The Powerless Queen 👸

In a game of chess, the Queen is the most powerful piece. She can move everywhere in all directions as long as no-one is blocking her.

This analogy is so close to reality, especially in today’s world. Give her strength, she will win and make you win too. Take her powers away and no matter how powerful every other piece is, you will lose.

The campaign by WatConsult aimed to raise funds to donate to Project Nanhi Kali – an NGO that supports education for underprivileged girls in India. 

It was amazing to see how every single player who played including global grandmasters, lost with the powerless queen. Believe that you can win? Check out the game here: https://www.powerlessqueen.com/

I definitely lost. And as a society, if we aren’t educating the girl child, we are losing too.

Let her “slip” from your hands

Here is a cultural saying in India: “Ladki Haath se nikal jayegi” – Which means that if you don’t control her, she will slip out of your hands.

And needless to imagine, this leads to a painful slippery slope – girls are not encourged to study, not encouraged to pursue a career, instead – She is simply taught that one day she will get married and take her of her in-laws.

This cultural acceptable since decades has been a systematic reason why women are not in the running for most things including representation of women in schools, work and in leadership positions.

Mahindra Rise,  a foundation for the Mahindra conglomerate kickstarted a movement that really makes you rethink the meaning of “a girl slipping out of your hand”.

From a negative connotation, they simply twisted it to something different – Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you let you girl slip from your hands and help her realise her dreams?

Having my roots in India, and my wings outside:  this story is personally quite hard hitting.

Home Alone 2.0

One of our favorite movies growing up was Home Alone. I still remember loading those DVD’s up, sitting in a circle with a group of my girlfriends and laughing so loudly at all the mischief when you are “home alone”.

I loved how Google re-created Home Alone just when the main protagonist – Macaulay Culkin is now 38 years old instead. He still seems familiar, the scenes of the house are exactly re-created and bring back a gush on nostalgic hormones running through your skin.

There is only one difference – The house is integrated with the Google Home Mini, Home Pub and Pixel Smartphone.  HA! Genius!

Memories <3

UX Design be like (Guest Post)

google.png

When the iPhone came along and made touchscreen-led mobile browsing truly mainstream, it was a fatal blow to the horribly-complex desktop websites of yesteryear. You might be able to get away with a dense and almost-unintelligible layout on a big screen, but it simply won’t fly on a pocketable device.

And it’s really Apple’s approach to design that has shaped the internet of today.

We all know now that usability is among the biggest factors when you’re trying to keep a user around, particularly on the smallest screens, and minimalism has become the name of the game in the user experience (UX) community.

But what does a good minimalist UX look like, exactly? What do top brands like Google, Apple and Microsoft get right more often than not? Let’s break it down.

An Ocean of Negative Space…

Negative space (also sometimes known as white space) is a catch-all term for the empty space between page elements, and if you go by sheer coverage, it’s the biggest part of every UX journey. It’s the canvas on which the internet is painted.

Back before everyone understood the importance of negative space, websites were built by technical experts with no appreciation of good design. They were packed with functions, stats, information and stylistic flourishes, and nothing had any room to breathe. As such, if you didn’t know exactly what to expect from a website, you weren’t going to have much luck using it.

Thankfully, standards caught up with user requirements, and now any website that doesn’t space out its content is just asking for a high bounce rate and low search rankings. Check the lead image: Google knows you’re there to do a search, so it gives you a search bar and a couple of buttons. That’s it. No filler. No distractions. (They’ve learned a lot from Apple over the years…)

…Dotted With Jewels…

You’re ready to design your website, and you have so many design elements to choose from. There are banners, buttons, paragraphs, tables, drop-down menus, links, slideshows, videos, animations and more. But minimalism demands harsh criteria: if something doesn’t add serious value to a page, it doesn’t get included.

Are you on a product page? Something style-centric like a watch or an item of clothing? Then sure, include a glossy high-resolution product image that dominates the page. It warrants the space. Otherwise, get it out of the way. It’s just taking up space, slowing the page speed down, and detracting from the worthwhile content.

