The Art of Marketing

With the fight of the century, starring Connor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather right around the corner...

959 views Jul, 2017
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  • 18 Jul 2017
    Ten years ago no one would have thought that the taxi business might replace public transport. This is something that is not only becoming a reality with the help of apps like Uber and Ola, who offer car-pooling, but in fact this might even be the cheaper mode of transport. In the past one week, Uber has come up with a 100 rupee pass for up to 12 kilometers in a sedan. This means that it will cost four people twenty-five rupees each to travel twelve kilometers in an AC car.   Traveling back from work in an AC car was a luxury that only few could afford just a while back. Today it is something that happens on the regular, and according to Niti Aayog, it is a market that has not been capitalized fully as of now. According to their suggestions, private cars should be allowed to offer carpooling and ride-share services in order to make the medium even more cost-effective and efficient.   How this would work is that, a person who is driving his private car back from work could choose to offer a carpool option to people in the locality that are going back to the same area. This would make the system cost effective and efficient as the number of cars offering these services would increase. Additionally, car owners could earn back the cost of driving to work, and maybe even make a small profit every day, just by offering these services to and from work. As is obvious, there would be many advantages if this system falls through, as the amount of traffic would drastically reduce. In addition to that, public transport would be much less crowded, car owners would only take their cars out in case of a necessity and people would be able to travel in a time-efficient way. These appear to solve a lot of problems faced by the common man in India with rising traffic and cost of traveling.   Niti Aayog, which is chaired by Narendra Modi, has partnered with ride-sharing companies such as Uber to assess the impact of this move, both economically and environmentally. However, there are some challenges that would be faced before this becomes a reality. The transport ministry is not in favor of this move as they feel that this would eliminate the concept of taxis. In addition of that, they feel that this move would jeopardize the jobs of the 5 million taxi drivers in India. Commercial vehicles have certain provisions in place such as, higher duties, insurance premium, permit charges etc. that insure the safety of the riders. All this would be absent in case of privately owned cars and there would be ambiguity in the regulatory framework. Official have been quoted as saying that, ‘despite the convenience, various legal aspects have to be kept in mind.’   In my opinion it is only a matter of time before private car-pooling becomes real, as this is something that is already seen in developed countries such as Canada and the US. In these places, people have seen prices of travel go down by more than half when compared to buses. This is a concept that can be a game changer when it comes to a country like India. We are a developing country that needs to develop better connectivity between cities, towns and villages all over the country. Right now we are talking about car-pooling between work and home. In no time we will be talking about it when it comes to traveling hundreds of kilometers.   The world is ever-changing, with things that were not even dreamed of, becoming a reality today. Humans have always adapted in order to escape disaster, and car-pooling might be a small step in the direction of saving fossil fuels. This is not to say that people will stop taking their cars to work completely, but with people getting more educated by the minute, we can rest assured that they will realize the benefits to this and utilize this services to its full potential. 
    1167 Posted by Ruhaan Dev Tyagi
  • 23 Jun 2017
     Sitting at home, drinking cold beer, my friend and I had the brilliant idea of playing basketball to offset some of the unhealthy habits in our day-to-day lives. Excited and bubbling with energy we were ready to go. Alas! We had a ball, but it had no air. All the excitement was slowly draining away as we thought of the steps it would take to complete this tedious task. We would have to go all the way to a sports store, buy a pin and then go to a petrol pump to get the air filled. Maybe basketball wasn’t that awesome an idea, was it?   This is where an application called Dunzo came in. Our friend had overheard our conversation and recommended that we use it to save both money and our precious energy. Now you must be wondering what Dunzo does? It is an app made specially for people like you and me. Yes, you know I am talking to you. It’s 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon and you’re sitting on your couch, binge watching Netflix when suddenly your wife/mom tells you that you’re all out of vegetables. You don’t want to get up just to buy ‘Aaloo’ and ‘Bhindi’. This is where Dunzo comes in. You whip out your phone, put in whatever  task you want completed and voilá! Your task is underway and will be completed before you would have even gotten off the couch. Everyone around is impressed by your efficiency and you can go back to watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones.   A successful business idea is one that address a problem that a lot of people face, but have no solution for. Dunzo looks to do the same as it will complete any task from getting groceries to doing your laundry to calling the electrician. This solves a lot of problems that are faced by all of us on a daily basis. First, we get to avoid the heat, dust and traffic faced while completing the smallest of jobs. This convenience that Dunzo provides us is the key to its’ success. In a day and age where everything and anything can be done on your mobile phone, who actually wants to get out of their house to complete a task. Secondly, it saves you the trouble of finding a particular resource. Never called a plumber before? Don’t worry you don’t have to call your friends to find one. Simply get on Dunzo and the job will be done. All this seems to be something out of a dream where you are a King, but let’s face it. Most of us don’t have the money to afford such luxuries. This is where this app goes from a good idea to a real game changer. If the amenity you require is available within a 3 km distance from your house, the delivery charges is simply 45 INR or 0.7 USD. Mind boggling, is it not?   Although this app is currently available in Bangalore only, I have no doubt that it will gain equal traction in other cities as well. With features such as being able to track your good to being able to confirm the good you ordered via pictures, this app takes into account the smallest of details and that is what makes it unique.
