LESSONS IN DIGITAL MARKETING: FROM BANGLADESH AND BEYOND

During the one month that I spent in Bangladesh for my rural internship with the Yunus Centre, I was awestruck by the kindness and affection showered upon me and my friends by the locals. Bangladesh is a small country but her people have big hearts and they welcomed us with open arms. During my stint there, we interacted with numerous borrowers from the Grameen Bank, most of who were women from underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds. What these people lacked in terms of money, they more than made up through their hard-work, perseverance and determination to succeed against all odds. And that is why I believe that a parallel can be drawn between my experiences in Bangladesh and one’s success in implementing any digital marketing campaign.

STATUTARY WARNING: This is an attempt at satire, do not take the content too seriously (Except the digital marketing takeaways!)

In Bangladesh, sometimes the government launches a strike against itself!

During our first week, a faction of Ministers of Parliament of the ruling party launched a protest against the government itself, bringing life to a standstill in the capital city of Dhaka!

TAKEAWAY: Whenever you launch a digital marketing campaign, it is imperative to ensure that one streamlines all aspects so that different components do not work against each other. For example, you do not want your campaign driving traffic to a page that is not well-optimised to suit the user’s needs. Use Google Analytics and Search Console to regularly monitor your campaign so that it remains a well-oiled machine that boosts your online presence.

If your accountant resembles a bouncer at a club, 99% repayment is guaranteed!

Grameen Bank has the unique distinction of having the highest repayment rates (almost 99%) as compared to any other bank around the world and its borrowers are extremely loyal and grateful towards the Bank. The accountant we met at the Yunus Centre was probably one of the reasons behind the high rates of repayment too! You too wouldn’t want to owe money to this man, who towers almost seven-feet tall and packs rippling muscles!

TAKEAWAY: In promoting content using digital marketing strategies, it is important to stand out as an authority in your domain by publishing content of impeccable quality. At the end of the day, users will only respect great content that is immaculately presented. Before you get your strategies in order, ensure that your content is amazing. Your content should resemble that muscle-man (albeit with a smile), that people just cannot ignore!

Radcliffe divides two brothers!

During the partition in 1947, the Radcliffe line, which demarcates the boundary between India and Bangladesh, was drawn between the houses of two brothers, resulting in them residing in two different countries! So, whenever Kamrul wants to visit his brother Ismail across the road, he is becomes an illegal immigrant!

TAKEAWAY: However, the line separating Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is not so fine and one needs to master both to ensure that one’s digital marketing strategies reap the dividends of an ever-expanding internet.

A close shave in Bangladesh!

I had needed to take a haircut on my first day in Bangladesh and I knew absolutely no Bengali. You can imagine that this would have posed a serious problem in communicating my requirements to the barber who knew no English whatsoever. However, we got along perfectly- communicating initially through sign language. Things escalated quite quickly later on with us having a very animated conversation in our own languages. I had no idea what he was saying and he was equally confused with my language! But, we bonded amazingly well which just goes on to show that language is never truly an impediment and that only genuine emotions ever matter.

TAKEAWAY: Even though we had a great experience, matters could have easily been miscommunicated. So it is essential that the digital experience is optimised to ensure that the user has a great time browsing your site. And even if language is a barrier, one can totally transform the user’s experience by engaging through immersive content. In Lee Odden inimitable words, “Content is the reason why search began in the first place.”

Greetings from the Mother!

There is probably one event in the morning that binds a majority of the online population on our planet together- it’s that early dawn WhatsApp message from your mom often accompanied by pictures of flowers, birds and always embedded with an inspirational quote! Many of us have gotten so used to this that we simply ignore this kind message from our dearest moms. I realised the importance of this message only when I was in a different country so far from home.

TAKEAWAY: While engaging with an audience over any social media platform, it becomes vitally important to refresh your messages often and create unique content that generates sustained interest. This is especially applicable to content marketing, wherein it is essential to continuously create fresh content that remains relevant to the target group. The “old wine in a new bottle” approach to marketing has died and people want quality content that stands out form the ‘sea of sameness’.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do!

And when in Bangladesh, inhale as the Bangladeshis smoke, because cigarettes here are really cheap- some cost lesser than three cents apiece!

TAKEAWAY: There may not seem to be much of an insight here, but this is probably the most important learning from a digital marketing perspective. Unless you can blend in with the audience and think like they do, you will never truly be able to create content that is capable of going viral! Creating viral content goes beyond merely following trends but understanding the requirements of the customer.

Those were the six points through which I believe digital marketing is changing the world every day, which I tried explaining through my experience in a beautiful country. The best way to sum up this article would be to quote Wendy Piersall’s words, “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.”  🙂

 

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4 thoughts on “LESSONS IN DIGITAL MARKETING: FROM BANGLADESH AND BEYOND

  1. Thanks, for sharing your thoughts and valuable services.
    Digital marketing is future and we should be ready for changes I see digital marketing as a process which evolving. We need to follow the client quarries and record what works, keep in mind what works and be flexible and get rid of what doesn’t work, Consumers have to teach themselves in the process and begin to know what is good from what is not good.

    1. Thank you Gaurav for the support! Indeed, it is sometimes difficult managing clients expectations as they may not be keenly aware of what exactly works on the digital domain. You arrived at a really invaluable insight! We need to work in close cooperation with clients and let them learn for themselves the strategies that can boost their digital presence. 🙂

  2. Hi Shruti! Thanks for the appreciation! Do let me know if I can provide any sort of assistance regarding your website’s performance. Delighting clients and meeting their every need is our job as a digital marketer!

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