Slide 1: Hi, my name is Manu Prasad.

There are some things I can communicate in 140 characters, and that I do as @manuscrypts on Twitter. For everything else, there’s I head social at, an ecommerce entity specializing in fashion. As a user, I see social platforms as a means of engagement, but as anyone who has an understanding of the domain would tell you, e-commerce in India is all about scale, and that applies to social as well. In the next twenty odd minutes, I’d like to share with you my efforts at playing a balancing act – of engagement and scale, and my perspectives on the evolution of the currencies we use for engagement @ scale.. Slide 2: Let’s begin with what might be a rather unpopular tweet in this context. The writing’s on the wall but let me read it out nevertheless. The phrase 'engagement at scale' is brands hoping that mass marketing techniques will work on the social web ~ Stowe Boyd. Every time I see a random ad invading my FB Newsfeed, every time I see a meaningless hashtag on my Twitter timeline, I am inclined to agree with this. But every so often, for example, I also see the People’s Insights from Gaurav and his team MSL, I see brands and movements across the globe that use currencies of engagement which go beyond their own selfish business objectives, and I begin to understand how we can have multiple renditions of engagement @ scale. Slide 3: To a large extent, I think it all begins with our definition of engagement itself. Despite the early understanding that social platforms were a disruption at many levels, we still ended up building its engagement frameworks, more as an immediate answer to the ROI question. And most of our perspectives on ROI itself were based on the broadcast environment that we traditionally operated in. Slide 4: These are frameworks you’d have seen in a zillion presentations. I’m only referring to them to take the narrative forward. As you can see, we defined engagement on social platforms in the context of broad business objectives, fit narratives into specific domains, and started measuring them. Look at marketing – this shows how social can have an impact at each step of the funnel. From platform metrics like Facebook insights data to business metrics like traffic/sales/revenue through simple utm based tracking on Google Analytics we had hard metrics that can get tracked. sCRM, f-stores – almost every existing business narrative got itself a social prefix. Slide 5: Thanks to the measurement capability, social began moving the way of its predecessor digital marketing – into that area that’s affectionately called performance marketing. But the one place that social differed in this context – because everyone was now a publisher - was the sheer scale of data that was generated. It was tough enough for the enterprise to deal with the unique engagement rules of various social platforms, and now there was the question of what to do with the new data being produced every minute!

Slide 6: This where we’re right now, and though you might sense my love-hate relationship with social’s evolution, this is the domain I work in. So I’ll quickly spend a few minutes on some of the ways we have tried to scale social – both by using data to market better socially as well as by using social data in the larger context of marketing. Slide 7: Once upon a time, we had something called organic reach on Facebook. Now it’s just paid amplification. Facebook has developed an army of tools (and partners) to help advertisers scale . Page Post ads can be targeted based on demographics, precise interests and so on. Both Custom Audiences and Facebook Exchange use external data to target better inside Facebook. On Twitter, we’re not at the Amex levels of Twitter integration, and our ways of using data are limited to commonplace applications like scheduling tweets according to the time our followers are most active, tempering a response based on a quick look at the user’s circles of influence, and so on. It’s tempting to call one of our recent world trend hashtags engagement @ scale. But Twitter has tremendous potential for social data driven marketing, and we hope to tap into that soon. Slide 8: Every consumer is media now, and is arguably one of the most scalable forms of marketing in the form of social proof, and here Facebook’s social plugins have helped. Using a couple of custom actions, we have begun capturing some interesting data at the backend - from popular products to other interest areas of our users and being able to identify our most active users. A simple application that we could build – every week, we get a mail from FB informing us of friends’ upcoming birthdays. By layering the data above, Myntra could easily send a similar mail that not only informs a Myntra user of his friends’ birthdays, but also tell him the items in his friend’s wishlist, and even incentivize him to gift his friend. 4sq can be an interesting source of social data as well. Though you’d normally not associate an e-com company with a location based service, we’ve been identifying the most popular outlets of our various partner brands and leaving seasonal tips there. Eg. If we know coloured jeans are a trend and say, Levis has a good collection, we use the tip feature to underline Myntra’s association with fashion. But in addition to location, I also believe that 4sq is also a great source of Interest data. If I could get Myntra users to connect their 4sq identity with our site, the API would give me the checkin data. If I know that a customer has been frequenting outlets of a particular brand, I can gauge his affinity and probably entice him with a good deal on that brand. Slide 9: There are tons of analytics tools out there that provide data and insights on platform based metrics. But for a website, even the humble Google Analytics and its relatively new Social Analytics section can be a good start. Through Network Referrals, it gives us engagement metrics like Pageviews, Avg. Visit Duration, Pages/Visit etc for traffic from each social network, helping us understand the

