How to design an absolutely blissful journey with ethics for success in the world of entrepreneurs

How to design an absolutely blissful journey with ethics for success in the world of entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurship is a word that has become a fad. Everyone you meet these days is an entrepreneur. Every day you read the news, there are scores of entrepreneurial ventures that have acquired millions of dollars of funding and in just a span of two to three years have entered into billion dollar evaluations. 

Of course, in the course of next two to three years to follow, as we keep reading about these ventures, less than 35% of them seem to actually survive. 

Sadly, these days, most of the businesses that made headlines for acquiring the biggest or top notch funding are in the news for being shut down or in the verge of wrapping things up or at the most, struggling to meet their stakeholders expectations.

Myself, being an entrepreneur of a start-up digital agency, Techdivine Creative Services, which is now 6.5 years old and that too of a sole proprietorship, the pressures were always much higher and the stakes, well, off the charts! Why? For me to stay alive, it’s always been core to, well, do “business”. If there are no real paying customers, I can’t sustain as a brand or a professional.

The blog post shared below is a brief look into the real world of business from the eyes of an individual today, where not everything is about billion dollar funding or not everything is peachy every day. Perseverance is the key!

At the same time, I have also shared some powerful guides that have helped me grow, sustain and or survive during difficult times. 

Over the years, I have been approached by two well funded brand names in our industry for funding my business. The offers were very intriguing both the times, but after a couple of meetings, it was clear for me that as an individual or even a professional, I could never tie up with either of them. For me, as an entrepreneur, three things are core before I do business with anyone, failing even one of which I can never get into a contract with anyone:

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  1. TRUST: I should be able to trust that individual or business or brand with any and all contractual guidelines and agreements. Why? Because, my bandwidth as a sole proprietor is restricted by my decisions to take a particular risk or business offer based on my current scenario at that point of time. So the hours and resources I can build or design or provide has it’s limitations. Since the focus from my end is always to deliver power packed result oriented goals, it’s core for me to be able to trust that business entity to ensure that my bandwidth is free to focus on the work aspect of this amazing journey ahead. If you don’t love what you do, there is really no point in doing it.
  2. Business: As I mentioned earlier, being a sole proprietor and being a part of a family where my day to day responsibility extends beyond just taking care of my family financially and as the only source of income, the routine is no doubt always daunting, especially in today’s world where most of the households have two or even three bread winners (which diminishes the term and phrase, since they have more than one person doing the wonderful task). But, it’s true for me, because, at the end of the day, I am just another average human being and as an individual, there is always a fear of the unknown. “What happens if” is the biggest fear and question prior to making any decision. This comes with the flaws and limitations of being a sole proprietor because you would not have anyone else with the same stakes as you in the business to take onus or responsibilities. So, it becomes extremely important for me as a professional, or as an entrepreneur, or as an individual to be able to do and transact ‘business’ if my time is involved in the process. As in no room for too many repeated freebies from my end. This aspect and or nature of mine is sometimes seen or imagined by individuals with whom I engage, as ‘me being arrogant’, but honestly, it’s not. I am just fighting to sustain and survive while doing it alone, that’s all. So in all honestly, this has nothing to do with the growth of a business, but rather fear of venturing into the ocean’s abyss at night with no gear and at the same time hoping to find that treasure of riches (which can be successfully delivering tasks at hand) while focusing on the task at hand and ensuring you have enough oxygen to stay alive, keep surviving, while fighting off the sharks and yes, to find the sunken treasure ship! Too dramatic, well, that’s ok, I just felt like writing it!
  3. Ethics: For me the first and foremost focus is ethics. So much so that, even I, get on my own nerves at times. But if there is anything that I have learnt over the years from some of the biggest names in business and entrepreneurship, it is to, never compromise on ethics. Money, fame and fortune will get you a mansion, whereas ethics will give you peace of mind and energy filled with joy to do what you love doing no matter what.

The first thing I learnt as an entrepreneur is to “Unlearn”.

Many of the things that seem to work in the brilliantly beautiful “books taught to us in many of the management schools and colleges” are not even remotely close to practicality when it comes to the real world. Very few management programs and or schools take the initiative to introduce the ‘real industry’ scenarios into their course curriculum. 

Of course, during the course of time, there were many management books, marketing strategies written by iconic legends with decades of experience and yes, biographies of some of the most inspiring business tycoons and highly inspiring human beings that helped me chart a plan to stay alive, make a name, build a brand and most important of all, allowed me to “make the best of what’s available”.

Which in today’s fancy term is called growth hacking

So here are some powerful guides on “How to design an absolutely blissful journey with ethics for success in the world of entrepreneurs” :-

 

1) Learn from the past:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life ~ Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Quotes

 

2) Never compromise on Ethics: Develop a clear and ethical framework to ensure that you as an entrepreneur hold the right tools that will not only allow you to navigate through the abyss, but also come back up to the surface with your head held high. Everything is fine when it comes to doing business, as long as it’s ethical. Things to focus while building a policy in your organization that focuses purely on ethics:

  • Your customers are your first and only priority: Do everything possible to deliver the best services that your organization ‘should’ and not ‘could’ offer to help them be more successful. The faster your clients grow, quicker you will grow too. The greatest asset for any business is a happy customer. 
  • Never under any circumstances compromise on your customers or their customers data and information. This is especially true when you work with brands who are competitors. Sometimes a particular brand might request data or metrics of the other. Under no circumstances should you encourage that behavior. Irrespective of the size of business a brand gives you, every data that belongs to a customer should be of the same high value to you as a business.
  • Never swindle: Never deceive your business prospects, try to cut down or cheat them of services or your employees or those helping you to build a network. For that matter as a brand never even charlatan as a professional simply to gain business. Accept what you know and focus on building that as a business for your customers. 
  • When no one is looking: There is a very interesting study done once at a cafeteria of a certain place of business. It seems they were keeping a jar in the cafeteria where people had to put money at the end of their meals. No one was asked to pay at the counter or at the start of the meal. The idea was to assume that everyone is trustworthy and will pay for what they ate. Over a period of time, it was found that there were lot of people who were not paying since no one would actually find out. So they added an image, an actual picture of a person’s eyes ‘watching’ on the face of the jar.  within a span of few days, it seems most of the people were automatically now paying for whatever they ate. This study on Psychology was about “when people are watching” what and how does one behave. In business, always function with a thought that someone is watching so ensure that at all times, you end up doing the right thing. 

