Industry Knowledge for Decision-Makers

Tapping the larger audience, generating the right amount of Leads

Leads – The corporate world is so obsessed with this simple, yet so complicated word. It is the typical high-school examination report card for marketing professionals! Situations are different but interpretations are the same, isn’t it? The bottom line is “Generate maximum number of leads in the minimum amount of time”. But what exactly qualifies as a lead? Let’s find out.

A business thrives on customers. But do we realize that there are a lot of layers before one can actually get not just a product-needy customer but also generate the right amount of leads for an offering. There is a lot of difference between prospect and consideration. It is absolutely necessary to bridge this gap.

Let’s re-visit the marketing funnel. It all begins by creating ‘awareness’ about an offering. It is the most crucial level as the other layers depend on its impression. This offering can be a product or service. It can range from a mobile phone to a luxury car or for that matter, a charity drive to a corporate summit. Deeper down the funnel is the ‘consideration’ phase which is followed by the last phase that is ‘purchase’. This is the ultimate goal for all marketers, getting customers to buy their product or service.

But what did we miss? What about those guys who considered your product but needed some nurturing? Let’s take an example of the recent content marketing campaign done by us for Act-On, a Marketing Automation Software seller. They began by providing some knowledge to the audience, explaining to them some modern marketing concepts and eventually where they would fit-in. It did not come as a surprise to us that the campaign was a success. Not only did they get direct prospects but also people who now had the intention to get the product after learning about its nitty-gritties. They attacked the top layer of the marketing funnel which is definitely wider and began by nurturing the audience there and eventually got more business. Here is an article on lead-nurturing.

optimal campaign
An Optimal Campaign

Here is a contrasting example. A famous brand tried to sell its product through our modes of advertising. Leads were generated. But we think they did not leverage the full benefit of the campaign. They could have achieved much more than what they got by imparting some info about the current business scenario mapped to the utility of their product/service. They tried to tap the bottom-most layer of the funnel for direct leads and ready-to-purchase prospects.

sub-optimal campaign
A Sub-optimal Campaign

The same phenomena were observed in many other campaigns done by TradeBriefs. Below is a comparison. The numbers have been generalized.

Campaign comparison

So you see educating and nurturing the audience is a must. This can be done by providing them with some knowledge regarding the value of an offering instead of rushing directly towards instant lead-generation. You may get a few numbers but what about those who could have become a customer, but were not fully aware of the potential of that offering?

Basically, this is the path that joins awareness and consideration, crucial as well as effective. Can we tap it? Of course, in fact we should. There are numerous ways through which an offering can have an efficient awareness phase. Case-studies can be provided, an e-book can be made available or even a webinar can be created. You can also have blog posts, research papers, videos, podcasts or even a white paper. This will help in achieving a psychological edge in the minds of the audience. It will also help in building your brand bigtime!

The conversions will be slow but very steady! Give some more time to a campaign to maximize the gain. Undoubtedly, it would be highly beneficial in the long-run. May be 10-odd leads today could touch 50 in a month!

About the Author

Gautam Shetty

Contributing Editor

Reach me at

TradeBriefs wins Technology Off Campus Award at IvyCamp Challenge 2015

TradeBriefs has won the Technology Off Campus IDG Ventures Award at the IvyCamp Challenge 2015 . The IvyCamp – Business Plan challenge is a multi-step evaluation process to select the best business plans among the business plans received which will be eligible for funding through IvyCap.

Watch the video footage

ivycamp tradebriefs award

TradeBriefs inks partnership deals with 5 new partners, including eTailing India and Great Place to Work Institute

TradeBriefs produces industry-specific newsletters for professionals. Last year, it introduced a partner model where opt-in members/prospects of companies and associations could take advantage of TradeBriefs’ content and technology expertise to create custom daily newsletters for their members. The first partner to sign up was Retailers Association of India. This was followed by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Following this, TradeBriefs has rolled this model out to several new partners, including eTailing India (eCommerce) and Great Place to Work Institute (HR). “Each newsletter is carefully curated by an editor who understands the space,” says Sree Vijaykumar, Managing Director, TradeBriefs. This helps corporate decision-makers and professionals stay knowledgeable about their industry in just a few minutes a day.