quality of traffic. From landing pages we understand what kind of content is shared by users on social networks and delivers traffic. The Trackbacks report shows you which sites are linking to your content, and in which context. This helps us replicate successes and develop content partnerships. The Conversions report allows you to quantify the value of Social and helps us track direct and assisted sales. All of this helps us fine tune content and increase its shareability potential. Slide 11: We’ve still not totally gotten there, but one of the premises where I see data, social data and marketing really coming together is Gamification. Many websites already personalise their engagement with their consumers on their site using historical data, social plugins etc, but Gamification can bring a social angle to it in the form of communities and in an interesting, fun way. Sharing the brand’s content on Facebook, posting an Instagram pic, pinning something from the site, tweeting praise – there are tons of activities that can be used for game design and mechanics. These also give us more data and insights on the user’s preferences and serve as social marketing. In fact, a legit implementation of gamification would be a great example of engagement at scale, but this is a subject in itself and doing justice to it in one slide is impossible. What gamification would demand, because of the sheer amount of data it consumes and creates, is a combination of technology, infrastructure, frameworks, tools, processes, and qualified folks from across domains that could harness this data. In fact, this is a need even without gamification. Slide 12: And that’s the cue to bring up the phrase that is seen as the answer to the data abundance scenario - the enterprise’ new buzzword – Big Data. In a hat tip to traditional marketing, we even have 4 Vs that serve as the new drivers, to boldly go where no marketer has gone before. Slide 13: While Social had taken a while to get to its rules of engagement, Big Data’s frameworks for application and linkage to business outcomes are being built much faster. Setting functional objectives, creating implementation frameworks – everything is happening much faster. More than 40% of the businesses that IBM surveyed planned to roll out a Big Data program this year. Slide 14: It would seem as though this new buzzword is the one that will bring balance to the force by harnessing data and helping us build engagement @ scale! But this is where I begin to sense a tremor. I am reminded of the early promise of social, before it was media, and how that promise of world -transformation has been mostly domesticated by the enterprise’ rigid engagement frameworks. In general, social has simply amplified the inherent nature and intent of the enterprise. It makes me wonder if Big Data narratives will also be built not around engagement @ scale but efficiency @ scale. Slide 15: One of the best quotes I have heard about data is ”If you torture data long enough, it will confess to almost anything “ In other words, intent is what drives the usage

of data. If the intent does not change, every technological advance – social, big data and so on, will be used to further the narratives that suit the enterprise. But that won’t really work because when users are engaging on their own terms, it is silly to think that engagement will scale in directions that the enterprise dictates, and in currencies that the enterprise finds value in. One of the reasons I’d brought up Gamification earlier was because when done right, it forces the brand to alter the enterprise-centric engagement framework and look at it from a consumer perspective as well – what motivates the consumer, what are his intent and interests, what actions he’d like to be rewarded for and so on. Some of these might not have a direct correlation with transactional business objectives. While it’s not a huge step, it’s a shift nevertheless- a shift in the engagement narrative. Slide 16: One of the best narratives of engagement @ scale that I’ve heard is that of social business, but its definitions are still about aligning social media initiatives with business objectives. You could argue that in the final stages of evolution, a ‘business is social’ ideology would ensure that business objectives themselves are inherently social, but given what I said in the slides earlier, I’m skeptical. If I had to re-define engagement at scale, this is where I’d start. “Business is socialising with purpose” and that entails setting organisational objectives with a social-societal perspective and a purpose that users can identify with. The intent is fixed first Slide 17: How does one take this forward? Think of the word scale. At least post industrialization, it has been used to symbolize an increase in quantity. But it’s also a verb, for example scale a mountain, and it denotes going higher. Humour me for a moment, think of engagement and think of scale as a verb. Consider this pyramid with Maslow’s hierarchy as a context - the needs as needs of the customer from a brand. Most of the narratives that stem from standard business objectives are operating at lower levels and pursuing efficiencies @ scale. The basic utilitarian needs a brand needs to satisfy. Think discounted price, faster delivery or issue resolution, ease of availability – there is a limit to scaling these currencies, even at the most personalized level. It isn’t as though it cannot operate here, but the currency will become cheaper as every other brand also starts delivering them. The smarter brands will understand that the true value is when you go higher, and you can engage a user on a narrative you can both relate to. The narratives at this level are of belonging, esteem, self actualization, and currencies in community, meaning, purpose. The currency becomes more valuable because users begin to invest more. And it’s not just consumers -, employees, partners – everyone identifies with the business and contributes more. And when you have such an army, scaling, even in the regular business sense, becomes even more easier. Isn’t that another way of looking at engagement and scale?

What is stopping us from doing this. A cycle that we are getting into. – a refreshing new phenomenon arrives, we pamper it for a while, then fit it into business narratives at the lower level, and before we climb higher, the next phenomenon arrives and we start again. Slide 18: To get out of this cycle we need to focus on the intent. It requires a change of mindset, a leap of faith and it’s far from easy. As Gautham once said back in 2011, when we were talking of enterprise 2.0, it’s a philosophical journey. But find a meaning that a community can identify with, and you will, as Nike says, find your greatness. Several brands have accepted the challenge. ‘Clean slate’ brands are earning trust with radical transparency, open operations, having environmental, ethical and social standards built into their business models and practices, and creating stories that are more meaningful to customers . Brands are being forced to negotiate narrative control. Media suddenly has earned in addition to paid and owned, advertising is dabbling with crowdsourcing, so are products (Threadless, LEGO). Business itself is being crowdfunded (Kickstarter), there’s social innovation or crowd-voted philanthropy (pepsi refresh, Mahindra spark the rise) The next few slides are examples which work at different levels of alignment of users, purpose and business. Slide 19: The football club that changed from its red-black striped jersey to whiteblack courtesy an association with a blood donation campaign. Fans were asked to donate blood and as blood donation targets were met, each white stripe started turning red until all were. A narrative any fan/user can identify with, and a great positive vibe for the club. Can it fill stadium seats, I don’t know. (not that it takes anything away) Slide 20: Pampers and Unicef. The visual is pretty self explanatory. It is a purpose and narrative users can identify with, and there’s business connect to it as well. The only reason it’s a step lower than my favourite is because the connect is not really subtle and the alignment not very linear. Again, nothing takes away from the effort. Slide 21: My favourite, and that of many others as well, I’m sure. Nike+/Fuel. The narrative of fitness that users can identify with, and on the basis of which a solid business can be built. Currencies that deal in community, and esteem (setting goals, sharing with friends, getting encouraged) A perfect alignment. And I’ll end the monologue with my hopes for engagement @ scale and its currencies. Slide 22: The scalable currencies of engagement are those which create value for the user in the
context of a shared narrative and purpose.

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