I am sure that you have also heard the story that the human attention span is reducing(6).

Attention Span Statistics Data
The average attention span of 2015 8.25 seconds
The average attention span in 2000 12 seconds
The average attention span of a goldfish 9 seconds
Percent of teens who forget major details of close friends and relatives 25%
Percent of people who forget their own birthdays from time to time 7%
Average number of times per hour an office worker checks their email inbox 30
Average length watched of a single internet video 2.7 minutes

Well, I am not going to get into the debate of whether it is true or not. I think is it childish to say 8 or 9 or 12 seconds. However, what no one can undeniably say that we have indeed become impatient.

This is where Digital marketing can leverage a lot from traditional marketing expertise. For decades, traditional marketers have mastered the art of emotional messaging as they were plagued with what John said.

To reduce the wastage, they spend a lot of resources to understand consumers. Their focus and understanding of the consumer is something that is an invaluable piece of expertise.

Just imagine the possibilities a CMO has today. They can connect with a customer just at the right time with the right messages, helping them make an informed decision in seconds.

5 Showrooming: Leveraging convergence at point of sale

Showrooming is a phenomenon which is here to stay.

showrooming-benefit from it

Whether marketers like it or not this is how consumers function today. I can bet that you also do showrooming, so why bother about it when someone else does it with your brand.

If you get your act right, you will provide your prospective consumer delightful experience at both points of sale and online.

Can you count on your fingertips, the number of competitors you have got. Please do not cheat yourself, do count all large and small; well-known brands and regional brands; established brands and start-ups. I can bet, you might end up counting 10 to 20 names depending on the industry you operate.

Now, look at this piece of data. At the start of a purchasing process, consumers generally have 2 or 3 or max 5 brands in their consideration set.


So be happy that the consumer is showrooming and you are actually in his consideration set.

Thank god for that!

Also do not hate him so much for looking at the competition.

Also do not stop here.

6 Consumer: They are building your Brand


Embrace Convergence between Traditional Marketing and Digital Marketing

Go ahead and make sure that you:

  • Provide the benefits of digital technology at your retail store
  • Provide him free wi-fi
  • Ensure your website loads in less than 3 seconds
  • Ensure you have provided all the product details
  • And you have shopping cart enabled with all kind of payment options.
  • And at last, please, please make sure that you have consistent pricing. Pricing is a deal breaker. No consumer will pay you a dime extra to buy the same product at retail. If your pricing is different, believe me, your prospective customer will feel cheated and take their business to your competition.

So do you agree with me or you want me to say more?

So here is the deal:

Recent research(7) conducted by First Data shows that consumers have a keen interest in blending and coordinating activities across online, offline, and mobile settings. These customers are mainly interested in self-checkout using their cell phones, and in receiving special offers when near a store. One-third of consumers surveyed indicated their desire for a seamless shopping experience, meaning any transaction, on any device, at any time.

83% of respondents agreed that they want companies to do a better job of merging online and offline experiences.

So what else you can do to:

Have you heard about iBeacons? This is a Bluetooth technology that can provide location-based offers on specific product ranges.

How Can Marketers Embrace Convergence?

Convergence is happening in consumers life, and it is not going to stop. However, please note that customer is not looking for convergence but convenience. They care a damn about it.

As a CMO you must care about convergence and embrace it. CMO’s and companies that can embrace the convergence of traditional marketing and digital marketing will come out on the top. So How can marketers embrace the convergence of digital and traditional marketing:

  • Understand who is your audience. Can you define their persona?
  • Find how and where they spend their time online and offline. It is essential to know users behavioural traits.
  • Ensure seamless consumer experience between off and use to drive actions.
  • Spread out your calls to action between the physical and the digital world.
  • Take advantage of technology.
  • Build relationships with influencers. You need to connect with influential bloggers.
  • Engage with consumers, create content that helps them make informed decisions.
  • Observe and leverage emerging consumer trends.

References & Source

  1. Interaction 2017 by Group M
  3. How to benefit from the convergence of traditional and digital marketing, Digital Marketing Institute
  4. Google’s bad week: YouTube loses millions as advertising row reaches US, The Guardian
  5. The consumer decision journey. By David Court, Dave Elzinga, Susan Mulder, and Ole Jørgen Vetvik. McKinsey
  6. Attention Span Statistic.
  7. Online-Offline Convergence
  8. The case for digital reinvention, McKinsey Quarterly




















Customers from all walks of life look for ways to simplify their life by subscribing to services or goods that they need on a regular basis. Therefore subscriptions and recurring payments have become part and parcel of our busy lives. If you are looking for a recurring payment gateway to receive subscription payment from your customers in India or overseas, read on.

This article will help you identify ways to collect money on an auto mode. This Auto Mode is a monthly subscription and recurring payment system enabled by subscription payment processors.

What is Recurring Payment (Recurring Payment meaning)

Recurring Payments are a type of transaction that allows the merchant to process multiple authorizations for the same buyer. Recurring payment can be either multiple payments for a fixed amount or repeated billings.

Global Digital service providers such as MailChimp, Aweber, AWS, etc. have been offering services where a user pays for subscription of the services on a monthly or quarterly or yearly basis.

Service providers based outside India charge in US$. Their payment processors charge a subscriber on a regular interval without any intervention from the service provider.

Such an automatic subscription fee payment facility was not possible for Indian service providers. In India, a buyer needs to authenticate payments with the second factor of authentication.

Recurring Payment Processing in India

The situation in India is a little tricky as we have 2FA (Two-factor authentication) system for online payment processing. Therefore you need a specialised recurring billing payment processor in India. Recurring payment processors enables online payment without OTP.

All of us in India have gotten used to OTP (One-time Passwords) to authorise any online transaction. Therefore, when we are exposed to the one-click transaction on, we think it is some particular application of Amazon, which enables them to do it.

Have you noticed that on one click transaction facility does not exist.

Startups building subscription-based business models look for best payment gateway for recurring billing. In this article, I will answer the following questions that you may have.

  • How to do credit card payment without OTP for my SAAS business.
  • How to enable Bebit card payment without OTP for my online grocery business.
  • On which payment processor can I accept recurring credit card payments.
  • How to charge a subscription fee on a regular basis on an online payment processor without OTP.
  • Is it possible to collect credit card recurring payments in India?
  • How to take recurring payments online

While others, who have explored payment gateways or bankers believe that OTP is a must and an online transaction cannot be done in India without it.

This impacts the viability of e Commerce businesses who want to provide subscription-based services for their SAAS application or magazines or even products in India.

Have you noticed that Amazon India’s subscription model does not have prepayment facility? You have to opt for Cash on delivery necessarily.

Therefore, if Amazon India is not able to do it what can you do as a start-up business.

RELATED ARTICLE : Top 10 Payment Gateways in 2017 – Choose the Best for your Business


The need for Subscription and Recurring Payments System

Subscription vs One Time Payment

When we buy a product or service, we pay for it. Most of the time we pay for it once and it can be done online through a payment gateway. Several such payment gateways exist and one can use them to grow their business.

However, today we encounter several business models when you might need to pay at a regular interval. For example for your Netflix subscription or your online newspaper subscription. With a subscription and recurring payments system need for manual intervention by customers cease to exist. A customer can authorise its bank to make automatic payment for such services or products thereby saving a lot of time. For businesses, it is a great proposition as they do not need to follow up with customers on a regular basis.

