Saturday, September 24, 2011

In quest for the stars

The enjoyable adventure in pursuit for future multibaggers takes us to distant territories. SAST disclosures on stock exchanges' website, promoter holding, spin offs, mergers, newspapers, magazines, blogs, industry experts, discussion forums or shops and wholesalers. I feel that over the next few years online marketplace can lend itself to a worthy source of information. I recently went thorough a book by a marketing expert for the online world - Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned From Google AMAZON 

 If you have not been sipping much on marketing lately you will be impressed with sheer novelty of ideas. Buffett who remarks, "Half of our advertising revenues go waste, but I don't know which half", may have to take back his words. Author has some information shared on website and affords the opportunity to go quite deep into this domain through links in the book. Emphasis is on social media to promote products.

A few standout stories are:

- Threadless is an online marketplace with 1.6 million+ followers on twitter. Its a crowdsourcing (someone calls this outsourcing on steroids) phenomenon where community designs T shirts, gets paid and promotes them. I call it a great story and brand.!/THREADLESS 

- Obama online and offline campaign was very well crafted and one of the main reasons of his success to US Presidency, worth reading about it. He used twitter, SMS, social media to the hilt and it referred to you as if its one on one conversation.

- Dell's story is quite revealing. DELL had 100 employees tweeting on behalf of the company and after few years they became ROI positive with this online channel alone and customer service is no match to other media.

I feel a lot of consumer brand companies are in the dark not online in India but overseas and should be embarrassed with themselves and their lack of sophistication. I found Whirlpool and Marico Industries to be decent with social media in my couple of days of looking around Search Engine Marketing companies and their clients, other leading companies that call themselves consumer brands or superbrands should hang their head in shame, they are literally sleeping.

- In a couple of other books I read recently by Malcolm Gladwell ( Tipping Point; Outliers) story of Hush Puppies reached tipping point miraculously from 30,000 annual sales in 1993, by the time Wolverine, the owner company wanted to shut down the brand, something happened it to tip. In 1995 it sold 450,000 pairs and the next year four times that. All this despite zero promotion. Something happened that led this shoe to be sold in every mall of America, that is called social epedemic.

- Crime patterns, virus all have a dramatic moment when they can tip through a number of small incremental actions. Neighborhoods where 20% colored people live generally tip and all white folks move out. 

- 1987 was fax machine tipping point where it made sense for everyone to have fax machine

- Paul Rever's ride, famous historical example of American freedom was most famous example of work of mouth epidemic

- Typical airline accident involves seven or more consecutive errors. Why Korean planes crashed most in 1990s is worth studying, nothing to do with quality of planes or servicing.

- Study the year of birth of all software czars Microsoft, Sun, Apple founders and a pattern emerges, which proves that not everything is done through hard work. Environment has to be conducive.