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Author : EnrolmentDesk

India, October 2015. Abhinav Upadhyay is Head-Marketing & Innovation, Zee Learn Ltd

Originally Published in Hindu Business Line Catalyst on 15th of October 2015

Part Two of how to build your brand as you widen your reach

Including customers in your brand building and humanising communication are among the things you need to do that are vital to your company's growth. So are the steps below

Test, listen, analyse, repeat

Constantly be on the lookout for higher effectiveness. Try testing multiple creative, executions, languages, mediums and analyse results to keep dropping off the least effective ones. A/B testing is something that you can use across all your campaigns on digital to ensure that you have the most effective communication going to different segments of customers that you have identified.

Digital can drive very strong and effective campaigns provided you drive them well. Build a culture of analytics because it is the CXOs and founders who can actually do that. No one else can.

If you wish to be successful in today's day and age, measure and analyse every communication, every engagement and every sale. That's the only way to generate insights that will drive growth for your start-up.

Do more with less

Effectiveness is critical but efficiency is vital. It is not a matter of "or" but "and". Start-ups and SMEs which understand the value of efficiency will always have greater chances of success. If you can value time and money better it will reflect in your entire business, which your investors and shareholders will value and reward too.

When planning your next campaign, focus on your core TG and don't just go for full-page print ads and crazy spends just because the investor gave you the money.

As mentioned earlier, use your analytical tools to drive measurability and efficiency.

Define your metrics in advance, jump into it with the right intent and see how your brand's marketing efforts deliver more for less. Every time we as marketers are able to deliver more for less and able to prove it via analytics, we gain the numbers guys on our sides. Today's marketing tools and analytical tools provide excellent engines to provide insights on how we can achieve this. Use them well, make them a part of your marketing role and see the value going up every day.

Hire for passion and attitude

Hire your entire team (especially marketing) for passion, attitude and aptitude and reward the passion and delivery.

You have a winning concoction of how you can turn your start-up/company into a place whose brand evokes respect and adulation. The performers would love to be there to drive value creation.

As a founder, isn't that what you would want to see? Do not just hire people for skill and experience and the name of the university or college they went to.

Pedigree is important but so is passion. Hire for passion and attitude and when that is coupled with your idea the fire that it will generate will melt many a heart.

Amplify achievement

As you refocus your efforts on service, it is also important to start encouraging a culture of gamification of performance and recognising it socially. Don't just reward higher sales growth, reward right behaviours that create Wow!

Leverage both human resource management system and customer relationship management tools and build the social amplification angle to it.

Your top performers (and their families and friends) will feel on top of the world that their employers recognise their achievements socially. You might be wondering why an HR initiative features here when we are talking about creating a winning brand.

The answer, my friends, is quite easy. You need to constantly build an excellent #EmployerBrand to attract great young talent which will drive your future growth.

So in my view, these are the learnings that we can all incorporate in our brand-building and marketing strategy in today's day and age.

It is time to humanise your brands and in all fairness, technology and social media can be an excellent tool to do it and measure it too.

Go ahead then, pursue happiness for your customers and employees and for yourself with humility and build a brand and business that creates long-term, sustainable value for you and for all stakeholders.