3) Empower Digital: Digital media has empowered entrepreneurs to do business from wherever they are. This helps you cut down your costs and at the same time reach out to your enquiries, prospects, business partners without loss of time and with all the right set of tools to get the tasks done. Big Data has never looked more beautiful before. I know, that sounds weird but I love numbers. They have so much clarity!

With the constant shift in the metrics paradigm which is more often than not seen as a burden as it’s constantly referred to as the era of ‘information overload’; at such a time, enabling the right set of sentiment analysis tools, BigData metrics to measure information that is relevant to your business and customers and at the same time even help you with predictive analysis for customer behavior etc can do wonders for your business.

Due to the rise of social media and digital marketing,  customers today literally know more about the brand than the brand themselves. So it’s only fair to take time out, use the same digital tools to understand your customers better and do business that’s not just for that moment, but for a lifetime.

4) At all times TRUST the human heart and mind: Digital is here to help, no doubt about that. But, too much of dependency on digital can at times be risky too. So ensure that from time to time, you focus and trust the human mind, it’s experiences and know-how. This would help you avert any and all risks to a great extent of making an assumption that digital can guarantee perfect predictions and that it is the only answer to a sustainable future. Nothing can or should replace the combination of human heart, intelligence and experience.

5) If you don’t invest in your brand, no one else will:From time to time ensure that you invest in resources to upgrade your skills, know-how and the skills of your employees. Even doctor’s are forced to keep up with the latest in medicine and technology with a focus towards delivering better quality of health and service to their patients. So why not with your customers too? Ensure to invest in constant and continuous learning from the best in the industry to make sure you deliver the best for your customers at all times. 

6) Network and or Tie-up: There are too many organization’s out there which claim to be the best source of networking with business and brands. Some of them even have big names associated with them. Meet them, take a calculative risk, but make sure they are not scams, because off late there are too many of them too. Networking can be a great way to do business. But while doing so, ensure that your “business goals” are not gone for a toss and your policies are in no way compromised to help you sustain and grow as a business. Networking with the wrong group can break you whereas with the right people can make you a powerhouse of business.

7) World of self promotion: We are now in the era of greatest form of self-promotion and especially with the advent of digital space, everyone who is literally anyone seems to be promoting themselves to be the best across their industries.

Which is my case too, for I too ensure to proudly represent my own brand as the Best Digital Marketing Professional in India awardee whenever I share my posts online along with other accolades and recognition’s as a marketing or management professional or entrepreneur.

When You are out there “self-promoting”, now there are two sides and ways to do it. One, to ensure that I do not annoy my friends and or relatives with this professional claim all the time, I have maintained two distinct or separate profiles online. One which is personal, in which I am rarely active and the other which is via blogs, professional brand pages, professional website links etc where I share about my latest events, workshops and courses on digital marketing and social media, client case studies, milestones, new services from our digital agency etc. as these sites are for me to share these accolades and latest news updates. But, at the same time, I ensure that my ratio to self-promotion and valuable content for my readers, customers and prospects is at least 1:3 ((1)Self-promotions: (3)Value to end readers, customers and prospects). I constantly create presentations, resourceful downloads of case studies, power packed guides on digital marketing, branding, marketing research management, social media, blogging, content marketing, entrepreneurship and also share a time when I am online and my peers or users online can reach me for queries and or support in real-time etc. to ensure that at all times, I keep delivering more and more value-add each day.

As an entrepreneur with boost-strapping and growth hacking as your core ideals and points of survival, ensure to balance your self-promotions well.

Don’t be a brand or a professional who only reaches out or tags others when you want them to promote your services. The world is slowly getting more and more translucent as in, with data and metrics all around, things are very transparent. So make sure who you portray yourself to be and who you really are, are the same individuals. 

8) Customer Acquisition cost, Customer Lifetime value: Two very powerful aspects and terms of your business, which you need to be very clear about if you are a growth hacker. Every cost that you spend to acquire a customer needs to be accounted for and at the same time, what a customer is worth to you and your brand also needs to be vividly and precisely available with you as an entrepreneur. These two costs will enable you to understand:

  • What are the different channels that you can use to promote your business
  • Which are the best channels where your customers become your brand ambassadors online
  • What costs are fixed across these two aspects and what revenue streams are constant will enable you to do a lot more and that too with much better results. 
  • They will help you work out the best possible cost that you can “afford” to offer in terms of value pricing for customers who might not be having big budgets but would be great for your business in the long run and wonderful business relations.

9) Bandwidth: I have discussed in detail about this earlier too, as an entrepreneur, to have a smooth and absolutely blissful journey in the world of entrepreneurship, it is extremely important to understand your bandwidth. No, I am not talking about server space or website server settings or features. Every customer is unique in their own way and have certain way of functioning. In a desperation to tie-up with people, or brands or organization’s for business, do not agree to do business with brands for whom you need to be available all the time. Work with clients who understand and with whom you can work on a common ground based on trust, mutual respect and growth. 

10) Employees or consultants: As a business you might hire employees or consultants depending on your business needs. Always ensure to treat them with respect. Calling them up all the time, sending them emails at the eleventh hour, always making the work under pressure can be a sign of poor management. This will neither deliver good results for your clients nor help you grow.

11) New Industry Verticals: Always understand what your customers are looking out for. Do not push your services because you have them to offer. Rather customize to suit their budget, requirements and needs.  At the same time, constantly focus on newer verticals or for that matter, removing services from your lists that are no longer beneficial to you or your customers. Adding new industry based verticals helps you sustain during difficult times and at the same time ensures you are at the top of your game by developing solutions that your prospects need!

