Yoga was invented thousands of years ago in forests and temples of India while Digital Marketing is a recent technology. How the hell could these two be related? I never thought so myself till that one day.
It was early morning 5’o clock and I had literally not slept the night before. Please bear with me while I give you a little background. I was working for a client project for developing their SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Social Media strategy. They are a sports goods retailer and recently came up with an innovative range of shoes that they want to launch in the market. They were completely B2B till date and had no B2C presence before, starting it from the drawing board now. Their management had set aggressive targets for their online sales but put lot of restrictions to avoid conflicts with their B2B partner network. I had a tough time convincing them on multiple fronts and we were going back and forth for some time.
Our Yoga guru arrived in the hall and we started the warm up. I was half asleep, but did not want to miss my Yoga class. We did the ‘Surya Namaskar’ followed by the ‘Asnas’ of the day. I was dead tired and then came my favorite Asna – the ‘Shavasna’. If you know Yoga, you will be aware that ‘Shavasna’, literally means the Corpse Pose, where you lie on the back with closed eyes and deep breath. The body is completely released and mind fully relaxed. It was during the ‘Shavasna’ that I suddenly started getting a great feeling as if everything was un-tangling from within, as if I was getting answers to all my questions. I am not a saint but that was my moment of ‘nirvana’. It is difficult to describe all of it in words, but I am trying to summarize some of the key points that came to my mind that time:
1. Focus on the core: The only way you get the most out of Yoga is to forget everything else around you and just focus on one thing – your breath. This is the same with Digital Marketing. The only way to get the most out of a digital marketing initiative (whether it is SEO, SEM, SMO, SMM etc.) is to first forget about everything else and focus on the “Content”. While developing content you should not get distracted by any other activities or constraints. It is “Content” which is the heart and core of the entire initiative and needs to be relevant to the audience. The biggest mistake many of us tend to do is to make all strategies first and then start working on the content. In such scenarios, we later on figure out that the content is not in line with our strategy and we ask our team to modify the content rather than changing the strategy. This is the perfect recipe of failure and then we complain that nothing worked at all.
2. Long Term Vision: Yoga never promises quick, short term benefits. Someone wanting to build six pack abs within three months need not to come for a Yoga class. Yoga is always practiced with a vision to have long and healthy life, the way ancient ‘Yogis’ or saints in India lived for hundreds of years with strong physical and mental conditions. Digital marketing, off-late, had been used abusively by many technologists as a means to get quick results without bothering about the long term vision. Any update by Google and such people were running crazy to re-gain their rankings.
3. Inner Strength: Yoga is all about building inner strength – a balance between mind and body. Yoga does not focus much on external muscular built or beautification. Its aim is very simple – keep you fit and strong from within. It might not sound strange to my marketing friends (I am myself from marketing background) that building an external perception without building inner strength does not last long. I have seen organizations who did excellent in marketing but could not handle their cash flows and later yielded to disastrous results.
4. Continuity: You do Yoga for couple of months diligently to the extent that you can become a Yoga trainer yourself. Then due to some reasons you leave doing Yoga regularly. What happens? With time the benefits you got from doing Yoga subsides and after few months you are back in the same situation where you were before. This is the same with any digital marketing initiative be it SEO, SEM, SMO or SMM. E.g. you might have done very with search engine optimization and got yourself into the top of SERP (search engine results page). But if you leave the regular activities for SEO then you might lose that ranking very soon.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
SEM – Search Engine Marketing
PPC – Pay per Click
SERP – Search Engine Results Page
SMO – Social Media Optimization
SMM – Social Media Marketing
GA – Google Analytics