How Recurring Payment Processing Works:

  • A customer buys or signs up for a product or service online through a payment gateway.
  • The customer agrees to pay for the services or product at a regular interval.
    • Generally, such intervals are weekly, fortnightly, monthly and even yearly.
  • Customer provides his payment details such as Credit card or Debit Card while making the first payment.
    • In India, at this juncture, he also provides an OTP.
    • International customers or payment processors do not require an OTP for any transaction.
  • The payment details and authorisation are recorded by the payment gateway (and not by the merchant).
    • As the bank approves any transaction, Subscription and recurring payment gateway service providers have a pre-arrangements with the banks for offering such a facility.
  • At the time of subscription renewal, merchants subscription system sends a request to the payment gateway for payment. Based on previous authorisation payment gateway secures the transaction and remits the money to the merchant.

Recurring Payment Gateway In India

After a lot of research I have found Seven payment gateways providing Recurring Subscription payments in India:

1 CCAvenues recurring Payments:

CCAvenue Recurring Payments
CCAvenue Recurring Payments

CCAvenue offers recurring Invoice processing. For the processing to happen, the merchant needs to set up a recurring invoice once along with its schedule. CCAvenue will automatically generate and send them out weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually as per the schedule created by the merchant. The merchant can also add payment terms, invoice items, tasks, descriptions, and taxes, etc.

2 Razorpay recurring payment

razorpay recurring payment
Razorpay recurring payment

Razorpay: With Razorpay a merchant can collect recurring payments in India or abroad. This happens without manual intervention of the merchant or the customer. Below is the process flow of how Razorpay does this:

  • A subscriber signs up on the merchant site for the subscription and selects a payment plan.
  • At the time of the first payment, the customer fills up the card details and agrees to apply for recurring payment through a checkbox.
  • If the customer has an Indian issued credit card, the first transaction will go through a standard 2FA flow (OTP / Mastercard Secure password / Verified by Visa Password)
  • If an international customer, the transaction will go through without 2FA.
  • Through backend APIs, at the initiation of the transaction, merchant automatically let Razorpay know transaction specifics such as amount, schedule and the duration of the recurring plan.
  • Razorpay deducts the amount automatically (without any intervention from the customer) on the specified date from the customer’s credit card and sends them a confirmation of the same.
  • To use this service you need to reach-out to Razorpay team through this form.

Razorpay recurring payment Charges

  • Standard Transaction fee for Payment Gateway:
    • 2% per transaction on Indian Credit Cards, Indian Debit Cards, Net Banking from 58 Banks, UPI, Wallets including Freecharge, Mobikwik etc.
    • 3% per transaction Diners and Amex Cards, International Cards, EMI
    • *GST as applicable on fee.
    • One-Time Setup Fee: ₹ 0.00
    • No setup fee
    • Annual Maintenance Fee: ₹ 0.00
  • Additional Charges on Subscription: 0.9% Charged as an addon to every payment made towards a Subscription with Automated billing.

3 Paypal Recurring Payments

paypal recurring payments
Paypal recurring payments

An estimated 200 million global users leverage PayPal to accept online payments. Paypal controls over 35% of the global payment volume. Naturally it is a great choice to receive payments for memberships, content site subscriptions, newsletter fees, club dues and installment plans by adding a Subscribe button to your website.

4 LotusPay subscription payment processing

LotusPay subscription payment processing
LotusPay subscription payment processing

LatusPay is a dedicated subscription payment processing platform. It enables you to accept recurring payments online in an easy and transparent manner. You can automatically collect recurring payments from your customer’s bank account using NACH Debit eMandates (eNACH) and physical mandates.

When you use their service you do not need any cheques, cards or digital wallets. You can manage all your customers, plans, subscriptions, payments and settlements in its simple dashboard.

How Lotuspay works

Its NACH platform gives you simple dashboards, REST APIs and mobile SDKs for you to manage your customers, plans, subscriptions, mandates, payments and settlements. Your customers authorise NACH Debit Mandates for direct debit of their bank accounts. Kotuspay collects the funds securely and payout to you quickly and affordably.

LotusPay Charges

Standard charges are: 1% Per successful transaction.

  • Max fee Rs 50, min fee Rs 5.
  • No monthly fee.
  • No setup fee.
  • + applicable GST taxes

5 PayTM Subscription

PayTM enables subscription payment flows enabling a merchant to collect recurring payments from customers without explicitly going through entire re-purchase flow. This flow is used for services/products which are consumed on an ongoing basis and payments are made periodically by the customer.

UPI will change the Recurring Subscription Payments Scenario

In India, debit and credit cards are the primary medium of a digital transaction of subscription payments. However, with UPI all this will change. UPI (Unified Payments Interface) will be a lot smoother for recurring payments as it allows pull-based transactions.

With UPI, a merchant just needs to initiate a transaction from their side to debit a recurring subscription payment. Once the demand is there, the subscriber will receive the request to authenticate with an m-PIN. Making it much more seamless without requiring the need of a bank account or credit card details.

UPI will allow a customer to stay in charge of the transaction he wants to approve. Recurring subscription payments, which happens only on credit card today may start happening on debit cards as well.

Hope now you understand the recurring payment model. Any doubts & questions are welcome. Just leave your question in the comments.


Here are hand-picked articles to read next:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 What is Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA), which is also known as two-step verification, is a mechanism to build an additional layer of security in online transactions.

To make an online payment the user needs to provide two authentication factors to verify their identification.

In contrast, the single-factor authentication (SFA), a user just needs to provide only one factor typically the CVV number on their credit or debit card.

In the case of the two-factor authentication, a user provides his CVV number and a password or an OTP (one-time password) to verify that he is the one who is doing the transaction.

With the introduction of Two-factor authentication (2FA), it was difficult for attackers to do a fraudulent online transaction.

In fact, as a consumer, I like two-factor authentication. It adds to my peace of mind when I do online transactions. But yes, as a merchant it is somewhat of a disadvantage compared to the single-factor authentication.

Q2 Why 2FA was hindering Recurring Subscription payments in India

Indian vendors could not charge their customers for subscription with an India issued debit or credit card as the second transaction required re-verification again from the subscriber.

Therefore, most of them went ahead with International payment gateways such as Paypal and stripe to receive the payment. International payment gateways charged the user in US$ or any other foreign currency. As these payment gateways were based outside India, 2FA was not applicable to it.

Q3 Is RBI not allowing Recurring Subscription Payment

Please note that recurring subscription payment is not banned by the RBI. In fact, it is very much possible. However, Banks and payment gateways are not offering such services. It is a belief that allowing the single-factor authentication (SFA) could lead to an associated risk of chargebacks which could be very expensive.

So why is single-factor authentication not common in India? Because the Indian banks think it is too risky. Never mind that the whole world is okay with it.

Q4 What is the difference between one-time payment and recurring payment?

When we buy a product or service, we pay for it. Most of the time we pay for it once and it can be done online through a payment gateway. Several such payment gateways exist and one can use them to grow their business.

