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The dares and taking chances pushed me up on my career ladder

My journeys and experiences into the dynamic making and unmaking of businesses and technologies

I studied Pharmacy in college, but my interest in marketing and desire for business management shaped my career decisions and life destinations. From working part-time on a Hollywood movie project as production manager, to following my passion for music and joining DNA networks, I was lucky to work on projects like concerts with Brian Adams, Michael Learns to Rock, and Richard Claderman. The advertising world beckoned me with roles that were a combination of Marketing (Sales Enablement) and Corporate Communication, and honing skills of rare combinations. A stint in large IT companies gave me opportunities to anchor large industry events and host close to 150 CIOs from organizations worldwide, including the unforgettable and dynamic Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and the second self-funded space tourist and the first-ever South African in space. A management position at Sapient Corporation got me working with global teams, international clients, and experience a likeable open door culture, where the CEO is accessible to anyone who wishes to reach out.

A notable turning point happened when I was at Satyam and part of the team handling the crisis the company was going through – a shock that nearly knocked the company off its feet. Our efforts at maintaining brand relevance and business value was instrumental in preventing the company from dying an untimely death and to get back on its feet. Our campaigns to keep the employees motivated and media engaged worked out successfully. This challenging experience tested our vision and confidence and increased our outreach with the media and overall business community.

The heavy learning from the past was a pointer for a newer future and it came in the form of Amdocs. I was hired to set up the regional corporate communication function and to drive their branding initiatives. Key responsibilities included nurturing the brand through the company’s baby steps into India to their firm footing in quick successive years. An eventful span of activities throughout APAC, engaging through customer workshops and industry forums, established the brand as a thought leader in its areas of business -an endeavor that won me awards and accolades and even a fascinating experience of flying in a private jet.

How I like to add value to startups and growing companies

The elements of business success are dynamic, but very visible in the set of values, visions and tools, everyone can aspire to imbibe. I am glad to nurture small and medium companies and to get them started and thrive in international business environments. Whether it is corporate governance, HR policies, market strategy, sales enablement, intellectual property rights, engaging the venture capital community, anything that starts from an idea to becoming a corporation, I hope to be a support in their journeys to success.

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Why you need a marketing strategy for your business

With a good marketing plan, you’ll have an action plan that you can implement knowing that it is aligned with your business goals. You’ll have done the work of identifying your target market, refining your message, and deciding what are the appropriate social networks for your business. You’ll have set clear goals and identified the objectives, strategies, and tactics to reach those goals. You’ll also have chosen the appropriate metrics to help you track your progress. In short, rather than just engaging in marketing activity that lacks focus, you’ll be working strategically. Through the planning process, you will also have engaged in a valuable process of thinking through important questions related to your business. This will serve you well as you encounter the daily challenges of running a business. You could launch and run your business without a marketing plan, but why would you want to?

My endeavor is to help businesses understand the opportunity landscape and exploit the digital tools, especially, for marketing their products and services. It is encouraging to see small companies taking baby steps to leverage ecommerce channels, tie in their supply chains, implementing sales enablement tools or just simply making their websites accessible for the mobile world.

The best part of providing marketing solutions is to see companies succeed and grow their value proposition exponentially, making venture capitalists take interest in such businesses. As businesses expand their operations globally, they are looking for market research and legal counsel. The vast regulatory landscape needs to be tactfully navigated. Companies are seeking support to negotiate the complex requirements of legal compliance.

I am passionate about helping small businesses with a range of marketing and sales enablement strategies. It gives me immense happiness to support their ideas and help them execute their plans from strategy to implementation. Whether it is designing responsive websites, implementing marketing communications, designing email campaigns, providing legal guidance, or developing social media strategies, it is exciting to see them succeed all the way. I look forward to working with many more exciting ventures in the coming days.

About Manjula Nair

Manjula Nair is a marketing strategist with around twenty years of experience in global technology companies. She provides consulting services to startups and small businesses helping them expand their reach, exploit digital platforms and diversify their product portfolios to become more competitive in a globalized economy.

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Make your business thrive with the right marketing strategy

Once you have the idea of what your company would do, there is a need for an effective and strategic marketing plan that can help you achieve the success you want. It should give your business the recognition and the reach that is required for making it a successful firm. From the basic nitty-gritty to the advanced level of communication, it should cover every aspect. The fundamentals of the business must remain strong. In the following section, we discuss few elements of a successful marketing strategy and a thriving business presence.

  • Clarity of vision

The outcome of all your research must yield a clear path for success. Once you can see where you want to go, the journey becomes easy. The same must be communicated to your team so all are aligned to achieve the same objectives.

  • Competitor research

Even if this exercise takes time, complete it. Document your strengths and move ahead with confidence.

  • Logo

The logo must be memorable and the elements of the symbol must be clearly visible. The meaning or motive must come across clearly. The elements of your logo, the colors and the shapes, determine the rest of your visual communication strategy. Your website design and layout generally follows the style of the logo.

  • Visual communication

The uniqueness of your brand comes across if you use visuals effectively and memorably. Some brands have recall value purely based on their visual strategy and intelligent conversations.

  • Value Proposition

The messages that go out to the audience must be crystal clear. What you do, how you do and deliver must be clearly communicated in all your messages. It is best to keep it simple and easily understandable.

  • Marketing outreach

Email marketing nuances must be mastered before you begin mass mailing, in search of prospects or customers. Nurture your leads through communication and collaboration. There are many platforms that can help you create attractive emails and you can also track whether your customers have opened the messages, and what content they viewed, through the tools link tracking and analysis features.

  • Brochures

Make sure you have printed brochures as well as digital content to reach your prospects. The content must be consistent across all your communication components. Call to action must be clearly visible for readers to reach out to you without any hassles.

  • Websites

In a mobile driven world, it is best to have a responsive website. Such websites are easily accessible on a mobile device. The layout of the website is automatically modified to suit the device on which it is being browsed.

  • Search Engine Techniques

Your website must conform to the technical infrastructure requirements of the search engines. For example, search engines crawl the web to locate the content, based on the name of the web page, the headings and sub headings, the relevancy of the content, the file naming conventions, the interlinking features of the web page and many more factors. Based on such factors, the website is ranked.

  • Analytics

You can access several tools to analyze the web traffic of your website: who visited, what they viewed, what links were clicked etc. This data provides you an insight to modify or update your website intelligently.

  • Trade shows

Meet your prospects in tradeshows and industry events. It is worthy to have face time with your intended audience to understand their needs, desires and concerns. Such meetings result in immediate recognition of your brand and instant actions by the prospects.

  • Communication tools

Always have someone take the calls or respond to emails without delays. Several social mediums are available to capture your leads. Have a Contact page on your website, where readers can leave their messages and ask for information. The Smartphone era has opened instant messaging capabilities and are already being effectively used for business interactions.

  • Blogs

Maintain the professional journeys through blogs. These communication channels provide your readers to understand your progress in the business and be in touch with you. Your thought-leadership reflects in your communication and you don’t have to employ expensive resources to maintain blogs. Blogs also help you get found by search engines, improving your digital ranking.

  • Social strategy

Engaging with the external stakeholders must be calculated and purpose driven. Make sure to use the relevant medium for the appropriate purpose. A single wrong move can backfire and one correct move can fetch you the benefits.

Every tool at your disposal would be useless if it’s not used to deliver the best results it can get. So make sure you think about all the above pointers when you devise a marketing plan.