Friday, July 5, 2013

Creative Guerrilla Marketing - Flash Mob

Hey Guys,

This time I am going to write about a very interesting way of creating brand awareness. Imagine a situation when you are on your way to work, in a park with your friends or just walking over the road, suddenly people around you start singing and dancing for a while and when it ends they disperse quickly as they appeared.

The situation I have explained above is known as a Flash Mob. A Flash Mob is when a group of people assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief period of time and then quickly disperse. This is often used for entertainment satire and artistic expression. Flash mobs are organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails. Modern Marketers has used this as a creative and effective way of attracting their target audience to create awareness of products and brands. A Flash mob has been an inspiring, fascinating and an amusing way of advertising.

It actually started in 2003 at Manhattan by Bill Wasik the senior editor of Harper's Magazine. Later on many world class brands adopted this strategy to get the attention of their target audience including brands like Ray ban, Fox and many more.

Success Stories


In 2009 they created and performed three flash mob ads and became the most successful viral campaign in the recent history. It was done in a busy London station and it is the most watched flash mob video with over 30 million you tube views. 


It was also a creative flash mob done for the launch of sky high definition in Latin America. They hired a super model Gisele Bundchen for the act and made her sit on sofa at the departure lodge holding a tv remote control in front of a TV. With one click the lodge was filled with dancers dressed like American football players and with the second click it was filled by soldiers. 

Sri Lankan Examples

Flash mob can be shown as a guerilla advertising approach which can attract a wider audience both on and offline. Few Sri lankan examples are as belows, 

KIK Cola Flash mob in Nugegoda, Galle Face and K-Zone
Airtel Flash mob in Fort Railway Station

Salon Liyo Flash Mob in Wetland Park, Nugegoda by the undergraduates at University of Sri Jayawardenepura

Plan Your own Flash Mob

Be creative and come up with a great idea that people will want to be involved in
Make the act or dance simple but attractive
Think carefully about the location, give people no choice but to notice you in order to cover a wide audeince 
Get permission the do the act in public from related parties
Ask People to video and take photos of the act
Promote it by Fb, twitter, Google + etc. 

See it is very easy and interesting! 

Good luck guys, Keep reading my posts :)


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How FMCG brands can reach the right target audience using Google Display Network ?

Hey All,

This week's blog is dedicated to discuss about how Google display network has enabled FMCG brands to reach the right target audience easily.

What is Google Display Network

 Google Display Network is Google's network for displaying sponsored ads besides its search engine. This can include You tube, Google partnering websites and other Google properties. Google display network can provide geographic targeting as well as it supports all ad formats.

Generally people spend more time online and 95% of that time is spent to read or engage with a content of a website. Google Display Network enables you to reach your target audience at the right place and at the right time. 

Benefits of Display Advertising,

Create all types of ads (Text, Image, Interactive, Video) 
Place those ads in websites that are relevant to what you are selling
Show those ads to people who are interested
Manage and track your budgets
Create ads for free
Saves time
Customized colors fonts and layouts
Update your ads easily

Online engagement of FMCG sector 

The studies have proved that more than 64% of worldwide internet users spend significant time researching brands before making a major purchase. 47% of main shoppers visit grocery retailer websites and 72% search for FMCG related items. Two thirds of main shoppers search for food and drink related terms. 

(Above figures are according to the study looks at Research online Purchase offline, UK. Refer the following link for more information)

Considering our country Sri Lanka the above figures can be different but it would be related since all FMCG buyers has same buyer intentions. 

If we consider the online behavior of people as proven by studies,
 35% use phones of android when they wake up before getting out of the bed. 
When people are at work theres 75% web traffic
At lunch 51% smart phone users search for restaurants
At home 70% people surf internet from computers and other devices
Bed time 21% people use phones of android

How FMCG brands can reach the right target audience using Google Display Network

Google Display Network reach potential customers specifically. Also it enables companies to gain insights about the current customers to expand their audience. It reaches new audience as well based on their interests. It helps companies to optimize their return on investment through effective advertising.  

In order to reach the right target audience,
  • Creative ads
  • Create more interesting advertisements specifically to attract buyers of FMCG products. 
  • Place the advertisements in popular websites related to FMCG 
  • Place the advertisements in most visited social media networks
  • Choose the targeting device wisely (Laptops, desktops, mobile devices or tablets)
  • Choose the correct location or areas
  • Choose the language to be communicated
  • Use effective key words
By doing above things it would be easy to reach the target audience for FMCG products. 