However, today we encounter several business models when you might need to pay at a regular interval. For example for your Netflix subscription or your online newspaper subscription. With a subscription and recurring payments system need for manual intervention by customers cease to exist. A customer can authorise its bank to make automatic payment for such services or products thereby saving a lot of time. For businesses, it is a great proposition as they do not need to follow up with customers on a regular basis.




In the digital world things are changing all the time. Technology has been the driving force for all these changes. During the past several decades brands and branding were the focus of Businesses to build market leadership.

How about now?

Like several other are you also wondering?

If Brands & Branding can still help you build your business in the Digital World?

Several years ago Niall Fitzgerald, Chairman of Unilever said:

“Brand is a storehouse of trust that matters more and more as choices multiply. People want to simplify their lives.”

What Niall said years back is much more relevant in the digital age today. Our choices have simply exploded as the entire world is at our fingertips.

So if what Niall said is true Brands have a much bigger role to play today.

I believe that in the digital age:

Strong brands and consumer bonds are much stronger than before. If the two can leverage each other it will be a much better world.

Did you notice that I said three things above:

  • Strong Brands: Several Brands operate in their niche and much more connected with their users. These brands have started leveraging the power of technology to form one on one connect with their users.
  • Consumer Bonds: Consumers are much more connected with their community. Their community is no more just their family and friends. Today they are connected with unknown people and are leveraging this bond.
  • Leveraging each other: To succeed Brands and consumers needs to leverage each other. This is where Branding program of Brands have a major role to play.


Communicating your Brand Story to Build your Business

For years, marketers wanted to communicate their brand story in full glory to each and every consumer. To communicate such a story it was essential to have an consistent & authentic messaging and voice.

Marketers always loved the idea of direct or one on one communication with consumers, that is why TV or press were the primary medium of communication.

However, one on one connect was simply not possible.

Brand communication used to be a one-way process.

Consumers were suspicious of brands as most of the marketing messages at the point of sales used to be delivered by frontline salespeople. The consumer always felt that most of these messages are fake.

However, today technology is enabling marketers to communicate a cohesive brand story about its vision and purpose.

The Branding efforts from Brands on digital are seen with a lot of trust as a consumer can hear it directly from Brands.

Today brands can develop content which can help a consumer all through their buying process. Such a Content is authentic, contextual and compelling.


Just imagine, how powerful that is.

Digital gives you the opportunity to break the clutter and connect with your audience when they want and where they want. This connection allows you to tell your brand story and build a bond with them.

Branding in the Digital World

Your Brand building process or Branding is much more than selling a product online or offline. Philip Kotler explained this in the book “Kellogg on Branding“:

“Branding is much more than attaching a name to an offering. It is about making a certain promise to customers about delivering a fulfilling experience and a level of performance. Therefore, branding requires that everyone in the supply chain – from product development to manufacturing to marketing to sales to distribution – works to carry out the promise. This is what is meant by “living the brand”. The brand becomes the whole platform for planning, designing and delivering superior value to the company’s target customers.”

Unlike offline world, you communicate your brand story online in the imagery and words you use on your website or social media. This is what influences your stakeholders.

Horowitz, the bestselling author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things recommends that to succeed you should refine your story, your thinking and the company’s strategy. He says that:

The mistake people make is thinking the story is just about marketing. No, the story is the strategy. If you make your story better, you make the strategy better.

Therefore your branding effort should communicate your strategy. Your branding efforts are expressed by everything you do. Here are the things you must do to ensure that your branding efforts help you build your business:

1. Communicate why you exist

Your Brand is a living thing. Just like your customers evolve your products and brand also evolve.

So how does your Brand evolve. It evolves with your people, both internally and externally across your whole ecosystem.

If you can empower them to freely express their ideas, they will build an insightful innovative system to build a living brand.

What it simply means is that, you can’t build a great brand anymore, instead you need to build a great company, all the way through, from the inside out and your customers will do the rest.

So how do you do that. You do that by adding an eighth P called Purpose as a core to the 7P’s of marketing mix.



Purpose is from your customer’s perspective. It is your Brand idea. It is central to your brand essence or promise and infuses through everything – your people, process, product, in fact, everything you say and do, internally and externally, forever.

Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”


What it simply means is that your branding efforts should be driven by your story. Your story and strategy should define external communication.People want to hear why you do a particular thing and those who share your vision do business with you.

This story attracts your audience who share your values, and these people ultimately become your brand ambassador helping you grow the business and succeed.

See this branding campaign from Patagonia. where they say:

“Don’t buy this jacket”

As an outdoor retailer, they know their consumer is environmentally sensitive. With this campaign they tried to tell them that producing a jacket consumes huge amout of natural resources and pollutes the environment.

The ad reads (The environmental cost of everything we make is astonishing. Consider the R2 Jacket shown, one of our best sellers. To make it required 135 liters of water, enough to meet the daily needs (three glasses a day) of 45 people. Its journey from its origin as 60% recycled polyester to our Reno warehouse generated nearly 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, 24 times the weight of the finished product. This jacket left behind, on its way to Reno, two-thirds its weight in waste.)


2. Consistency is the key

Digital media allows you to be consistent across the touchpoints. As a marketer you control everything, and you can ensure that you activate all the channels simultaneously.

Thank You Mom Campaign by PGG. Source Adforum
Thank You Mom Campaign by PGG. Source Adforum

3. Sell your story and not just product

In the digital world every information is at your customer’s fingertips. You need not just look for short term sales; you need brand advocates. Brand advocates are attracted when they can see what you do for them. Therefore you need to communicate your story while selling along. This is what happens when you share your story.

Consider below TOMS one for one campaign. This brand was founded in 2006. In just 10 years it is already a major player in its segment. Blake Mycoskie converted his passion into a successful business idea while supporting the society. One for One®, has become a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased.


4. Digital Storytelling: Convert your consumers into Brand Ambassadors

Your story becomes more powerful when your consumers share it with others. As part of your branding efforts look for ways in which you can enable your consumers to do so. Build your Brand strategy to leverage Word of Mouth and user-generated content.

With technology it has become easy for brands to comminicate such stories. These stories are inspiring and communicates the persona of the brand. Digital Storytelling, which is a new practice of sharing a story with digital tools, has been gaining popularity among Brands.

What is Digital Storytelling

Technology has transformed the ancient art of storytelling. Today Brands are creating stories with digital tools and are adding drama to it with scanned images, videos and sound to bring alive past and create a compelling story. See below the story of Joy with Ultimate Driving Machine, BMW.

Here is an example of Uber and its customer referral program. Under this program Uber gave its loyal customers opportunity to earn a reward. The rewards accrue to a customer only when their friends enrolled to become a customer.

Referral programs work well when you ask a customer to refer someone to your brand. In such recommendations your customer is using their social equity to drive your brand. Their friend try your product not due to your brand equity but due to referrers social equity.

What’s more:

When referres friend become a customer and your original referres gets a reward, this reaffirms their original trust in your business.



Branding efforts help you build the strong brands.

So What is a Strong Brand

Is there a Brand you or your wife or your family or friends recommend to others.

What soap/perfume does your wife swear by?

Does she actively recommend that to friends and acquaintances?

Or perhaps your husband recommends a specific pub or drink? Maybe a Starbucks fan?

If there is a brand name like that in your mind right now, that name is likely to be a strong brand.

