The time was 2020, and the world around me was taking a major flip. One of the most prominent one the generation has seen, and trust me, being someone my age, I’ve pretty much seen the country age and evolve like a caterpillar going through a “Metamorphosis”. In the blink of an eye, the whole world went into a paradigm shift, and our physical reality, thus became a virtual reality.
To us all, it is no less than the greatest life changing experience of our lives, most compare it to the 9/11 or the Great Depression, close to events that reshaped our lives and society in lasting ways. From travel, to how we buy things and go about our daily lives, level of security and surveillance and even to the language we use.
Every generation that has lived to see this pandemic, speaks the same language, of variants, and vaccine names they can’t even pronounce, and even conspiracy theories that are straight out of a science fiction. A global novel virus that kept us contained in our homes, for months on end, has resulted in reorienting the way we think, judge and act. It has reshaped our relationship with governments, with each other and ourselves even.
Some questions that bother people throughout the pandemic, seemed like will nations close today? Will staying in touch be a contactless taboo, will events be a virtual Gig, and what about restaurants and night clubs, and retail stores, and college lives and the workplace! What about it?! But asking the right questions during the crisis moment also means the probability of finding an opportunity:
The sophistication of technology, a revived appreciation of community and the unending uncertainty of life in this time only meant one thing, nobody knew what is to come, but everyone was going towards one place: DIGITAL. In the midst of all uncertainty one thing was certain and highlighted in bold #FUTUREDIGITALHAIBOSS While the comfort of being in the presence of others was replaced by the dangers of intimacy, “let’s discuss this over a cup of tea” changed to “Join our cloud HD video meeting” and “hey guys let’s hangout this weekend” suddenly became “#TriviaTuesday on Zoom”.
People are now asking is there any good reason to do this in person, instead of what used to once be, do we need to do this online? Whether it’s a business setting or a personal one, billion dollar deals are being negotiated and signed online, just as frequently as The Big Fat Indian digital wedding. The definition of communication and community has been translated to a digital form of self-expression and belonging. In other words, it turns out that meeting (or the doctor’s appointment, or the class) really could have been an email. The country has long obsessed over the idea of patriotism with defence and the armed forces.
But we can’t fire at a microscopic virus or bomb it out of our existence. The soldiers on the frontline aren’t general, colonels or lieutenants, but doctors, nurses, teachers, caregivers and utility workers, local business owners and employees. And it is important that we recognise this sacrifice and do what we can to empower the people who risked their lives without even signing up for it by providing us with the necessities of the time.
The pandemic also brought about a shift in the economy with supply chains being restricted due to border restrictions. This is when digitalisation of the world came as an opportunity to make local global through the exposure of the border less realm of the internet. More people could discover and support local businesses and ensure the local economy is stabilized.
The new world order had finally arrived, and to cater to this, I asked myself what I can do, using the best I know. The answer to which, struck in bold “future digital hai boss” and then came the brainchild of a pandemic reset and a man obsessed with creating from discomfort of the chaos. MONKEYMINDS, a brain never at ease, always wanting to learn, curious beyond limitation and always evolving.
A boom in the digitally native virtual brands (DNVB) and The growing demand for digital marketing in the country was evident. People were struggling with hashtags and campaigns. Local businesses that once dealt with sales and profits were suddenly talking in jargons of advertising and obsessing over community management. And this is when it was known, there was an urgent need to educate, inform and aide local businesses with the shift they were experiencing.
People had finally started to realize the value of digital marketing. #Futuredigitalhaiboss was no longer a trending hashtag on social media, but a reality for all business owners. Starting a business was not an easy task, but a necessary one. A future that started with a man and a vision and support of a few friends and well-wishers, some of whom are now colleagues. To find the right clients, to share the right vision, build a team from scratch, make it happen, make it work! Phew! This journey started with 2 chairs at a coworking space, the vision turned into a reality.
A new start for a man in Gurgaon, sitting and trying to visualize the future, reminiscing on the past, Trying to figure out how we got here. I had a decent job as lead at Global agency before Monkeyminds happened. I used to spend time with my family, play golf, read books, watch movies, a lot of movies, especially stories inspired by the underdog, The underdog, yes that’s what it was! The grit, the determination and perseverance shown by the underdog always inspired me.
Now thinking about my first summer internship in advertising where I printed copies for my boss, to then comfortably working at one of the top notch media agencies in the world, and now break from the comfort zone and to venture into my own, and gather the courage to pursue my dream, the journey has been very familiar to those of the characters I admired so much in the films I watched. And from a table for 2 to a hall for 22, It’s been quite a journey, it still is.
Art imitates life they say, but it’s safe to say Art inspires life. As a marketer I strongly believe in the 7 Ps of marketing that make a strong campaign. And as A leader, I strongly believe in just the 2 Ps, which I always try to reinforce upon my team. The 2 Ps I believe that make up for a great run at success are patience and perseverance. Go after your dreams, but don’t rush it. Put in the ingredients of hard work and wait till success summers, that’s the only recipe for success. Great things take time. Whenever I hire my team, I look for values over skills.
Anything that is quantified can be learned. Empathy, Creativity, Perseverance and Will power are valuing that people embody. These don’t come with a measure. Trust and loyalty can only be earned. And it’s the most important offering or the USP we can offer a people’s business, and We are in the people’s business, we market to people, we market for people and we market through people. Good advertising is a combination of psychology, sociology, business and technology.
And above all EMPATHY. Unless you understand the business, the client, the market and your own capabilities you cannot deliver a good result and I’m a firm believer of outcome based marketing. To achieve an outcome, we need to learn the subject. Anyone can have skills and develop templates, but advertising is personal to each business, as the business is personal to each client. Templates work out for industry guidelines, however good advertising requires tailor made personalisation and strategy.
To convey the right message to the right consumer without losing the invested cost is key to good marketing. Creativity and Logic are the two most important skillset in our business. The value of creativity combined with the measure of logic are what makes our strategies so powerful. Without one the other is void, to advertising. It’s a perfect marriage between the two that makes our outcome truly successful. And at the intersection of creativity and logic there is a field, we are dancing in it. We are monkey minds!