12) Time: Timing is everything when it comes to business. And I mean this in every way possible. Entrepreneurship or business is unpredictable. Those whose ego’s have not allowed them to accept this have either fallen straight on their faces or have given up eventually before having to accept the same. Anything can happen and things can turn from good to great or bad to worse in the blink of an eye. Time is your greatest strength and your ally in the long run. Because, if there is anything that business can teach you for sure, it is that, “anything is possible”. Be ready, be prepared, accept and either rejoice or work towards making things better. 

13) Learn and Read: Nothing beats hard work and having the right information at the right time. Constantly read business and management articles, books, magazines and stay updated with the latest news, industry trends and that will not only add value to your business but also empower you during discussions and as a professional. 

14) Freebies and Premiums: There are lots of tools online that are available for free that you can use for your business. Try them out and see if they work and do justice to your growing needs as an entrepreneur or growth hacker. If yes, you might find value in exploring their paid versions too, if you feel it will add to your success and reduce your overall costs and time to manage them directly from your end.

There are so many more things that you can to make your work a bliss in your entrepreneurship journey.

I hope these guides were useful and you found it insightful. 

Please do share your comments and views. Would love to hear your feedback and suggestions.

Have an amazing day ahead.

Do share your comments and or views based on your experiences too. Would love to hear from you.

Be Well

Ananth V

Twitter  Facebook Social Media Book –LinkedIn

 

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Happy Birthday www celebrating #internautday 25 years: Inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners Lee

Happy Birthday www celebrating #internautday 25 years: Inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners Lee

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, pictured in 1994. In front of him shows a computer displaying an early version of the web. (Image: CERN)

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, pictured in 1994. In front of him shows a computer displaying an early version of the web. (Image: CERN)

On 6 August 1991, Tim Berners-Lee published a short summary of the World Wide Web project and publicly this service was made available on the Internet for new users only after 23rd August. Which is why, 23rd August is celebrated as “Internaut Day” and the birthday of World Wide Web (www).

Wow, it has just been 25 years since the start of “www”, can you believe it? I can’t.

I honestly can’t recollect a time when there was no internet and I was born a decade before the internet was!

What made it so popular other than the fact that it was without a doubt a remarkable invention.

Well, it simplified the lives of everyone, irrespective of their technical know-how and skills. It enabled “access to information” at one’s fingertips, literally! 

As the world grew, the invention of the world wide web enabled access to more information, with better resources, with faster speed as each and every aspect gave a boost and showcased the need for the next big thing.

Today, without a doubt the world has shrunk into a global village. It allows each and everyone of us to collaborate and connect across a single power packed platform. 

At the birth of www, Tim Lee suggested three main technologies which enabled computers to understand each other. These were, HTML, URL and HTTP. 

Few Core Terms that became more and more popular with the growth of www:

  • www: World Wide Web
  • Url: Uniform resource locator
  • http: Hypertext Transfer Protocol

The birthplace:CERN

Internaut day and the World Wide Web

The corridor where WWW was born. CERN, ground floor of building No.1

 The corridor where WWW was born. CERN, ground floor of building No.1 The NeXT Computer used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN

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The NeXT Computer used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN

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NeXTcube first webserver Tim Berners Lee Internaut day world wide web

Interesting links:

Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee also known as TimBL, is an English computer scientist. He is known more popularly across the world as the “Inventor of the World Wide Web“.

Some interesting facts:

  • In 2004, Berners-Lee was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his pioneering work.
  • It was during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony when he was officially honoured as the “Inventor of the World Wide Web”.
  • This day is celebrated across the globe as “Internaut day”.
  • The term internaut really means someone who is competent online and or well versed online coupled with years of online experience and a remarkable knowledge of using any and all internet resources to acquire information. 
  • Other terms that are also sometimes used in relation to or in connect with internaut are “cybernaut” and “netizen”.
  • What made this www a phenomenon is the fact that it’s birth enabled those who were not technical and or were not ‘computer experts’ to be still able to use the Internet in an easy and simple way. 
  • Often,the term Internet and world wide web are used in the same context or even as synonyms. But, internet refers to the networking infrastructure which enables billions of users across the globe to use computers and connect with each other whereas, “www” is simply put, a collection of content found online in any form (eg. pages, pictures, textual content, music, movies, etc).
  • The Web actually represents one part of the “Internet”.
  • The first website to ever go online was on August 6, 1991, http://info.cern.ch
  • On April 30, 1993, CERN announced Licensing the web  and that with this step, world wide web technology would be available to all for free. The public statement declared: “CERN relinquishes all intellectual property rights to this code, both source and binary and permission is given to anyone to use, duplicate, modify and distribute it.”.
  • The very first website project: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
  • Today, there are literally more devices connected to the Internet than the total number of human beings living on this planet.
  • In 1993, the launch of Mosaic web browser was a turning point for the Web.
  • You can check out the Total number of Websites here LIVE >>> http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites

 

 THANK YOU “Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee” for the amazing world wide web. 

Be Well

Ananth V

Twitter  Facebook Social Media Book –LinkedIn – Learn Digital Marketing social media

DANGER: Agencies and Clients you should be wary working with

DANGER: Agencies and Clients you should be wary working with

7 Types of Digital Advertising Agencies you should be careful working with:

  • We Guarantee: Anyone who says they can guarantee. Eg. Guarantee Followers, Likes, Google Page Rank No.1, Website Traffic etc, should be a concern for you. Check out Google’s take on this: Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee ranking. Digital marketing is about establishing a connect, brand engagement and relationship with customers and prospects. There are no GUARANTEES in SOCIAL, it’s about FREE WILL. Customers connect with brands they TRUST.
  • We Offer CHEAP services: Nothing valuable ever comes for cheap. It might come at a value price, but not for cheap. The word itself diminishes the power of the brand. Do you want to hand over your brand to such an agency?
  • We have over 1,000+ clients: They have been in the industry for less than 5-6 years and if they claim to have ridiculous number of clients, be very wary.
  • Their Digital presence is very poor: They are themselves not active on social networking platforms and do not even have blog sites that are updated frequently. BIG RED FLAG! The biggest red flag here would be if their digital head has no digital presence that truly contributes value and showcases their know-how of the digital realm.
  • They use Traditional medium to advertise more than digital space: Claiming to be offering services in digital space, if they themselves use traditional medium more for brand reach, well, it’s your call to decide on their credentials! 
  • Their CEO and Director: Their CEO or Digital Head or Director is someone who has less than 5- 7 years of professional and or work experience handling responsible roles and not just a job. Remember, you are planning to hand over your Brand to them. Yes, well, there are Zuckerberg’s, well not exactly, there is just one! The rest need to showcase work and or a product that elevates you to earn that spot.
  • Case Studies: Digital agencies that do not have Case Studies, get out of there right now! 