Why is that a strong brand? It is because of your association with it, you are its Brand Ambassador.

And if this brand has many such advocates or admirers or evangelists, it is likely to be a strong brand.

Strong brands are not built by marketers. Strong brands are built by consumers or customers like you and me.

Therefore, to become a strong brand a brand needs to have evangelists.

Therefore, the sign of a strong brand is how much loyalty or preference it commands.

Harley Davidson is a great brand because Harley Davidson motorcycle owners rarely switch to another brand.

Building Strong Brands & How Branding helps you build your Business

Building Strong Brands & How Branding helps you build your Business
Harley Davidson CEO Matt Levatich, riding a Harley outside the Singapore Office.

Therefore a strong brand may be defined as:

A brand name to which sets of unique, relevant and motivating emotional and functional benefits have become attached.”

Therefore a brand is the set of emotions that people associate as a result of their experience with its a product, service or idea. These experiences are build over time due to various marketing strategies called branding.

Brands that are able to achieve resonance and affinity with their customers would be able to reap a host of valuable benefits, such as greater price premiums, more efficient and effective marketing programs.


Attributes of a Strong Brand

As per Kevin Lene Keller (The Brand Report Card, Harvard Business Review, January 1, 2000) the best Global Brands share 10 attributes. These brands:

  • Excel at delivering the benefits consumers truly desire.
  • Stay relevant.
  • Have a pricing strategy that is based on consumer perception of value.
  • Are properly positioned.
  • Are consistent.
  • Have portfolio and hierarchy that makes sense.
  • Make use of and coordinate a full repertoire of marketing activities to build equity.
  • Have managers, who understand what the brand means to consumers.
  • Are given proper, sustained support.
  • Monitor sources of brand equity.

What Kevin said above almost 2 decades back is significant as it defines what it takes to build a strong brand.

How to build a strong Brand

There is a model way of building strong brands. This was summarised by Young and Rubicam (Y&R) and is known as Brand Asset Valuator™ model.

Y&R’s work was based on work that was conducted with over 35,000 brands over 30 years. The objective was to identify what differentiates brands that are successfully able to develop and maintain as a strong brand, versus those that are not.

This work shows four ‘pillars’ of brand strength. Successful brands are built on these four pillars:

  • Differentiation (as established by the brand’s position and essence): Brands that are differentiated are unique in the eyes of the customer.
  • Relevance (being personally appropriate to the individual): Brands that are relevant are useful to consumers and fulfil their requirements.
  • Esteem (being held in high regard): Brands that are high in esteem have badge value. Simply by owning these brands, an owner can command prestige in the society.
  • Knowledge (the intimate understanding of the brand and what it stands for): Brands with high knowledge have high brand awareness and almost everyone knows what it is and stands for.

Y&R put that in the form of a grid, called Y&R Brand PowerGrid.

The Y&R Brand PowerGrid

The Y&R brand PowerGrid
The Y&R brand PowerGrid

If you look closely and follow the two arrows it is clear that brands that are:

New or unfocussed brands:

New or unfocussed brands do not have any unique reputation in the minds of a consumer. Their product or services are generally in low demand, even if they are providing pre-existing services already in the market. These brands do not bestow any badge value to its user and awareness of such brands is low. incase a brad is offering an

Emerging Brands or Strong Brands of tomorrow

Emerging Brands or Strong Brands of tomorrow first build the differentiation followed by relevance. If you consider in today’s age of technology several this is true to a great extent. Just recall how technology brands such as Apple or HP or Dell or Facebook or Google became so big. When they started off their product has little or low demand, but their product was unique and differentiated.

Leader or Strong Brands

Strong Brands exhibit high level of uniqueness (differentiation), demand from consumer (relevance), badge value (esteem) and awareness & Top of Mind recall (Knowledge). Once again think of technology brands such as Apple, Facebook or Google. All these brands can be classified as strong brands.

Eroding Brands

Brands that are losing their strength are those which stat to lose their uniqueness (differentiation) or demand from consumer (relevance). These brands may still have high level of esteem or knowledge existing in the market. Can you recall Nokia or Blackberry. These two brands are a great example of eroding brands.

How to apply Y&R’s Model to build your brands

Brand building is an activity which does not happen in isolation. If you the Brand custodian in any industry it important to know in which quadrant you or your competitors are.

Once you know that you can deploy marketing programs which help you move to the right top quadrat or help you stay there.

You can also effectively predict how your competitors will behave.

For example a small emerging player will try to bring a truly differentiared niche product or service for which latent potential exists in the marketplace.

Other brands who are losing differentiation are likely to start a price war.

Depending on where you are, you can priorities your action and build your brand.

The process of building strong brand is branding.

What is Branding?

Well, Branding is one subject that is on the minds of all my clients.

While startups ask me What is Branding; my other well placed corporate clients ask me how Branding can add value to their business.

Here is the deal:

The definition of branding answers it all:

In Laymen terms,

Branding is the process of building reputation of your Brand.

Branding helps you add value to your offering in the minds of consumer.

It is is all about helping people to know, understand and want your offering (product, service, idea). It is the process of making your products, services and your company known, preferred and wanted. In short

Branding is the practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.

A well-built brand gives the company or product personality, and evokes emotional and subliminal characteristics that are not necessarily found in the company or product themselves.

For Example imagine if you are given two translucent envelopes both carrying soap. What value you associate with them when you open them:

Envelope 1: A bar of white color soap.
Envelope 2: A packaged bar of soap with the following description written on it “Dove Beauty Soap.”

Brand vs. Branding

Most of my clients get confused between Brand and Branding. For most of them Brand and Branding are one and the same.

Brand is a Noun. It is a Marketing Tool. Your brand is the result of the branding effort. Your brand describes:

  • Who you are and
  • What you do
  • How do you do it
  • It is how people identify, know and remember you.


Branding is a Verb. It is the act of creating a Brand. It is a Brand Development process. Branding helps you build a unique name and image for your product or service in the consumers mind and marketplace.

Branding as a process help you

  • Carve out a position you want to own
  • Devise Brand Strategy
  • Your Visual Identity such a logo, packaging, messaging tonality, colour theme etc.
  • Branding helps you define what you want to achieve with an advertising campaign.

Why Branding is Important

Branding involves creating mental structures and helping consumers organize their knowledge about products and services in a way that clarifies their decision making and in the process provides value to the firm.

The key to branding is that consumer’s perceive differences among brands in a specific product category. Marketers can take benefit from this differentiation. Therefore branding is able to drive market leadership. Philip Kotler explained this in the book Kellogs on Branding:

“The power of creative Branding is visible to all. We are drawn to Starbucks, Harley-Davidson, Coca-Cola, Apple, Singapore Airlines, Heinz, and Gillette. These companies have learned how to make their brands live in the customer’s minds and hearts.”

Presence of a well-known strong brand dramatically affects how people see a product or service. If people see a premium brand they will likely to see the product associatde as high quality, exclusive, and expensive.

In case of a discount label, they will perceive the item as a low quality and cheap. Powerful brands can drive success in competitive and financial markets, and indeed become the organization’s most valuable assets.

Do you know that at the start of a purchasing process, consumers generally have 2 or 3 or max 5 brands in their consideration set.


