8 Facts You Should Know About Social Media Marketing


  1. If you are considering growth in referral traffic to your website as a success parameter of Social Media Marketing then you are missing out the most important aspect. You should also consider growth in direct traffic as well as organic traffic from Branded Keywords which is the result of Branding Exercise of Social Media.
  2. Social Media Marketing without understanding the cognitive behavior of audience is like speaking to the wall and thinking the echo as the response from the customers… You may end up getting some useless likes..
  3. Social Media Marketing without a strategy for Online Reputation Management is like a Child without proper Immunization..
  4. If u understand the difference between ‘people knowing u’ & ‘people loving u’, u will understand what is the difference between ‘Likes’ and ‘Talking About this’ in Facebook
  5. Expecting conversion from Day 1 of Social Media Marketing is like trying to milk a calf…
  6. Social Media Marketing fails if it is not generating advocates to amplify the message you want to communicate. So it is important to guide the discussion path where you want to lead it and not to create a chaotic discussion forum..
  7. Expecting Conversions in the initial phase of Social Media Marketing is like proposing a girl in the first meeting.. Just as you need to give some time to understand each other in the same way you need to wait and build relationship with your followers and then convert them to customers..Else you fail..
  8. Social Media Marketing does not mean uploading pictures and giving status updates. It’s more about establishing emotional connection with your target audience and be a part of them.

Hummingbird Update- How to Tune your Flute with the Humming Note of Google

Roadmap of SEO Ahead:

Santanu Mukherjee, Joy mukherjee

Santanu Mukherjee

So, now it’s announced and known to all that Google has rolled out a major update and named it “Hummingbird”. A lot of discussion is already around the web on what is this all about. Its need less to mention that Hummingbird update is an overall update of search algo of google where the search engine has gained power to interpret meaning of a sentence or query and show results accordingly instead of its usual pattern of going word by word. This update cannot be compared to Panda or Penguin as those were updates on certain parameters that contribute to ranking factor while Hummingbird is an entire new technology of search replacing Caffeine (2009). So instead of discussing what is this update all about I will rather focus on its effect on SEO Strategy and how we should plan the next step. If anyone wants to know about this update then he/she can visit http://mashable.com/2013/09/26/google-search-algorithm-hummingbird/

Keyword will give way to key sentence

Those days are now a part of history when Search Engine Optimizers used to select most searched and relevant keywords and then used to develop contents with those phrases. Google in turn used to display those WebPages where the content contains relevant terms searched for. In doing this there was a possibility that writers lose out their balance and incorporated frequent keywords in the text making the content more for a robot and less for users. Now the robots have gained skill like users and can analyze the communication in a long term keyword. Thus with hummingbird update Google will be able to interpret the thought process of a user through the query string placed in search box and display results accordingly.
So, now while doing keyword research focus should be more on FAQs about the product or service that the webpage is speaking about and the content should be framed accordingly. Individual Keyword will gradually lose importance as that is not the way we communicate. We ask questions to get a reply and that should be the mode of search also. This gives me a feeling that the term “keyword” will give way to “Key sentence” which is basically a long tail variation of a keyword which people generally types to find a reply. As SEO Experts we need to do a cognitive analysis of user mind and develop content accordingly.

LOCAL SEO will be stronger

Local SEO will be stronger going forward. With the power of interpreting the meaning of a search query Google will be able to give you exact replies. For example if you search “What is the nearest Pizza store” then Google will show you the nearest Pizza outlet from your home, provided you are logged in. Google will take data of your residence if you have updated the same in Google Plus and then will show the nearest store based on your search query.

This update was well planned and there were indications also. If you see the recent changes done by Google you can connect the dots.

The new Keyword research tool interface does not tell you about the search volume of “Broad Match”. It just changes the bid value. So the indication was clear. Keywords are losing importance. Rather what needs attention is proper formatted search query that defines the user intent.

Google has already started devaluing bulk links from “exact match” anchor texts. Here also Google is emphasizing on Natural Link Building and keyword diversification.