Keep reading my posts and I appreciate your comments and feedbacks!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Branding yourself through social media

Helloo everyone,

This week topic that I am going to write about is Personal branding through Social Media. Personal branding is the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands. (Wikipedia) It describes the process by which the individuals differentiate them selves and standout from the crows by identifying their unique qualities and values. It is difficult to apply a brand to a person other than a product or a service because the behavior of people is totally unpredictable and gradually changes. Yet the topic of personal branding has gained a significant importance with the globalization and modernization due to several reasons.

Why personal branding

To demonstrate more value to customers or employer
It is a leadership requirement
It enables  people to standout of the crowd
To establish reputation and credibility
To advance their careers
Build self confidence

How to brand yourself 

Well executed personal branding campaigns create strong brands that lasts long. Personal branding starts with expertise, demonstrated skills and level of recognition. In order to do personal branding it is important to know what differentiates you from others. 
There are three elements in personal branding,
1. Value proposition-What do you stand for
2. Differentiation- What makes you standout
3. Marketability- What makes you compelling

Branding yourself online 

Internet has become a main source of effective personal branding. Many celebrities, actors, politicians and business tycoons use internet to brand themselves. At the same time anyone can use internet to build their brand in a quick and consistent way and also internet makes personal branding accessible to everyone. 
Blogging and social networks helps to reach your target audience. 

Things to ask yourself before starting up

Who are you
What do you want to do professionally
What is your dream job
Strengths and weaknesses
Your target audience
Your competition

How to use social media tools to brand yourself

First of all it is important to consider the 3 C's of personal branding

Clarity-be clear about who you are
Consistency- Steadfastly express your brand
Constancy- Strong brands are always visible to their target audience


Linked in
Blogs-Video blogs

General Social Media Branding Tips

Be more social and build your network
Keep your information consistent
Reserve your name on other networks
Join groups and conversations with others
Show your expertise in your area

Using twitter to build your brand

Profile- Give Honest information
Tweets-Retweet articles in your area
Privacy- Keep privacy low
Use Hashtags- Allow your readers to see your tweets
Share-Allow your readers to share your information
Follow- Follow experts in your field and have them follow you
Build your reputation

Linked-in to build your brand 

Fill your profile with true information
Headline- List the job you want
Summery - Gear this towards the job you want
Get your unique URL
Keywords-Let your posts come on top of the search results

Facebook to build your brand

Things to do-
Use privacy settings 
Be mindful of your comments
Update often
Be real

Things not to do-
Post anything unprofessional if you are friends with your boss
Post any unnecessary pictures

Central Hub

Keep all your information in one place
Personal Website


Personal branding is how you project yourself to the world. Social media sources like Facebook, twitter and linked-in enables people to brand them selves letting them to reach a quite big target audience. Therefore we can conclude that personal branding is very much effective through social media. 

Hasara :) 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Twitter as a customer service tool

Dear Friends,

Today I am going to talk about TWITTER as a customer service tool. Even though most of the people are very much familiar with fb there is a lesser crowd involved in twitter compared to fb. Therefore I thought that it is required for the viewers to understand that TWITTER is also an important digital marketing tool which enables corporate or non corporate entities to reach their customers effectively.

Even though twitter is not much popular in Sri Lanka most of the top brands in foreign countries already use twitter as a customer service tool mainly because of the unique features of twitter. Twitter always provide instant customer service to customers. Examples for some of the top brands that use twitter are as follows,

Black Berry help
Nike support
Samsung support
Microsoft helps
Nokia helps
Dell cares
Yahoo care

Therefore it is easy to be understood how effective the customer service must be with twitter considering the brands that use twitter as a tool.

Reasons to use Twitter as a customer service tool

  • Twitter fulfills general expectations of customers -

According to data from THE SOCIAL HABIT  42% of the social media users expect to receive a customer support response within a hour or at least on the same day. Generally the average response time for customer tweets are reported to be less than 24 hours. Therefore twitter serves for exact customer needs with quick response.

  • A speedy reply-

Twitter has shortened the customer waiting time to get a response which thereby increases the customer satisfaction followed by customer loyalty.