Therefore to succeed, it is a must that you are a Brand in Top-of-Mind of a consumer, otherwise chances are that your consumer will not select you.

Powerful brands can drive success in competitive and financial markets, and indeed become the organization’s most valuable assets.

Branding Challenges

Branding is NOT easy.

It is not just about giving a name or attractive logo or slogan. It is one of the most challenging tasks a you will ever face. If you are able to manage these challenges you will be able tobuild your brand.

These challenges are also known as “three C’s of Branding”.

Challenge 1: Cash

The challenge of cash, or dealing with short term financial concern, is the biggest single challenge brand leaders face. It is driven by a very simple conundrum:

  • Executives needs to deliver short term financial results, but brands are long term assets.

Executives who deliver quarterly profits are rewarded. However all of a brand’s value resides in the future and the current financial returns are actually a very small part of the total.

However if a manager is forced to choose between investing in a brand and missing a short term financial targets, most managers choose to hit the shorter term numbers. This is usually a career optimizing decision. This ultimately leads to “branding doom loop”.

The doom loop begins with a manager struggling to deliver a short term profit target. To boost sales and profit, the manager deploys a program that have a significant short-term impact, such as price promotion.

To fund price promotion manager reduces investment on brand building programs.

However, as the short term financial results improve, competition responds to nullify the impact of the price promotion, leading to less than desirable results on the medium term.

Moreover, consumers also start expecting promotion and delay their purchases and wait for the next price promotion. Thus the long terms prospects of the brands decline as:

  • Overall Brand strength declines due to the lack of brand building programs
  • Price and margins come under pressure due to competitive response
  • Consumers start expecting price promotions and delay their purchases
  • The perceived price-value equations shift downwards
  • Brands get into a dangerous downwards spiral

Challenge 2: Consistency

Brands are created through a wide range of touch points; every time a customer interacts with a brand they form associations.

This means that everyone in a company has an impact on the brand.

Therefore the second biggest challenge of branding is consistency or getting an entire organization to embrace the brand live up to the promise over time.

However, if an organization does not understand, believe in, and own the brand, if the message, the brand, and the product are not consistent- the vision remains unfulfilled.

Challenge 3: Clutter

Consumers are bombarded every day by hundreds and sometimes thousands of advertisements and promotions. Breaking through this cluttered environment is exceptionally difficult.

It is hard to get anyone to pay attention to your brand, and harder still to form meaningful associations. To stand out a brand needs to be focused and unique; great branding means something unique in a consumers mind.

Having a clear positioning is a great beginning, but not sufficient. Brands need to create attention by creative advertising and innovative use of media.

What is Branding in Marketing

Marketers engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique.

A brand image may be developed by attributing a “personality” to or associating an “image” with a product or service, whereby the personality or image is “branded” into the consciousness of consumers.

Therefore branding is, one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management.

A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise.

One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney’s “signature” logo), which it used in the logo for

The ultimate accolade for a brand is to be at the top of its category. Once this has happened, however, it risks becoming generic and being unable to act as a brand – the ability to distinguish goods from different producers.

There are strong brands in every line of business:

  • Mobile Phones: Apple, Samsung
  • Social media: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter
  • Consumer goods Beverages: Coca Cola, Pepsi
  • Consumer durables: LG, Samsung, Sony
  • Software: Microsoft, Google
  • Insurance: Prudential, AIG, MetLife
  • Automobiles: Tesla, Ford, Toyota, Saturn
  • Governmental Bodies: NASA, FBI, CBI

Elements of Branding

Branding is to be able to choose a name, logo, symbol, package design, or other attributes that identifies a product and distinguishes it from others.

These different components of a brand, which are trademarkable, identifiable and differentiate-able, can be called “Brand elements”.

The main brand elements are:

  • Brand Name
  • URL’s
  • Logos
  • Spokespeople
  • Symbols
  • Characters
  • Slogans
  • Jingles
  • Packaging
  • Signage’s

Choosing your Target Audience for Branding

Every company must consider four target audiences:
• Internal (staff and close collaboration partners)
• Market (buyers, prospects and providers)
• Owner groups (shareholders, including analysts, financial and stock markets)
• Society as a whole (including authorities, media, and potential employees)

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1 What is a Brand?

As per American Marketing Association:

A Brand is a “name, term, sign, symbol, or design or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and differentiate them from those of competition”.

2 How Brand as a concept came into being?

Brands were originally developed as labels of ownership: name, term, design, symbol. However, today it is what they do for people that matters much more, how they reflect and engage them, how they define their aspiration and enable them to do more.  Therefore it can be said that

“A Brand is a set of associations linked to a name, term, design, symbol associated with a product or service”

In the field of marketing, brands originated in the nineteenth century with the advent of packaged goods.

The First Registered Brand

The first registered brand was the red triangle registered by Bass beer, as the British were the first to introduce a law for trade mark registration.

Impact of Industrialization on Branding

Industrialization moved the production of household items, such as soap, from local communities to centralized factories. When shipping their items, the factories would brand their logotype insignia on the shipping barrels. These plants, generating mass-produced goods, needed to sell their products to a wider range of customers, to a customer base familiar only with local goods, and it turned out that a generic package of soap had difficulty competing with ordinary, local products.

The fortunes of many of that era’s brands, such as Uncle Ben’s rice and Kellogg’s breakfast cereal, illustrate the problem. The packaged goods manufacturers needed to convince buyers that they could trust in the non-local, factory product. Campbell soup, Coca-Cola, Juicy Fruit gum, Aunt Jemima, and Quaker Oats, were the first American products to be branded to increase the customer’s familiarity with the products.

How JWT influenced Branding

Around 1900, James Walter Thompson published a house advert explaining trademark advertising, in an early commercial description of what now is known as ‘branding’. Soon, companies adopted slogans, mascots, and jingles that were heard on radio and seen on early television.

By the 1940s, Mildred Pierce manufacturers recognized how customers were developing relationships with their brands in the social, psychological, and anthropological senses. From that, manufacturers quickly learned to associate other kinds of brand values, such as youthfulness, fun, and luxury, with their products.

Thus began the practice of ‘branding’, wherein the customer buys the brand rather than the product. This trend arose in the 1980s ‘brand equity mania’. In 1988, Phillip Morris bought Kraft for six times its paper worth. It is believed the purchase was made because the Phillip Morris company actually wanted the Kraft brand rather than the company and its products.

April 2, 1993, labeled Marlboro Friday, is described by Klein (2000) as the death day of the brand. On that day, Phillip Morris declared a 20 per cent price cut of Marlboro cigarettes in order to compete with cheaper price cigarettes.

At the time, Marlboro cigarettes were notorious for their massive advertising campaigns, and nuanced brand image. On that day, the prices of many branded companies Wall street stocks fell: Heinz, Coca Cola, Quaker Oats, PepsiCo; seemingly the signal of the beginning ‘brand blindness'(Klein 13)

3 What is the difference between Commodity, product and Brand

Commodity: is an offering so fundamental, that it can not be physically differentiated in the minds of consumers.

Product: A product is anything that can be offered to a market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a need or want. Thus a product may be a physical good, service, retail store, person, organization, place or an idea.