Ashish Jhalani of eTailing India agrees. “TradeBriefs is a valuable partner for eTailing India. The daily briefs powered by them are something the entire industry looks forward to every day.We havereceived tremendous branding and leads for our events through this channel, as more and more industry professionals opt in to stay informed and knowledgeable.”

Here are TradeBriefs’s current partners. 

DMAI Great Place to work IAMAI
Young Biz Times Webvriksha CIM Global
Franchise association of india Select R and D Creativity

How Native Advertising helped Gartner double its lead count in 30 days


It started with Minaz Adenwala, Marketing Manager – Gartner (and a TradeBriefs Software subscriber), thinking about ways to attract new audiences to Gartner’s events in India. There are 2 role based summits in Mumbai and a Symposium/ITxpo conference in Goa that Gartner conducts in India every year. “The TradeBriefs Software audience seemed like a good fit, so we started with a partnership where we offered them branding at our event in return for promotional e-mailers to their audience,” says Minaz. “However, we soon realized that a deeper relationship was in order, to really take advantage of the audience engagement that TradeBriefs has.”

The result was a native advertising campaign within TradeBriefs newsletters. Readers were segmented to include CEOs, CIOs and the next level of reports.They were further segmented into 2 groups – top of the funnel and bottom of the funnel.

Top of the funnel

The top of the funnel folks were those who had heard of Gartner but had never really engaged with the brand. The way to get them into the Gartner funnel was by providing them access to exclusive content that added value to their job roles. The objective was educating them about Gartner. Once they saw value in the content, they were more likely to respond to offers to attend Gartner events (fyi – The annual Goa conference is priced at at Rs 73,650 plus taxes). Below is a screenshot of the content included in the newsletter followed by the lead capture form, most of which gets pre-populated since readers have submitted their profile information to TradeBriefs before.

Bottom of the funnel

The bottom of the funnel folks are already convinced about the brand, but needed more information about the specific event, pricing, etc. Here the approach was to gather their inputs on specific areas in IT (BI, ERP, Cloud, etc) that were of interest to them and create a custom agenda from the event and send it to them. Note that there are 9 parallel tracks going on at the Gartner annual conference at any given point in time, so it’s physically impossible to attend all sessions. Readers appreciate the customization and are more likely to actually attend once they see the specific value to them. This was enabled through native advertising again, but with a more direct approach. Below is a screenshot of the content in the newsletter followed by the custom lead capture form, which captured the reader’s preferences.

In either case, Gartner sales team members were told to educate these prospects about Gartner events, the speakers, the analysts and the whole package, through a series of emails, followed by phone calls to the more likely prospects. The native advertising within the daily email newsletters delivered several hundred leads, mostly CIOs and direct reports. We’ve analyzed why this campaign worked vs some other approaches and here are our conclusions.

  1. Native advertising is less intrusive than direct email marketing, which although more effective in the short term, cannot be used too frequently. Native advertising on the other hand can be used daily, since the ad content is interspersed with news and jobs content that the reader finds direct value in.
  2. Targeting and context are important. Native advertising content cannot be too removed from the rest of the content as the reader is in a certain frame of mind and is reading your publication with a certain purpose. For TradeBriefs, it’s typically B2B advertising that works well.
  3. Understanding of the funnel is important. Like with any form of advertising, some readers will be exposed to the brand being advertised for the first time, others would be closer to making a purchase decision. As long as marketers understand how to handle these different types of leads, it’s fine. Top of the funnel folks need more education and hand-holding. Bottom of the funnel folks need specifics and perhaps an offer to convert quickly. So, don’t waste time educating bottom of the funnel folks or giving offers to top of the funnel folks.