Overall, this seems to be a very positive change for me. This will put an end to the discussion on whether Organic SEO will lose its value or not. I feel Organic SEO will continue to live a healthy life and will still remain as an important tool for Online Marketing. This update will help the Cerebral Marketers to evolve and test their skills and put an end to the robotic process oriented SEO.

So, for me it’s a welcome change.

Ray’s influence in Other Director’s Films

Satyajit Ray
For last few years I have been watching a trend where films are being made with direct references from Satyajit Ray’s movies and that is being used as marketing gimmick to attract the public. I am not going into the controversy if that is right, wrong, ethical, unethical etc. But the point I want to raise is even a mild fragrance of Ray is still the crowed puller.

GoutamTop Film Makers like Goutam Ghosh is also not an exception. His Abar Aranye was made as a sequel to Aranyer Din Ratri with the same characters in action. Anyone who has seen Aranyer Din Ratri is bound to have an emotional attachment with Sanjay, Sekhar or Hari. Now when they come again in screen as a venture of another director somehow or the other as an audience we feel connected to the movie even before the release and try to watch it in theater.

RituparnaEminent Filmmaker Rituparna Ghosh starts his film “Utsav” in the same note as Jay Baba Felunath. An artist explains a kid the story of Devi Durga and Asura while preparing the idol of Devi Durga. Ghosh intelligently refers the resemblance of the scene to that of Ray’s film as a follow up dialogue to avoid controversy and successfully does so.

AutographSrijit Mukherjee, another popular director made his debut with a super duper hit film “Autograph” where the story revolves around a director and an artist who were remaking “Nayak”. Again while watching the movie you can connect yourself at every second and enjoy the old wine in new bottle. Srijit was smart enough to twist the story to give it a different angle, keeping the baseline unchanged. The Hero’s interaction with his teacher who was in stage and did not wanted his student to come in silverscreen, the midnight visit of a lady, Horror Dream Sequence which were shown in Nayak were cleverly used in Autograph. Without taking away any credit from Srijit, a reason behind the super success of autograph was the emotional attachment of ours with Nayak. Srijit capitalized it well.

Bhuter-BhabishyotLets take the example of Anik Dutta‘s Bhuter Bhobishshot. One of the most discussed film in last year. Super successful. The film has influence of Ray from very first scene till the end. Even the ringtone of mobile phone was the tone of Bhuter Raja (The Ghost King) from Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen. Paran Bandopadhyay murmuring “Baki Rakha Khajna Mote Bhalo Kajna” instantly connects you to Hirak Rajar Deshe and creates a roll of laughter among the audience.

AbortoArindam Shil’s first directorial venture “Abarto”. Arindam publicly announced the film is about various characters from Ray’s Film. The corporate politics, Ambitious hero of Shimabadhdha , loneliness of Charulata were well adopted and used in a contemporary format. Even the Poster design was highly influenced by the posters of Ganasatru and Sonar Kella.

SujoyBollywood director Sujoy Ghosh himself admitted that he copied from Ray as a mark of tribute to the great director. Anyone who has watched “Joy Baba Felunath” feel amused to hear “Running Hot and Cold Water” dialogue in Kahani. The scene where Vidya Balan looks down to the lonely midnight street and the camera catches from outside the window makes us remember Madhabi Mukherjee in Charulata.

SandipI am not including Sandip Ray in this blog as this will itself be a separate article due to huge influence at every step, even in music. But I cannot blame him as the son inherits father’s property by law.

How To Beat Panda Update

Google rolled out Panda Update #24 on 22.1.2013.Learn the preventive and rescue techniques.

Since January 2012 there has been Panda Updates from Google every month except May and October. In total there have been 15 updates in last 1 year and the last Panda update rolled out on 22 January 2013 that impacted 1.2% of Search Queries.
Santanu Mukherjee (Joy)
So probably you may have noticed some big fluctuations in ranking for some keywords in past few months and already planning how to escape from Panda bite.