Brand: is a product, where one adds other dimensions that differentiates it in some way from the other products designed to satisfy the same need. These differences may be:

Rational or tangible – related to product performance

Emotional or intangible – related to perceived benefits.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1 What is more important to a brand, the logo or the name? Why?

Well, It is the Brand Name. Here is why?

Reason 1: Visualisation

Is there a Brand you or your wife or your family or friends recommend to others.

  • What soap/perfume does your wife swear by?
  • Does she actively recommend that to friends and acquaintances?
  • Or perhaps your husband recommends a specific pub or drink? Maybe a Starbucks fan?

What is in your mind right now. Brand Logo or Brand Name or the category image.

Well, depending on the Brand you are thinking about, you would see a Logo or image. But what helps you visualise that, it is the Brand name. Our mind pull in the image (of a logo or category) through the name only.

Reason 2: Control

Brands are not built by marketers. Strong brands are built by consumers or customers like you and me.

When a brand has many advocates or admirers or evangelists it becomes truly strong brand.

All of us use the brand name to recommend it to others. have you send a Nike logo to refer the brand to a friend of your or the Brand name.

Reason 3: Chicken or Egg

What comes first Brand name or Logo.

  • What came first for Nike, Brand name or logo.
  • Do you remember Amazon or IBM logo. It built from the Brand name only.

I know, I know, you must be saying, how about Apple. When Steve Jobs thought about Apple, he coined the Brand name first. He wanted to keep it simple.

Reason 4: Longevity

What is going to remain forever, your Brand Logo or Brand name.

History has witnessed evolution of Logos every 3 / 5 / 7 years for global / local brands. If logo can change so much how can it be more important than brand name.


  1. The Brand Report Card, Kevin Lane Keller, From the January–February 2000 Issue
  2. What Is Branding? Challenges And Applications, Brandloom, (accessed August 12, 2017).


























CONTEST : Win a Copy of the NewYork Times BestSeller – THE 100$ STARTUP

Do you love FREE stuff?

I do. And my wife & my friends, even more than me.


People love free stuff. It leaves a lasting impression on their mind.

Giveaways, free trials & samples have always been used by brands and businesses throughout history to increase footfall and brand awareness. Facebook Contests are geting popularity to attract consumer for the same reasons.

Remember the free “tasting trays” in the super market aisle?

. . . . . The “try it” bottles of perfume in the grooming section?

. . . . . The “try me” pages of your favorite author’s new book on Kindle?

. . . . . Get 3 for the price of 1?

So how can you leverage this for your new online business? How about connecting with prospective customers online and enticing them to engage with your brand?

You must be wondering –

Yeh, yeh I can very well do all that. But every strategy costs money, not to mention the hours spent to generate results.

What if I tell you there is a strategy which requires very little budget and very little time!

The answer is  –  Facebook Contests!

Run facebook contest for engagement and traffic

Take a look at the pic above. The heart of Vegas casino has an ongoing contest on Facebook & they are giving away 5,000,000 coins to each winner. This immensely successful campaign has generated 5.5K likes, 2511 shares, and 4.7k comments!!

Facebook contests have helped them bring traffic, gain fans and build awareness about their brand!

Facebook contests can deliver all that and more.

Here are some benefits of running a Facebook contest with or without a giveaway for your business:

Why Facebook Contests for your Business

  • Grow your network. Running a contest with a free gift as a reward is a fantastic way to build your social media following on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • Generate leads. A contest is a cost effective means of growing leads or increasing the number of email list subscribers.
  • Save money. Running a Facebook contest can be an inexpensive & cost-effective marketing channel, the cost associated with running a contest is small and predictable. Just budget for the expense of the prize, software to run the contest & how you’ll market the contest.
  • Gain product exposure. Launching your product with a giveaway is an amazing way to generate buzz around your brand. Having the prize be your product will help gauge interest and fuel excitement. Using your product as the giveaway’s prize is one way to get people excited about your product and try it out.
  • Connect with prospective customers. Want to share the love & give out prizes to your possible customers? Running a giveaway is a great way to engage with them.
  • Save time & headaches. In relation to other internet marketing channels, running a giveaway doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge. In addition, the amount of time spent on creating and launching a giveaway promotion is relatively small. There are many apps available that make the process of running a contest a breeze.
  • Fun & Simple Engagement. Everyone loves the chance of winning! There’s nothing more joyful than delivering the good news to your winners. Contests are good news for everybody involved.
  • Generate conversation among your silent fans. If you’re looking for a way to get your fans excited, running a giveaway will get them chatting. A Facebook contest maybe a good way of generating mentions for your brand.

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Why Facebook Contests will work for your Brand

Big brands understand and leverage behavioral triggers of a consumer.

Here is the deal:

I will help you understand those triggers and leverage it for your Business:

Dr. Dan Ariely, Professor of Behavioral Economics, Duke University says that nobody is free from smart marketing. Not even he himself.

1. Everybody loves the idea of FREE.

Dr. Ariely says that people generally let the idea of “free” cloud their judgement and influence their decision-making skills.

Online retailer Amazon uses the power of FREE too. People don’t really like to pay additional charge over the price of an item. Hence shipping charges have always been a hurdle in online sales conversions. By offering free shipping for orders over $25, Amazon has turned this pain point into an incentive to purchase multiple items.

You can activate the same love of FREE and give away something in a contest that you run. Remember to keep the reward in context. Giving a free iPad on a bakery related contest will only get you, uninterested freeloaders.

2. Use scarcity & urgency

People, in general, are loss-averse. It means nobody likes to let an opportunity or reward slip through their fingers.

Use scarcity & urgency as a means of nudging people towards taking action.

Groupon uses the principles of scarcity and urgency. Groupon’s deals are available to a limited number of people for a small number of hours only.

Use the same principles in your contest and reap the benefits of higher engagement.

3. Personal investment increases value

Leverage the power of reciprocation, a behavioral trait in which people feel indebted to those who give them something. Dr. Ariely says  “When someone does good to us, we want to return the favor.” When people win something free and are promoted as winners by the brand, people are happy to return the favor. Some can even become your trusted online brand ambassadors or evangelists.

The above behavioral principles apply to contests on Facebook.


Types of Facebook Contest

Like everything else in life, there is no dearth of Facebook ideas.

So how do you choose how to engage users with a contest on Facebook? I am sure your team will be able to identify several Facebook contest ideas with ease. But the bigger issue remains, which Facebook contest idea will generate the maximum returns and help grow your business.

At this juncture, you need to evaluate what is your digital marketing objective. How Facebook will help you achieve your business goals.


Depending on your digital marketing objectives you can choose the type of Facebook contest that will work for your brand or business:

Below are primary digital marketing Objectives:

  • Engage with Prospective Customers
    • Reach out to new potential customers and build traffic to digital properties
    • Increase overall brand awareness, Top of mind recall leading to increased engagement online
  • Generate Sales
    • Generate Leads for the Business
    • Supports trial of a good or service and aid in information dissemination
    • Increase sales
  • Generate Referral
    • Positive word of mouth and recommendation leading to greater profit for the firm with repeat or incremental sales
    • Delight a customer by resolving their service issues

Facebook Contest to Engage with prospective customers: Early Stage

Are you just starting off and looking to acquire new customers. Do you have less than 1000 followers on your Facebook page.

