Social media

Slumdog Millionaire


“Slumdog Millionaire” won 4 oscars (I saw the downloadable version of movie recently)…

Screenplay: Outstanding is the word, and also does the work of putting India on the world map. We have some great guys in this field (Anurag Kashyap, loved his No Smoking)

Picture: A westerners image of India- poor & hungry people. The movie has timed well with Arvind Adiga’s “The White Tiger”, which is also about the poor destitute India. Maybe here we would want a richer picture of India, demonstrating our progress.

Director: Hats off to Danny Boyle for the film. Super camera and shots. I have seen “Trainspotting”, and that is a brilliant film as well.

The last one was for Music. It was great to see AR Rahman, SRK and Anil Kapoor on the stage, a proud moment for India (I’m sure Gandhi would be similarly exciting, but I wasn’t around). I hope that it wins at least 4 Oscar from here. Man, you should have seen Anil Kapoor on the stage, he was so pumped up!.

So, why is a movie description featuring in Digital Marketing blog? I was driving today and while I was reminiscing of these proud moments for India, I also remembered one discussion with an international professional. “Indians don’t blog; don’t express their opinion”, he said, “And that is the reason why though in the west social media is the new buzzword, in India it has a long way to go.”

Consider this…

1. I searched for “Slumdog millionaire” (from India) a few hours ago, I found only 15k results on Google

2. Blog search in Hindi was more dismal- only 7 results.

3. The reach as a media vehicle (comScore calls these as the conversational media) for blogs is good- (12.5 Mln Unique Visitors & 40% reach), Bloggers (8 Mln Unique visitors & 26% reach), wordpress (3.5 Mln Unique visitors & 11% reach). However, actual blogger community is still very small; a rough estimate would be about 50k active bloggers. An old article but you might get some information here…

We are world’s largest democracy, however it seems very few of us have opinions to share. In US elections, Barack Obama was able to move a number of youths through his social media influence. Compare this to our Indian politicians, who don’t even have a website to their name. I did find Lal Krishna Advani’s blog on the net, (it wasn’t working that’s another story). The sad reality is none of us believe in expressing ourselves and that this opinion will make a difference (come on!)

However, there is a silver lining, blogging is becoming big. Aamir Khan ( has a blog. I had heard that even Amitabh Bacchan had started blogging, however even after 10 minutes of persistent search I couldn’t find it. Akshay Kumar also seems to have a blog (, but doesn’t look genuine.

Blogging has started in some way, but has to still reach the tipping point (borrowed from Malcolm Gladwel :). We still have to go a long way beyond clicks and click through rates and ROIs.

FYI, here are some interesting feature on “Slumdog Millionaire”

J Ramanand:


BomBay Bitch (she does a great job of hammering down our own industry):

Pray with me for Slumdog’s Oscar win!! But before that please watch the movie; it is releasing on Jan 23rd 2009.

BTW, have you seen the Google’s new favicon (small icon in your browser), it’s great.


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Affiliate Marketing, Search Engines, Social media, Viral Marketing

Gadgets Ads et al…

It has been a while that I have put a new article on my blog. Pretty much, last few months everything was happening, and unfortunately was regular work which took lot of time. The realisation dawned upon me when I was going through the LinkedIn profile; now you can add tools to stay connected (You see I’m not that proficient user of Facebook). I found it a great way to stay connected.

That brings me the to the discussion of Content Vs The Gadget. How does one get access to a thousand of browsers out there- through content (traditional) or gadget/tool (Hmmm…)

Computers are getting personal and so are the the website. The scope of customising the websites to your taste and preference; There is a huge scope of customisation.(Though I belong to the old generation, who use the website as it is, but I’m sure the techies and the young new generation is adept at this art). I have seen my nephew customising his Google and Yahoo home page and close friend using Google reader to get himself updated with the latest happening. Small little gadgets does a save that extra effort that you might otherwise require to source the content.No wonder Google is promoting these dinky units in a big way. These can be rendered in multiple formats- HTML/Flash, can have live data feeds and can be placed on any web page, including iGoogle.

So for marketers, we might not yet bid Goodbye to the old world of CTR optimied, Geo and IP targeted ad units, but we would want to utilise the Gadget ads in a ever increasing way. comScore, the leading third party Digital Media audit agency has reported and increase in popularity of this new offering.

This is a list of interesting gadgets/applications…

Coke bubble application
Fidelity instruments Market monitor
Southwest Airlines- Ding (my favourite :))
Target- The widget allows you to search Target products from your desktop
Acuvue- wink application

Here’s another great article that I came across on iMedia- Creative Primer on Power of Brand Widgets.


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Internet Audience Measurement, Internet Industry

comScore and Audience Measurement

One of the most frequently asked question in the net space is what is size the internet universe and how much traffic can I target (share of Traffic). There are a few free resources that we usually look up Alexa, Google Trends (to see the relative popularity of a term on Google search engine) . Though these are free, the idea of bribing our friends who have access to comScore, Neilsen NetRating, Hitwise or any such panel information, might be a good. The information provided by these audience measurement companies is far superior to the Alexa.

