CAUSE MARKETING: FAUX, OPTIONAL OR ESSENTIAL?

An elementary-school girl in a skirt and pony-tail stares up at the mighty Charging Bull – under the New York sun, in extreme cold and amidst heavy snowfall. She’s the Fearless Girl who’s been placed on Wall Street to “remind us that today’s working woman is here to stay”. State Street Global Advisors thought it best to embody women’s professional ambitions in a child’s form. An investment firm whose 28 member leadership team contains 5 women has earned free press of worth $7.4 million1. Despite that, an important question stands: Where should a marketer draw the line? Where must a brand draw the line?
Many including the artist behind Charging Bull – Arturo Di Modica – called it out as an advertising trick as opposed to a ‘symbol’. How far can faux empathy take your brand? To earn goodwill for the brand through cause marketing, your ‘why’ should be strong and far from facile. If you do want an example of the damage it could do, you need not look further than the Peeing Pug near Kristen Visbal’s Fearless Girl. Alex Gardega installed the Peeing Pug as a form of protest to the “corporate nonsense”2 of State Street Global Advisors. Yet, Gardega’s misogynistic reasoning does not discount for the fact that audiences still consider the Fearless Girl stunt to be faux concern.

Consider the above persona clusters and let’s assume that they fall under your ideal consumer and target group. What would your brand do to engage with these? How far would your brand go in making a social stand? Would you say your brand ethos align with any of the causes mentioned above? Would you say that your brand feels the societal obligation to do ‘good’ by them?

When Unilever-Kodaikanal’s mercury poisoning incident happened, it was a PR nightmare for the company. Unilever later admitted, although to only selling a quantity of 5.3 metric tonnes of glass containing 0.15% residual mercury to a scrap recycler near the factory. When it comes to corporate accountability and liability, no company, no matter how big can gamble consumer trust and still win.

When it comes to ‘clean’ cause marketing, Ariel did something clutter-breaking. When the brand came out with their carefully thought-out integrated campaign #ShareTheLoad, it was so clear of any negative emotions that the acceptance to change was easy for the audience. Focusing on gender equality in modern lives, they collaborated with daily print publications for an ‘Odd-Even laundry Calendar’ for Him and Her. Ariel even collaborated with the Dabbawalas of Mumbai to widely spread the message, targeting especially men in the offices. This campaign went a long way in ushering a time in the Indian media where it was acknowledged that brands have the capacity in them to take a stand, make a difference.

Similarly, Anouk came out strong with #BoldIsBeautiful, touching unconventional topics courageously. When Whisper launched its #TouchThePickle campaign, the shame and taboo around periods in the country took a step back. Following the footsteps of Whisper, Sofy came out with #imnotdown. Likewise, back in the day, Red Label had launched ‘Live-In’. This ad explored ‘tradition’, ‘love’ and live-in relationships. Havell’s hadn’t hesitated either. ‘Winds Of Change’ explored the then socio-political scenario in the country.

Moving on to a subject matter more sensitive, when Section 377 was announced, brands came out in solidarity to what they thought was an undebatable humanitarian right by the virtue of freedom of choice. Other brands which stood in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in the country are Myntra, MTV, Chumbak, Channel V, Hidesign, Kiehl’s and Lalit Hotels. Going beyond and going global, the Trump era saw something more than smart brand leadership: it showed brands taking a moral stand. Post Trump, Cadillac addressed the growing turmoil in the US. They addressed a ‘divided nation’ and asked for the opposite, something positive, more constructive.

At the same time, when Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank called Donald Trump “..a great asset to America..” in an interview on CNBC, the company faced heavy backlash. Disappointment resonated from sponsored athletes and the wider consumer base. When a company makes a statement as clear as that, it attaches itself with a bigger issue. A company standing up for a public figure who made racist and sexist remarks did not bode well with the brand ambassadors Steph Curry, Dwayne Johnson and Misty Copeland. In a somewhat strange scenario, Nordstorm faced boycott by Trump supporters after they dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. It even cost Nordstorm a 1% dip on NASDAQ, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Businesses which stood against the marriage equality law included Barilla and Chick-fil-A. The National Basketball Association (NBA) decided to move its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, NC after the anti-LGBTQ law ‘House Bill 2’. PayPal also cancelled plans for a global operations center that would’ve created 400 jobs in Charlotte.3 Similarly, Deutsche Bank cancelled expansion which could’ve created a combined payroll of more than $21 million.4
After the Trump immigration ban, Uber’s surge pricing and promotional tweet around the taxi strike at JFK earned for them a marketing disaster. #DeleteUber went viral and consumers switched to Lyft. At the same time, Lyft pledged to donate $1 Million to ACLU.

