That’s not a grammar error. BLACKPINK’s music video “How you like that” just hit 600 million views on YouTube, setting some sort of a record for K-Pop. I hadn’t heard of them till Netflix recommended a movie about this girl band. Regular readers will know that I truly believe Netflix has my best interests at heart and watch all recommendations. There’s an enterprise called YG that puts performers into coaching camps for 4 to 6 years and then creates winning bands with those who qualify. Sort of like a Kota crammer, but with higher probability of success and better lighting. But that’s not the point. When you get 600 million views of your stuff, have a movie made about you, have apparel in your name, and 30 million followers on Instagram, you don’t really rely on other publications.
I see some Tanishq stories which seem to be based on a PTI interview on how their campaign has inspired people who are buying jewellery to show their support. Me, I’m a cynic, but I can quite believe that their regular buyers have not strayed from them and that some newer buyers have come. Their stock price has recovered. But still. The hoary and trusted Tatas are relying on channels as diverse on the spectrum as Republicworld and National Herald to get out their message.
If you have a following on Instagram or TikTok or YouTube or whatever, you control your own communication, just as if you owned a channel like Republic TV or Amazon Prime or Washington Post. That should be the goal of every brand marketer – to build a direct channel of communication with your audience. Surprisingly few corporate brands are successful. A list of top 20 accounts by following on Instagram has just 2 brands – Nike and National Geographic. Both have phenomenal storytelling. Nike can take a provocative stance in mass media because it attracts a specific audience and then once they have self-identified with the brand, their eco-system whether it is their app, or social media presence can ensure they continue to receive and share reinforcing messages.
It isn’t the size of your community that matters – it is the quality, and propensity to buy. I wrote this piece on how to sell cheaply and marketing to an existing community is a top choice. I explain in my article the various types of community you can market to depending on whether you are a start-up or an established firm. Your community matters a lot – personal or brand. I’m always surprised when people and brands deliberately break trust within their communities – whether it is ghosting a proposal or interview or a payment or a delivery. I’m not talking about slip-ups but consciously breaking trust.
Speaking of customer experience, I wrote for ET Edge about how COVID has actually caused some improvements in that space. Last week I moderated a panel for ET sponsored by Zendesk and it was really cool to see how brands are dealing with the disruption in a positive way. (Good) marketers are very resilient.
And, since you’re reading this and are a member of my community, perhaps I should also mention what I do. Apart from writing this newsletter and walking my dog. (Her name is KitKat and she’s an Indi, thank you for asking.) I offer consulting and online workshops in the areas of positioning and marketing. And Paul Writer delivers content at scale mostly in the areas of tech, marketing and martech, directed at CMOs, CIOs and CEOs. If you’re new here and would like to read more about me here’s my wiki profile.
This year Durga Puja celebrations will be quite different with no pandal-hopping with friends, family and colleagues. But I do hope you find new ways to create memories. And wish you health, happiness and Shubho Pujo to those who celebrate it.