    896 Posted by Ruhaan Dev Tyagi
  • 10 Jul 2017
    Being home for four months on vacation, I had a lot of time on my hand and not a lot of work. After putting in some thought, I decided that doing an internship would be the best use of my time. Thus started the process of applying for internships, on various platforms, over the next week. Having applied to jobs that I deemed a good fit for me, all I had to now do was wait for the acceptances and the interviews to come around. Within the next few days I was accepted to over 10 companies and now I had the privilege to be able to choose from them.   Companies ranged from MNCs worth millions of dollars, to startups that weren’t even a month old. I now had to choose what kind of company I wanted to work in, and I chose to work for a startup. The reason for this was simple, as supposedly you learn more while working for startups.   I think I am now in the perfect position to judge this statement for a fact, having worked in a startup for the past one month. I would like to share in this article my thoughts, both good and bad, about working in a startup.   I would first like to address the elephant in the room, the fact that you learn more when you work for a startup. Never having worked for a well-established corporation, I am not in a position to comment on the experience of working in one. However, I can comment on the experience of working in startup. Being an Economics and Mathematics student, I thought I would be involved in the finance side of things. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Over the past one month I worked on subjects ranging from marketing to business research. Frankly, working in a startup is not for someone who does not like to learn and experience new things. In addition to the core subject you have expertise in, you would be required to work on a plethora of things. You might be asked to make calls to clients, pitch ideas to investors and so on and so forth. While to the common man this might seem like a waste of time, the experience which you gain from doing all these tasks is invaluable. You learn to communicate with people under pressure while making sure you have all your facts right. I don’t know about you, but as an eighteen-year-old, I can only be thankful for such an experience.   Everyone knows that work is all the more bearable when you work with people you can talk to, and maybe even be friends with. Startups usually have a work force that ranges from anywhere between five to fifty people and this means that employees know each other by name. Being on first-name basis with everyone in the office makes the job so much easier, as you can cooperate with each other on those extensive projects, or call in when you might be late for work so that your colleagues can cover up for you. All in all, knowing your colleagues is awesome and makes work fun.   On a similar note, one of the biggest advantages of working in a startup is the fact that you get to interact with everyone in the office. I have personally worked with the CEO of the startup I work in, and it is truly an enriching experience. Learning, first-hand from a person who has approximately twenty years of experience in the field, is something that cannot be underestimated. In a MNC you will rarely interact with the manager and that too for only a couple of minutes at a time. Working with someone who has so much to offer is lucrative to almost everyone.   One of the reasons why I settled in so quickly within the organization is the fact that there is no age barrier. Your position in the organization is directly related to the amount of work you do and the quality of your work. You can be the youngest member on the team, but you will receive a certain status based solely on your aptitude and contribution. This should be encouraging for everyone out there who has suffered due to office politics of any kind.   The only drawback with my experience of working in a startup was the brand name. When you tell someone you’re working in startup that they probably haven’t heard of, more often than not, you won’t receive the same reaction as that of working in an established corporation.   However, the choice you have to make is whether you want to be surrounded in a place full of energy, motivation and innovation, where you have a chance to drastically improve your skillset. Or do you want to be one of the innumerable men, who work 9 to 5 and do the same task over and over? The choice is yours, but when you want to experience something new, know that startups don’t judge based on age.    
    554 Posted by Ruhaan Dev Tyagi
  • 13 Jul 2017