Remember that the X stands for ‘experience’, and you need to deliver an experience that’s good within the context of the purpose of your website. If a user shows up looking for information and they get pretty images, they won’t find them too helpful. Every single section of your site should be something the user wants to be there.

…And Built Around Delivery.

There’s a solid reason behind every intentional website visit. We go to ecommerce sites to order products, forums to discuss topics, news sites to learn about what’s going on, and image sites to look at nice landscapes and dream of beach vacations. With millions of websites available, a site either delivers on its promise or loses your attention.

That’s why the best possible minimalist website does one of two things in every single fragment of its user journey:

1 – Deliver what the user wants.

2 – Deliver a clear route to what the user wants.

 

It’s very simple, but that doesn’t stop plenty of websites getting stuck wheeling out vanity features and thinking they can dictate what the users want to see. They can’t. It doesn’t work. The moment the user can’t see what they’re looking for or how to reach it, they’ll give up and head elsewhere.

Templates Make Minimalism Easy

Minimalist UX design is difficult to perfect, absolutely, but it’s also incredibly easy to implement well because it isn’t often about adding things— it’s mostly about leaving them out. If you have a website that’s lacking a really important feature, then yes, you’ll need to add it, but otherwise you can move towards minimalism by simply stripping away anything that isn’t needed.

If you don’t even have a website yet, then it’ll be even easier for you because of the proliferation of pre-built templates. You can start setting up a web boutique through a store builder and go live with a free minimalist theme that provides all the functionality you need, or throw together a basic site and pick from numerous great WP theme options that will barely need configuring if you’d rather not put in much design work.

Minimalism isn’t just a must-have design approach for the user— it’s also a massive time-saver for the designer, and a technical win for SEO and web hosting. There’s no good reason not to migrate your UX efforts to a more minimalist standard, so make sure every feature you include fully deserves its place and you’ll quickly achieve greater levels of user engagement.

A huge thank you to Patrick Faster who wrote this Mooketing exclusive Guest Post.

Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips — an industry-leading ecommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice so your online store receives the exposure it deserves. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips

Measure your content Marketing

Slide2

You’ve got a whole bunch of awesome content. People are commenting and liking your posts in hordes. You’ve figured that using cute cats in anything you write is well received. You start to wonder what your life would have been if you were a cat instead. Oh, distractions! You snap back into thinking about great content and wonder what’s the real impact of all this effort, all these likes and these cat memes.

Content marketing is an integral part of the marketing mix. As it continues to be able to demonstrate the value on business outcomes, it becomes a heavier and heavier investment.

To create content that people love and enjoy is probably the most important metric. But beyond that, how do you understand the value that it is driving for your business? What is a framework to think about the effectiveness about content marketing? What are the right metrics to use?

Goodbye likes and shares, hello pirate metrics.

I love the pirate metrics because it is so easy to understand, so intuitive and just badass.

Assuming you have setup all the right UTM tracking, let’s deep dive into the framework that I believe works for everyone – AAR (just like the pirates say it).

(A) Acquisition

How do your customers find you? How do they know about you? How do they end up subscribing to your future content? It’s the beginning of your relationship with them and you want to always be aware of what channels are driving this for you. Perhaps it’s word of mouth, conferences, sharing content on Facebook or tweeting quite often. Whatever works for you, it’s surely worth knowing the how.

(A) Activation

How do they first try your product? Or in many cases, what makes them tick? If you write a blog, how do you become a part of their weekly ritual? It’s probably the aha moment when they connect a particular subject matter to you.

(R) Retention

The holy grail of content? Having your users come back to you over and over again. You have brought them into the circle of value – always providing more and giving more.

Retention patterns are starting to understand who consistently comes to you and why but also why some people are not coming back. Retention is a great gauge for the lifetime value that you can provide to your readers and make your one time visit into a long lasting love story.

So, what does this all mean for me?

A) Write for each part of the funnel

You want to be sure that you are writing not just to acquire people, but also to activate – move them to their ‘aha moment’. Think about how different people are simultaneously moving through the funnel and be deliberate to write for each part of it.

