”Both Rachit’s work ethic and his work are things I value. He has helped us at Kommune India and me personally on Speechless: The Book and Workshop tremendously.”
ROSHAN ABBAS MD, VMLY&R Commerce Encompass & Founder, Kommune
About the client
For many of us in India, Roshan Abbas needs no introduction. He’s been a popular media personality – a beloved radio and television host through the 90s and 2000s. One of India’s finest orators and storytellers, Roshan Abbas is an actor; TV & radio host; producer; creative director; film & theatre director; author; and public speaking coach.
Since the early 2000s, however, Roshan has become a leading entrepreneur and angel investor in the creative landscape. Roshan founded and led Encompass (now VMLY&R Commerce Encompass) as Managing Director into becoming India’s largest, most awarded experiential marketing agency. He was also an initial investor in and continues to be a mentor-partner at The Glitch. Both ventures have been acquired by WPP.
After working with the Kommune team and selling out tickets for their event ‘Mehfil’, Kommune’s co-founder Roshan Abbas approached us with two objectives.
- 1. Make his book Speechless – a 2018 Bloomsbury title that he co-wrote with Siddharth Bannerjee, Former Director at Facebook India – an Amazon bestseller.A result of the five decades of collective experience of its authors, the book is a compilation of their learnings, tips and tricks for anyone who wants to become a master of effective communication.
- 2. To generate leads for high-ticket corporate workshops on brand storytelling that Roshan conducts with some of India’s biggest companies
Since it had already been a year since the book’s release, we would have to become creative in the way we marketed the book. We wanted to establish Roshan’s identity as a speaker, champion of performance arts and an entrepreneur among audiences that were unfamiliar with his endeavours of the last two decades, beyond his radio & TV hosting days.
Our goal was to achieve the Bestseller spot on Amazon in as many categories as possible. We also wanted to create leads for Roshan’s corporate workshops.
- The first step was to create a personal branding website for Roshan Abbas, as a necessary personal branding exercise for him to be able to position himself in his current avatar. It would also allow us a platform to showcase his workshops on communication.
- Since we would not have access to the Amazon page (the listing was handled by the publishing house), we also decided to create a website for the book for us to be able to track the performance of our social media ads.
- We also planned to analyse the Amazon listing and create a checklist of recommendations for the Bloomsbury team handling the page to carry out on the page.
- Finally, we planned a two-phase social media ad campaign. Phase 1 would help us identify the best platforms for conversion, as well as earmark certain pieces of content as the top-performing ads. In Phase 2 we would put our resources into pushing the content that performed the best in Phase 1 to get the most bang for buck.
Through our marketing efforts we were able to rank the book as a BestSeller on a number of categories on Amazon, including a #1 rank in the Business Communication category.
We wanted to establish Roshan as a performer and master communicator, right at the outset. Having a montage video of him at events communicated this simply and effectively without us having to resort to too many words.
As a public personality there are many sources online that have created their impression of him, but here via a video we shot and edited, and a detailed write-up we have tried to give Roshan a platform to tell his own story.
Both the book and his two workshops on Storytelling and Effective Communication, respectively are profiled on the website.
As per due process, we created two design options for the client to choose from and went into development once he was happy with the designs and all the features we had planned for the WordPress website.
This website was a necessary step for us to be able to gauge our ad performance. As mentioned, we did not have access to the Amazon page which meant that we had no way to track user journey beyond ad click-throughs. However, having this page allowed us to track user journey a little longer and gave us a platform to collect data value for retargeting ads.
Our focus was to create a simple website that gave anyone interested in the book a glimpse of what it was about as well as more information about its two co-authors.
Despite the fact that we did not have backend access to the Amazon listing, we did a thorough hygiene check and created a list of recommendations for the publishing team. We felt this was necessary to help the book gain a higher ranking.
- One of the key recommendations we had was to target the relevant categories, but also those that were not too crowded.
- Some of these included looking outside of Amazon’s auto-selected categories, which could often turn out to be too competitive, or irrelevant to how the author wanted their book marketed.
- We culled out an exhaustive list of categories that were relevant to the title and would give it a better chance at making the bestseller lists.
- We also created a list of keywords for the publishing house managing the listing to update on the backend.
To make the most out of Siddharth and Roshan’s social and professional networks, we planned an organic launch calendar for the websites.
Performance marketing ads
Creating Marketable Content
- We picked fun tidbits from the book for Roshan and Siddharth to use as fodder for videos. We edited these into 15-second snippets. These were used as Instagram Story Ads as well and Instream Skippable Ads on Facebook.
- We also created 1 20-second video (‘a showreel’ of sorts) for Roshan Abbas. It was a montage of clips from Ted Talks, interviews, speeches etc. that we used to target cold audiences and inform them about Roshan as an authority on public speaking.
- We also used quotes from the book to create static ads. These gave audiences a glimpse into the content of the book itself.
- We also created testimonial based ads that worked great as retargeting tools.
Marketing & Advertising
- We segmented our target audiences and created dedicated Facebook & Instagram ad funnels for them. Some of the retargeting strategies included redirecting the user to other content available online of Roshan that would create an interest in them.
- We created a database of potential audiences from our first phase of ads. This included those that had visited the landing page, signed up on a form, attended Roshan’s workshops, and more.
- These were accompanied by interest-based ads for relevant audiences in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities.
- In our second phase we capitalized on our learnings from phase 1 and promoted the top performing videos to newer audiences. We also used the top-performing content on LinkedIn and YouTube.