7 Types of Clients and Or Enquiries you should be careful working with:

  • Guarantee Us Results: Unless they can put it in writing that their product and or service will not receive any negative feedback from any customer across the globe, I don’t think they have any right to demand the same!
  • No or Poor Budget, but we want the services: These are enquiries who demand too many services, results, reports and end up with a post or a quote that says, “We have almost no or very poor budget”. There is nothing wrong in having less budget, but then the demand for services should match the same accordingly.
  • Unprofessional: Some enquiries are rude right from the start of the conversation. They start interacting as if you are an employee and they make it clear that they don’t respect or value their employees. Run away!
  • Ridiculous demands: They will ask for deliverable that are humanly not possible, which says they have absolutely no clue of how digital works. For eg. they might ask you, “I want 1 million likes on facebook in 1 month, 10,000 shares on blog in a week, million views on youtube in 24 hours, I want 200% increase in leads in 1 month, what’s the best and cheapest price you can offer?”. Well, for these kind of queries, the honest and fun answer ( not advisable though) would really be, “Oh, I am sorry, the cheap second hand used clothing sale is down the hall to your right, don’t let the door smack you in the face on your way out.” (Don’t try this while at home or especially at work) 
  • Know-it-all: They will interact with you with an attitude that they are already experts in your field of work and that they just need a helping hand. They would neither offer gratitude, nor respect for their peers and of course, they have no priority to squeeze you in for their budgets. 
  • Conveniently contradicting: These are brands and or organization’s who are conveniently contradicting. For eg. while discussing about themselves or introducing their brand, they would use words like, “Global, Reputed, Recognized, Internationally acclaimed, 20+ years in the industry, Industry experts, Market leaders etc” and when it comes to asking for a quotation and pricing from your end, they would quickly turn to using words like, “Remember, it’s our new venture and we have no budget, its just a trial for us etc”
  • Ignorant: It’s alright if you don’t understand how a service and or an industry works, not everyone knows everything. I strongly believe that the learning curve never ends. But there are enquiries who are just plain ignorant. They know that they don’t know and also that they don’t really care. They just want to get things over with. As a digital agency, be extremely careful while tying up with such enquiries, they will suck up your bandwidth, not respond or revert on time and never give you feedback on what’s working and what isn’t. 

Businesses are created dime a dozen, focus on building a brand!

Off late, we have heard of brands that have been successful in acquiring millions of dollars in investment funding and the same brands shutting down out of the blue. Most of it can be linked back to poor decisions right from the start. Of course, there are organization’s that collapse due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond anyone’s control too.

The point is, there are few things which we have no control over and as always, there are few things which we can be careful about prior to entering into a business contract.

The biggest three factors that I believe contribute to any brand’s success and growth are:

  • TRUST – Mutual
  • Respect, recognition and Value for parties doing business with you.
  • It’s a Business: Never expect a freebie all the time! Everyone needs to sustain.

Hope this was useful. 

Did you know that as a digital agency, we at Techdivine Creative Services, have over 78% of our clients acquired through digital marketing and social media! You can check out and download few of our digital marketing and social media ROI based case studies here.

Do share your comments and or views based on your experiences too. Would love to hear from you.

Be Well

Ananth V

Twitter  Facebook Social Media Book –LinkedIn

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Popular links and posts this month:

Most CFOs and CMO focus on ROI success from Digital Marketing

Most CFOs and CMO focus on ROI success from Digital Marketing

ROI success from Digital Marketing

With rapidly evolving social media and digital marketing’s “ROI metrics, tools and process”, brand’s and their key decision makers are now focusing more on actual results

Yes, that’s correct.

It’s time to move over vanity metrics and focus on actual ROI from social media digital marketing campaigns.

Here are 8 key ROI metrics which CMO’s, CEO’s and CFO’s across organizations, countries and industries focus on:

8 key ROI metrics

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC):
The total spend that you have incurred in getting an enquiry or a lead that has finally converted to a customer.  This would include website maintenance during the said campaign period, content marketing, PPC, SMM, digital spends etc too. Any and all efforts that have gone into converting a customer from a prospect. 

Customer Lifetime Value:

The total revenue a customer brings for your business during his or her lifetime. This would include every purchase till the customer stays with your brand (including repeat purchases, etc). As a business, brands usually have an idea or estimate of average ticket size or revenue from each customer.

It’s core to understand how customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value affect the social media marketing ROI for brands.

Referrals:

Number of referrals across different social and digital platforms. For eg. from email marketing, social networking sites, content marketing campaign, influencer campaigns, PPC etc USEFUL TIP and HINT: Using distinct “Discount codes” or “Referral Codes” helps to keep track of the same easily.

Shopping carts: Purchased and Abandoned:

Number of shopping carts which completed transactions successfully and also the number of transactions that dropped off. Here the key decision makers are interested to know at which page or stage did the prospect drop off eg. before signing out or while adding more products or after adding shipping details or while entering discount codes etc. Here is a link to few effective guides for User interface (UI) across ecommerce sites.

Customer Retention costs:

As the name suggests any and all costs to retain customers via emailer campaign or gratification investments such as digital loyalty rewards, social media contests and rewards etc.

Enquiry to Conversion: Lead quality ratio:

This gives them an idea of the actual quality of leads. For eg. 1,000 leads with 35% conversion might be a much better campaign strategy than 10,000 leads with 2% conversion. This needs to be tracked in sync with the source of the website for the lead or enquiry generation.