  • Unique tools to reach customers 

Twitter has improved many unique tools to provide social service. For an example we an take Hashtags as one of the key features of twitter. Considering a lecture room as an example instead of replying a question of one student a lecturer can alert everyone with the answer if hashtag is added. Another examples is @replies. When adding the @replies handle to the middle of the tweet it will send the message to every single one of your followers. Likewise there are several tools of twitter that enables customer service easy and quick. 

  • Measure the success by tracking numbers
Customer service and marketing are different concepts but related. Twitter can track the success of the brand by response rate and mentions over time. This can help customer service heads and marketing managers to take several decisions. 

  • Focus on being helpful to customers
Twitter always focuses on being helpful to customers enabling them to receive a better customer service than its competitors. It gives a quick solution for customer matters and conflicts as well as the responses are sharable and retweetable. 


Considering the social media sources that provide customer service twitter stands out among other sources mainly because of the quick and accurate solutions they provide to customers and also because of the unique features of twitter. Therefore we can conclude that twitter is an important tool which is used by many top brands around the world to provide effective customer service. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Measuring the Social Media Presence of KFC Sri Lanka

Hi Guys,
Here we go again!

Among the most effective ways of creating brand awareness and other marketing functions social media plays a significant role. Social media can be defined as interactions among people in which they create, share and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks (Wikipedia). Social media simply includes all the conversations people have online. The importance of social media is growing rapidly because of the easy accessibility since it is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. The usage of social media sources in marketing activities is growing rapidly mainly because of the quality, reach, frequency, usability and immediacy. Therefore Social Media Marketing has become one of the modern trends in the marketing plans of several companies. 

Social Media Marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Simply it is the effort done to secure the place for your brand and to increase the preference of your brand through online conversations that take place in social media web. Most of the time social media experts use facebook, twitter, youtube etc in order to advertise their brands. 

In order to measure the social media presence of a brand there are several tools that we can use. One of those tools is Social media brand health check up that enables the audience to get a clear idea about the social media presence of a brand. 

I have carried out the social media brand health check up  for the brand KFC Sri Lanka  in order to measure the social media presence. The main competitor of KFC Sri Lanka is Mc Donalds Sri Lanka. 

In order to carry out the analysis I have used the following criterias. 

Reach- Reach the number of people you reach through Social media profiles. 
Quality of Audience- How relevant is your reach to your target group
Engagement- How deeply people engage with the brand
Share of voice- How often people talk about your brand
Sentiment- How positive or negative the conversations about the brand going


The table shown above is the analysis I have carried out with the social media brand health check up. There I have rated each indicator of the criterias according to a scale from which we can select numbers from 0-4 (0 to 4) where each number indicates the level of satisfaction. Details are as follows,

0- Totally Dissatisfied
1- Some what Dissatisfied
2- Neutral
3- Some what Satisfied
4- Totally Satisfied

Evaluation  and recommendations to improve social media presence of KFC Sri Lanka

1. Reach-

Evaluation of Results

Here I have used 4 indicators to measure reach. First one is facebook fan count. With the result we can clearly identify that Mc Donald's leads KFC with a significant difference. It seems that nearly 18% of the audience likes KFC (avoiding the fact that the same person can like both the pages) and nearly 82% likes Mc Donalds. The people who prefer KFC is only around 1/5th of the people who likes Mc Donalds. At the same time the twitter fan count also indicates a similar idea like fb fan count since only 11% of the audience likes KFC over Mac Donalds. Therefore the satisfaction level I have mentioned is Some what Dissatisfied. 
Youtube channel views are more or less same for both the brands so I have mentioned the satisfaction level as somewhat satisfied. Considering the last indicator KFC is active on 3 other social networks while Mac Donald's is only active on 1 other social network which would have to be rated as Totally satisfied. 


Taking the overall situation I would like to recommend that KFC should pay their attention more on increasing the fan counts on fb by promoting their brand among fb users and I suggest fb promotional programs like conductiing competitions among the current fb fans enabling their friends to like the page as well as publishing attractive posts that the fans would share which leads to increase the likes of the page. Similar tactics should be carried out in twitter and you-tube as well. 

2. Quality of Audience

There are 2 indicators in this criteria. The percentage of local fans in fb is highly insignificant mainly because KFC is a multinational brand. But the positive fact is that comparing to the percentage of Local fans of Mc Donalds in fb the percentage of local fans of KFC is way higher. Considering the Good followers in twitter the result is exactly the same since KFC leads Mc Donalds from the percentage.