Before you plan, you need to know what exactly Panda Update is and then plan your strategy accordingly.

There was a time when Content was written not for users but for Search Engines. The purpose of the content was not to provide information to the users but to stuff the keywords and make it appealing to Google. The game did not last long as Google rolled out Panda Update targeting the pages with poor or low quality content.

Since then there has been as many as 24 updates. So if any lucky one escaped in past may have been identified now and hence penalized.

So if you have noticed any fluctuation in ranking for your website, firstly you should think about the content. Please be assured that the target page has enough contents providing useful information to the user. If you have any doubt in that change the content immediately. Limit the use of “Exact” Keywords and try to use variations. Best is to keep the density within 1.5%. Again, think of users and what information the content is passing.

Also, you need to be absolutely confident that the content used in your site is 100% unique and there are no plagiarism issues. You can use online tools like www.copyscape.com to check duplicate content.

On limiting Keyword density by reducing overstuffing and writing user friendly content your site can escape from vulture eyes of Google Panda.

Avoid auto generated content and don’t clutter your website with too many ads. In other words don’t allow ads to dominate the content and rule the page.

Incase your site has already been hit by Panda Update, you need to perform required changes as mentioned above and then again submit the URL through Google Webmaster tool for reconsideration.

But prevention is always better than cure. So start identifying the pages which has irrelevant or very less content, Content Duplication and Content for Search Engines and not for users. Take appropriate measures in right time so that you don’t need to wait for the next update and then bring the required changes after being hit by Panda.

To sum up:

  • Create user friendly content
  • Write Content for Users and not for Search Engine
  • Avoid Auto Generated Content
  • Avoid displaying excessive ads
  • Check for Content Duplication and remove if any
  • Dont forcefully insert Keywords in content

Panda Update Chronology:

Panda 1.0 on February 24th, 2011
Panda 2.0 on April 11th , 2011
Panda 2.1 on May 9th , 2011
Panda 2.2 on June 18th , 2011
Panda 2.3 on around July 22nd, 2011
Panda 2.4 in August, 2011
Panda 2.5 on September 28th, 2011
Panda 2.5.1 on October 9th, 2011
Panda 2.5.2 on October 13th, 2011
Panda 2.5.3 on October 19th, 2011
Panda 3.1 on November 18th, 2011
Panda 3.2 on about January 15th, 2012
Panda 3.3 on about February 26th, 2012
Panda 3.4 on March 23rd, 2012
Panda 3.5 on April 19th, 2012
Panda 3.6 on April 27th, 2012
Panda 3.7 on June 9th, 2012
Panda 3.8 on June 25th, 2012
Panda 3.9 on July 24th, 2012
Panda 3.9.1 on August 20th, 2012
Panda 3.9.2 on September 18th, 2012
Panda #20 on September 27th, 2012
Panda #21 on November 5th, 2012
Panda #22 on November 21st, 2012
Panda #22 on November 21 st, 2012
Panda #23 on December 21 st, 2012
Panda #24 on January 22 nd, 2013

New Age Promotion- Transition From Traditional Marketing Approach to Modern Age Promotional Strategy

Santanu Mukherjee (Joy), SEO, Internet Marketing, Management“Nirma… Nirma… Washing Powder Nirma…. Pani main raheke bhi iye kam gale.. Dhero kapre dhoye aur Zada Chale…..” I am sure anyone who is of my age can identify this popular Jingle. It rocked in Eighties along with “Hamara Bajaj” and “Lalala” tune of Lyril soap. Time has changed. Jingles has given way to more story centric ads. Approach has become more direct and engaging with options like “Call Us” or “Vote Us”. Click Your Image and Upload in Facebook and you can become the next model for Dove. That’s how the Dove is now advertising in Television. So, the intention is quite clear. It’s all about more and more engagement. So engagement matters..