Traditional cost to conversion and Digital Cost to conversion Ratio:

The cost for converting a particular demographic of user using Traditional marketing and for a similar customer the cost involved across digital marketing channels.

CTA Conversion ratios across Pay Per Click (PPC), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Digital Marketing:

Any and all Call To Action (CTA) used, what were the conversion ratios across:

  • What type of messages appealed to users
  • What type of discount codes or offers worked best
  • Which type of social site or digital campaign CTA delivered the best conversions in terms of quality of leads to actual sales  conversions
  • Which CTA resulted in adding more subscribers or users downloading an app
  • Which campaign CTA delivered maximum user email subscriptions etc

These are some of the core metrics that key decision makers across organization’s usually focus a lot on.

These metrics will help you understand how to budget for a successful ROI based digital marketing campaign.

Are there any other key metrics that you use to measure and track for a digital campaign ROI?

Do share your comments and or views based on your experiences too. Would love to hear from you.

Be Well

Ananth V

Twitter  Facebook Social Media Book –LinkedIn

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Related posts:

STOP Digital marketing and Advertising. It does not work

STOP Digital marketing and Advertising. It does not work

Yes, that’s right. I heard it too!

STOP social media failure

Off late, there have been articles and posts about:

  • Why digital marketing sucks?
  • Why social media is a complete failure?
  • Why nothing works and why the entire system stinks?
  • Why targeted ads do not deliver? and the list goes on……

And each time you read one of these articles, you will find the author’s of the posts use “ONE BRAND’s Failed attempts” and experiences with digital advertising and or social media marketing, on which the entire post would be based on.

The general arguments that I have heard across some of these blogs usually are that:

  • Their Social media did not deliver actual SALES for XYZ Brand
  • Their digital marketing backfired and cost the organization millions!
  • The digital advertising metrics cannot or do not measure or reach demographics or targeted users and the brand says, digital has failed us.
  • The data available does not fit with the budget that we propose for the said campaign to be implemented so the metrics and analytics clash with the campaign.
  • They are not economically efficient

If you read these type of posts closely, you can find words or phrases in the posts like: “the brand assumed, the organization’s marketers presumed, they thought this would work, they thought of trying the targeting ads but it failed, etc…”

At the same time, if you look at their conversations across public platforms shared online too from their end, most of these conversations emit tremendous negative aura of why digital is a failure in advertising and marketing!

stop digital marketing fails

Some of their most common arguments of why digital will fail according to them would be as under:

  • You are contacted without permission by these online stalkers which is ridiculous
  • Your time and money is wasted on these sites which take up your bandwidth and do not even offer much value in return
  • No one clicks on ads, they just like it and leave it so you do not even get visitors on your site. What a waste!
  • You are forcibly shown ads and content that do not interest you. Such a shame

and again…. the list goes on……

Few things to keep in mind while working on a digital campaign:

Do not deal with digital marketing in isolation:

The very first thing that marketers need to understand is that, one cannot deal with social media or digital in isolation. For eg. You cannot try one target marketing ad or one promote sponsored post and blame the entire system for it. Yes, sometimes things don’t work out, but there could be so many reasons for it. Simplest of all being, a campaign’s success requires multitude of information to work in sync at the right place, across right demographics and at the right time. Data is the heart of a digital marketing campaign and content is the soul of a brand. So ensuring the right metrics across targeted users would definitely work wonders. Also, the brand message that you as a digital marketing professional or a digital agency would design would be a great deciding factor for the success of the campaign.

Let’s look at few simple examples of failed digital campaigns which I read online on why digital will fail:

An organization recently was blaming digital online saying traditional worked better for them because they posted ad on multiple online sites but got no response but got better response through other traditional media and it was way cheaper too!

So on similar lines, I browsed trough few other such campaigns where few companies and or marketers had written negatively about the impact of digital on brands.

I browsed through few of their online ads and the reason for their failure using digital for their campaigns was very simple:

These are some of the campaigns that I saw or read about Online and these were being used by few bloggers as an example of why digital does not work or deliver. So I thought of sharing detailed highlights from my observations on what probably caused the failure.

CASE 1 – FAILURE: They were into mental health care and wellness. And their ad focused on words which were asking users if they faced mental health issues like depression, stress, etc and if they did, they could use the upcoming offer of the brand and avail free consultation.

Now, when I read the actual ad posted online and it’s wordings, there were so many elements that were wrong, politically incorrect and straight up offensive!

Treatments and services like mental health care have to be modeled with great care and caution. It deals with sensitive issues which people would not be under any circumstances comfortable discussing on a pubic platform.

So asking users to AVAIL this as an Offer is Ridiculous!

I spoke to the company and told them about how offensive this concept and insensitive their ad was and enquired who the staff or agency was behind this ad. After few followups I found out that their new digital head was handling digital marketing roles at a retail brand prior to this job. So my guess is, the said individual applied what works with retail, “AVAIL OFFERS NOW” to an industry like health and wellness too! 

Can you really blame the digital industry here?

CASE 2 – FAILURE:

The digital strategy used was focused towards selling or generating enquiries for “Housing & Infrastructure industry – Promoting and selling 1 & 2 BHK Homes in India”.

Majority of their ads that ran online using digital marketing and social media influencers were sharing emotional triggers in the following way: 

  • Get out of your lazy zone this weekend and start looking for a home to make you feel luxurious!
  • What are your weekend plans? Mine are to buy a home and I am leaving right now on a Saturday morning.
  • Wow, a new home, that will fulfill all my dreams of life. Thanks, I am going to look for the house right now.
  • A dream home with best amenities and luxury, now my family needs this. We will go right now.

Now, need I even mention what’s wrong with this strategy?

Firstly, it’s a home. It’s not something you shop online or purchase from a shopping retail outlet like an FMCG product. 

Secondly, buying a home, is more about an emotional connect than anything else. It’s about one of the biggest financial dreams for every user. It’s a commitment for a lifetime to build your dream home and it has so many psychological factors that go into the decision making process along with the financial decisions.

Now getting digital influencers to tweet about this with words that sound like you are ought to buy yourself a fancy scarf or movie tickets is just plain ridiculous. 

