Me , Myself & Mumbai ,RA!T, Movies , Music , Books , TV , Ramblings.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Perfect Circle

Okay,so where do i begin?
It's hard to believe that my last blog post is dated July 23,2009(not taking into consideration my previous post).It was exactly a day before i was to leave for Amrika.I still remember that strange feeling within.All those nights,when i used to sit back in my balcony in Udayagiri staring at those planes flying across the sky,wondering where i am headed.Contemplating what is that i am supposed to do after i finish my engineering.I remember it was sometime in T.E when everyone was giving their GRE,while me and pable discussed our future.Those random/philosophical/lengthy yahoo chats with Manas about weighing the pros/cons of coming to US,masters,MBA and everything in between.Those confused thoughts going through my mind all through those years.Going forward with these thoughts work started and still my mind wasn't fully occupied,somewhere deep inside something didn't feel right.So then as the cliche goes, universe conspired to get things in motion and after that night i was also going to walk on through to the other side.

As far as life over here goes,it's been a pretty exciting.Most of the things over here were,just the way i though they would be.EXCESS - that is the only word to describe Amrika.I'll save my thoughts on Amrika for some other post.Everyone gets by over here,with a bit of faith.If you lose optimism over here,you lose everything.There were times when the words didn't seem optimistic but inside my heart everything did feel right.It wasn't like those previous years.There were testing times,i(along with others) worked till wee hours in the morning,learnt to make some fat-ass burritos,got to know several dozen types of meats and cheese,stocked all varieties of chocolates,gums, but it was all worth it.I still remember the conversations nair and I used to have in highland, somewhat similar to ones described earlier in the posts.I would not change a single thing.As time passed by I got everything i deserved and more. Just a little bit of faith is required.

Largely due the close proximity of my destined university ,I also got to cross some places off my to-visit list which i had made during engineering days.Previous winter i got to see vegas, which was fun.Those blinding lights,the fountains of bellagio,the grandness of MGM grand,quite awesome.And even more importantly i traveled to the city
(technically,a state) of my dreams(as cheesy as it may sound but that's the truth,i was/am obsessed with it,balme that on the internet/hollywood) :California.Pable and his co-op was the perfect excuse to go to San Diego.I really had an amazing time traveling to there alone and even more so traveling with "them" within SD and LA.The ocean is really breathtaking ,reminiscent of Mumbai.

With the blink of an eye,I am more than half way though this course.Most of the things Jisha mentioned in an comment on one of my last posts turned out to be true.Things changed and for better or worse, I changed.

And so with this post i am trying to reach a perfect circle and start posting more often on my blog.It feels good to be back again.Cheers!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

GOMCHA Experience :Data Transformers (Casa Video)

Google Online Marketing Challenge(or, GOMCHA as it was lovingly referred to as the project started to take shape) was the name of the project that was introduced to us as a part of our course work in MIS 587 Business Intelligence.GOMCHA presented before us an opportunity to work for a local small-mid sized business.Each team received $200 of free online advertising to promote the selected business through creative online marketing campaign.

The first step for this challenge was to select a local business.From the beginning we had a plan that we need to select a business that is not very big in terms of employee strength but at the same time, the chosen business should be popular amongst the local crowd. Many of our group members were movie and television buffs ,so we came up with the idea of approaching Casa Video,an local DVD rental store.The initial meeting with our client was setup and even our client Ms.Gala seemed thrilled with the idea of obtaining free publicity and exposure to different customer segment through our campaign.

Now,the second step we did as a team was to formulate a pre-campaign strategy which helped us in the long run, as we had a well defined strategy in place before the start of actual campaign.As a part of our strategy we decided to focus on customer segmentation based on different age groups.We formulated two campaigns for people in age group of 17-30 yrs and 30-45 yrs.This step helped us in choosing creative keywords targeting specific customer segment.We also created a third campaign called as '2-for-1 offers' which focused on leveraging the in-store offer of proving the customer an opportunity to rent two DVDs for the price of one !

We ran these campaigns for a period of three weeks while monitoring the website statistics and usage information on regular basis.Google Analytics is a excellent tool which includes a user-friendly dashboard showing the essential metrics that we required to measure the effectiveness of our client's website.We monitored metrics such as Cost Per Click(CPC), Click through Rate(CTR),No.of visitors, No.of unique visitors in order to determine where our campaign was lacking and what steps were needed to put it back on track.It also helped us to reformulate our strategy related to our daily budget limit.

By the end of three weeks, we were successful in increasing the number of visitors to Casa Video online website which also resulted in spreading the awareness about the niche video store that has a huge collection of various movies(especially foreign films),television series,documentaries.However were not as successful as we wanted to be with regards to the number of sales the campaign achieved.Some of the hurdles we faced to realize our target were:
Lack of dynamic content in website.Targeting local customers through Google search engine. Keeping the interest of customers visiting the website for greater amount of time i.e high bounce rate.In the end , without a shade of doubt this challenge was responsible for sharpening our learning curve.Each one of us not only got accustomed to the basics of marketing strategies but also learned the usage of different metrics used in web analytics along with the underlying meaning behind each one of those metrics.GOMCHA was a win-win situation for both our team as well as our client.

This is what our team members had to say regarding the GOMCHA Experience :

Kumar Says:
“The GOMCHA project has been an eye opener, giving me perspective into web analytics helping me understand the Web in a new way.”
Kunal says:
“GOMCHA came a long way from where we started and where we ended, it was a true learning experience which helped us understand the dynamics of analytics in a real world”
Anand says:
"GOMCHA was an excellent platform to demonstrate the marketing abilities I had gained in my previous work experience and apply those skills to real world business challenges"
Aniket says:
" The practical knowledge that I have gained as a result of GOMCHA has been immense.I am now able to understand how web analytics acts as an enabler to improve online businesses.
Charu says:
"GOMCHA was a very practical and enriching experience for us as it helped us develop an understanding of online marketing strategies, client relationships and marketing analytics and also gave us a hands on experience in managing the AdWords Campaign"
Neeraj says :
" The entire campaign touched base of variety of concepts which are extremely critical in today's day and age.The advent of Web 2.0 has made it even more important to gain real work experience in web analytics focused on some business domain"

- Data Transformers