How Tradebriefs delivered 100+ leads to Intuit India through re-targeting


Intuit India is a fully owned subsidiary of Intuit Inc. USA. Located in the southern city of Bangalore (also known as the Silicon Valley of India), the India office was started in April 2005. Currently it has around more than 500 employees. It is one of the two development centers of Intuit outside the USA, along with Intuit Canada.

The Problem Statement

Intuit India was looking to generate qualified leads for Intuit QuickBooks, a flagship offering targeted at SMEs across industry segments. The offering had to be positioned as a cost effective, easy to use, convenient product that can make their life easy as far as accounting hassles are concerned with zero paperwork. Since the pricing is reasonable for the SME segment, the challenge was to push the message as hard & fast as possible to ensure maximum conversions

The TradeBriefs Approach

Since the challenge here was to make sure that the target audience for this exercise needed to be targeted continuously to become trial customers, we recommended the following approach

  1. Messaging – The core of what Intuit QuickBooks is ‘ease of use’. So the communication had to something that re-assures a business owner that all their accounting processes can be simplified using QuickBooks. We brainstormed with Kenscio, our digital agency partner and came up with the following topics for the campaigns. These subject lines struck a chord with the prospect and made them curious to know more
    1. ‘As a business owner, you wear many hats’ – Reflects ‘Ease of use’ & multitasking
    2. ‘Taking business decisions would be easier if…’ – Using an open ended statement to increase open rates
    3. ‘4 reasons why you should try QuickBooks’ – Highlight compelling reasons to try the product
  2. Free trials – QuickBooks being a SaaS product, it had a free trial option for businesses to try it out before paying up. This made the conversion easier as the prospect is comfortable trying out the offering before buying
  3. Re-targeting – During the first campaign to the SME audience, we observed an open rate of close to 18%. The ones who opened the campaign were exposed to the second campaign that had a special offer only for Tradebriefs subscribers (link). This further expedited the prospects buying decision making process and resulted in higher trial signups and subsequent paid signups


Tangible Outcomes of the Campaign

  1. The overall campaign delivered 100+ leads to Intuit India through the various channels viz email marketing, re-targeting & banners
  2. Intuit India was able to identify prospects based on trial signups and passed them on to their sales team which would then focus on the right leads to maximize chances of conversion

How TradeBriefs delivered 75+ leads to Adobe India through content marketing


Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American multinational computer software company head quartered in San Jose, California, United States. The company has historically focused upon the creation of multimedia and creativity software products, with a more-recent foray towards rich Internet application software development. It is best known for the Portable Document Format (PDF) and Adobe Creative Suite, later Adobe Creative Cloud.

The Problem Statement

Adobe India was looking to generate qualified leads for Adobe analytics, a flagship offering targeted at CIOs of large organizations across sectors. The peculiarity of the case is that CIOs in India had cross functional dependencies on CMOs & other business heads. The offering had to be positioned in a way that’s appealing to all decision makers including the CIOs through continuous & engaging content converting them to actionable leads

The TradeBriefs Approach

Since the challenge here was to make sure that the target audience for this exercise needed to be educated more on the field before actually become hot leads, we recommended the following approach

  1. Education – Adobe U.S hosted a webinar for CIOs in March 2014 which had sessions on how to benchmark analytics with world’s most successful businesses. People who had clicked through the emailer landed on a page which had a form to be filled before accessing the video. It also had an option where a prospect could actually request for a demo from the sales team
  2. Innovative subject lines – Every CIO today would be worried about how his/her company stacks up in comparison to peers & how they can gather more insights from raw data. So we used ‘See how your business stacks up’ & ‘The road to top is paved with data’ as catchy subject lines for our communication. This acted as a strong factor to make prospects curious enough to know more
  3. Content marketing – Another key point Adobe India wanted to drive is to educate prospects on how the CMO-CIO divide can be bridged. A Forrester research report was identified and was used as a content bait to evoke interest levels among prospects. Prospects were made to fill up a form before getting access to the report. This also drove leads in Adobe India’s way