What can be more engaging when the platform is internet and promotion is in digital form. Yes, this is the new age publicity. As an Internet Marketer you need to target the right section of audiences who can be your potential customers. People searching for a product or service in Search Engines have already the urge to purchase. Hence they are searching. So your half job is done. All you need to do is serve your offer before the hungry customer so that he picks food from your plate first. That’s how SEO or Search Engine Optimization can help you by placing your website at the top of the search result for the best suitable and most searched keywords to drive targeted traffic to your page. Now just imagine of a billboard set up in a busy road and you are paying a huge amount every month. That’s forced promotion. No one goes out of house for seeing advertisement boards. They come on way and obstruction to vision and the viewer is forced to read. If the message attracts him and the viewer remembers till he goes back home and till he finalizes the decision of purchasing the same then 1 conversion is recorded which obviously cannot be tracked easily. But if the merchant spends on SEO then the traffic he gets in his site is targeted i.e the people who are looking for the product and have a huge potential of getting converted to customers. Now an option to buy from the site or an enquiry form may do the rest of the job. Billboards of course do a good job so far brand building is concerned but ranking in top 5 of a search engine also helps in the same purpose. Paid Ads by Google Adwords and other channels are also becoming much popular. It helps in regular display of your brand and website for related searches and drives quick traffic. Most importantly the merchant only needs to pay if any one clicks on the ads. A good management of adword campaign can give potential customers and help in building brands.

With huge craze for Social Media sites like Facebook, Google plus, promotional strategy has taken a new bend. Frequent interaction with customers by creating profiles and pages and direct approach in offers has brought the companies much closer to the end users. All an Internet marketer or a Social Media Expert needs to concentrate on is formulating a strategy of reaching more and more users and promoting the services as updates that does not come as interruption or causes irritation. It should be structured in a simple way with very less promotional words yet conveying the message that the marketer wants to pass on in an interesting way.

Market is changing. So as need and taste of people. As a Business owner you cannot really depend only on offline promotion. You need to tap the online audience who is looking for your service or products so that you can get better conversion and better Return on Investment. Make sure you have a website with proper content and the site is well promoted. Else you will always be behind the race and your competitor will take away the cherry along with the cake and you will be left with a blown off candle.

Rajesh Khanna- A “Safar” from 1942 to 2012

Rajesh Khanna, joy mukherjee, joynama

Rajesh Khanna- The Evergreen Romantic Hero

The “Safar” that started on 29th Dec, 1942 came to an untimely sudden end on 18th July 18, 2012. The first super star of Indian Film Industry is no more. After few months of illness Rajesh Khanna left for heavenly adobe leaving his numerous fans , jo unse koi chin nahi paya.

Born as Jatin Khanna, Kaka (his nick name) made his debut in the film Aakhri Khat directed by Chetan Anand in 1966 which was selected as an Indian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 40th Oscar Academy Awards in 1967. However his second film Raaz in 1967 brought him fame. He was casted against Babita by director Ravindra Dave. In 1967 his third film Baharon ke Sapne also won critics appreciation and in 1969 Do Raste also did well in Box Office.

But the magic moment was still to come. It was 1969 when director Shakti Samnata casted him in “Aradhana” against Sharmila Tagore. The film created history. It not only gave birth to the First Super Star of India called Rajesh Khanna but also Kishore era started bringing an end to the Rafi Period. SD Burman gambled with Kishore Kumar and won the game. The chemistry worked so well that Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna became complementary to each other.

That was time when there was a trend of making Hindi Versions of popular Bengali Film and Rajesh Khanna was casted in most of those. Dip Jwele Jai was made in Hindi as Khamoshi, Nishipoddo as Amar Prem, Surjotopa as Kati Patang ,Chalchal as Safar, Deya Neya as Anurodh and Golpo Holeo Shotti as Baburchi. Each of these films we block busters and

With Bengali Superstar Uttam Kumar

Rajesh Khanna did justice to the characters which had already became an icon in Bengali film.