And FINALLY:

CASE 3 – FAILURE:

The digital marketing and social media campaign was promoting an upcoming Training workshop for an e-learning company. They were organizing an event and this was followed by a workshop. 

It seems, the company could make only 14% of their targeted bookings! Whoa, now that’s a real sad turn of events.

So, here again, I looked at the posting for these campaigns online. I checked their blog post promotions, their facebook sponsored ads were visible too and their tweets across digital marketing social media influencers who were hired to do the promotions. 

My take on this campaign was as under:

  • When I looked at the Facebook ads designed by the digital team in-house or an external agency involved, they looked fantastic. 
  • Then I read through few of their blog post articles about the same and they too were insightful, engaging and wonderful. 
  • Finally, I looked at the tweet promotion activity by social media influencers hired for this campaign and the 18 users whose tweets I read, all of them, were doing a remarkable job. It was right on target. I loved the work these guys were doing either as an in-house marketing team or a digital agency. I loved it!

In fact, everything that these guys were doing with the digital media was superb.

But then, why did the results not happen? Why were there no bookings or 14% bookings?

I asked myself, “Could it be that these haters who post that digital does not work be correct?”

Nah! Like I said, never look at digital campaigns in isolation.

So I called up the phone numbers that were promoting this event, dropped an email enquiry to know about this event, because it really sounded interesting. And I was actually keen on even attending it. (I did not attend though!)

No one responded on email, 7 days had passed by!

As for the phone call, my call was shuffled between four persons who were in a rubble with few simple questions that I had posed about the event agenda.

It turned out, they had no idea about what was really happening at this event. To add to this agony, 2 out of the four people I spoke to were just plain discourteous. 

I was obviously put off!

So here is a case where the digital team handling the campaign, did a great job but did not get the backing and or support they deserved. At the end of the day, they took the brunt for the failure of the campaign. 

stop digital marketing fails

It’s really a small world. Why? Because after about a week from my above enquiry, I ran into an old friend of mine. As we kept talking, this friend happened to mention that they were handling the said above mentioned campaign’s back-end and traditional, mobile and print advertising. So I enquired on how things were working out and whether they were facing any issues and which campaign was doing well, traditional or digital. 

His immediate response was, “Why, of course, traditional! Digital cannot survive here” he added. 

Now his arrogant and ignorant response told me that he did not know what I did for a living even though he was an old friend and an older ex-colleague of mine. He was under the impression that I was in finance! So much for being an old friend! Anyways, this also helped me understand that he did not have a very informed background, as in, he was not much in sync with what was happening in the digital realm and most importantly, he was not interested. He has been in traditional media for the past 2 decades….and his views had not changed a bit!

So then, I shared with him what I did for a living and asked him what was happening with the campaign after sharing my experience with the same. He responded, “Wow, ok. That was surprising. Look, ‘ll be honest. Our business gets affected if these digital guys take over, no offense. So my tele-call team has clear instructions not to entertain users who come enquiring through social media channels. So we take down their numbers and after few days call from our end with a better offer as if we are calling them for the first time, for eg. if social media booking offers 20% off, we offer 30% off and we make sure to tell those customers to enter our OFFER code in their bookings. And they do, they want a great deal, they don’t care whose calling or doing the work. I will tell you why I do this too. I don’t want my boss standing on my neck breathing down and telling me that if a person sitting behind a computer can bring so many enquiries and sales, what am I hiring you and your team for?” This was his convenient excuse to his utter unprofessional behaviour!

My expression, I guess made it clear to him that I was far from being impressed. My frustration towards this friend of mine was not because he did what he did. I understand, he was just trying to protect his job and pay scale. I got annoyed because he was so low on ethics. Now that’s something I can never forgive.

But can you really blame him too entirely? Not really, he is just looking out for his job now isn’t he?

I told him that I would be writing about this experience in the next blog post and his shaking knees and beady eyes were wondering if his name or the brand’s name would crop-up in my post and as an old friend, I guaranteed him, that ‘I would never do that’ even if he had not requested me to, I make it a policy that I don’t “name names”.

My idea of sharing my blog posts is not to expose people for their way of work. Plus, I always give people their space and a benefit of doubt for why and what reasons could have pushed them to behave in this way. We all make mistakes, some grave and some minuscule, but we do, from time to time, at least I do… I am just a man! There’s no point in holding a grudge on someone for life for a mistake now isn’t it?

But you see, my job through this blog post is also to ensure that I inform and educate my dear fellow readers of what’s transpiring in the world of marketing today, across traditional and digital realms. So as much as my heart supported me in not sharing his name or the company’s name, my conscience did not allow me to keep quite. So I spent the next week searching for users posting negative comments about campaigns and digital marketing and did a lot of follow-ups, research and thought of a simple way of sharing this via a blog post to spread the message about users who claim “DIGITAL does not deliver…..and they share such case studies as examples of failure”. Now that’s not really nice!

The success of a campaign is not merely about the right tools working or the right set of offers or data and metrics alone, it’s a combination of so many things that go into designing a social media digital marketing campaign for a business successfully.

We as a digital agency have shared so many of our successful case studies on digital marketing social media ROI across industries and countries for users to download for FREE over the years and at the same time have relentlessly worked towards producing content that is both relevant and sincerely adds value to our readers.

Some campaigns work exceptionally well and sometimes you have lost social media marketing when you fail to use the right elements. The point is, it’s not a war. It’s not a fight between whose better. I started my career in advertising and marketing working with traditional media more than a decade ago. I loved doing that too!

It’s not personal, it’s strictly business!

I don’t think Traditional media should be replaced and for that matter, I believe that the best campaigns are the ones that bring about a synergy between the best strategies in traditional marketing integrated with the new age media tools of digital and social media marketing.

I am 100% positive that each time a campaign does well, it’s a joint effort of teams working together without “ego” and with a simple goal to deliver their best as a brand.

So the next time you feel digital marketing does not work when You have worked with someone else or tried it on your own, feel free to reach me across my professional services contact form link here and I will, with my digital agency work towards building a campaign that performs and delivers for your brand. Professional services, of course!