Likewise, Papa John’s, Applebee’s and Denny’s reputations have been impacted by executive remarks in opposition to the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. The National Rifle Association has recently made public a list of more than 100 organizations and celebrities that support gun control, including Levi Strauss & Co., Hallmark Cards, and Ben & Jerry’s among several others.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF BRANDS SUPPORTING MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Apart from Amazon, Ford and Microsoft’s support for gay marriage, another interesting case has to be of Starbucks. After the US Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, Starbucks by extension of Howard Schultz had its stand clear. This led the National Organization of Marriage to launch a “Dump Starbucks” petition with 56,000 signatures. Sales started dipping. Their most vocal statement was at the 2013 Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders, where shareholder Tom Strobhar (also the founder of Corporate Morality Action Center, which stands against same-sex marriage) questioned Schultz’s stand. “In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing”, he stated. Schultz’s response was something like the following:
“Not every decision is an economic decision. Despite the fact that you recite statistics that are narrow in time, we did provide a 38% shareholder return over the last year. I don’t know how many things you invest in, but I would suspect not many things, companies, products, investments have returned 38% over the last 12 months. Having said that, it is not an economic decision to me. The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity. Of all kinds. If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company.”

Later in October, Starbucks added coverage of transgender reassignment surgery to the company’s health benefits. Starbucks also covers prescription drugs for hormone replacement therapy and mental health care. In 2014, it removed the financial cap on surgery benefits. In the same year, Starbucks flew the Pride flag atop its Seattle headquarter. Post the Trump immigration ban, Schultz and Starbucks laid out a series of plans which including hiring 10,000 refugees over five years and “building bridges, not walls, with Mexico” through continued investment in the region. Starbucks was, as a result, rated 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index. This became a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to LGBT employees. Starbucks was also rated as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”

According to the Global Empathy Index 2015, the Top 10 Companies increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 and generated 50% more earnings. A correlation as high as 80% was found between departments with higher empathy and those with high performers. This study found that empathy is strongly correlated with ethics. Example: Deutsche Bank dropped from 40th in 2015 to 110th in 2016 and Wells Fargo plummeted from 20th to 130th, given their recent controversies.

Let’s take a look at the facts and figures to understand Cause Marketing better. According to a Washington Post poll5, support for gay marriage among Americans has shot up to 58% in favor and 36% against, a turn-around in less than 10 years. A 2014 study from Global Strategy Group6 found that 72% of adults believe it’s important for businesses to align with and address societal issues. According to a Forbes/Qualtrics study, Americans are 8.1% more likely to buy from companies which share their viewpoints. 8.4% are less likely to buy from companies which don’t. Also, consumers aged 26-35 are 21% more likely to shop at a company whose socio-political stances mirror their own. Diving deeper, there are some unmissable insights from a ResearchGate Paper7:

  • “Participants demonstrated a significantly greater purchase intent when exposed to corporate social advocacy messages that matched their own attitudes than when they were exposed to corporate social advocacy messages that did not match their own attitudes.”
  • “Purchase intent is greater when organizational stances toward social-political issues are congruent with consumer’s own attitudes than when they are incongruent.”
  • “When organizations or organizational leadership take stances on polarizing social-political issues, it seems rightly understood as a form of advocacy, often aimed at public policy change.”
  • “Fact remains that engagement in CSA does impact financial objectives for the organization.”

Brand Humanization through Cause Marketing is smart. But bigger than that is the question: If your brand had the capacity to influence change, would it chose to? It’s for you to answer: As an individual, what would you subconsciously chose? Would you choose a brand that stands for a societal cause; will you be able to see through the smart opportunism of brands? What was the last time a brand video drove your affinity towards their products? Everyday, there are brands considering latching onto a cause to garner gains and produce profits. It’s easy for brands to launch a TVC on “woman empowerment” while at their factories in the developing world, the all-women employees are working in inhumane conditions, under stress, underpaid, overworked. It’s easy for companies to give out statements supporting Climate Change combat plans while at the same time, they’re dumping environmental hazards in the lake nearby. It’s as easy for brands to pretend they care as it is to actually make change possible. At the same time, it’s also easy for us, the consumers, the civilians, the citizens to demand more from those who have the power to make society a better place. Albeit minutely, change is possible. So, what do we

STUDY | AMAZON:

Banned the sale of Confederate flag merchandise after mass shooting at an African American church in South Carolina by an alleged white supremacist.