Tangible Outcomes of the Campaign

  1. The overall campaign delivered 75+ leads to Adobe India through the various channels viz content marketing, webinar & direct EDMs
  2.  Adobe India was able to identify prospects based on BANT(Budget, Authority, Need &amp Timeline) and rank leads accordingly so that their sales team would focus on the right leads to maximize chances of conversion

6 content marketing sins businesses must avoid

In the world of content marketing, the winner is determined not by how much content they share, but through how effective, relevant & insightful they content is. Though the effectiveness of content marketing varies from one customer segment/industry type to another, here are 6 cardinal sins one must avoid at any cost

1. Not timing your newsletters
Sending out newsletters is not always a good thing to do. Especially when you have a large distribution list and your content dissipation frequency is chaotic, be assured that your prospects would be least interested in what you send. Also, the gap between content consumption has to be optimal, i.e. no going overboard on content as well too less content.

2. Mixing up messages

Be clear. You want your content led newsletters to work for a specific purpose. Mixing educational content with sales related content may not go well with most of your prospects. You may use tools to visualize a customer journey and ensure that each segment gets only what’s relevant to it

3. Not knowing when to ‘prompt’

There would come a time when you would be convinced that your prospects have warmed up to the idea of considering purchase of your product/service. Through consumption behaviour, sort out those prospects who score high on engagement metrics. Send out dedicated messages ONLY to them. Keep optimizing this list over a period of time and you would have a ready list of qualified leads built steadily over a time period

4. Judging your campaign too soon

Content marketing has a typical long tail behaviour. There would be prospects who may have specific needs and form a ‘niche’ among your prospects. Identify and segment them accordingly. Create content for your long tail of prospects. They might turn out to be your most loyal customers one day. Content marketing doesn’t work well in the short term. You require multiple levels of refinement to be able to make it work. Don’t lose hope

5. Not listening to social conversations
How does one arrive at an average prospects’ need? Listening to conversations is key to do this. Track your users on the web. See what they talk about you and your industry. Find out what they’re interested in. Refine your content around trends that affect your average customer faces on a daily basis.

6. Not keeping up with trends
We like our food fresh. Prospects apply the same to content. Your prospect may be looking out for something on a topic and if your content is well optimized to match the need, you have a better chance to convert them to leads. Enriching one’s knowledge is an inherent human need. Be well placed to capitalize on that

Looking for content marketing experts? Talk to us at Tradebriefs. We’ll chalk out a content strategy and make it work for you . Do get in touch with us at or call +91 9930577889

4 reasons why content curation is better than content creation

Wikipedia defines content curation as

“Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. Services or people that implement content curation are called curators. Curation services can be used by businesses as well as end users.”

In an era where there is no dearth of content, marketers are wondering if they should invest in new content at all. The web is full of blogs/sites with insightful content ranging from what cars to buy to best hotels to stay to awesome things to do around the world. Sites like Scoopwhoop, storypick & Buzzfeed thrive on virality of content to drive more traffic and in turn, ad dollars. With content available in abundance, here are 5 compelling reasons why marketers should look at curation instead of writing fresh content

1. Curation identifies content that’s hot and ‘sells’

In what is known as ‘collaborative filtering’, marketers can actually pick up content that’s actually got eyeballs glued on the web. Your clients are always on the lookout for something interesting and if you could get it to them before your competitors do, you stand a better chance at gaining better mindshare

2. Its cheap, and it works

Since content has already been generated by a third party, you don’t run the risk of spending money on creating it. At the best, you might have to invest in an editor who could do the work for you. Curation also involves summarizing full articles into small paragraphs that convey the gist of the whole content. Most of your prospects don’t have the time to read though every article and enrich their knowledge. Give them in a nice newsletter and see how they’ll love it

3. Buffet vs a la carte

Curation allows you to pick small portions of good, insightful content from the web and serve it to you on a platter. You can choose the ones you want and ignore the ones you don’t want. This in turn would tell you what your customers want and can help you design the buffet better

4. No copyright issues

One thing marketers fear today is the threat of getting sued by publishers for copying content without permission. But curation doesn’t copy content in whole. They would summarize the gist and link the piece to the original source. This way, the publisher would get back links and more traffic. Show me one publisher who doesn’t want heavy traffic on their site

Tradebriefs does it for you. Ask us!