To know more: Please feel free to reach here: Ananth V – Best Digital Marketing Professional in India

Here are some power packed quotes from the GREATEST OF ALL TIME that I feel fit right into this post’s theme and message.

  1. It’s all about preparation:

40-Muhammad-Ali-Inspirational-Quotes4-600x379

2. Don’t work on a campaign thinking Traditional is Good or Digital Is Good, traditional media is gone or dead and digital marketing is a failure: Believe with the right team, anything is possible towards a common GOAL.

40-Muhammad-Ali-Inspirational-Quotes5-600x450

3. You have to move ahead with the world: Don’t be rigid to the extent that you lose out on the wonderful things that the new era has brought with it. Change is inevitable.

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4. If you have results, if you have done exemplary work, there is nothing wrong in sharing it with people online. Just ensure, your head and feet are still on the ground!

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Do share your comments and or views, Would love to hear from you.

Be Well

Ananth V

Twitter  Facebook Social Media Book –LinkedIn

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Popular Links and Posts this week across my blogs:

Sakshi Malik Thank You for the RIO 2016 Olympic medal for India

Sakshi Malik Thank You for the RIO 2016 Olympic medal for India

India's bronze medallist Sakshi Malik stands on the podium at the end of the women's 58kg freestyle wrestling event at the Carioca Arena 2 in Rio de Janeiro on August 17, 2016, during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ

India’s bronze medallist Sakshi Malik stands on the podium at the end of the women’s 58kg freestyle wrestling event at the Carioca Arena 2 in Rio de Janeiro on August 17, 2016, during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ

Sakshi Malik etched HISTORY as she became the first woman wrestler from India to win a medal in Olympics!

Her efforts for winning a Bronze at Rio she says was a result of 12 years of hard work.

As the RIO 2016 Olympic games, nears it’s end, Sakshi Malik brought a smile and raced our hearts with a legendary win. 

India and it’s 1.3 Billion people are THANKFUL to You for this amazing accomplishment. 

Medal standings RIO 2016 India Sakshi Malik Women Wrestling

You truly are an inspiration and the face of this nation today!

I have been searching every day for this on Google and You finally made this happen!

Medal standings RIO 2016 India Sakshi Malik Women Wrestling

Medal standings RIO 2016 India Sakshi Malik Women Wrestling

THANK You.

 

Ananth V

Usain Bolt: Jamaican Sprinter Wins Gold with ease, class and hearts with a smile @cjspencois #gettysport @usainbolt

Usain Bolt: Jamaican Sprinter Wins Gold with ease, class and hearts with a smile

Getty Images photographer Cameron Spencer clicked what I feel is one of the greatest moments in sports history.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men's 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 14: Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men’s 100 meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Fame is ephemeral or transitory, because there is always someone who does the same thing, or for that matter, something new or way exceptional much better and in the most unexpected way and this keeps happening through passage of time!

The concept of “Impossible” is constantly questioned, redefined and even toyed with in the wake of great historic moments.

Such was a moment when Cameron Spencer of Getty Images clicked the above picture.

Usain Bolt is no doubt a legend, someone who is loved across the globe, a class act and with this iconic picture and moment, his smile cherished by people all over the world and this picture has easily been imprinted in the hearts of fans all over the world as the Picture of the Olympics

Bolt’s 9.86 time was the fastest of the season.

But so much gold has been won at the Olympics and so many cheers and glorious moments experienced!

So what makes Usain Bolt go down in history as one of the greatest of all times.

I feel, it’s just one simple thing:

Usain Bolt really loves doing what he does and which is why he does it with so much ease, he lives in that very moment and stands a class apart as he delivers consistently!

Of course, the dedication, training, state-of-the-art focus and attention to develop every muscle, diet, discipline, speed etc but when all of that is coupled with a joyous heart that knows how to LIVE and relish that very moment, a legend is born!

Imagine the pressure, the pain that these athletes must be going through at that very moment at the Olympics.

Their years of training, sacrifice, focus and all of it comes boiling down to the final few seconds to redefine “who they are”.

At such a stressful moment,  when an athlete turns around to look at his competitors, grins, then looks at the camera in a jiffy to even share a smile, wow, that is what makes one a LEGEND!

As you watch the pictures, you can tell that he is really having fun out there.

This truly epic moment from Usain Bolt reminded me of STEVE JOBS following three quotes:

  • Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it ~ Steve Jobs
  • Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future ~Steve Jobs
  • Stay hungry, stay foolish ~ Steve Jobs

 

Hearty congratulations for athletes across the world from so many countries who have won accolades, who represented their country with pride and of course, those who won Olympic medals, hats-off to all of you. You are all truly inspiring!

At the same time, being an Indian, I was of course cheering for INDIA throughout and we saw some unbelievably inspiring athletes who have without a doubt changed the perception of Olympics participation, Sports forever and won over billions of hearts of Indians in a country which is focused just on cricket for decades! 

To name a few, Dipa Karmakar, Lalita Babar, P. V. Sindhu, Vikas Krishan Yadav, Srikanth Kidambi, Seema Punia, Deepika Kumari, Dutee Chand and so many of them….. truly inspiring.

Thankful to them for creating history in Olympics in their own wonderfully beautiful way and it was with great pride that I watched few of these moments with joy as the Indian Flag (Tiranga) was flying high with the rest of the world. THANK YOU!

Indian athletes at the RIO 2016 Olympics

For me, when I say the name of the greatest sportsman, inadvertently, Sachin Tendulkar is the first name that pops out. But from now on, thanks to the lists above, there are so many more who have been added.

Some fabulous posts and articles on the legendary USAIN BOLT about the iconic picture:

You can read the articles which discussed: 

 

The iconic picture was clicked by https://twitter.com/cjspencois Getty Images photographer Cameron Spencer

https://www.facebook.com/gettyimages/posts/10153832311376297

 

What was your reaction when you saw this amazing picture? Do share your views, would love to hear from you.