B) Measure correctly

If you are not measuring, how will be you be able to understand the value of your work? Be sure to tag (all source, medium to the URLs) and measure all your content and understand the implications across the pirate metrics. Many times you might find that you have too wide an upper funnel and too narrow a lower funnel.

C) Problem solve for drop offs

The AAR framework will give you the ability to understand where people are dropping off in a very simplistic framework. Try to understand why perhaps a specific group of people aren’t coming back to your content pages and start perhaps catering to their needs or questions. A great starting point is to understand who is leaving and then test consistently to understand what makes them tick.

Pirate On: The AAR framework is a very versatile way of measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing. Spend 15 minutes to customise it for your business and you will be amazed by the laser sharpness that it gives to your entire content marketing strategy. Aye, Aye Captain?

 

This post was originally published on joe-escobedo.com. Joe is recognized as one of the “Top 20 Content Marketers” worldwide and awarded the “Most Influential Global Marketing Leader” at the World Marketing Congress. Joe has helped countless organizations and executives transform from unknowns to superheroes online.

Light up my world (with Drones)

drone.jpg

Guess who took over the Palm Springs desert in California recently? Yes, an army of 100 drones. This was the first of such a show, an aerial display of lights over the US night sky. Beautifully orchestrated by cutting edge software, the drones make magnificent formations in the dark, clear skies. Intel continues to position itself as a leader in innovation and cutting edge technology

This is a step forward for all unmanned air vehicle technology industries that are sprouting everywhere across the globe. This was one of the first initiatives to be approved by the Fed. Aviation Authority and have announced certain exemptions for UAV’s for education and research purposes.

intel.JPG

Seems like it would not be too far until we embark on our Jetsons life.

 

 

How not to corrupt Snapchat (from a 22 year old)

snapchat_c

Snap, Snap, Snap – everyone is taking about leveraging Snapchat as a new platform: What can brands do? How do we change the game? While all these rather enlightening discussions are going around the internet, I thought I will make a gentle plea to the advertising world about how to not corrupt Snapchat.

Also, 60% of Snapchat’s audience is Millennials, so it wouldn’t hurt to get a 22 year old’s perspective on it.

3 ways to prevent corrupting Snapchat:

1. Don’t be perfect:

We all know that Snapchat stories can’t be pre-created and uploaded. You need to hit ‘record’ and that’s it. There are not fancy editing possibilities and neither is your logo going to appear on the top right. The truth is, you are going to end up with  fuzzy-unstable-video and that is okay. Infact, that is perfect. We look for imperfect (aka authentic content) so please, don’t give us beautified (=fake) content.

2. Don’t be a brand: 

This might sounds fundamentally different from what you do on your day to day job. But hold on, this sounds about right. Snapchat (unlike most other platforms) is still unadulterated. We want friends, not brands. You might be like, sure – brands are friends on facebook, twitter etc. so how is Snapchat  different? Well, cause the choice to engage with you completely lies in our hands. We don’t get brand updates on our news feed that we ‘see, but can scroll past’. On Snapchat, we will even choose ‘if we want to see  your content.’ So if I  don’t see you as a friend, I won’t care about you. Do stuff that friends do – post stupid videos, update us on pranks you play in the office and give us  some behind the scenes sneak peaks about how your everyday lives look like.

3. Don’t offer offers:

No, we are not money-less. So no, don’t push your buy one get one free offers on us via Snapchat. I have seen brands be like – here, poor kids, look at this wannabe groupon deal, take a screenshot (whohoo) and come to the store to redeem it (followed by a forced cool smile). We care about experiences, and humor. So yes, I will watch random Starbucks employees wear a banana costume and ‘go bananas’ while making coffee -> go to Starbucks on my way home 5 days later rather than see a Snapchat deal and run to the store for the ‘limited validity offer’.

Snapchat is not a ‘new channel’ for the ‘same old content’. It is a ‘new channel’ for a new  ‘form of (authentic) content’. So unless you have your content-channel fit sorted, please don’t embark on a corrupting your Snapchat journey. As I said, no one will care cause that’s just lame af.