Posted by: Rajiv Harjai | March 22, 2007

Ibibo (MIH, Nasper) – The Worst Marketing Strategy

MIH, which is part of Naspers a multi-billion dollar global media company started a new blogging website Ibibo for the Indian market, and came out with the worst marketing strategy ever. The website was launched in August 2006 and started a sales promotion from December 2006, to increase registrations. As I assume they had only 50-100 individuals who had registered for their blog.

The pitch was ‘The Great Indian Blogger Hunt’ which pays cash for the top 250 ibq score blogs. The company is going to pay 1.5 Crores (£ 176,000) over a period of 1 year to the top bloggers of the month. The score is calculated by a stupid algorithm which is very easy to manipulate. In summary, bloggers will get points according to how many people visit their blog; the ratings people give their blog posts; how many blogs they post; and how many comments they get.

Within a span of 3 months, the Ibibo blogsphere has turned into the worst bloggers of all time. There are individuals (I can’t refer to them as bloggers) with above 6500 blog posts in a month. WOW! that’s above 200 posts a day, but what about the posts, they are absolutely ridiculous. Individuals post a picture and that is it, nothing to describe what does that picture mean, or what they think about it. Some just write one line quotes which don’t even make sense, and others copy posts from real bloggers and paste them. Now they should call it “The Worst blogger Hunt.” and of course they will win the worst marketing strategy competition, if ever held.

Comments were another thing I was monitoring. Most of the comments lack substance and are just limited to one liner comments like ‘Nice post, I have given 5 star rating, visit my blog and give rating.’

As much as it is a disgrace to blogging, something good came out of it. It has raised the social media awareness in India. There are individuals who have left the Ibibo and started their own blog on other blogging website.

The irony of this is that Ibibo has spent all this money and basically has promoted blogging rather than Ibibo and people who want to blog will never have their blog on Ibibo. They are going to have it on blogspot, WordPress or other blogging websites, but not Ibibo. Actually Google, WordPress etc… should thank MIH CEO Ashish Kashyap for this. Ashish Kashyap was the former sales’s operation head for google, India.

Now what was the MIH marketing team thinking??? Social Media is based on word of mouth (WOM) strategy not sales promotion. A simple distinction which I guess the MIH CEO maybe doesn’t know about, after his 12 year experience in spanning internet, television and radio businesses. Furthermore, WOM is more of a PR domain NOT marketing.

This has been criticized all over the blogsphere by Webyantra, Rajiv’s BlogPost, Youth Curry, ContentSutra to name a few.

Well for the time being Ibibo has acquired an image to be one website where Serious Indian bloggers will not register themselves. As soon as the contest is over, I am sure that everyone is going to stop blogging there, as it is nonsense anyway. The trend has already started.

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Responses

  1. Yes , whenever i happen to visit there , i saw only copy and pasted mail forwards.

  2. totally agree with u… i m among the people (individuals as u said ) who has a blog there.. but i m basically testing the first novel i m writing. i m no -where in the fray for the prize money. and yes, i m in process of designing a cool template (im a techie in real world) and then will shift the story there….

  3. Hi Cindy,

    Well Ibibo has become that way. It’s a result of the worst Marketing ever.

    I saw your other Blog Krazy-Corner. It does have a completely different template (I don’t know if that design is by you or google). Anyways, it’s cool.

    By the way what are you going to do with all those blogs?

  4. I was directed to this blog by one of the fellow bloggers on http://www.ibibo.com

    I must confess that we Indians do not care for boring and dumb blogs like yours. I am sure you get some 10 nerdy visitors to your blog. And that’s it!

    Now coming to the topic of ibibo.com. There are lakhs of good people there. I too have made many friends. And there is excitement every second. My blog too! has got lots of visitors. And remember I dont need to write farty stuff like yours to make friends and network.

    Bloggers like you are foolish! Who dont understand the concept of network and viral……Go check out the number of Indians and friends on ibibo.com or the traffic or the new things that happen everyday.

    And what contest are you talking about? Have you lost it! Go check out my blog and the site with yours eyes wide open. I must say people like you are lucky to have access to a PC/ Laptop.

    Dont try to teach your father ************!!!! Get off from this blog and stop being a wet blanket! And let us enjoy!

    Also try learning some thing about ‘large scale’ vs ************- that is you…..

    Not your friend :

    BbayG

  5. I am sorry, but I do not allow such language on my blog, hence I have edited your post.

    What to say to a person like you who hides behind a superficial identity, and doesn’t even address the post I have written about the Marketing Strategy of Ibibo.

    FYI, Ibibo had a competition which they have ended this month because of it’s failure.

    I would like to say one thing to you, as you are an anonymous person, “Please do not disgrace Indians by writing such posts.”

  6. Point well made…it is a shame to see people like the Bbay girl post comments like the one above, and make a mockery of Indian values and upbringing.