STUDY | LEGO:

Added more female minifigures from the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. These include female deep sea explorers, engineers, mechanics and astronauts.

STUDY | CHIPOTLE:

First restaurant chain to completely disqualify the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), considering the health concerns for animals, farmers and environment.

STUDY | PFIZER:

As a commitment to combat climate change, Pfizer’s greenhouse gas emissions has been reduced by 20% 2000. It has also committed a 60% to 80% reduction by 2050. It’s also a signatory of UN’s Caring for Climate initiative.

STUDY | WELLS FARGO:

First U.S. bank which ran a national ad that included a same-sex couple, commenting on this “expression of commitment to the LGBT community at large”.

TO INTERNET AND BEYOND IN HOMAGE TO MARKETING: FROM WWW. TO IOT

Philip Kotler surmised marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit”. In continuation of the definition, he acknowledged the importance of segmentation, targeting, positioning, needs, wants, demand, offerings, brands, value and satisfaction, exchange, transactions, relationships and networks, marketing channels, supply chain, competition and the marketing environment in general. This Kotler statement of how marketers need to identify “unfulfilled needs and desires of the audiences” reflects in the Mad Men dialogue, “..what you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons”, delivered by Don Draper.

PHILIP KOTLER ON MARKETING


It may not be entirely wrong to state that such an immense growth in digital marketing and advertising wasn’t expected when AT&T bought the first internet banner from HotWired in 1994. To promote their new campaign “You Will”, AT&T got Joe McCambley to design the said banner. The Copy for the first ever internet banner went something like this: “Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE? YOU WILL!” This produced a CTR (Click Through Rate) of 44%. Even then, the use of clarity and simplicity to create curiosity was the sure-shot reason for success. This ad redirected audiences to a virtual tour of seven of the world’s greatest museums. This aimed at impressing the idea of time and space travel through Internet, specifically though AT&T. The ad bought at the price of $30,000 for a period of 3 months in 1994, may have hardly signalled how vast the industry would become. Now, forecasters predict that $674.24 billion ad spend dollars will be spent in 20201. It was 1994 when America Online introduced their web portal. Come 1995, Yahoo went from being a web directory to a commercial business, starting the first keyword-based advertisements. Netscape and Infoseek changed their advertising pricing model to CPM (Cost Per Mille). MSN Online was launched by Microsoft and the Internet Advertising Council assembled. Internet users started growing, multifold, globally. Banner ads started popping up everywhere and the standardization of ad sizes was being considered. This led to the first basic standard size being 468×60.

However, by 1996, CTR started dropping and banner ads were converting at only 0.1%. With companies still spending millions on banner ads without gaining adequate ROI, the industry started to dwindle. The flawed idea that reaching a larger consumer base would automatically mean higher profits was permeating throughout. Businesses focused on expanding their consumer reach instead of focusing on profit growth. This was the case with other industries as well. Investors were blindly investing in start-ups with unsustainable business models. This led to the famed dot-com-bubble burst. Tech stocks lost almost 60% of their value. NASDAQ composite decreased by 78%. The whole industry was affected and internet advertising revenue fell by 32% in mid-2000.

CASE STUDY: WEBCONNECT

When WebConnect, an ad agency placed banner ads for Encyclopedia – Brittanica, banner fatigue was surprisingly prevented. This was in 1996, when they were able to track impressions along with CTR. Unlike other agencies, WebConnect could place ads on any site that was the best fit for the ideal demographic. They had tools which helped capture the number of sales and inquires for each ad, a tool which helped place a frequency cap on the number of times an ad was visible to a user. This in turn cut down the banner fatigue.

1996 was also the year when Microsoft sponsored the Superbowl Website for $200,000. When Google launched its search engine in 1999, the online ad industry had already reached $1 billion in revenues. Pay Per Click ad model was adopted by Google in 2002 and it soon became a major source of revenue for all search engines. This was only the start – soon, Social Media would bring with it a bigger realm for marketers to explore and eventually, conquer.

Launch of Facebook saw the rise of a new vertical, Social Media Marketing. Designed at first to allow users to connect and network virtually, Facebook’s potential as a marketing tool was easy to notice. In 2004, when more than 7.3% of the global population started using the platform, domain and scale widened. In 2006, Facebook announced a marketing agreement with JP Morgan Chase for promotion of its Credit Card line of business.
Later in the same year, Facebook and Microsoft teamed up for advertising syndication, aiming to bring relevant ads to the 9 million Facebook users, then. Come 2007, Facebook gave an opt-out feature giving ad owners the ability to prevent their ad from showing to the wrong audience. A year later, Facebook launched “Facebook Ads for Businesses-Beacon”, which focused on viral brand messaging and engaging ads to capture user attention through viral and powerful, provocative messages. By 2009, advertisers were able to target demographics based on language, as well as location. Although Beacon was shut down by 2010, Social Context Metrics were introduced into Analytics. By 2011, Sponsored Stories and Ads API encouraged regular innovations to stay relevant to the dynamic consumer/buyer life cycle.