If your digital marketing objective is to engage with prospective customers to build brand awareness and top of mind recall you can use:

  • Sweepstakes: To participate a customer needs just to share his email address and enter the contest with Sweepstakes. This will help you increase your Facebook fans or email list. This will help you maximise number of entrants. The winner of the competition will be decided basis random draw for prize.
  • Voting: Voting as a Facebook contest idea builds upon the power of curiosity. A users is asked to vote on a facebook contest. His vote might decide the pricing of a product, look & feel of a product or could simply be a generic sales.

See an example of a Facebook Voting contest I am running:


These contest have very low entry barriers and anyone can participate in minutes.


Facebook Contest to Generate Sales: Intermediate Stage

If you want to increase your sales you can:

  • Groups Deal: You can influence and run sales promotion on Facebook for a group of users for a limited period. To qualify the users needs to belong to a community and only then they can participate and take advantge of your sales promotion.
  • Discount Coupon: A consumer may get a discount coupon on participaion to an event. This could be a Photo or Video contest where in they can say why they deserve to receive a discount coupon. Here you can reachout to a group of users to build your sales on an immediate basis.

I call these Facebook contests Intermediate stage as your primary objective is to build your sales and acquire new paying customer. If a consumer is willing to pay for your product or service you can entice them to spread positive word of mouth at a later date.

It takes a much larger fan following on facebook to generate results. I believe anything lesser than 5000 qualified followers does not make sense to run a campaign like this. A small percentage of users will bother to respond to something like this as they are not on social media to buy, they are there to interact with others and belong.

Facebook Contest to build Word of Mouth: Advanced Facebook Contests

If you want to build on referral or want to drive positive word of mouth you can build upon users dsire to relate with others and express themselves. Your Facebook contest could be the trigger that entices a consumer to go ot there and show with a comment, Photo, Video or may be just the voting.

  • Photo Contest: This is an easy way to enter a contest for users as they have to take a picture with their phone or camera and share with you. Photos work very well as they show a story. You can also create a contest where a user needs to share a caption for your photo.


  • Video Contest
  • Voting: In a voting contest you can encourage your users to share your photos or video and they invite their friends and family to vote for them. This works very well as in such a contest you get several promoters in the form of participants. These participants have the potential to make your photo contest go viral.

These contests are advanced Facebook contests as it requires a user to spend time (the most precious commodity) to enter your contest and generate content for you.


How to make your Facebook Contest Idea Successful

I regularly meet people who say that it ‘s hard to succeed on Facebook. Well my question is where is it easy to accomplish. If you plan well and build on mistakes of other you can avoid common pitfalls.

Several of my clients have run failed Facebook contests. I have made efforts to learn from that and I am going to share some of my learning’s below. Below are a few checks which you must conduct if you want to make your Facebook Contest Ideas successful.

1 Determine if you really need a Contest on Facebook

Facebook is an unavoidable digital real estate every brand or business wants to rent out. If you don’t, somebody else will take away your name as it is easy to create a page on Facebook with whatever name you wants (unless it is already in use).

Booking a space in Facebook does not mean that you necessarily have to be actively involved in building your fan base. Similar is the case with Facebook Contest. Say for example you are in chemicals business making NaClO2 why would you run a Facebook contest.

At the same time, you need to have clear objectives to start a Facebook Contest. What is that you want to achieve.

2 Decide which type of Facebook Contest you need

As discussed above in this guide, Facebook contests can help you achieve varied digital marketing objectives. It is essential you decide what are your short, medium and long term goals and plan accordingly.

Therefore, if you want to increase your sales, it does not make sense to run a Photo Contest.

3 Follow the Facebook Page Guidelines and comply with the Law

So, you plan to grow your business with Facebook Contests. Please ensure that you run your contest in compliance with the Facebook Page Guidelines for Promotions and governmental guidelines for trade promotions. If you do not follow these guidelines your page might be permanently removed.


Please ensure that you refer to all the Terms and Conditions of the contest as above.

Facebook also requires you to release them from complete liability towards every participants with the below:

By entering and participating, entrant agrees to hold harmless, defend and indemnify Facebook from and against any and all claims, demands, liability, damages or causes of action (however named or described), losses, costs or expenses, with respect to or arising out of or related to

(i) entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes, or

(ii) entrant’s participation in any Prize related activities, acceptance of a Prize and/or use or misuse of a Prize (including, without limitation, any property loss, damage, personal injury or death caused to any person(s).

You also need to include the following wordings:

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.


4 Use a Third party App to run the Contest

Though you do not need any third party app to run a contest on Facebook (Facebook changed their policy on 27 August 2013), my recommendation would be that you use one.

These third party apps allow you to collect lot of interesting and useful information. These apps are useful for:

  • Bringing your Facebook Contest ideas to life.


  • Collecting participants information such as email id, page profile, etc.
  • Picking a random winner in an unbiased manner based on their algorithm.
  • Building contact interface with their ready to use templates.
  • Providing a custom URL for your Facebook promo page. These URL’s can be shared freely on the website or even on the printed leaflets, advertisements, etc.
  • Providing direct access to your Facebook page users in the form of a custom Tab.
  • Importing participants database for building a relationship through email marketing campaigns. Many of these apps have integration with Aweber, MailChimp, etc.
  • Building virality through sending a post on the participant’s timelines.

Top 5 Facebook Contest Apps

Below is a list of my tried and tested Facebook contest Apps.

  • Wishpond
  • EasyPromosApp
  • ShortStack
  • Heyo
  • Promosimple
  • Rafflecopter
  • Woobox
  • Offerpop
  • Binkd

5 Your Giveaway should be one of your own

You are not running a Facebook contest to entertain the people. You are running it to meet certain objectives in terms of sales of a product or services.

Therefore, you are interested in connecting with users, who see value in your offering.


Many experts will tell you to give something like an I pad or a phone. I strongly discourage you to do that. You do not want a ten year old to participate in your contest when you want to sell a digital marketing course.

So the bottom line is to give your own product as a giveaway.


6 Make it easy to participate

You are not running a contest to win a Noble prize. You are running it to entice your target audience to take part in it. So make it simple to enroll and participate.

If you make it complicated, consumer will simply ignore it and will not participate.

7 Choose your audience

Running a contest does not mean reaching out to each and everyone. Infect, while running a contest, you must get really selective. You should carefully define your audience on the basis of your customer persona.

Use Facebook Audiences tool to set your target audience and go all out.


8 Promote – Promote and Promote

Having done so much, now is the time, when you should go all out and promote your contest. As this is a Facebook contest, you will promote it there. However, nothing stops you from sharing about your contest on Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.

9 Use Facebook Advertising Functionality

With Facebook advertising you can increase reach of your contest. This will help your contest to have higher levels of participation.

10. Remind and Followup with your target audience

Once your contest is over. reachout to participants and inform them about the winners of the contest. Promote it heavily on facebook by tagging winners and leveraging their network.

You should also analyse the data to determine the demographic and psychographic profile of the participants. This is something which will give you tremendous insights.

Follow up with email marketing and see what kind of people continue to stay engaged with you and your business.

I hope that this article will help you see the benefits of contests and giveaways. Tell me if are motivated to run one Facebook Contest yourself.

