October 13, 2008

Life is harried. Time is short. Priorities are many. Well, this is the new reality of life. To cope with this shifting pattern of life, hybrid is the way to go. This is of particular relevance for marketing. It seems that anything that can mix a couple of benefits simultaneously will emerge a winner.

Take the example of newspaper. How much time does a busy guy has to read newspapers in depth? Not much. Yet, he has a need to feed on news and views. So a 'charticle' comes to the rescue by presenting an article in form a chart that's easy to digest without needing undivided attention that is prerequisite to reading an in-depth piece of article. I searched the term 'charticle' on internet and was surprised to find that some of the leading newspapers are frequently using it to present news and analysis. In India, Mint frequently uses 'chaticle' to present bite size stuff to its readers. This can surely emerge as a game changer for print media in this age of mobile phones and internet where short is considered sexy.

Imagine a harried professional who is always on the go. The guy wants to keep enhancing his professional knowledge but lacks the time it requires to go through serious and detailed books & periodicals. Anything that takes care of his developmental needs through the entertainment mode is bound to get his attention. Here comes 'edutainment' – seriously entertaining but educating too. Think Seth Godin and his ever growing popularity. He is the master of 'edutainment' – be it through his blog or the easy to read books he keeps writing. The point is – if you can educate me by entertaining me, I am going to be at your fan.

With the intrusion of internet in almost all aspects of our life, anything that is free is in demand. Paid services are abhorred. But any business needs circulation of money in its veins to survive and flourish. To eliminate this contradiction, the concept of 'Freemium' emerged making basic services free while charging for advanced services or added features. It indeed works, particularly in internet economy. As a rule of thumb, 95% of the customers stay glued to free services while 5% opt for paid services with added features. Since, it hardly costs anything substantial to keep the 95% customers in an internet economy, 5% paid subscribers ensure healthy circulation of money in the system!

Ever thought why Hinglish has become so popular in India. Simply because it is fun to speak and understand and doesn't require much strain on the brain to navigate through grammatical mine fields. It has become a great leveler in bridging the multi-storied divides in India. No wonder marketers and advertising agencies are increasingly falling on Hinglish to tell the brand story that cuts across consumers segments.

So, what's your idea of innovative clubbing of benefits that's hard to resist. Meanwhile, I bet if someone starts a brunch service in a business district, it would rock!