CASE STUDY: DOUBLECLICK

An online ad-service agency, DoubleClick brought some organization in ad buying-and-selling after its launch in 1996. DoubleCick found a way to track consumer behavior in the banner ads posted and made it easier to determine the success rate/ROI. Buy the year end, it developed DART – Dynamic Advertising Reporting and Targeting which aimed at helping advertisers track the clicks and optimize their ads while the campaign is ongoing. Revenue was achieved by brokering ads and offering premium analytical services to advertisers along with email marketing services. The price was based on Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model.rs. The price for advertising on their network was based on Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) model. One of the few companies which survived the Dot com bust with around $900 Million in the bank.

While the technology behind Atlas (aQuantive) was purchased in 2007 by Microsoft for $6.2 billion, it was later acquired by Facebook for less than $100 million. With a net worth of around $350 billion2, revenue of 27.64 billion USD, 1.86 billion monthly active users and the purchase of Instagram for a billion dollars, Facebook played an instrumental role in creating the foundation for Social Media Marketing.

It wasn’t just Facebook though; Celebrity/Influencer Marketing got a kickstart 4 years after the launch of Twitter, when Kim Kardashian was (rumored to) being paid $10,000 per tweet through Ad.ly. With the launch of Promoted Trends and Tweets, Disney’s Toy Story 3 got recognized as the first paid trend. As of 2012, Twitter’s Mobile Ad revenue has exceeded Facebook’s.

CASE STUDY: ROUND-UP OF PPC VS. PPM & GOOGLE VS. YAHOO + GOTO.COM

Around 1998-99, PPC became an importance means of generating revenue for the search engine providers like AltaVista, Lycos, Infoseek, Yahoo and Google. Bill Gross invented a Paid Placement Model (PPM) for Goto.com (renamed Overture in 2001) and was acquired by Yahoo for $1.63 billion. While Google was struggling with PPC model, Yahoo offered its ad based on the PPC model since the beginning, in 1998. Later that year, it introduced the automated auction/bidding, where the ad would be ranked for a key term, based on how much the advertiser was willing to pay. The advertiser would pay Goto.com each time a user clicked on the ad. By mid 1998, people were paying as much as $1/click. The reasoning behind PPM was that the people who were willing to pay for top spots in general searches were more relevant and better websites. In 2001, GoTo.com renamed itself Overture. It allowed web portals like MSN and Yahoo to monetize their traffic. This proved to be highly profitable for both Overture and its partners. In fact, it even brought portals like AltaVista and AlltheWeb. In 2003, Overture was brought by Yahoo. In 2001, where Google made $85 million from its CPM based ad revenue, Overture earned $288 million selling ads on a PPM (Paid Placement Model – Overture’s version of PPC) basis. In 2002, Google revamped its Adwords program. It reintroduced Adwords which now included the option of PPC advertising. Google’s version of PPC was different from Overture’s PPM. Where Overture allowed its users to buy their way to the top, as in – the higher your bid, the higher your listing; Google understood the importance of relevance and better user experience. You see, any big company could buy their way to the top, but if the ad was not relevant then it would generate less clicks, the users who end up clicking will not get anything relevant to what they searched for and the company would make no profit either. For a more robust ranking mechanism, Google, as a means to measure an ad’s relevancy, introduced the “Click through rate” feature. This meant that if an ad with a lower bid got more clicks than the others above it, it would climb up the ranking ladder. A more sophisticated version is called the Quality Score today. Google did not invent the Pay per click model, but it simply adapted and perfected it. Today, almost 96% of Google’s revenue comes from advertising.

It’s a common knowledge that global mobile commerce is expected grow; from US$170 billion in 2016 to US$694 billion in 20193. This, clubbed with the constant emergence of multiple social media platforms and the rise of content consumption through mobile internet, brands have started to realize the need for the “clutter-breaking”.
One good example of the shift in the scale required to “make it big” would be Red Bull’s Stratos Jump with Felix Baumgartner. With this success, Red Bull managed to give its public image some wings. The stunt managed to garner more than 8 million views on the YouTube Live stream. Breaking through the boundaries of traditional marketing and sponsorship alike, Red Bull sparked a change in the way clients asked marketers for “something viral, something out of the box”.