There is saying that Rajesh Khanna was such a perfectionist that he watched Nishipoddo 29 times to imitate the way Uttam Kumar called by the name of the heroine.

It was 1972 when Hrishikesh Mukherjee started a film called “Anand” where he casted Kishore Kumar in the lead role of a Cancer Patient who knows that he will die within 6 months. The day when the shooting was supposed to start, Kishore Kumar came to studio with a bald head. Hrishikesh Mukherjee was obviously more surprised than angry and even after repeated requests Kishore could not give a logical answer behind becoming bald headed. Later on he said that he was uncomfortable to act in the role of a cancer patient and he cannot tell that to Hrishikesh Mukherjee. So he decided to do something by which the director himself will discard him. It happened likewise. Hrishikesh Mukherjee offered the role to Rajesh Khanna and the rest is history. Its still counted one of the best acting of him and the film showed the entrance of the next superman Amitabh Bachchan.

Namak Haram was next where again Amitabh was casted along with Rajesh Khanna but that was most probably the beginning of the downfall of his reign and start of Amitabh era. After that he gave few hits like Ap Ki Kasaam, Roti , Mehebooba but somehow the magic faded with time and Angry Young Man Amitabh Bachchan took the place of Romantic Super Hero Rajesh Khanna.

With Sharmila Tagore

Rajesh Khanna’s romantic image was such that many girls got themselves married to his pictures, left impression of lips painted with lipstick in his car. He made the whole country dance with his unique steps and his style of moving the hand and head in rhythm of the song.

He won filmfare award three times for his Sachcha Jhuta (1970), Anand (1972) and Avishkar (1974)
Rajesh Khanna will live in our heart as evergreen romantic hero. Death cannot take him away from us as “Anand mare nahi.. Anand marta nahi…”

Changes in Link Building Strategies After Penguin Update

Santanu Mukherjee (Joy)

Joy Mukherjee (Santanu)

Penguin update has really caused panic among the companies and many are trying to rule out Link Building completely from their SEO strategy. They are taking time to plan out an alternative and finally they end up losing valuable time doing nothing and giving way to their competitor to climb up the ladder. Now the question is how link building practice should be handled so that your site does not get a bite from Penguin and you can get the SEO benefit?

Answer is very simple. Don’t enforce a link. Find ways to build links naturally. The following may help you:

Great Content:
Nothing can beat high quality content in a website. Other websites will naturally tend to link you if your content delivers value to the audience. Forget stuffing the content with Keywords. Rather focus on creating a meaningful content that will carry the sense of the subject and has enough potential to stop the visitors from bouncing out.

Social Media: Next step is promoting this content in Social Media to reach a larger section of audience so that more and more people read this and talk about it. This way you will get natural links and also a good amount of Social Signals which can actually help to promote your site up in order in Google.

Guest Blog Post:
It is not always necessary to create content for your own site. You can write excellent content for other sites as a Guest Blogger. The site owner will happily publish if he receives a good piece of writing as this will enrich his blog and in turn you can ask for a link to your site from the blog you have written for a 3rd party site.

Web2.0 Links: Again these are also content based links. Links from Squidoo Lens, Hubpages, tumblers still pass a lot of value to your site, provided you create a meaningful content in those content network sites.

Avoid links from resource pages or footer part of a site as these generally have mass linking which is not good for your site.

You also need to check the authority of sites from where your site is getting links. Be sure that the linking sites do not contain contents and links that are irrelevant to your site. The linking site does not link to bad neighborhood sites and has unique IP.

When you plan SEO strategy or Link Building process throw away the thought of getting links forcibly rather try to think of innovative ways to get natural linking which will not fall under a particular pattern which can be identified easily. More unique are your links more effective is your SEO.

So all you need to do is leave the decision in right hands. Traditional way of Link Building may vanish your site from Google as it may fall in the category of over optimization.

So think sensibly and stop running after mass link building in all possible ways and go for lesser but quality links. You will see the benefit.

