Marketing Evangelist,
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‘Mindful Marketing’ is a series of pocket cartoons that apply the lens of humour and sarcasm to amplify the prevalent (mis)practices that hamper organizations in their marketing, branding and other initiatives.

I began this endeavour in early 2022 in collaboration with Arun Ramkumar, a cartoonist and brand designer. These cartoons are loved by the business community and widely shared in social media across the world.

Highly rated Keynote Speaker
and Marketing Strategist.

Rajesh Srinivasan is a Modern Marketing Strategist, 2x Author and a Tedx Speaker. His mission is to Turn Organizations into Centres of Marketing Excellence.

A sought-after keynote speaker, Rajesh has delivered more than 150 speeches, workshops and mastermind sessions in the last five years and positively impacted more than 4500+ industry leaders.

As a Marketing strategy consultant, Rajesh works with the CEOs and business heads of start-ups and fast-growing companies and supports them in their go-to-market, brand positioning and growth strategy. He helps organizations take crucial decisions in innovation, new product development, creative, content development and media strategy.

Rajesh has delivered keynote sessions at the business conclaves like World Marketing Congress & The Economic Times Marketing Leaders’ Summit. He has been appointed as one of the Jury Board members for the Economic Times – Most Promising Tech Marketers’ Award – 2020 & 21.

Featured on: Business Today, The Week, India Today, and Business Standard.

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“Rajesh's keynote session at the Global Marketing Congress was so insightful, I have never thought about being Media-Centric and it has given me a lot of food for thoughts and ideas to plan my marketing plan. Thank you Rajesh for sharing your energy and expertise with us”

Claire Boscq-ScottGlobal Customer Service Guru, Author of the book – Thriving by caring.

“I firmly believe Rajesh Srinivasan’s strategic orientation towards
marketing will add great value to the companies.”

Rajeev KumraDean & Professor - Marketing, Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (Noida Campus)

“Rajesh’s speaking session was very well received by our team with a lot of relevant insights . His level of knowledge and articulation was mind blowing.”

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Why Social Currency is the New Frontier in Brand Management?

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Hey, welcome to another new edition of Mindful Marketing blog.

In this blog post, I want to dive into a game-changing shift that’s reshaping the marketing landscape: social currency.

The fundamental shift in consumer behavior

It’s time to harness the immense power of social interactions and online presence to propel your brand forward in today’s digital age.

Think about it: in the vast internet expanse, individuals like you and me, now create more content collectively than all brands combined.

This seismic transformation, driven by the internet and social media, has flipped the script on traditional marketing dynamics.

Remember, prior to internet, companies held all the cards, bombarding consumers with ads.

Well, those days are gone.

Today, it’s all about customer-created content—stuff that’s relatable and trustworthy, unlike the polished ads brands churn out.

Take a moment to reflect on your own social media experiences.

How often do you turn to friends’ posts for recommendations or insights?

Whether it’s a friend’s travel escapades or movie reviews, these conversations are teeming with valuable nuggets of information.

And, we trust them.

Now, let’s think about those WhatsApp and Slack groups we’re all part of.

From reconnecting with school buddies to networking with industry peers, these digital hangouts are where people share their experiences and seek guidance from their peers.

Just recently, I witnessed a senior executive in an industry WhatsApp group seeking recommendations for a marketing automation SaaS vendor. The response was overwhelming, with members sharing their experiences with the vendors and cautionary tales alike.

And it’s not just professional chatter.

Among friends, movie recommendations and political views spark lively debates and shape opinions.

Social currency – the underlying reason why people create content

At the heart of these interactions lies social currency – a term denoting the value individuals derive from their social interactions and online presence.

Every ‘like,’ ‘share,’ ‘comment,’ and ‘video view’ people get for their content, as well as every ‘recommendation’ they make and ‘opinion’ they share, serves as a form of social currency.

Also, notice that some of the modern-day consumer activities like social media posts, stories, reels, selfies, status updates, check-ins, ‘traveling from – to’ updates, and writing reviews are the real drivers of social currency.

It has become a social norm that if we visit a fascinating tourist location, a well-designed restaurant, watch a movie, or read a book, we share the experience with others on social media.

– Imagine how a hotel brand would benefit if it were part of this social media post.

– How many times have we considered buying a book because a reliable friend in our social circle posted about their reading experience with it?

The point is that people have become more self-expressive. They have also started behaving like journalists, sharing news updates and reviews with their social circle.

These attitudinal shifts have changed the way consumers research and buy things.

How social currency impacts brand management?

As marketers, it is important to recognize the intrinsic value of social currency and its pivotal role in shaping consumer behavior and brand perception.

But how can you harness the power of social currency to build a customer-centric brand?