Looking forward, the need for Content Marketing, Experiential Marketing, a clear and strong brand persona is essential for the survival of brands. With Programmatic and RTB (Real-Time Bidding) quickly paving way for technological autonomy and intelligent data analytics, the future signals the need for adaptability to innovations.

Talking about the future, industry giants have recognized the promise and need of AI in Advertising, for a seamless consumer experience. With around 18 major M&As in 2016, by contenders like Google, Twitter, Intel, Apple, and GE, the future looks intelligent. Google has been the most active player with as many as 200 acquisitions under its belt, the first being deja.com, an internet software and service (2001). With the flurry of AI for not just data solutions but also for IoT products, possibilities are huge. Products like Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit and Microsoft Azure are already creating buzz and despite scepticism towards security, the industry is expected to grow. In 2013, Heineken used smart technology for “Ignite”, limited stock of bottles which flashed in time with the music and it up every time they were clinked. Although it wasn’t successful in creating a big buzz, it gave an interesting insight – being courageous won’t be enough for brands, they have to think of scalability, as well. The recent Burger King – Google Home controversy signals the arrival of a more competitive future and further reinforces the prediction that AI and Marketing grounds will soon be intertwined. Regarding this, some vital questions pop up: Will IoT spearhead the industry towards singularity? Are the innovations yet to peak? That being said, it’d be intriguing to see how Brands prepare and combat the apparent and approaching paradigm shift.

How Important Is A Study Plan To Crack Any Exam

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Photo credit: LuYi_China

Exam time can be a very stressful time and with so much riding on its result, it requires a lot of hard work and dedication from a student. Some candidates find themselves in a tight spot when they keep postponing studying till the end. Planning ahead can sort out your study goals and give you ample of time for your hobbies. Whether it’s an entrance exam or a competitive one, following a study plan can keep you a step ahead in stressful times. It’s more insightful than a timetable as it includes your complete syllabus. Here’s why you should certainly stick to a study plan to crack any exam.

Provides A Plan Of Action

Often the syllabus is too huge to catch up so it’s easy for a student to feel lost in a pile of different topics. A study plan gives thorough insight in the curriculum and also sorts ‘what to study’ and ‘when to study’. Also, everyone has their own different study plan. It depends on the individual’s learning abilities, time management skills and personal goals. One feels more organised and in-command when they know why they are studying and what needs to be done in order to achieve those goals.

Brings In Motivation

When you achieve little targets set in your study plan, a sense of motivation to achieve the next one comes in naturally. It can make otherwise boring and stressful subjects a bit more fun by giving new challenges to accomplish every day.

Reduces Stress Extensively

It is very important that you don’t leave things for the last moment as it only leads to more stress and exhaustion. If you follow your study plan judiciously, then you can considerably reduce the scope for stress. The initial efforts of making a plan of action will eventually lead you to have a fuss-free preparation time. Also, preparing for exams becomes much easier and more productive when you adhere to your plan.

Increases Concentration

Studying methodically for regular hours increases concentration, which is the key to cracking any exam. Sticking to a study plan will inculcates a sense of discipline and there will be no need to panic and study during odd hours to finish off everything before exams. This ease of mind can further increase your confidence in how you approach your studies. It will give you a balanced    approach towards every subject considering the time-limits.

Putting in an effort to create a study plan and then not following it will take you back to the starting point so, it’s highly crucial to execute it well. To avoid tough situations, keep your study plan simple and easy to pursue. Don’t stress and keep some space for your hobbies in the plan to refresh yourselves. We’re sure you’ll come out with flying colours. All the best!

Fun things your kid can do during this summer vacation

Little boy learning about the world around him.It’s finally here – the time that most students pine for every single time they attend school has arrived. Summer vacations are inbound, and adolescents are finally free from the shackles of waking up early and attending school. They can finally stop calling themselves “students” and start calling themselves “children” – albeit for a limited time. The amount of free time that children have at this point seems like a boon to them.

However, this can turn into a curse as well.

After all, students are used to following a routine during the weekday. While it might seem somewhat liberating to not be bound by certain responsibilities during this time span, the fact of the matter is that most children will quickly realise that there are very few ways to pass the time. This can lead to a growing sense of boredom that can quickly become quite unbearable.

Therefore, it’s important to keep a child occupied during these vacations. Here are some of the major activities that can help engage kids in these holidays.

