మంచి మాట/One Good Word 

False friendship like the shadows of the forenoon goes on decreasing, and at last dies out; while friendship true like that of afternoon though scant at first achieves full stature soon
– Bhatruhari Subhashithani.

The same was quoted by my father, DrAyalasomayajula GopalaRao garu, in one of his books, ‘మంచి మాట’ (-one good word).


In this book my father highlighted various aspects of life such as importance and need of true friendships, moral responsibilities, the power of truth, strength in leading an exemplary life, what we seek vs what’s good for us, how our inner thoughts influence our deeds, and many more. A must-read.

I am still on the first chapter of friendships reminiscing and celebrating my true friends that come and go (with my nomadic lifestyle;)) but treasured in my memory chest preciously forever. Who else can value them better than the one badly back stabbed on more than one occasion!
Every experience is worth it; no light without darkness.

The author, Dr Ayalasomayajula GopalaRao, served as a Professor of Telugu and Sanskrit languages at Maharaja Sanskrit College, Vizianagaram before retiring in 2003. He was appointed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh as one of the four members of Official Language Commission to study the usage of Telugu, its current impact and suggest steps to improve its continued usage, given the English & Hindi preponderance in our day to day lives.

Dr Rao has conducted several ‘Netravadhanam’ a language spoken just with eyes) and ‘Angushatavadhanam’ (language based on the movement of fingers) sessions across the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. His contribution to these relatively less known aspects of Telugu literary arts has earned him recognition from the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

More about my dad in detail soon!

Semiya/Vermicelli Pulao

Dry roast vermicelli and keep it aside. Grind Indian spices (Cloves, Cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper, kasuri methi) with fresh coconut and tomatoes. Shallow fry vegetables and dry fruits of your choice, add the ground paste with ghee/butter. Add water (2:1 with vermicelli) and let that boil. At this point, add the vermicelli, let it cook until the water is all absorbed.

This is my mum’s signature dish and my favourite!

Pepper Peanut Rice

Dry roast peanuts, red chillies, cloves, black peppers, cinnamon, coriander and fennel seeds, any lentils, cashew, almonds.. whatever you can dry roast. Once cooled down, grind them all.

To a table spoon of oil, add chopped bell peppers, sweet corn, green peas, edamames, broccoli, and any vegetables that cook faster. Add boiled rice, salt, and butter/ghee. Once mixed well, add the powder we made. Switch off the flame and there you go!

Pepper peanut rice is ready!

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing: My Journey!

While traditional marketing runs on the four Ps – product, price, promotion, and place, modern marketing, also called digital marketing runs mostly on place, place and place. Place where you find the right audience, place where prospects can find discounts, place where people find answers to their questions.

Almost every platform gives marketers statistics of their target market right from the number of people their posts have reached, to the engagement to the best day and time to reach the prospects. For e.g., Google Display Network comes with AdWords, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, SEO to name a few, and social media giants like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest have opened up their platforms for marketing and sales; all aiming at reaching prospects who could be turned into customers. This fills our customer funnels or flywheels. Imagine the magic these analytics do when one pays for ads on these platforms!

Several parameters such as age, gender, interests, likes, searches, queries etc., add up to filling their customer funnels. While customers find something that interests them, marketers find ‘data’ that keeps their funnels filling. In most scenarios, customers are aware of this, but still they continue to be that ‘data’ as it’s a win-win situation for those who feel they are part of this inevitable digital society. Remember the famous adage “if a service is free, you are the product”? Well, in this case, every socially active account holder is the data!

It is estimated that there are about 3.8 billion social media users with an estimated market of about 48 billion U.S. dollars.

https://www.statista.com/topics/1538/social-media-marketing/

While studying ‘Advertising’ during my MBA times, we were made aware of the legalese that marketers are allowed to enlarge their product image by a certain percentage. That’s how we bought many products, for over a century, just being enticed by the colour and size of the images. In this digital marketing world, the phenomenon of using ‘testimonials’ and ‘endorsements’ is also an attribute of advertising by either the ordinary buyer or a celebrity to appeal the potential buyers. As a digital marketer, I understand no ‘enlarging’ the real features is acceptable in these testimonials. What customers express is what they feel. Of course personal targets and biases must be taken with a pinch of salt. This gains prominence with the advent of paid-reviews by some big giants in this field!

This is my first marketing blog. I wanted to just make some introductions to those who see all these platforms on a daily basis but didn’t know they are actually the data that keeps this billion market marketing world on the move.

I was part of traditional marketing world since 2002. Started off as an assistant marketing manager in India, and moving to UK started the marketing ladder right from being a sales person. That’s where I was able to practice the real-time interactions sales people have with customers that forms the basis for ‘relationship marketing’ and ‘customer experience management (CX)’. Precisely what marketers need to know in their career! Of course thus followed awards and accolades.

With a gap of a few years and moving to US, I dived into digital marketing without even knowing what it was in 2017! And in these 3 years, I have worked on brand awareness, email marketing, content creation and managing advertisement campaigns for different companies and events, at times I’ve raised their sales by over 40%!

Marketing was a proven success by many stalwarts who did not have either a marketing or a management degree. With digital marketing taking over traditional marketing, we have professional degrees in place and even coding is now a part of it. Who would have thought!

Now, the world belongs to those who are ‘masters of many trades’.

Kick the Covid

I am a hopeful individual. Because I know life is not always a bed of roses.

I am very grateful for people and their services that let us sit on our couches and keep us going 🙏.

I am certain that the present global scenario (a pandemic and an economic turmoil) will help the current generation of kids overcome the impediments and make the world more scientific, more robotic and more virtual. Up until now, we’ve had only complaints about kids on phone, not-having in-person interaction, lack of communication skills etc. But, now, in this shelter-in process, they are better placed: better organized, active personal connections and limited distractions (they’re preparing for their academic and other activities) handling the curve ball of Covid that life threw at us.

We as a family have come up with charties on a monthly basis that are closer to our hearts from the countries that embraced us.

Not so much worried about quarantine or homeschooling with mine. As kids, they have survived without holidays for 3 years at one point. I make it a point that they understand and absorb the emotions and priorities that maketh humans . That’s how I grew up and that’s what I believe in!

Stay safe and let’s kick the Covid! We can do this and we will.