The key is to reframe your marketing approach, seeing customers as active participants in brand management rather than passive consumers of the product.

Another necessary mindset shift is for companies to see their brand as a conduit through which customers cultivate their social currency and connections.

But, how do you know if your brand is enabling social currency for the customers?

Here are the three indicators;

1. Customers share their brand experience through their social media posts, selfies, or reviews. It’s so natural that they write it in their own language without you even asking for it.

2. They tell their friends and relatives who are looking for a similar kind of product or service. Remember, referrals are a way to derive social currency—a means for your customers to increase their social capital by guiding their friends to a reliable company or vendor. Remember, they are risking their credibility in their social circle when they recommend you.

It is a powerful indicator that they use your brand to mint social currency.

3. The brand’s communication and content spark conversations in your customers’ circles. Let’s say a recent blog post from your brand about sustainable living sparked a lively discussion among the environment enthusiasts on social media, with many sharing their own tips and experiences.

Finally, I believe every brand has to measure the above three indicators of social currency.

It reveals how remarkable and shareworthy your product or service experience is and how strongly the brand communication resonates with customers.

By enabling customers’ social currency, companies can unlock new avenues of engagement and advocacy, propelling their brand to new heights.

P.S – Did you get a chance to watch my new YouTube Video series?

Here’s the link – https://www.youtube.com/@rajeshsrinivasan4420/videos

Vicious or Virtuous Cycle – Which one are you riding on?

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In my experience as a strategy consultant, understanding the dynamics of vicious and virtuous cycles in business has always been crucial.

Let me illustrate this through a story.

Let’s say you run a chain of bakeries in a small town called Sweet Delights, which was once bustling with customers and filled with the aroma of freshly baked goods.

But as time passed, the business began to falter.

Sales declined, and the once-vibrant bakery was on the verge of closure.

As you faced dwindling sales, you resorted to cost-cutting measures.

This led to compromises in the quality of ingredients, which in turn drove away loyal customers.

As sales continued to plummet, you were forced to lay off some high-quality bakery production and service staff.

This further affected the product and service quality and further fueled customer churn.

Now, you found yourself trapped in a downward spiral, struggling to keep the business afloat.

A type of vicious cycle has formed.

However, in a stroke of insight, you decided to break free from this cycle.

Instead of focusing solely on cutting costs, you made a bold decision to invest in quality.

You decided to close a few of the non-performing bakery outlets and focus on one single unit.

With the help of this structural-level cost-cutting, you were able to invest in sourcing the finest ingredients and hiring skilled bakers, transforming the bakery’s offerings.

This shift proved to be transformative.

The improved quality attracted new customers and reignited the loyalty of old ones.

With rising sales, you reinvested the profits into further enhancing the bakery’s offerings and opened new outlets.

Sweet Delights blossomed into a thriving business once again.

Yes, you started riding on the virtuous cycle.

Vicious cycles are where one negative event or factor leads to another, creating a loop that reinforces itself and exacerbates the negative outcome.

Vicious cycles can be difficult to break without the structural level change.

Conversely, a virtuous cycle is a positive feedback loop where one desirable event or factor leads to another, resulting in an upward spiral of improvement.

However, sometimes even a virtuous cycle might turn into a vicious cycle.

How can this happen?

Hubris and complacency.

  • You ignore a new technology or idea that could provide cheaper services because you invested so heavily in old technology.
  • You stop listening to customers.
  • You venture into areas where you have no competitive advantage.
  • You make the firm more complex and less manageable.
  • You start throwing money at initiatives that lack coherence.

As they say, “nothing fails like success.”

So, it’s better to be vigilant even if you are riding a virtuous cycle.

How Yin and Yang shape Business Strategy

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The Yin and Yang philosophy tells us the existence and interplay of opposing forces in life.

Yin represents the passive, while Yang symbolizes the active.

Yin embodies darkness while Yang embodies light.

Yin is associated with intuition and introspection while Yang is associated with action and outward expression.

Together, they illustrate balance and interconnectedness in all aspects of life.

The Yin and yang is also a wonderful business strategic principle.

It can guide us to find a strategic positioning.

It reveals that where there’s a low-cost player in the market, there can also exist an opposing force – a premium market.

Where automation thrives, there’s room for personalization to counterbalance.

Where there’s standardization, there’s also space for customization.

Where there is specialization, there is diversification.

Where there is accessibility, there is exclusivity.

Where there is a functional need, there is an emotional need.

Where there is global, there is local.

Where there is bundling, there is unbundling.

The key insight is that the competition can always inform the strategist that what is that opposing force is.

Competition analysis can be more than benchmarking.

It can be to find that opposing force in the market and make use of it.