  1. Making meals: Learning how to cook a meal is an important life skill that anyone should know, and developing this skill in a child is an excellent course of action to take. Aside from teaching a kid how to cook, parents can also engage him in a task that will keep him occupied, thus alleviating any boredom that could arise as a result.
  2. An outing amidst nature: Before we get into detail, let us state beforehand that the average human spends a whopping 41% of his life looking at a screen! It’s a startling statistic that should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who wants their child to grow up and appreciate life with their own eyes, instead of a screen. Planning a camping trip, going for a hiking expedition, or just allowing them to perform the seemingly mundane task of gardening is an excellent way for them to enjoy.
  3. Develop their creativity: There is a bevy of creative activities that kids can perform to expand their horizons. Everything from normal arts-and-crafts to building blocks can help shape, develop, and amplify a kid’s creative thinking.
  4. Scavenger hunt: This is a great activity that combines a lot of what we’ve already stated earlier. An A-to-Z scavenger hunt will compel a child to explore – something that is sorely missing in the age of technology, where everything can generally be found with a simple Google search. By making this act of discovery physical, children will find an outlet to develop their cognitive skills as well.

It’s true that summer vacation is a time for children to relax. However, it can also be treated as a way for these adolescents to explore different avenues of obtaining information developing valuable life skills that will serve them well in the long run.

#3: Teachers’ Perspective & The Challenges In The Path Towards Holistic Learning

As per Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey 2015 (an annual survey done by Pearson, the World’s leading learning company, that aims to voice the opinion of the teaching community in India), teachers seek changes to the traditional ways of teaching to adapt to the changing dynamics in the learning ecosystem:

–  57% teachers believe that students are not adequately prepared for employment.

–  There’s a collective call by teachers (75%) for industry collaborated curriculum restructuring.

– They urge for industrial training of teachers (44%) to impact employability of Indian students.

– Majority (66%) support technology adoption across levels; school teachers, specifically, consider installation of smart boards (77%) and bundled multimedia content (51%) as the key initiatives.

– Majority (52%) believe that India’s Education Assessment Framework lacks specific action points for teachers and parents to enable holistic education.

This clearly depicts that trainers, just like parents and students of today, are seeking progressive changes.

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The Challenges In The Path To Holistic Learning

According to a primary research done by Pearson that collated information from Indian schools on the basic challenges they faced in creating a holistic network for learning were as follows:

–   Lack of integrated tools inside the classroom which leads to reduction in the overall efficacy of the classroom teaching and learning.

–   Absence of an inter-disciplinary approach that helps builds stronger concepts and skills that last for life.

–     Learning tends to stop when the school gets over.

–     Parents are inquisitive to know what is happening inside the classrooms.

–     Assessment is still at a level of ‘Do more. Work hard.’

To tackle these challenges, with MyPedia, teachers are armed with a digital content & complete assessment/activity kit, so they can conduct activities smoothly, and measure the learning outcomes accurately.

Accepting New Methods of Learning & Teaching

The current education styles are mainly guided by the principle that passing a grade ensures complete learning of that level. A deeper introspection of what really fulfils the learning experience of a child is required. It is important to understand the nuances of the learning curve taken by each child. Any system that compels students to belong to a certain dominant lobby can suppress the spirit of innovation.

For students to evolve into skilled professionals of tomorrow, they need to be able to operate in a free atmosphere, exercise choices with a certain level of independence to shape their own lives. The idea is to look beyond the pass-fail binary. We don’t need just engineers, doctors and learners who attain the highest scores in an examination.

To put India truly on the global forefront, we need to nurture innovators, thinkers, philosophers, leaders and writers–to list a few–reflecting the diverse aspirations and dreams of a developing nation. For this, we need to establish newer ways of approaching education and reLauren_Rolwing_girl_reading_book_RGBdefine learning. MyPedia aims to implement these reforms, which are essential for smooth transitioning of students to skilled professionals of tomorrow.  

The first step to get closer to the vision of holistic learning is to embrace new methods of learning and teaching. It is important to familiarize teachers with newer concepts and different structures of delivering education.

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach will further substantiate classroom education and support holistic development of children as well as teachers. Introducing a framework of continuous assessments, regular and real-time feedback can drastically improve the performance of students and help them identify their interests early in life.

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Call: 1800 3000 1200 // Visit: pearsonmypedia.com/demo

Introducing Soul To The Experience of Learning

We are constantly learning and unlearning concepts in an environment where information access and knowledge are in abundance. In such a dynamic set-up, it is important that one is well-versed with the basic fundamentals of several disciplines. Across sectors, adaptability, critical reasoning and creativity are among some of the highly valued skills

The most pragmatic approach to develop these qualities in students is to catch them young and foster these skills at an early age in their classrooms. Integrating teaching tools into a scientific process of learning is one of the most effective ways to build strong and everlasting layers of skills and concepts in tender minds.