     As I was re-watching The Social Network the other day, it dawned upon me that Facebook was founded nearly 13 years ago. Yes, I know. It seems like just yesterday, doesn’t it? As I am working in the field of startups, my mind automatically started thinking in that direction. I tried to come up with another startup that was as big as Facebook, or even had as much potential.   So I decided to do some research, and I came to the surprising, and frankly terrifying conclusion that there had been no major tech startup since Facebook, and as mentioned before, that was more than a decade ago. This put a question in my mind that led me to writing this blog. Is this the end of tech startups? All the way from the 70s, with Microsoft and Apple, to the early 2000s with Facebook, tech was the field to be in. It had high paying jobs and unmatched profit margins. This is clear as Bill Gates was named the richest man in the world for the 16th time in 2016.    You might think that I am crazy as you read this article because you have heard of companies such as Uber, Airbnb etc who came much after Facebook. While Uber had the potential to become a company that was in the same league as Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc., their recent troubles has put them in tight spot. With the CEO resigning in disgrace, the company’s future certainly seems to be in jeopardy. On the other hand, while Airbnb is a multi-billion-dollar company worth $31 billion, its value is just 7% of that of Facebook.   After carefully analyzing the situation, I came to the conclusion that this dilemma was due to saturation and dominance in the market. In today’s day and age companies are wary of competition and are aggressive in their approach. Giants such as Facebook, Google, Apple etc. are looking out for their competitors in order to acquire them before they can reach their maximum potential. This is also increasing the value of the parent companies, making the rich, richer. I am sure we have all heard the news of Snapchat refusing to be acquired by Facebook, hence directly competing with it. By the time new companies with potential enter the market, the industry is already saturated with competition. To illustrate their dominance, we can go over the companies owned by Facebook and Google. In 2012 Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion and then two years later bought WhatsApp for $19 billion. On the other hand, Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006 and also bought Android in 2005. If these companies had still been independent, they could have challenged the empires created by Facebook and Google.   There are other strategies employed by these giants to bring down their competitors. Facebook introduced Snapchat-like features in all three of its social networking sites. This created pressure on Snapchat, reducing its stock price. Google tried to acquire Yelp in 2012, but was turned down. Google responded to this by launching their own product, and furthermore used their dominance in the search market to promote their own product while pushing down Yelp reviews at the same time. This made it harder for Yelp to attract new customers and severely hampered Yelp’s attempt at expanding overseas. Combine this with the fact that companies require huge amounts of money in order to compete in the market. Back in the day, when Google was launched, you could enter the market with a modest amount of investment. However, this is not possible today as you have to directly compete with companies such as Facebook that appear to have unlimited resources.   With all these problems being faced by startups, the future of the tech industry appears to be uncertain. In addition to that innovation is happening in different fields in today’s world. We can see this with what Elon Musk is doing with Tesla and SpaceX. I personally hope to see some new players in the tech market, and hopefully we will be privy to a game-changer soon enough.            
    552 Posted by Ruhaan Dev Tyagi
  • 03 Jul 2017
    If you are on this page and reading this article, there is a high probability that you are in some way or form related to startups, either as an aspiring entrepreneur, mentor, investor or maybe just as someone who is interested in this field of work. I like to write about the hot up and coming startups, startups that I feel will make a splash in the market and will be relevant in our lives in a few years. However, I feel like I would be missing out if I don’t add my two cents about the ‘new thing’ in the startup world, and that is Initial Coin Offering, more commonly known as ICO.   As you might know the digital currency market is blooming to its full potential. The Bitcoin market has grown from a valuation of $11 billion on June 5, 2016 to $47 billion on June 7, 2017. Countries all over the world are now accepting Bitcoin as a form of currency and the potential to this market is undeniable. Despite this immense growth Bitcoin has fallen from being 80% of the entire cryptocurrency market to being a little less than 50%. ICO is slowly making its way within the market with over $380 million being invested by May this year.   I am assuming that the anticipation is the through the roof by now and you just want to know what ICO is. Initial coin offering is somewhat similar to Initial public offering as both are used to raise funds. The difference here is that instead of stock, when you purchase an ICO you get a new type of coin or token. This means that instead of getting a security, you get an asset. (For all the newbies, stock is a form of security, whereas a coin or a token is a form of an asset.) Now how is ICO a game changer? If you’re a businessman looking to start a company, you should probably be in seventh heaven right now. ICO is an unregulated means to raise funds for a venture. You can now bypass the rigorous and regulated means to raise capital such as venture capitalists and banks.     When your startup firms look to raise money through ICO, it creates a plan stating what the project is about, how much time it takes to complete the project, how much money is required for the venture, how much of this virtual money will the pioneers keep for themselves and how long the campaign will run for. If the money raised by the ICO does not meet the minimum requirements stated by the company, the money is returned to the backers and the ICO is deemed unsuccessful. The reason why a backer would purchase this cryptocurrency is in the hope that the idea becomes successful, translating into a higher cryptocoin value than what they purchased it for. This is how ICO differs from crowdfunding, as the latter does not seek any reward for their contributions and are basically making donations.   While there are many benefits to ICO and it seems to be an idea of the future, people are wary of indulging in them due to lack of transparency and the possibility of fraud. However, if you want to indulge in this new craze and maybe make some big money down the road, do go on to Ethereum and spend some of your savings in buying ICOs. The risk is certainly there, but then so is the reward.  
    467 Posted by Ruhaan Dev Tyagi
The Art of Marketing

