A Hands-Off Approach to Open Innovation Doesn’t Work


As the topic suggests, we are here to discuss the failure of the hands-off approach to open innovation. A hands-off approach to management is when the managers don’t directly involve themselves in day-to-day activities and instead leave it up to the team leaders. In this case, though, the leaders must be very well trained to as to be able to command the respect of the team and be able to spark inspiration.

The hands-on approach, on the other hand, is when the manager is highly involved with all activities of his team. It is also synonymous with the term micro-management. In the hands-on approach, the team does not have enough space to go out there and  explore various options.

Then why is it that it is the hands-on approach that is working for open innovation when the opposite is expected?

The internal workings of both approaches are way more complicated than what it seems. The hand-off approach is plagued with certain problems. People at the senior level are not directly involved in the process of innovation. The consequence? The members lack direction, focus and support. They do not align with the goals of the organisation and are therefore not 100% productive or innovative. The senior level members must provide their employees with proper training and must interact with them regularly. At the same time, they must not do all the work. It would hinder the growth of employees. They won’t learn unless they face challenges. It all comes down to the approach taken by the manager.

A message for all managers would be: Be there for your members, know what is happening at all levels,  and what needs to be fixed, but give your employees a chance to fix it themselves first.

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How mindfulness rewires your brain to be more innovative


Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad.

Being mindful means that you shift from being caught up in thinking to being aware of thinking. A lot of us do this every day, for short periods of time. However, we are not aware of it, and we do not make it last for a long time.

Being mindful is to be aware or being aware. In a way, it gives you freedom from your mind. Our thoughts control our actions, but do we control our thoughts? Most people don’t. Our thoughts can be negative. They can affect our performance and happiness. However, when we are aware of our thought process, that is, when we see thinking objectively, we have greater control over it. You are at point A and thinking is at point B. You are observing it happening from a distance without any judgement.

When you become self-aware of all the actions that you do and your thought process during those activities, your effectiveness and happiness are no longer subject to your thoughts. Negative thoughts may occur but you are at a distance from it.

Moving on to innovation, it can be defined as the action of coming up with a new idea, method or product. Innovation provides a better solution to a problem, a method to speed up a process or an easier and more sustainable way to perform a task.  

What an innovator does, is simply observe the happenings around them and think about how to improve them, whether it is to make a new product or introduce a new system.

An innovator is not born that way. Anyone could be innovative if they tried to.

The process, however, involves a self-conscious effort to be innovative. This is where mindfulness comes in.

By being mindful about each action you perform through the day, you slowly move away from the default mode of performing the operations. When you put thought into these activities, your brain will suggest ways to improve what you are doing. This mindfulness is a start to being innovative. You rewire your brain to think consciously about everything you do; hence, you come up with methods to improve everything around you. You start questioning every task and try to make the best of every second. Most of us don’t actively think while doing chores like washing dishes, or waiting in traffic. You would have made your time more efficient just by keeping your mind open at those times and thinking about your present.

According to studies conducted by top institutions like Harvard and Yale, mindfulness has also been reported to improve the immune system function, increase resilience to stress, improve ability to cope with pain, reduce anxiety, improve decision-making skills and improve emotional intelligence.

 

Social Media Marketing and its Laws


Social media marketing can be defined as the process of gaining website traffic through social media sites but it is so much more.

It not just increases sales but helps you connect with your Target Group (TG) and build a stronger and more trustworthy brand image. It also helps you reach out to new customers, do damage control, keep up with competition, and share your story with a vast audience. What’s better, you can do all this without spending a dime!

We move on to the 10 laws of social media marketing.

The Law of Listening

Read your audience by listening to what they say and do. Analysis every image, and text put up about you or aimed at you. Understand what they want and create content accordingly.

The Law of Focus

Have a focused strategy towards a particular audience. Don’t try to please everyone at the same time.

The Law of Quality

Quality is the king. It runs social media and ensures conversions. A large quantity may get you viewers or traffic but not customers.

The Law of Patience  

Gaining followers is a steady process. Keep posting great content regularly and the followers will build up.

The Law of Compounding

Good content that you post online gets picked up by your audience and they in turn share it with their friends and followers. This makes it easier for you to get picked up by Google hence bringing in more traffic.