Famous Nobel-Prize and Oscar-winning Irish playwright, critic and socialist, George Bernard Shaw said:

My schooling not only failed to teach what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.

While Shaw pointed this out in 19th century, the state of affairs for education is so that millions would still relate to his story. Hence most academic experts would agree that going beyond strBen-Wiseman_brain_thumprint_arrows_RGBuctured curriculum and syllabus is need of the hour. Uncomplicated and personalised learning is the key to producing innovative thinkers of tomorrow.

It is imperative, therefore, that we embrace practices that help children break away from the monotony of rote learning. Integrated studies help children view concepts from the lens of multiple disciplines, understand and see them as they would be in real life and hence apply them adequately. This in-turn captures the interest of students as well as increases their engagement and productivity levels.

This approach also opens up windows of endless possibilities in the thought-process of a child, weaving layers of knowledge with a solid understanding of concepts. It also allows children to paint a realistic yet buoyant picture about the world and all that is there to it, without making the process a herculean task.

MyPedia is one such integrated learning tool, which is consistently working towards realising this goal and aims to transform the education delivery in schools.

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 Call: 1800 3000 1200 // Visit: pearsonmypedia.com/demo

10 Study Tips For GATE 2016 Aspirants

In today’s competitive market, everyone is looking for course or a degree to give an edge to their career. Cracking the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is considered prestigious for undergraduate engineers.

GATE has become an important doorway for aspirants who are looking for a Masters in the technical and research field. The minimum eligibility criteria for any candidate to appear for GATE is to have a graduate degree in any subject like BSc, BTech, B.Pharm, BA etc.

Now when you know the importance of GATE, the next question you will ask is, how to crack it? The only way to crack it is to study hard and keep yourself focused.

Here are top 10 exclusive tips which can help you crack this prestigious exam called GATE 2016:

  1. GATE is not a syllabus-based exam. It’s an assessment of your understanding of concepts and its practical application when required. It’s important to understand the concept well and practice the questions accordingly.
  2. GATE assesses your approach towards a particular problem. Therefore, if you find your answer taking more than 8 steps, change your strategy to solve that problem.
  3. GATE questions are tricky to answer, which will require you to work on your speed and accuracy when you are preparing for this competitive exam.
  4. After completing every topic, develop a habit of checking your performance with previous year model test papers. Make notes, and use flashcards for quick revision.
  5. Use innovative and intuitive ways to solve problems. It’s not necessary to solve every question. Try to solve one problem in as many ways as possible. Device your own tips and tricks to reach a correct answer. This will also boost your speed and accuracy.
  6. Understand the importance of positive thinking. Set your goals (e.g; like the institute you want to join, the reference books you want to use, the study schedule you want to follow, etc.) and engrave it at the back of your mind to keep you motivated. Remember that believing in your goals will take you one step closer to it.
  7. Keep working on your doubts and queries, even if it’s your last day of preparation. Doubts will help build your concept and confidence to solve it.
  8. Preparing for GATE is a rigorous process. So keep yourself focused. Develop an aptitude, attitude, concentration level for the next 4-6 months, enough to get into IISC or IITs.
  9. Select course books for your preparation and stick to those. Don’t pick up new reference books at the last minute as it’s bound to cause confusion. Instead, focus on studying the selected books cover to cover. This will help you develop an intuition before solving any question–whether you can answer it or not.
  10. Pearson’s GATE Series, authored by a group of highly-experienced faculty who train GATE students, and are also subject matter experts. Extra care has been taken to present the content in a modular and systematic manner–to facilitate easy understanding of all topics.

For the GATE 2016 aspirant, this series is a one-stop comprehensive solution for your complete GATE preparation:
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BONUS TIP: Stay relaxed and calm before the final paper. 🙂 GATE is a tough exam to crack but it is not impossible. With the Pearson Young Achievers Program, you can gain a focused and step-by-step guidance to achieve your goal.

 

 

The Use of Reward In Positive Parenting

Father Holding Daughter's Hand

The Use of Reward In Positive Parenting

Children are born curious. There is a whole new world to explore and most of their behaviour is adopted from adults, particularly their parents. Whatever be the age of your child, teaching them the benefits of discipline could be rewarding in the long run. Tangible rewards or social reinforcements are the most effective way to incentivise your child for their behaviour.