Google Panda Strikes Again: Dos and Don’ts

Santanu Mukherjee, SEO, Joy Mukherjee

Santanu Mukherjee (Joy)

This week has been a very eventful week in Search Engine Industry. Many Websites that used to rank high in Google have slipped down to a larger extent and some sites have completely vanished. One of the reasons behind this avalanche of ranking is the Panda 3.5 update rolled out by Google to prevent web spam.

If you are an SEO Expert and heavily depend on link building to get website ranked then you need to change your strategy. Google is now not deciding the ranks based on number of links but its giving more importance to the quality of links.

The best way to get ranked is don’t optimize for google but optimize for users. User friendly websites are now getting more value and hence have probability to rank high.

Use Social Media platforms to generate Social Signals and web2.0 for creating user friendly fresh thematic contents linking to your website.

If you are still in the era of bulk link building and trying out directory submissions and Article submissions then you may end up getting no value for your effort. These type of submissions are surely to take the back seats and links based out of unique content (like Guest Blog Post) is surely going to play an important role.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts:

Santanu on Panda Update

Panda Update

Please include the following in your plan:

• Write Unique title and unique content
• Optimize the images and make it SEO Friendly
• Go for Content Freshness
• Look for links only from those sites which have good quality content, decent traffic and noticeable social sharing
• Using unique and top quality, content, each time
• Don’t miss out Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media sites to generate Traffic
• Target Local listing
• Go for Video Optimization

Please avoid:

• Don’t bring links from irrelevant anchor texts
• Avoid Links from pages having no content
• Don’t accept links from websites full of ads
• Avoid using same content for multiple submissions
• Don’t indulge content farming with low value articles and blogs
• No site moderation

Remember, to win an election you need genuine voters. You can no more get false voters(Non thematic link building just for sake of numbers) to vote for you and become the king.

Last and Final Suggestion: Think More of Users and Less of Google. You will get ranking naturally and that will be a stable rank.

What will happen to SEO Experts if One day Google Shuts Down?

Hello My SEO friends,

Santanu Mukherjee (Joy)Yesterday I had a very bad dream. I dreamt that Google has shut down their business and SEO industry has collapsed. All SEO guys have lost their job in one night span. When I woke up I felt I should share this with my learned friends and take their view as well. What will happen if my dream comes true?
Let me share how I analyzed this. First of all, we need to think are we Google dependent? Our knowledge is only limited to getting a website in top position in Google for few keywords? Unfortunately this is sad but true. Majority of us, has been an SEO Expert and not an internet Marketer in true sense and hence the fear.
We need to come out of this shell and think ourselves in a broader horizon. Does an advertisement agency depends on a particular newspaper? The answer is obviously no. An adman explores various possibilities to reach out to the audience and so he goes for Billboard, Television, Radio even leaflets distribution. We need to think ourselves as Digital Advertisement Consultants, who will guide the clients and explore different channels to reach out to the target audiences. SEO may be a part of it but obviously not all of it.
We need to find out where the net users engage themselves most. May be Facebook is a better platform to promote a product rather than Google. Here I want to share a story with you. Once while taking interview I asked a candidate who had applied for the post of Internet Marketer in our company a very simple question. I asked him, “Say, a popular biscuit company owns a website and they comes to you for a plan to promote their product in Web. What will you do? After biting the pencil hand and chewing some part of it very thoughtfully he replied “I will do some On-page corrections, Get some links by Submission and rank them in Google”. I asked him “do you search Google before buying biscuit?” He said, “No”. “Then why you expect customers to search?” He was answerless. Now my point is this should have been a part of the plan where we could have targeted some brand keywords or niche keywords with some search volume. Rest we could have done a solid promotion by Social media sites like Facebook or running paid video ads or banner ads. We could have used video promotion or made some games or contest in sites like Facebook to engage more and more users and promote the brand. We could have done many more activities. But our limitations don’t allow us to think beyond Google and here we fail.
Anyone who call themselves internet marketer should be enough knowledgeable in all areas of digital promotion. He may not be master in all but at least should have knowledge on what can be done and what are the limitations.
Depending on nature of business an Internet Marketer should be able to make a proper blend of all types of activities that can be done online and distribute the budget in proper ratio. After a certain period he needs to analyze and see which platform is helping the client to generate more ROI and then he should re plan as per the analysis.
Internet Marketer should be able to explain the client about the different channels which a client may not know, Since SEO is a common term, many clients run for Google Ranking as their knowledge about Web marketing is limited . But as a consultant it’s our responsibility to enlighten the client with other avenues and show him the right path.
The day you will see yourself as a complete digital marketer, you will find Google as nothing more than just a channel to promote a product or service or a brand.
I am sure you will realize this and get yourself equipped with all other weapons of online marketing before it’s too late.