The Law of Influence

Look for people in your field who have a large following and who have a great influence over the internet. If they see you as a useful source of information, they might share your content, widening your audience. Eg: Bloggers.

The Law of Value

Don’t just focus on marketing your product all the time. Your audience will get bored. Try to create strong relations with them and with online influencers. This will take you a long way and keep you in the game.  

The Law of Acknowledgment

Never ignore someone who reaches out to you. Engage all your audience and build strong relations with them.

The Law of Accessibility

Be consistent with your content and post content or engage your audience regularly. Get in on online forums and discussions based on your content and be accessible to your audience at all times.

The Law of Reciprocity

Use some of your time sharing content made by other people and talking about them. Helping each other up the ladder is the best way to go.

Winning hearts, minds and wallets with digital marketing


We live in a digital age. It is a fact and there is no denying it. Along with the digitization of all our daily activities, marketing has taken a turn as well.

Before we get into how we can use digital marketing to our advantage, let us understand the subject a little better.

Digital marketing activities are not limited to online ads, blogs and social media. It includes many more complex processes like search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), campaign marketing, and e-commerce marketing, content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, optical disks and games, and any other form of digital media.

If you ask why digital marketing is so important, it is because of the rapidly growing force it has become in the current marketing playing field. It is set to be the future of marketing, and it seems likely that digital media will soon replace more traditional forms altogether.

The facts are that digital methods of communication and marketing are faster, more versatile, practical and streamlined.

A huge part of digital marketing is the content. It is not just digital marketing that is important; it is content marketing. Good content does not just draw the crowd in, it converts the crowd. The conversion of the audience is what is important. Thousands of people may visit your site but none may invest the time and money on it. The power to convert visitors into customers lies with the content. Building successful content marketing campaigns requires optimised planning and a 360-degree approach to search, social and content. It is vital to view search, social and content holistically and optimise everywhere.

Showcase useful and helpful content. Content that will help the user understand exactly what your product does to such an extent that they picture themselves using it.

While creating your content, think about 3 things:

  • How to showcase your brand.
  • How to connect your brand to the masses.
  • How to make it as creative as possible.

 

If you have these three points set down, you will be able to create stellar content and hence run a successful digital marketing strategy.

3 must watch ads of 2015


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  1. The Ad Council “Love Has No Labels.”

This ad by The Ad Council was the perfect way for them to illustrate that, deep down, all human beings are the same, despite their sexual preferences. They set up a giant X-ray screen in Santa Monica, Calif., on Valentine’s Day, and had the cameras rolling as real people of different genders, abilities and sexual orientations danced behind it—and then stepped out in front, delighting the curious audience.

2.Google “Furever Friends.”

This ad made to promote Android was not only the most shared ad of 2015 but also the most-shared ad of all time, according to video ad tech company Unruly. This ad also promotes the message of being happy despite our differences. It is a collection of videos of different species of animals hanging out together and loving each other, despite their differences.

3. Fanpage.It “Slap her.”

This video has been viewed more than 31 million times on YouTube. It is a three-minute video where boys aged 6- to 11-years-old are asked to slap the girl in front of them — watch their reactions. The ad does a brilliant job of addressing domestic violence and makes us stop and think about how or at what point did it become okay?  

All three of these ads stole our hearts in 2015. They had a relevant message to convey and fought against stereotypes in a fun and peaceful way. We hope to see better and plenty more ads this year!

5 Tools Everyone In The Digital Marketing Industry Should Be Using


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  1. Canva

Canva can be used to create unique images, posters, covers, anything that needs graphic designing. It’s a one-stop spot for designing. The site is very user-friendly and will make you completely forget about photoshop. There is a paid and an unpaid version available. You can purchase pictures and use them in your graphic content. We strongly recommend this tools for all those who need to make daily digital media posts.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics enables you to find out exactly where your traffic is coming from. You get all kind of visitor data on your site. Which pages are being visited the most, what the visitors do when they come to your site, etc. In other words, it helps you figure out what is working for your website and what’s not.

3.MailChimp

MailChimp one of the most powerful email marketing platforms on the market. MailChimp’s incredibly simplistic platform structure and freemium plan make it easy for even some of the most amateur email marketers to get setup with robust email campaigns. It is very user-friendly and allows you to make sophisticated looking emails with ease.