With the fight of the century, starring Connor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather right around the corner, every morning I have been watching highlights of the promotional events taking place. These videos were of interest to me for two reasons; my interest in boxing, and the marketing genius displayed by both these fighters. It is estimated that the value of this fight is over $527 million, with Mayweather getting $400 million and McGregor getting the rest. This disparity is due to the fact that Mayweather is his own promoter and doesn’t have to provide a cut to someone else, like McGregor has to, to the UFC.



To put things into perspective, Zomato is estimated to be worth $500 million. Yes, that is right, two fighters, fighting for 36 minutes in a ring are worth more than a successful company that has existed since 2008. All this might seem too good to bet true but it’s not. There is one reason behind the success of this fight and that is: MARKETING. We can learn a lot about marketing from this fight, and I want to help break it down for you.


We must first acknowledge the fact that boxing is a sport that is a lot about promotion, and that boxers are typically good at promoting their fights. Keeping this in mind, the fact of the matter is that both Floyd and McGregor are insanely better at this than their competitors. We can break down marketing by analyzing the way that these two fighters go about with their promotion. McGregor is someone who relies on intimidating his opponents and saying things that other fighters would be petrified of saying at the world stage. This highlights a key component of marketing, and that is creativity. You need to be creative with your campaigns to catch the eye of the public. In order for the masses to remember your product, you need to be unique and stand out in their minds. You have millions of companies advertising their products to you every single day, but it is only the ones that stand out in your mind that actually make a difference.


On the other hand, Mayweather has a different approach to his trash talk as compared to McGregor. He is cautious in what he says and makes sure to point out his accomplishments from the past. This gives us another valuable lesson when it comes to marketing and that is: brand name. You need to be able to back up your words and not attempt to oversell yourself. We have all seen universities claiming to be ranked number one in the country, when we know for a fact that, that is not the case. Doesn’t this lower your opinion of the university in your eyes? We also see that when you create a good brand name for yourself, you open up avenues that you previously could not access. We see many forms of innovative advertising from companies that would not be successful without their brand name. Hence, companies should focus on perfecting their product and developing a reputation of excellence in the market.


As a fan of combat sports, it was torture for us to see Mayweather and McGregor go back and forth for years without there being a possibility of a fight. However, when both parties realized that they have maximized the interest of the fans, they decided on a date for the fight within no time. In retrospect it was one of the most cunning marketing moves that I have ever seen. Both fighters used their banter to peak the interest of the consumers, and decided to capitalize on it at the most opportune time. This teaches us that marketing is all about timing and being relevant in the market. When you have a product that is going to hit the market, you need to make sure that the interest in the product is at a point when you will be able to make maximum profit. At the same time, you have to understand that the consumers will only buy your product if it is relevant at the time. The promoters for the fight realized this as well, as consumers were getting frustrated and decided to finalize the terms of the fight.


The next thing that is important is: knowing your consumer base and being able to relate to them. Both fighters have a certain type of crowd that they attract and they know it. Mayweather knows that his image in the market consists mainly of him being a wealthy celebrity who likes to flaunt his wealth, as shown by his ring name, Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather. He knows that while this is not something that is relatable to everyone, millions of his fans adore him for it. This leads to his antics on the stage, as was seen in the New York chapter of the promotion.


 McGregor on the other hand, is someone that is known to be a lovable fighter who isn’t afraid to challenge men bigger and stronger than him. His advantage is his trash talk, which he never shies away from. This shows us that we need to find our niche and capitalize on it. If you are a company that primarily targets teenagers, you need to understand the psyche of a typical teenager and target it. You need to adapt with time and be up-to-date on the latest trends.


The last thing that I want to talk about is negative marketing. You need to understand that when you are a public entity open to criticism from millions of people, you need to be careful with what you say and do. You can never satisfy each and every one of the consumers, but you can always try to avoid making any mistakes. An example of this is Uber, with the CEO resigning in disgrace, the company’s reputation has taken a major hit. Competitors will not waste a single minute in highlighting your flaws, and so you need to be very careful with how you act as a company.


Finally, something that is worth thinking about is the fact that, while marketing is a lot about standing out, you need to target people’s hearts and loyalty. You need to develop a brand with which the consumers feel synonymous, and which they are loyal too. Loyal consumers will get you more business than a good ad might, and so you need to work towards making a place in people’s heart. Just like fans of either fighter will go to any length to defend their hero, you need to be a company that people want to defend and hold up on a pedestal.

Tags: #Sports  #marketing 

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