Comparing with Mc Donalds the percentage is high but comparing with the total fan count the percentage is very low in KFC. Therefore they should do more promotional programs in rder to increase the local fan count among local fb users and to increase the followers in twitter. 

3. Engagement

Considering the first criteria which is the number of people talking about the brand out of the total local fan count of KFC in fb page is only 1.057% while its 0.679% in Mc Donalds fb fan page. Here also KFC leads Mc Donalds. But the score of KLOUT is only 81.1 for KFC while it is 91.6 for Mc Donalds. This shows that the brand engagement in KFC is in a satisfactorily stage comparing to the competitor. 


This shows that the brand engagement in KFC is in a satisfactorily stage comparing to the competitor. But comparing with the overall fan count the percentage of engagement is very much lower. Therefore it is better to increase the overall percentage as well while increasing it against the competitors. 

4. Share of Voice

According to the first indicator of this criteria 20 posts out of the top 20 posts that comes when we search for the brand KFC in Google blog search is about the brand. Therefore the share of voice is in the totally satisfied stage. But the result of Mc Donald is also same as the result of KFC. 
But the number of mentions of KFC regarding the brand in last 48 hours is higher than the mentions of Mc Donalds. 


KFC should follow the same procedures because the share of voice of the brand is in the totally satisfied stage.

5. Sentiment

The negative statements of brand mentions in 2.64% out of the total mentions while it is 2. 94% for Mc Donalds which is slightly high comparing to KFC. This indicates that more than 97% of the viewers has either positive or neutral statements regarding the brand which is a plus point for KFC. 


KFC should follow the same procedures while making efforts to reduce the negative statements that people talk or publish about in Social media in order to increase sentiment. 


The brand social media health score KFC has received according to my evaluation is 72.73%. 

Interpretations of score grades are as follows,

Therefore we can conclude that KFC is a comparatively successful brand on social media than Mc Donalds. But there are certain areas that they should develop in order to achieve a better Media presence for the brands. The recommendations I have mentioned above would be appropriate to strengthen the brand KFC. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Search Engine Optimization!

Hey Guys,

This time it is a little technical related topic that I am going to write about. When considering about the information sources that we use to gain information before making consumption decisions the internet plays a great role among other information sources. In order to search for the relevant information we need through internet we use web search engines. Search engine is a software or a program designed to search for information from the world wide web. In simple terms they search for articles  images, videos etc with the help of key words. Search engines should be easy to access, user friendly and the information search should be fast. Examples for some of the top ranking search engines are Google, Yahoo and bing.

It is a known fact that most of the business and none business entities use internet as a marketing option. When marketing is done through search engines it is called as Search Engine Marketing. SEM involves enhancing the visibility of a website in search engines and it makes the companies to  increase the chance to attract more visitors to their website which leads them to gain competitive advantage.

There are 2 forms of SEM, 

1. Paid search marketing

Attracting visitors by purchasing advertising space on search engine result pages. This involves Paid per click or Cost per click.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO can be defined as the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a webpage in a search engine's natural or unpaid search results. (Wikipedia) When we search for a topic from a search engine the more frequently a site appears in the search list the more visitors it will get from the users who use that particular search engine. Preferably when the search results are posted you tend to click on the links that appear on the first page. This is the ultimate objective of SEM. Through SEO a company can rank their website on the top of the list of search engine results which leads to gain more visitors to the website. Therefore this is the most effective way to gain competitive advantage for companies through SEM.

Strategies to achieve SEO,

1. SEO analysis

To get good results one of the best methods is to make an expertise person or a SEO adviser to identify the weaknesses, opportunities and improvements of the site and implement it.  

2. Key word research

It is very important to reasearch and use  the key words and phrases that are often used by customers when searching for information. 

3. SEO copy writing

Content optimization using the key words and phrases that are in the company website to achieve higher ranking.

4. Crawlability

Search engines crawl through your website and indexes the data. In order to maximize search engine optimization it is important to know whether all the pages of the website can be accessible by the search engine that would lead the website to appear more frequently in the SE search list. 

5. Website attractiveness

Even though the website appears in the first page of the search list if it is not attractive it will not lead the viewers to visit the pages of the site. Therefore it should have a good structure as well as nice images and videos to attract more audience. 