4.Facebook

Facebook is one tool that should never be overlooked. Whether it is B2B or B2C marketing, all brands have a strong presence on Facebook. ‘The world is on facebook.’ This sentence aptly applies for facebook. The number of users signing on to facebook per minute is immense. You may be sponsoring, advertising or even just running a page but it needs to have a facebook presence to reach out to the masses.

5.Twitter

Twitter is the social media powerhouse. It helps you reach out and engage your customers in a two-way dialogue. Twitter is not about spamming your customers with your products but about conversing with them and involving them in everything you do. It helps you amplify your voice on the internet. It can draw an incredible amount of traffic towards your brand.

The impact of colour psychology in digital marketing


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Color psychology is the science of how color affects human behavior. Color psychology is a branch of the broader field of behavioral psychology. Suffice it to say that it’s a pretty complicated area. Some skeptics are even dismissive of the whole field of color psychology, due to the difficulty of testing theories. But that alone is no reason to dismiss the profound and unarguable effect that color has on people.

There is one inarguable point: colours have no intrinsic meaning – meaning is based on personal experience, associations, context and culture (for example red is associated with luck in China).

Colour can indeed influence a person. However, it is important to remember that these effects differ between people. Factors such as gender, age, and culture can influence how an individual perceives colour.

To succeed at using the right color psychology, you need to follow these core principles:

  • The right way
  • The right time
  • The right audience
  • The right purpose

Here is what the colours indicate:

Colour Positives Negatives
Red Strength, Warmth, passion, desire, love, energy, intensity, urgency. Violence, aggression, defiance, strain
Blue Efficiency, trustworthy, intellectual, security, calm, serenity, wisdom, focus, loyal, dependability. Unfriendliness, coldness, lack of emotion.
Orange Warmth, security, enthusiasm, stimulation, fun, creativity, change, youthful. Aggression, frustration, immaturity, cheapness.
Yellow Laughter, Optimism, emotion, hope, energy. Fear, irrationality, depression.
Green Environment, growth, balance, wealth, harmony, peace, fertility, money, rest, universal love. Envy, calm, boredom, blandness.
Purple Luxury, royalty, wisdom, vision, truth, dignity, spirituality, mystery. Inferiority, introversion.
Pink Femininity, friendship, love, sexuality, gentle. Physical weakness, emotional claustrophobia, agitation.
Black Classiness, power, glamour, sophisticated, security, emotional safety, professional, credible, trendy. Evil, death, coldness, menace.
White Clarity, serenity, truth, innocence, purity, hygiene, neutrality. Barriers, coldness, elitism.
Grey Scientific, strength, power, security. Lack of confidence, depression, cold.

So using the right colours at the right place can make a whole lot of difference. “People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone” – Satyendra Singh 

To know more about us, click on http://nprdesign.com/

 

Why should one join a start-up?


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In the recent years, the start-up trend in India has taken off and bloomed.  As per NASSCOM’s “Startup-India: Momentous Rise of Indian Startup Ecosystem” report, India ranks third globally with over 4200 start-ups. These start-ups are driven by factors such as massive funding, consolidation activities, evolving technology and a burgeoning domestic market.

Most youngsters prefer working at a start-up to working at a corporation, and they have a good reason for it too.

Start-ups give you the chance to grow both professionally and personally at a very fast rate. When you work for a start-up, you live a fast paced life in general. You work with people your age and together (with the business), all of you grow. Everything you do shows results and you learn from those. There is a thrill in seeing results for all your work. It keeps you motivated. You see all the people working around you and learn from them. Start-ups usually have a small team of workers, therefore communication is a lot easier than in case of corporations. Since start-ups have somewhat of a flat structure, there is not much hierarchy. This way people with more experience are able to help you out with anything you need and you directly gain knowledge from them. You can also be more open and comfortable when you don’t have to fear the boss. You have as much responsibility in the future of the company as the next person. As you see the company grow, you feel a sense of ownership towards it. This is what keeps your passion alive and is your drive for working harder. The work you do in a start-up directly affects the growth. It make a real difference and has a significant impact on the business. Start-ups are also the best place to experiment with any ideas you might have. You are always encouraged to be as innovative as possible and all your efforts are recognised.

