All posts by Nilesh

About Nilesh

Nilesh has worked in the IT industry for nine years, and is both a PMP and an MBA in marketing. He has worked in and with small businesses, managing projects, leading teams, and improving business processes.At Markitty, Nilesh translates requirements into tasks and timelines. He jumps into whatever is needed, whether it’s marketing, design, or technical architecture. He also keeps the others sane with his intermittent wisecracking.

18 Things E-Commerce Websites Must Get Right

For e-commerce businesses, getting the website right is even more important than for other businesses because the website is more than a marketing tool — it’s part of the offering. Here are 18 things not all e-commerce websites get right.

1. Give me a reason to register even if I don’t want to buy right now.

Discount coupon for first purchase? First delivery free if I register by x date? Give me some reason to fill up that registration form when I come to you the first time. Else there is a high chance that if I don’t like anything in the first visit, I will never come back. If I don’t register, you wouldn’t even know I came by!Myntra - Signup and get coupons worth Rs. 1000

Continue reading 18 Things E-Commerce Websites Must Get Right

How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Update: Google launched the Keyword Planner which will replace the Keyword Tool. Read about it here.

Have you ever used the Google Keyword Tool? No? Then go on reading and make sure you use it today. You can use this easy (and free!) tool for a number of things:

  • As part of your market research to understand how many people search for a certain product or service online.
  • When they search for the product or service you offer, what words do they use?
  • What keywords are you using most prominently in your website?
  • What keywords your competitor (or any other company) is using most prominently on its website?

How do you do all that? Let’s take a quick look.

Continue reading How To Use Google’s Keyword Tool

Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Diwali is next week. Did you send out special offers or greetings to your customers and prospects?

While everyone is talking about social media, email marketing remains an excellent way of nurturing your prospects and customers. In this post, I look at some common mistakes marketers make in email campaigns, through a few Diwali-themed marketing emails I received.

Wasting the Subject Line

Here is a screenshot of some Diwali offers in my inbox.

Diwali Emails as Seen in Gmail

Continue reading Common Email Marketing Mistakes

Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

Two weeks ago, I spoke to the moderators of a local business community, Pune Open Coffee Club, and as a result of that discussion, Better Marketing started a new initiative:

Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

We’re offering free consulting services to start-ups in Pune. Every Thursday, we sit at a local cafe and meet at least one entrepreneur. We talk for a couple of hours about their business and help them map out a marketing strategy or suggest things they could improve.

We started last week and met two businesses – and we received so many inquiries that we’re booked up through December!

This is the process we are following:

Continue reading Office Hours: Marketing For Startups

Spotlight: Congress’s Online Marketing Campaign for Gujarat Elections 2012

Gujarat (which is where I grew up, by the way) will have its assembly elections next month. I am no longer a registered voter there, but out of curiosity, I clicked on a banner ad for one of the political parties.

I am not going to talk politics here, but let’s look at how well they’ve executed this marketing campaign. Below are my tweets and comments about this campaign by the Indian National Congress, which is currently the main opposition party in Gujarat.

Continue reading Spotlight: Congress’s Online Marketing Campaign for Gujarat Elections 2012

Integrated Marketing Lessons from NH7 and Only Much Louder

Music in India has been mostly dominated by mainstream film music (Bollywood!) but in the last few years non-film music has acquired its own space and a lot of credit goes to Only Much Louder and NH7 for that. I’m impressed by how OML has created a powerful brand in NH7 through integrated marketing.

Personally, I am a big fan of NH7 and the NH7 Weekender music festival, so some level of  bias is expected :-). And on the other hand it also speaks to the effectiveness of their marketing and quality of their service and products — that is, music events. Let’s look at the website first.

First things first: The website


Continue reading Integrated Marketing Lessons from NH7 and Only Much Louder

The Opposite of Marketing: Keeping Your Product Attributes A Secret

Didn’t we say, don’t keep your customers guessing? Well, if that wasn’t clear enough, here is a story of how a company can make it very difficult for potential customers to understand its offering. SocialEdge is a product (or service?) by Infosys. In their words:

“Infosys SocialEdge provides a comprehensive way to engage with consumers, influence their purchase decisions and provide post-purchase assistance”.

Does that tell you what SocialEdge actually is or does? It doesn’t even explain how it’s “social”!

Below is a Twitter conversation I had about this yesterday. Continue reading The Opposite of Marketing: Keeping Your Product Attributes A Secret

7 Free Tools to Increase Your Productivity

Being a small business or a startup means you don’t have much to spend on fancy tools, but a small business also needs to be extremely focused and productive to compete with bigger and more established businesses! Here are some tools I use that make my workweek easier, and that you might want to try out. Each of these is free, or has a free version you can use.


Evernote lets you take notes (text, audio, video), store web-clips, documents and stores all of these on the cloud so you can access from any of your devices. It’s an installed application, so you can use it even when you are offline and it syncs the data when you are connected. Most of us use multiple devices nowadays with one computer at work, another at home and then smart phone and maybe a tablet – install Evernote on each one and your life will be much easier. There is a web version too, if you prefer that.

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Customer Appreciation: Are You Doing It Right?

Call it marketing or customer service or just call it business strategy — you hardly need to debate the importance of demonstrating to your customers that you value them. We all want to retain customers and usually go above and beyond to please them — by giving something extra, by offering lower rates, or by providing premium service.

Larger businesses have loyalty programs to handle this, but small-business owners usually like to use their own discretion and not allow employees an easy way to make these decisions. But good employees want to keep regular customers happy. They may go ahead and offer these “extras” anyway — by giving the room overlooking the pool, making small repairs in addition to the contracted job, or by over-pouring.

These “extras” are part of your  cost of retention, but do you know how much that cost is? Are these extras proportional to the business you are getting from those customers? Are these extras in addition to the priority rates/service you are offering those customers? All these are important questions, but the most important question is — Does your customer even realize you are giving her something extra?
Continue reading Customer Appreciation: Are You Doing It Right?