FMCG companies spend MORE than what they earn on ads !!

Read this if you don’t believe us

And then they still shy away from digital – the most newsworthy examples are still Lays, Pepsi, Sunsilk and Dove – somewhat the same brands which got us talking few years back when they started doing new stuff on digital

Why should FMCG, traditionally large advertisers, be not so excited about the medium

  • Is it because the medium is considered less personal, but wasn’t this argument buried with increasing bandwidth and richer media usage.
  • Is it because the rural folks are not tuned in and hence the medium is not worth the effort.
  • Is it because digital activity is largely perceived to be about direct response and hence FMCG folks have a tough time coming up with the right creative ( traditionally they indulge more in brand advertising and less in direct response)

The “most often quoted example by far of online community” success in India – Sunsilkgangofgirls recently reduced its social media features limiting members to form new gangs. What does this mean for branded social networks – What kind of lessons has Levers drawn from this before they made the ‘Be beautiful’ site.

Join us we discuss theses issue in our next webinar on 1st April – it would be taken by Karthik S, digital strategy head (India) at Edelman.

Yes, we’ve started a web security course but we were hacked once..

We’ll need to go back here – go back to Aug 2009 – Two of us are systematically and kind of painstakingly putting the Learning Catalyst ( site up. Each course page requires us to put PPT’s on slideshare and link them to the site. The back-end of the site was WordPress. Considering that there were just two of us working on finalizing the PPT copy, linking to Slideshare, doing final code changes on the site (our WordPress developer has deserted us),doing last-minute data entry, it was much of a task. Some of the teasers were already sent and a lot of well-wishers were waiting to hear from us on the successful launch of our site and business.

And we were tired. Very tired. When it happened

We realized the homepage looks different, let me rephrase that – it looked ugly. And that’s because the entire design has shifted down and a horizontal bar has creeped in.

We sank back into our chairs, now what ?? We had malware, hacked, virus : whatever you call it !

Still remember this was at 4 in the night. Our first call was to the WordPress developer who had left us stranded with some unfinished code in the first place. And whose support, if we had during this time, life would have been less stressful. He was in Goa for a vacation and we had no qualms of giving him a piece of our mind – yes, at 4 in the night..

Then we started calling some experts in this area – btw there are very few good ones in Mumbai to ask what could have possibly happened. We tried some ready made patches available on the WordPress site but those didn’t work.

Then we did what we dreaded : checking EACH and EVERY file on the server for that one line of code which had caused the problem – knowing well that even if we don’t look at any one properly, we will have to redo the exercise – from the beginning.

Thankfully, we could find that one wretched line of code and we joyfully deleted it – the homepage design shifted up to its intended location and all was well.

To this date, I am not sure of how we can prevent such things happening to our site but I am looking forward to the Catalyst Series webinar tomorrow on this topic ( )

Register for it….if you don’t want to have that sinking feeling of your online world being compromised…. at 4 AM in the night 🙂

When should small businesses start thinking about an ERP ?

– When you know you need to start keeping books formally and hence you need an accounting system for starters.

– When you know that it’s getting increasingly crazy to follow up on various kinds of invoices and payments received. And as a start-up, cash is king, queen and the entire royalty 🙂

– When you think that the best way to ensure process discipline is to get ‘some’ IT systems in place

Join us as we battle these questions in the webinar on the best time for a small business to starting thinking about ERP . The webinar is on Thursday, 9th Sept at 5:30 PM. We would be having the WebNotes team take us through this session.

Five things you ought to know about Learning Catalyst

We are expanding like nobody’s business

  • Apart from catering to working professionals, we’ve also started doing free events to launch our student courses in emerging areas like mobile application development, web security and digital marketing. The industry calls them career courses – we call them courses which make you a specialist.
  • We are today present in four cities. (although there have been instances of people taking our courses online from locations like Kolhapur and Kankavli)
  • A separate sister company is now firming up plans to offer overall-web-quotient-improvement solutions to SME’s globally. We believe previous efforts to target SME’s have been half-hearted, not holistic and not backed by the right educational bent of mind. More details soon, we don’t want to spill the beans yet. Watch out folks..

We are done with the ‘validation’ phase

  • But that’s changed – Although we are still middle class when it comes to ad spends :), we move to a bigger office in the heart of Vile Parle- east (Hanuman Road) next week. We are very close to ‘Panshikar’ – a hugely popular Maharashtrian snack joint and if you are nearby, do drop in – a ‘misal pav’ is guaranteed.

We are doing our bit to spread awareness in the web/mobile area

  • We are quite used to folks and parents getting really curious about the areas we deal in so we launched the Catalyst Series, which is basically about getting participants direct access to experts in a webinar environment.
  • When we launched the first series, we did 16 of them in two weeks (a record of sorts, we think :)) but now we have considerably slowed down (we do it once a week now) .Watch us as we tackle some hugely interesting stuff like history of search engines, client side optimization and the science of high value high volume retail.

We are not a ‘SEO classes’ company :

As in, we don’t do just that.

  • We offer 23 courses (excluding the crash course variants). You can safely call them specialized – Aptech just offers only the web design courses out of the entire lot.
  • We partner with educational institutes to take sessions on college campuses , we recently took the digital marketing elective at MICA
  • We do corporate trainings – we recently did multi-location trainings for IBM and similar ones for an ICICI group company. These are not the ‘three-star-hotel-what-is-for-desert’ types but ones where company websites are opened up, analyzed and improvement plans are made on-the-spot.

We get inspiration from diverse sources (some examples shown below)