Search engine optimization requires that an internet marketing solution company should use a unique strategy for attracting more visitors to their website analyzing the search engine optimization strategies. If it is done in the correct manner SEO can transform a website to a powerful web presence communicating the relevant information to their target audience. Therefore SEO is one of the best forms of Search engine marketing where companies can easily achieve competitive advantage.  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An Analysis of Website Usability of

Hayleys Consumer is one of the leading companies in Sri Lanka made up of some of the world's most recognized and trusted brands. Here is a small analysis I have done regarding the website usability of their site


1. Site Load time 
Site load time is reasonable because it takes only 5-7 seconds for the website to load once we type "hayleysconsumer" and click on the web address.
2. Adequate text to background contrast
This is also available as you can see in the picture as well since they have used a white background therefore the text and logos are very much clear and visible in an attractive way. 
3. Font size/Spacing is easy to read
The font size of the headings are large and the fonts used are clear plus readable. There are enough spacing between headings, subheadings and paragraphs. 
4. Flash and add-ons are used sparingly 
When we click the "haymart" link we can see flashy pictures which keeps on changing. But that does not create any disturbance for the viewer to surf and get the required information. And also the pictures do a great job in making the information there attractive. 
5. Images have appropriate ALT tags
They have used ALT tags appropriately since when we move the cursor to the image it shows the topic relevant to the picture stating what it is about.
6. Customized 404 page
The site does not have a customized 404 page since all the links are available with out any error. 


7. Company Logo is prominently placed
They have placed the company logo in a banner on the top left corner of the website. The background is white therefore the logo is highlighted
8. Tag lines make companies purpose clear
"Representing a galaxy of some of the world's best known brands that bring meaning to individuality" is the tagline and it indicates the company purpose clearly. But the tagline is very long which might give the viewers a less chance to notice it and remember. 

9. Home page is digestible in 5 seconds
As I have mentioned earlier as well the home page is loaded within 5-7 seconds. We can digest what content is about very easily since it has been designed in an attractive way using eye catchy images. 
10. Clear path to company information
Absolutely clear path providing links at the top "about us", "careers", "haymart" and "competitions"
11. Clear path to contact Information
This is one of the major short falls in this site because the site does not provide information about the address and contact numbers of the company. It has only given an opportunity for people to inquire anything by sending a message to them. There is a separate area in the bottom right corner of the home page letting the viewers to make inquiries, complaints etc putting their name and mail address. 


12. The main navigation is easily identifiable
As I have mentioned earlier as well the main navigation includes "about us", "careers", "haymart", "Competition" and many more. And also those are easily identifiable.
13. Navigation labels are clear and concise
Navigation labels are clear and can be readable. But that would have been better if they have used a bigger font size than the existing font.
14. Number of buttons/links is reasonable
The number of buttons and links are little higher than the normal standard. But since all the links are relevant and informative it is fine.
15. Company logo is linked to home page
Yes, the company logo is linked to the home page therefore it is very easy for the viewers to go back to the home page again.
16. Links are consistent and easy to identify
As they have used a clear font it is easy to identify the links as well as the font and colours used for the links are the same therefore it is consistent.
17. Site search is easy to access
This is also a short fall of the website since they have not given the option of "search" for the viewers. 


18. Major headings are clear and descriptive
Major headings are clear and descriptive since they have put pictures as well to make the headings descriptive. It is clear and readable because they have used clear font size with white background. 
19. Critical content is above the fold
When we move the cursor to "Promotions with our brands" link in the home page it expands and give us details about promotions separately. So the answer is yes.
20. Styles and colours and consistent 
In all the links, headings and paragraphs, the font sizes and type is same. Font colours are ash and green. Therefore we can say that font sizes, colours and styles are consistent. 
21. Emphasis is used sparingly
Everything is not in bold. Only the headings and subheadings are bold. 
22. Adds and Popups are unobtrusive
No pop ups or adds in the site. 
23. Main copy is concise and Explanatory
In the first glance the website clearly communicates the viewers about the content of it. 
24. URL's are meaningful and user friendly 
Yes. Because the URL includes the name of the company
25. HTML page titles are explanatory
HTML page titles are explanatory. If we take an example when we want to visit about us link of the site the HTML page explains it as


After analyzing the website usability of "Hayleys Consumer" under different criterion we can come to the conclusion that taken it is a good website to provide information regarding the company. But there are certain shortfalls of the website such as not having proper contact details of the company and not having a search option. Therefore overall conclusion would be that "The Usability of Hayleys Consumer website is Good"