Be Well

Ananth V

Twitter  Facebook Social Media Book –LinkedIn

#55SecsOrLess to Read: Influencer marketing and social media rockstars

#55SecsOrLess to Read: Influencer marketing and social media rockstars

#55SecsOrLess to Read Post series continues

Influencer marketing is picking up with great pace. Brands are hiring digital superstars, social media marketing influencers, brand rockstar’s to promote, blog, tweet, post videos, share pictures on Instagram, Snapchat conversations etc to empower their products and services online.

influencer marketing

This post shared below is from the point of view of Social Media Influencers hired for these services. Off-late you can see many of them complaining that brands do not give them due credit (monetarily or otherwise) for their work, so I thought of putting together some simple ideas which could help them empower themselves much better!

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The #55SecsOrLess to Read Post starts from here: 

  • Take up projects from brands because you believe in them, not just for fun! It reflects in your content.
  • Strictly Say “NO” to working for few quick freebies or much worse, for FREE from brands and or influencer marketing agencies. If your time is not worth their money, neither should your service be a requirement then from their end. Unless you really believe in a brand and or are truly and desperately seeking to be a part of that experience, never agree to do anything for free,or well, unless you just need to kill some time!
  • Agree to work only across industries that you truly understand or it belittles quality of your content and work.
  • Study the brand or product and or service well, take notes, pictures, videos etc spend some time and put efforts that doesn’t showcase just ‘standard professional work’, but your best, every single time.
  • Share the influencer marketing work across multiple platforms. Measure the results. These metrics will help you with your future campaigns.
  • Don’t bother about how other influencers are doing the same campaign. Keep your tone and style unique. It will help you build a power brand on your own soon!
  • Enjoy the process and constantly keep upgrading your skills and know-how.

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End of the #55SecsOrLess to read post!

How has your experience as a social media influencer or a digital marketing influencer been with brands?

Let’s say, if you had no other source of income, would you have approached delivering these services differently for the same brands?

Do share your comments and or views, Would love to hear from you.

Be Well

Ananth V

Twitter  Facebook Social Media Book –LinkedIn

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Popular Links and Posts this week across my blogs:

How can social media marketing boost Personal branding

How can social media marketing boost Personal branding

#55SecsOrLess to Read Post series continues

6 ways to power-up your personal brand using social media:

  • There is no need to be on every social site available. Promote across relevant social networking platforms.
  • Don’t just keep posting your website links. Instead work on creating, designing, planning and building a winning social media branding strategy.
  • Different social networking platforms have different types of audiences, they prefer different communication styles and varied types of content. Understand that and develop your social media content calendar.
  • Work on posting things that are not just about your BRAND or service all the time. Rather, create fun, valuable, quick to read, creative and shareable interesting content as per your demographics too. At all times, ensure to be in tone with your brand’s style and voice.
  • Work with brand ambassadors who promote your brand. Do something that showcases that you value their time too! Thank them & or gratify them in any way you can!
  • Invest in your brand by learning about branding, social media marketing techniques from the best digital marketing professionals in your industry or country. Nothing valuable in business ever comes for free. Budget for your social media ROI campaigns. If you don’t invest in your brand, no one else will!
social media personal branding Ananth V digital marketing

Personal Branding with Social media marketing

For customized social media marketing campaigns and custom designed Corporate training programs on Digital marketing, blogging, content marketing, feel free to reach us here NOW for a Free Quote

Be Well

Ananth V

Website Twitter  Facebook Social Media BookCorporate training on Digital marketing social media workshop coursesLinkedIn

Related Posts:

“70th Independence Day” Happy Independence Day India

70th Independence Day

Happy Independence Day INDIA: Celebrating 70th Year of Indian Independence

Happy Independence Day 70th Year of Indian Independence Jai Hind

Happy Independence Day 70th Year of Indian Independence

 

On 15th August 2016

Wishing all my dear friends a Very HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

On 15th August 2016, i.e. today, a proud India and billions (1.33 billions) of us, i.e. “Hindustani’s” will rejoice and celebrate 70th Year of Indian Independence.

As the Tiranga is hoisted across schools, colleges, institutions, corporations, residential buildings and all across this beautiful nation today, the tri-coloured flag will float proudly in the skies bringing back memories, stories and inspiring historic moments throughout the day.

Leaders and true heroes sacrificed their lives in numbers greater than it could ever be accounted for to ensure that each and everyone of us lives in peace, joy and happiness.

To name a few, the great Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, iconic leaders like Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Jawaharlal Nehru and so many freedom fighters, true heroes and legends stood up and fought for our freedom, which we rejoice in so many ways, most of which, we might even be unaware of.

On 15 August 1947, India’s first prime minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, raised the Indian national flag and delivered an inspiring speech “Tryst With Destiny”.

Over the past seven decades, our heroes in the Indian Army, Navy , Air force, soldiers across various other units in India, Our Police forces and each and every one of them have given their lives to keep us safe!

I THANK all of them from the bottom of my heart!

I Strongly believe: 

Greatness, joy, freedom and success can never come into existence without sacrifice, in way or another!

Today, let us not only have a National Holiday as we rejoice every glorious moment, but let us also work towards making this beautiful country a thousand times greater, cleaner, safer and prosperous than it is today.

Today, let us pledge to:

  • NOT Litter Or Spit or Spoil our streets in any way
  • Follow Rules while driving making it safe for pedestrians, fellow drivers and ourselves
  • Help out someone who is in trouble or unsafe or in an accident and not just stand and watch
  • Ensure Women safety, safety of Kids in any and every way possible
  • Stop Child Labor starting from our homes and offices
  • Empower education for girls
  • Say No to Drugs
  • NOT Waste food at restaurants, hotels or anywhere ever again
  • Not to waste water
  • Give away our used clothes, books, left over food to those who have none

Today, let us pledge to have a more joyous, safe and prosperous INDIA….. the only way our country can become better is not just by asking what the government or any other authority can do for us, but rather, being a part of the movement ourselves. It starts from within!

Bharat Mata Ki Jai

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Jai HIND

Ananth V

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Related links:

  • Meanwhile: LOVED THIS Video: 

On the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day – Indian Army Jawans sang patriotic songs in Bhopal

 

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