    I took the liberty of visiting her blog….and boy was that a nightmarish experience!! The girl seems highly confused…and self contradictory, if I might add. In her own words she claims that, and I quote (from her recent blog about intellectual blogs Vs blogging for fun):

    “Blooging needs to make us energetic and not dipressed. Blogging needs us to express ourselves – In which ever way! Blogging should allow us to do anything….This is free world……”

    hmmm….I do sincerely hope that she does understand the meaning of “expressing yourself” and the concept of “free world”. Judging by her English fluency standards (where she calls blogging ‘blooging’ and spells depressed as ‘dipressed’) I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer to my above question is that she hasn’t got a clue as to what those terms mean.

    Furthermore, it is pitiful that ‘INTELLECTUAL’ blogs do not seem to stimulate her…but I do understand that for intellectual stimulation….you need an INTELLECT…which she seems to completely lack! Baby girl….oops did I say that wrong….I meant Bbay girl…. please accept my condolences on that.

    No wonder she contradicts herself so blatantly and places her own foot in her mouth when on one hand she claims that blogging should allow you to express yourself and immediately she criticizes another blogger for airing his opinions. Now doesn’t that make her feel really stupid!

    You know what? She is actually not worth the time and effort to waste your breath on, because people like this can’t seem to hold their own for very long…..

  7. I have been watching the IBIBO saga with horror.

    This story will end soon, either way. Google might just blacklist them for all the stolen content, and that will end it quickly.

  8. I am a published author who has suffered enough because of Ashish Kashyap and his gang of crooks. Almost all my blog posts, some prize-winning ones have been lifted by ibibo members like sanjay88, sauvik and blizzard. Even after repeated attempts to contact the team, they refuse to take action. And now I know why. It’s becaus they themself are involved in this filthy game.

    Only and only because of ibibo, I have lost my faith in blogging.

  9. Hi,

    My wife and I are among a 100 odd victims of Ibibo’s defective marketing strategy.

    Our blogs were stolen from Sulekha.com… over a 1000 posts. Our complete writing portfolios were whacked. We were rather let down by ibibo’s lukewarm response to our complaints. They had initially offered to remove the stolen blogs, but only a small percentage were actually taken off.

    To make matters worse, when we decided to take up some action on Sulekha.com, the same crooks who stole our blogs, created our profiles fraudelently on ibibo.com and posted all the stolen blogs there.

    What is really murky is that in my wife’s fake blog on ibibo.com, they’ve released her email id with a request to spam her. This is odd because her id is hidden in Sulekha.com. This leads us to believe that someone from Ibibo has created her fake blog and has put up her email id from the complaint form that she had filled earlier.

    Ibibo.com is setting a horrible example by incentivizing the concept of blogging. We bloggers are not safe anywhere. Sulekha.com too has adopted a similar rewards strategy.

    It’s a real let down for us. Will Mr. Kashyap, CEO Ibibo.com or Mr. Sinha the Content Head please address this issue?

  10. I’m the one that brouhg some IBIBO excitement to Pratishta and Tarun’s Life!

    like she says in her profile
    learned to see the humor in every situation. Almost every situation.

    Knock knock!

  11. I’ve also written about this. However my focus was on after effects of CP contests.

    A point to be noted here: Today when i checked alexa, pageview average of ibibo has come down by 10 percent. (it was just 3 yesterday). That shows that people are not getting value addition by visiting more blogs and so restrict to few blogs alone. Now ibibo may announce more points for pAsting 5* comments on other blogs. hahaha.

    I wish ibibo change its strategy fast and come out successful as a quality player…

  12. Hey man you are totally rite, i am one of those who won the first months blogging. To confess i jus Copy -pasted things. But i dont regret it , beacuse now i have stopped copy-pasting stuffs all thnks to Stupid Ibibo.

    Why this Sudden change?
    Well , wen everyone knew how ibibo works , there was no chance i could win the next couple months where i was seriously blogging without any Copy-paste.

    ibibo is Jus a Poor Site. Bad Way to promote Blogging. It has forgotten the Word What blogging actually means.

    now ibibo should be called “SEXIBO”, becoz all you find in Ibibo is sex, valgur sawaals and Vulgar Polls.

    total waste of time. but people ll still use it till they are thowing money .

  13. Rajiv, I have not blogged on ibibo but this has been an interesting read.

    Thinking aloud – what in your opinion should be done to change the perspective on Ibibo?

  14. Thank god I did google about Ibibo and reached here. I was going to take a job interview with them. No chance of that happening now!

  15. The maketing strategy is totally bogus. They tried everything and got failed. I think Ashish Kasyap is one of the Fool person in IBIBO who havenot any knowledge for how to implement the business. He is guy just looking for try something and get escaped after sometime

  16. Ibibo.com, a company hitherto unheard of by me, has set up a fake profile in my name and linked it to my email id. They’ve even posted status messages. And there is no way to delete that profile! I googled Ibibo, which led me to your post. Reading it, I’m horrified that any company can be so fraudulent and still manage to get away with it. I’m even further horrified that this is an Indian company. I hope affected people get together for a class action suit against this company.

  17. Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort tto produce a reaally good article… but what ccan I say… I procrastinate a whole
    lot and neer manage to get anything done.


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