Fortunately, since my organisation subscribes to comScore data, we don’t have to resort to any unethical favours (I’m infact open to lucrative offers). Jokes apart, comScore data helps to access the growth of our site traffic vs the competition and the universe and is a regular feature at the end of the month / board presentation. There were some occasional, where we had to measure the cross visitation/audience duplication matrics to find out our standing in the net space.

More importantly, my world (read universe) was limited to 26 Mln Indian online population, which is the figure that comScore reports,. All this while I considered it to be a better estimate and ignored IAMAIs and NASSCOM). I also had the notion that based on these numbers penetration of eCommerce was only 10% (roughly 2.6 Mln internet users).

And then, I happen to meet our comScore Account Director last week and had lot of my fancy notion changed. This post is an ode to that meeting and I hope you will find it useful. Please note that comScore is the only source for such rich panel information, as of now…

1. Since comScore uses a panel, and recruits only for household and office usage, 26 Mln number is a representation of this community. This doesn’t include cyber cafes (which was 40% in IAMAI 2006 report), Schools & Colleges (6% in 2006) and other sources (which may include net card). This will significantly increase the numbers (and which also suggests that our eCommerce penetration is very low). In some countries, they quantify that the internet usage originates from outside the universe (e.g persons under 15; from public machines (like internet cafe), they do mention that the projections do not reflect this usage. These countries include China, India, Ireland and Mexico.

2. It is not just a traffic estimating tool. It has lot more data to offer. Reach & Frequency Planning (will be a great assets for folks associated with branding), psychographic segmentation, and identification of Heavy/Medium/Low internet users.

3. It has a panel size of 16,000 in India, which is the highest in the region. It is significantly higher than China (8,000) and the next closest panel size is in Australia (15,000) members. Notably, it has a million opt-ins for the application, however most of them are filtered to include Home/Office. Only in US they offer the Office/Home split.

4. comScore collects data for only 15Years+ individual. They identify this through the mouse-use patterns and keyboard usage pattern.

One other objective of this post is to elaborate on the features that comScores provides, which will empower emarketers such as us, to look beyond Alexa and Google trend Data. The idea is look beyond numbers and demographics profiles and get a psychographic rich profile of our site visitors. To some of us who use site analytics, this data might just corroborate the facts. For other, it will define avenues, as all users are not always the same.

comScore’s Segment matrix H/M/L serves exactly that purpose. It acknowledges that web behavior varies greatly by segments. Heavy users might have an unequal impact on the overall statictics- they are 20% of the online population, but consumer 2/3 of total online pages and minutes. The light users on the other hand account for only 6%. Using this feature you can understand and take appropriate action points for heavy, Moderate and Light internet user segments. These are key benefits…

1. Behavior analysis: Heavy users are the easiest to target, but light and medium users would be necessary to build the reach. The basis for this is the content they consume. With this report you will be able to get an idea where your consumers go apart from their category (say travel/retail)

2. Reduce waste of online ad spends: comScore Segment matrix H/M/L provides advertisers and agencies the means to identify sites, where advertising delivery is more likely to reach light internet without overreaching heavy users.

3. Get valuable inputs for site development: Publishers can prioritise development of content and features according to different requirements of H/M/L user segment.

4. Increase ad sales/revenue- Publisher can demonstrate the site’s ability to reach premium segments. Alternatively a marketer can look at psychographic profile of its site visitor.

comScore has one more good product for search related statistics- qSearch. This tracking provides weekly and monthly views of consumer search activity by search engine, which answers the questions…

1. How large is the search market and how fast is it changing.
2. Which search engine has the greatest reach among all searchers and how is it changing.

qSearch also reports on searches conducted on sites such as eBay, Amazon, Expedia, etc. Furthermore, it also includes search activity from following user activities:

– Searching on Maps and yellow pages
– Search conducted through hosted or affiliate search relationship
– Searches conducted across that various tabs found on most search engine e.g web search -> image search -> Video search. The definition of such fall under
– A user interaction where the user is presented with a search result page
– The search result page allows the user with the ability to refine or change their search parameter
– Search can be initiated from a drop down or clicking a link, as long as first two rules are satisfied.

All push-traffic and non user requested activity is filtered. It reports following searches in addition to all the searches

1. Auto Search: Refers to the search that is conducted by entering a search string into the address box in the browser. DNS error pages are not counted.
2. Toolbar search: Search executed from the Toolbar
3. Affiliate/Hosted search: where the search engine is hosted on an affiliate site.

comScore is at an advantageous position in India with its first mover advantage. Nielsen NetRating is still to start and gain ground. Comparatively Neilsen NetRating has a panel size with lower numbers as compared to comScore. However, they are known for their descipline and method and use the same metered tracking using panels and telephone surveys. Their products are called @plan, which helps in media planning (like H/M/L Segments of comScore). Sooner than later they need to have a foothold on one of the fast developing Internet Markets in India.

Hitwise is another such product, which given share of traffic data. Hitwise studies the browsing pattern at ISP level (in Europe, they have tied up with orange) and has more realistic estimate of share of traffic. Their downside, is on getting the Demographic profile of the audience. They too have to start their services in India.

For any emarketer, Brand assessment, buzz quantification and cross media measurement is a challenging task. Like offline disciplines, the need of the hour is to get used to measurement tools like these, which will help to define and shape up realistic business goals.

Do share your comments.



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