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Just like humans who have spirit and external appearance; Brands have Brand Essence and Brand Positioning.


Brand Essence is the spiritual centre of the Brand.
  • Brand Essence is the core value(s) that defines the brand and permeates all other aspects of the brand.
  • Therefore, Brand Essence is the central, timeless essence of the brand.
  • It is most likely to remain constant as brand travels to new markets and products.
  • It is the centre that remains after you peel away the layers of an onion.
  • The core identity for a strong brand should be more resistant to change than elements of the extended identity (such as brand positioning).
Therefore, Brand Essence:
Is not an advertising slogan, nor a description which will change with every communication. Essence should be a long term vision which changes rarely and is more like a mission statement for a brand. For this reason, brands with strong Brand Essences tend to have sought the most fundamental consumer needs and sought to own them.


In marketing, positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.
  • It is the ‘relative competitive comparison’ their product occupies in a given market as perceived by the target market.
  • Brand Positioning refers to the specific, intended meaning for a brand in consumer’s minds.
  • More precisely, a brand’s positioning articulates the goal that consumer will achieve by using the brand and explains why it is superior to other means of accomplishing this goal.
  • Positioning is a necessary concept, first because all choices are comparative, and so it makes sense to start off by stating the area in which we are strongest; and second because in marketing, perception is reality.
  • Positioning is a concept which starts with customers, by putting ourselves in their place.
    • Faced with a plethora of brands, are consumers able to identify the strong point of each, the factor that distinguishes it from the rest?
    • This is why, ideally, a customer should be capable of paraphrasing a brand’s positioning: ‘Only Brand X will do this for me, because it has, or it is…’


A brand position is the part of the brand essence and value proposition that is to be actively communicated to the target audience and that demonstrates an advantage over competing brands.
Thus the brand position guides the current communication programs and is distinct from the more brand essence.
Some elements of brand identity (such as cleanliness for a restaurant) may not be actively communicated, and other elements (such as a product class association) will recede in visibility as the brand matures. Thus there is a distinction between the two constructs.

Ecommerce is not only a logical extension of any existing brand, it is also a great launch-pad for start ups, small businesses or aspiring movers and shakers. But while you see many ecommerce websites pop up, they rarely make a mark or survive long enough to make a profit. So, what should you do to start an ecommerce business that will be easy to manage, rationalize costs and will be sustainable?

What to keep in mind when planning to open an online store?

According to a study by comScore, ecommerce accounted for 17.5% of consumer spending as of the second quarter of 2017. A study by Statista, retail ecommerce sales will hit $4.5 trillion by 2021. You can guess how important an online store is in terms of revenue generation. So, before you start an ecommerce business, you must chalk out a long term plan for your business.

  1. Analyze the product to sell

What you are selling will determine every step you take in building up your ecommerce business. You must identify what product you can sell and how You must identify your product opportunity and do thorough, counter-intuitive market survey to identify the proper product.

Get your vision sorted out in practical points- who are you selling to? Is the product to sell viable enough? What is your cash situation? How do you want to process payments? Are you equipped logistics-wise to handle, store and supply physical products? Once you have sorted out all the kinks in your plan with your team, comes the step by step guide to make your ecommerce store a reality.

  • Check out the competition and figure out a business plan

The ecommerce sector is vast, and there are many who offer the same products to their customers. As a result, nobody makes a profit and soon suffers an entrepreneurial burn out. After you have identified the product you want to sell, you must now look at your competition. What and how are they selling? How can you differentiate yourself? Do your suppliers overlap? What unique spin are you going to give your product- both in terms of quality and marketing.

After this, it is time to write a business plan. Create a roadmap for your ecommerce store. Talk to market experts, product consultants, supply chain managers and distributors and ask them to formulate a blue print for the business. Remember, you business plan is crucial for securing funding- should you need it. So, you have to chalk up a solid plan that will help you get investors interested in your product and convince them to invest in your venture.

  • Pre-sales strategy

This is an extremely important step- but not many pay attention to it. You must do a market survey before you design your online store and launch your ecommerce operations. Ensure there is enough demand for your product. If possible, talk to customers directly.

Pre –sales is purely data driven, so it gives you an unbiased look at the market and yourself. Instead of relying on your ideas or biases, it gives you a stark picture of where you stand in the market. This will help you figure out your launch strategy, generate publicity and minimize risks and costs.

  • Get a domain name and set up your website

Of course, you cannot have a successful ecommerce business unless you have a good website. After you have named your product, you must find out a suitable internet domain address. It should be unique, and reflect your brand name suitably.

Next, you must build a good website which should be fast, bugs-free, aesthetically pleasing and user friendly. Remember, your website is your virtual store, and how comfortable the customer feels there can make or break your business. Make sure your product pages contain all the information, and the content is attractive.

  • Look for good ecommerce softwares

If you are going to run an online store, you will need a good ecommerce software. So take the advice of a technical expert in this field, and check out your options. The software should have everything in its package- from creating and maintaining an e-commerce website, hosting, website design to SEO integration. The shopping cart should be easy to manage and be glitch free, so invest in good shopping cart software.  

Similarly, payment options should be safe and hassle free. As online sellers cannot handle cash themselves, make sure you find a good merchant services provider who can handle your transactions. Make sure the commission they charge for processing the payment from customers and then depositing the required amount in your bank account is affordable.

Remember, in ecommerce stores, customers can always return products, so you must figure out how to link your operations with their bank account so that both payments and refunds can be processed seamlessly and fast.

  • Design a mobile app

Given that most people now surf the internet on their phones and a huge number of them do their shopping via apps, your ecommerce store should also be mobile friendly. Your website must be optimised for mobile phones, and it is only prudent to design your mobile app.

Your mobile app should be simple and have all the facilities that your website has. Include some special features too, that makes your mobile app attractive. Similarly, ensure that the technology incorporates all required aspects and is fast and efficient.

  • Fuel your SEO processes and get on social media

Now, it is time to make your online store visible, accessible and popular. Contact a good (and affordable) SEO company who will help you optimize your website, and orient it with the require keywords. With search engine optimization, your website will feature at the top of Google search results, and become more visible.

The next thing to do is to create your social media accounts and pages and start generating buzz with attractive and ethical marketing campaigns. Do not go for cheap tactics and spamming- it will harm your brand, put off your customers and eventually lead to a Google penalty. Engage customers in a positive way and create a buzz so that they get interested to check out your website.

  • Think of affiliate marketing strategies

It always pays to cooperate with a good partner. If you are a start up or a retailer, ask a blogger to plug in your products in their write ups. Maybe endorse some posts or blogs, and promote them on social media. B2B marketing is crucial if you want to widen your ecommerce store’s outreach.

Similarly, you can also look at other affiliate marketing opportunities with other etailers. Check out the options available with the bigwigs like Amazon or Flipkart. Often, small sellers profit from these programmes and also get the required publicity for increasing traffic to their own stores.

  • A good marketing strategy

And last but not the least, chalk out a good marketing and branding strategy. Create your own niche, stay ahead of the competitors, engage with the customers and make sure you have long term, sustainable strategy. Everything you do- from your website design to your mobile apps- should be part of a single, cohesive strategy that brings your brand vision to fruition.

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