Wednesday, May 30, 2012

India, Sex and Shah Rukh Khan - The Psychology Of Marketing

The moment I wrote the title of the blog and pressed enter to come down into the part where I write the content, I can't help but look up and think that this title sounds hauntingly like an Ekta Kapoor daily soap. But that is something that in our country sells, along with a lot of questionable pop corn at the movies but that's a story for another day.
Everything around us is marketed. Everything around us is sold. You are marketing yourself and selling yourself at every point in your life. When you go to hit on someone in a bar, you're selling yourself. And of course, some things are sold better than others.
In the world, at every second there are over 10 million people looking up sex on the internet. I think it's safe to say that be it India, be it England, be it Antartica, be it the world of Harry Potter or Twilight, sex sells. The time it took you to read that sentence, approximately a 100 million people looked up sex.
The psychology of selling things however is way more complicated than it appears. Really well trained salesman and marketers are taught to hang on to every word the customer says because those words reveal a lot about a person's personality.
If somebody walks into a music store and says, "I'm looking for a music system." That statement will be very different from, "I want a music system" or "I need a system that has the best sound quality." This single example tell us a lot about how a person's brain works.
A person who says that he's looking for a system, will pay a lot of attention to how the product looks, it's design should be nice and create a feeling of want the moment he sees it.
The person who says that he wants a music system, he'll have a lot of emotional needs in life and will want something that has a brand connect with him.
The person who says he needs something with the best sound quality will be a person whose done his research before talking and knows the best and the worst in a field.
This is not just for the particular music system but in general life to. A person using words like, "looking, seeing, watching" will have a very powerful visual connect with things, so to convince him or her, you must give a visual example of a particular thing that you might need from them.
A person using words like, "need, want, have, require" will be a slightly emotionally needy person, he or she will want to be shown a lot of love from people around them.
A person using words like, "sound, specs, ask, question, ideas" will have done his research on matters before questioning. So if someone knows that you've lied to them, but you don't know that they know, they will try to get a confession out of you, that will be the time to watch out for words like that.
Of course, marketing requirers a lot of emotional connect with people. And this brings me to the next "thing" that sells in India. Shah Rukh Khan. At a recent brands meet, CEOs, Marketing Heads, Directors and all sorts of important people were giving talks about their brand which bored the media and the audience in attendance. Shah Rukh came up and said, "Brands are all around us. I wake up in the morning and I pick up my Nokia phone to look at any calls I might have missed at night. I brush my teeth with Pepsodent, using Dish TV I watch the news on my LG flatscreen TV. Before going for work, I put on my Van Huesen suit, Tag Heuer watch, get into my Hyundai i10 car and go for work."
He turned a boring conclave into an amazing one with just a two minute speech where he named every brand he endorses. THAT is marketing. THAT is why India has Sex and Shah Rukh Khan selling every minute of every day. And we must ask ourselves, "Are we selling us perfectly? Are we a brand amongst our peers?"

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dell Blogathon - One Of A Kind

15 years ago blogging was a concept unheard of. Rewind another 15 years, and the only way to interact with the world and get your views across was through writing a book. A surprisingly tiny number of people are skilled enough to write a book though.
Lets rewind another 15 years, if you had a hobby, which was rather unconventional, for example, doing weird things to animals, you had to travel across cities or even countries at times to meet somebody who had a hobby like you did.
Fast forward to 2006, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging. In short, a social media explosion. All of a sudden you had thousands of people across the world, who like you, were passionate about doing weird things to animals, or whatever it is that you like. And ALL of you could connect with just a click.
Fast forward another six years to today, 2012. There are stores all over the world which have the tag line, "All cars under one roof." Well the Dell Blogathon (#dellblogathon) was an "All bloggers under one roof" event. Everything from tech bloggers, food bloggers, poetry, social issues to fashion, photography and psychological illusions. Never seen an event like this one before, though I have a feeling I'm going to be seeing an awful lot of them in the foreseeable future.
Talking about the event, it started of with talks by people from Dell, and Belkin, no surprises there, as sponsors of the event, this was expected. After that came probably the most awesome part about the event. Free food. Free booze. And the people there were reportedly saying, "Hey, we blog for a living, we'll eat anything as long as it's free." Weirdly, I couldn't help thinking that if one of us was the CEO of some amazing company, we'll still hog if it was free.
After that came a little performance by yours truly which as always I'm not going to describe keeping in mind that there are people who haven't seen me perform and I wouldn't want to spoil it for them. My page for those of you who saw me there.
I was followed up by Abhishek Baxi, who DESIGNED HIS WHOLE WEDDING ON AN APP CALLED EVERNOTE! Insane, isn't it? 
If you think this was insane, wait for more. Abhishek was followed by a guy, Uncle Andy, who casually got up on stage and mimicked 18 different accents. Scottish, Welsh, Brit, American, Arabian, Irish, Japanese, West Indian. You name it, and the guy did it. 
And now the real reason for me doing a review of an event, I've never ever written a blog which isn't even remotely related to magic, but I just felt that I had to this time around. Why? Because the lovely team that organized the event helped get #dellblogathon trending on Twitter. And for a while there, I was trending on Twitter too here in New Delhi. Only the second time that's happened to me. And I got to tell you, it feels pretty great.
Seeing the fact that it was the inaugural event and it got trending on twitter, that alone speaks volumes of the event.
I think it's safe to say that the times when we had to travel across the world to meet someone who has the same passion as us are way behind us.