Rewarding good behaviour promotes learning and also helps parents to focus on their kids right doings. Tangible rewards can lead to a regular habit of greed–getting something in exchange for good behaviour; therefore, the motivation for good behaviour fades as the incentives stops. Instead, rewarding in the form of verbal encouragement and motivation can sustain internal motivation.

Let’s take a look at some tips on how to reward your child effectively for good behaviour:

Model an ultimate rewarding strategy of self-satisfaction and discipline.

Teach your kids how to take responsibility and ownership of their behaviour and get satisfaction from their own good deeds. For example, “My mom enrolled me for a dance class once I started keeping my room clean.” “I feel good about cleaning my room.”

Identify the type of incentives that would keep your child motivated.

A deep sense of emotional attachment motivates children. Rewards such as hugs, a pat on the shoulder, smiles, and positive attention works best for kids in understanding that they have done something worthwhile. Tangible rewards such as toys, money, treats, etc. can be effective too, but should not be given very often.

Positive reinforcement can be effective when started early.

Shower your toddlers with effusive praise, preschoolers with daily rewards, elementary children with documenting rewards charts. This will instill a sense of self-esteem at a young age. The incentives can be a special outing or a small toy for a week-long good behaviour.

Make good behaviour a daily habit.

Teach your kid how to follow a set routine by completing the non-fun stuff first, and then enjoying the fun stuff. This will help them start taking responsibilities. This isn’t a reward, but as parents and teachers, (Pearson School) it’s your responsibility to make good behaviour a habit, a daily routine both at school and at home.

Use consistent rewards to promote good behaviour with gradual decrease of rewards later.

Regular rewards could be fun, but stopping them could be daunting for parents. Positive reinforcement or rewards should be temporary as it helps in teaching a disciplined life. When the desired behaviour is learnt, providing irregular incentives will make good behaviour likely to persist. Ultimately your child’s self-satisfaction and self-approval will be rewarding enough to maintain that expected behaviour.

What should be an appropriate reward to promote good behaviour, in your opinion? Write to us in the comments!

5 Ways To Help Your Teen Understand The Value of Money

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It’s said that one of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to prepare them to be a responsible adult with money. As parents it’s your responsibility towards your children to help them develop a frame of mind that understands the value of money. When your child starts to believe that money can buy them anything and everything, they don’t understand where to stop or their limits. It’s in the interest of parents and their child alike to instill a sense of financial responsibility from early childhood through their teen years.

Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks to prepare your child to manage his/her finances:

1. Teach them how to manage their limited budget

Start teaching your kids about money early in life so that it becomes a habit. If they get easy money they will never value it. Fix their allowances. Make them earn their allowance rather than just providing it for free. Once you’ve given them their allowance, let them buy stuff they want. They will soon understand that being a spendthrift is not the right attitude as they won’t be able to afford anything new until their next allowance. This is how they will learn how to manage with their limited allowance.

2. There is no bank with unlimited supply of money

It’s important for kids to understand that money is not an inexhaustible, limitless resource. Let them manage their finances but let them learn to avoid unnecessary expenses. Ask them to help you with the household budget. Take them to the store with you, let them watch you pay the bill and that’s when they will understand the real cost of things and what they can buy and what they cannot within their budget.

3. Practise how to stay within a budget

Once you’ve given your child allowance, help them prioritize their expenses. Help your kids to make a list of the important things they want and urge them to keep a separate amount for unexpected spendings. The best way is to allot a daily budget and to assign dates to all the expenses and this is where parents need to guide their kids. Help your children to create a budget worksheet in order to track the flow of money.

4. Set a good example as parents

Children mimic their parents even while managing finances. So, if you’re a person who uses a credit card often, your kid will follow the same pattern; and if you are someone who saves a little amount every time you buy something, your kid will value money the same way. One way is to include your kid in your financial decisions like buying something online and how you consider good deals before spending your hard-earned money. Don’t hesitate to share your financial mistakes and your learnings. Giving an example is easy, but setting one is difficult.

5. Inculcate the habit to save

Learning to save money is a vital skill. Talking to your teens about saving money may seem like a daunting task, but it shouldn’t stop you from encouraging your kid to save little amount for their short-term goals such as buying a dress, football or cricket bat. Teaching your kids long-term saving can help them achieve long term goals, such as buying a car, house, and so on in future.

Being a parent is a full-time job, and this job comes with a lot of responsibilities. Inculcating good habits like understanding the value of money in your children is only going to make things easier for them in the future. So, chart out a plan, get set on the task, and make your kids responsible adults who know the value of money.