We at Tradebriefs pride ourselves in the work we have been doing in the content curation space in the last 5 years. With daily curated insights from 1000′s of publishing sources, we ensure that we don’t miss out on crucial happenings across 9 industry sectors daily. With 7,50,000 + happy subscribers and 5+ industry associations tied up with us, we have raised the bar continuously in bettering ourselves.

We at Tradebriefs strongly believe in the power of good content and its ability to generate, nurture & cultivate leads for your brand. Do get in touch with us at or call +91 9930577889 for your content curation /content marketing needs and we’ll get back to you!

Why email is the right medium for content marketing?

To quote a recent article from Forbes

“A recent study by predictive analytics firm Custora discovered that customer acquisition via email has quadrupled in the last four years and now accounts for almost 7 percent of customer acquisitions. Too many people are chasing the new thing instead of investing in the thing that really works, which is email. Email is more important than ever, not less. And those who leverage email most effectively will be the big winners.”

We live in an increasingly interconnected world. Social media has boomed in the past decade. What was seen as unimaginable a decade ago is manifesting itself through companies like Facebook & Twitter that have scaled Billion $ valuations through the power of social.

Despite the entire hullabaloo around social, there is this silent, strong & smart player that has quietly carved a niche and has been the most successful medium to generate ROI. You guessed it right. Its Email. From being the first mode of electronic communication in the 1970’s to the most sophisticated and scientific way of connecting two individuals today, email has come a long way

We at Tradebriefs eat, live & breathe email every day. It’s the core of what we do and how we have generated ROI for our clients.

For any marketing campaign to succeed, content is critical. The content could be pictorial, literary, humourous, controversial or even satirical. What aids in the success if content is the mode of delivery.

From our experience, here are some points why we think email is the best suited medium for content delivery & marketing


Any marketing effort needs a warm-up exercise. Context does exactly that for your brand. It builds the initial rapport and gets the prospects hooked on to your brand and wanting to know more. With our inboxes flooded everyday with spam messages urging us to ‘BUY NOW’, context setting can be done with a subtle subject line & a desirable body (pun, of course intended!). Fro eg, if the prospect is from Mumbai and is in the financial sector, an email that talks about financial trends of the past quarter could be a good context setter. Though the brand would take a backseat here, the prospect is warming up to the fact that good content is available for consumption


Email is one of the digital mediums where user behavior can be tracked over a period of time. Opens, clicks & forwards can be easily tracked and reported to the brand owner. The brand owner in turn can push relevant messages to keep the conversation going

Remember the golden rule – ‘Conversations get you business, not ‘in the face’ marketing’

Call to action – To have or not to have?

Most spam emailers we receive have a glaring ‘buy now’ button that would mostly put us off that we end up deleting the email. Its not a bad decision not to have a CTA. By this, we are reassuring the user that we aren’t just interested in selling something to you. Mind you, this can do wonders to your brand perception

To conclude, content marketing in itself is not a magic wand to increase ROI. Content & Email marketing go hand in hand. It has the ability to convert your interactions from ‘conversion driven’ to ‘conversation driven’. It has the power to make your users want more of you(again, pun intended!). Sale would happen at a later point in time. Don’t worry about it

An email from you may not end up in a sale. But its good to keep your users hungry for more, isnt it?

We at Tradebriefs strongly believe in the power of good content and its ability to generate, nurture & cultivate leads for your brand. Would love to hear from you!