Another huge advantage is the office culture. Since most start-ups are small, you will have a chance to get to know your co-workers very personally and create a bond with everyone on the team. Working at a start-up is like being part of a close-knit family, where you can be yourself. A small team of people you can trust completely. This is the team that leads the company forward and aligns with the vision and the mission. In most cases, there are no fixed job roles. You can take up as many responsibilities as you like and try out different fields of work. There is no dearth of opportunities in a start-up.  Most start-ups even have flexible working hours, though that might not be the case with all.

Here is what Aashna Gurav, a young start-up worker has to say: “When I was still in college earlier this year, I was completely unsure of what my calling is, while most of my friends had already ‘planned’ what was best for them, I happened to sit for an interview with a start-up and I knew I did not want anything else apart from my infamous “start-up” job.

Sticking to our core values and always remembering the essence of why we started, working in such an environment is an absolute pleasure. Today, I work for a product as zealously as everyone else in my organisation, with an intense fascination to absorb and learn without limits, along with sharing the excitement of being a part of a company that is growing so aggressively each day. I feel pampered at work; we are a team of foodies and we believe that productivity comes with a stomach full. We believe in having an all-day breakfast, fruits at 4 and do not mind getting treated to pizza at all.”

Overall, start-ups are perfect for young individuals who wish to grow and gain practical experience. You get to be a part of something big and be there for it from the beginning. In the end, the skills you pick up can be compared to nothing else and will stay with you no matter what you do later in life.

Designing a Poster


 

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Posters provide a logical and effective way of targeting a particular group of audience. When executed correctly, posters prove to be the perfect marketing strategy, alerting people and providing just the required amount of information.

Being able to design a poster is a skill that will be useful to you in any field of work. Here is your guide to making the perfect poster.

  1. Do your research.

The first step is to know your product inside out. Answer these questions:

  1. What are you trying to sell or display via the poster?
  2. What is your Target Group?
  3. Do you understand the emotion behind your product or cause?
  4. What is the most important piece of information in your poster? Where will the focus be/ Is it the title, the date or a slogan?

Knowing these details will help you be precise, hence making the poster more effective.

  1. Text.

Note down all the text that needs to go on the poster. Segregate the text depending on what role it plays on the poster and where it needs to be placed. Ensure that the text is minimal. It’s a poster, not a documentary. Only the required details go on the poster along with your contact details. Avoid using jargons.

  1. Choosing a colour scheme.

After step 1, you should know the emotion behind your poster. Pick a colour scheme that brings out the emotion and complements the text. Amp up the contrast to make the poster more effective. The background and text colour should be decided now.

Here is your perfect guide to colour schemes: http://coschedule.com/blog/color-psychology-marketing/

  1. Choosing the image.

If you want an image as your background, pick one that is not congested and crammed-up with an overload of colour. You need a picture that will accommodate the text that needs to be put over it. Same goes for the background image and design.

  1. Placing the Text.

Pick a few different types of fonts that go together as well as with the theme of the poster. The font should be clear and all letters in the font should be easy to read. Choose a bold font for the focus of your poster. The headline and the subtext should have different fonts.

Here are a few sites that will help you find the perfect font:

http://webdesign.tutsplus.com/articles/choosing-the-right-font-a-practical-guide-to-typography-on-the-web–webdesign-15

https://designschool.canva.com/blog/canva-for-work-brand-fonts/

https://designschool.canva.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-font-pairing/

After picking the font, it’s time to decide where to place it. Analyse the background of your poster and find an area that is clutter free. The title should be big and should pop out. The subtext should be smaller in size. Place the text in a position that will put emphasis on it. At the same time, the text should not dominate the poster.

  1. Add contact information

People need to be able to contact you for further details, so do not forget to put your contact information.

  1. Easy to read.

Ensure that your poster is easy to read from a distance. All the colours and the fonts must go together to create a pleasing poster.

  1. Take time off.

Save the poster and leave it for a day or at least for a few hours. Go back to it and look at it from a fresh perspective. You will find out minute details that you missed out while you were making the poster.

Making a poster is not as hard as it seems. Once you get the hang of it, you can have fun with different designs. One common website that eases the process is Canva. Just remember the above steps and you will be good to go!

 

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