Where the Hell Is My Money Going?

Where the Hell Is My Money Going?

Start Saving: “Stop Leakage of Money”:

Joy Mukherjee, Santanu Mukherjee, joynama

Joy Mukherjee (Santanu)

Few years back one of my favorite pastime was visiting Electronic Stores and asking prices of Laptops and their installment schemes. Returning home first thing I used to do is take a pen and paper and calculate a monthly budget if somehow I can afford the EMI of a Laptop. After couple of years I bought a Laptop and now I do the same enquiry in those Electronic Stores for I Pad. This is how your requirement keeps on changing day by day. You are never satisfied with what you have but always weep for what you want to have. This makes you greedy day by day and you become frustrated with yourself.

It’s the era of advertisement. The hoardings, the newspaper ads all scream and say “Buy the product else you are missing a lifetime opportunity” and you fall in the trap. You run to get a LCD television exchanging your 21 inch CRT running in good condition. After 6 months the same ad where you have seen the easy affordable LCD is replaced by a Plasma TV ad which says “Why compromise with a LCD TV when you can get a Plasma TV for a Low EMI”. You again become tempted and put your head in the slaughter. Again you will run for next up gradation and un-knowingly the monthly expenses increase by a handsome amount.
We have forgotten the local grocery shops and instead we prefer big departmental stores in shopping malls. They claim that they sell products at a lower price and their products come with plenty of offers. Yes that’s true. But as soon as you enter the stores you are psychologically driven out with the wide range of products and end up shopping more and exceeding your budget. Once I had an opportunity to meet with one of the senior officials of a company which runs big departmental stores across multiple cities. I asked him why they don’t have a website with e-purchase facility so that we don’t need to visit their store every time. There can be a catalog from where we can choose the products and pay online and get a home delivery. He smiled and said that is something which they won’t do. They want us to come to the stores and spend more. The arrangements of products, the posters, the offer prices all are inviting to go out of your pocket. So more you visit these malls, more is your expenditure.

Other two money sucking elements are Credit Cards and Loans. They unknowingly extract money from you and when you look back you realize that you have bought something in a wrong time when your budget was not within your limit or you have made some loans and finally paying 50% more than the original price.

It’s time we should start thinking. This is not applicable for the high earning people for whom these do not make any difference. But for Medium Income group and Low Income Group this is going to be dangerous. If the trend continues they will end up in deep soup as a time will come when they are without any money and investments. They compromise with the “must –to-do” things like Insurance, Long Term Savings and Investments on assets for these short span improvements in lifestyle. The family members also play a role in this drainage of money. Actually what they see all around, they need to own those, forgetting if it is viable at that point of time or not. The coats are no longer cut according to the cloth and so you end up undressed in desire of a coat.

What we need is a proper financial mentor. Else we will continue to fall in trap of advertisements and social pressure and go for overspending. A proper awareness is needed on savings and if your salary is “X”, what percent of it you can afford for improving your lifestyle. I feel our ancestors were more calculative and since they did not had these temptations they did quite well in terms of savings and property even with a lower salary and more family members to support.

Let’s see how you put your views and if we can have a solution for this dangerous trend. I am sure if this is not controlled it will have a fatal end.