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An Interview With – Dikdyuti Sen, Head of Marketing, Delivery Hero Middle East

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Dikdyuti Sen

Dikdyuti Sen is currently the Head of Marketing for Delivery Hero Middle East region based in Dubai. His Team runs marketing for the Delivery Hero brands Talabat, Food On Click and iFood in the 8 countries in the region. Before this, Dikdyuti was with Groupon and Google in India.

Now, when it comes to the importance of Digital Marketing, it is critical to his current role because the business he is in, is 100% online. Though, it is not something that can exist in isolation. Like TV and Print, Digital, too, is a marketing channel and it works best, only when all the channels are in sync.

How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?

Dikdyuti: I was pulled into the realm of digital marketing when I joined Google right out of university. It wasn’t a plan to get into Digital Marketing because 10 years ago, there was hardly any talk of this subject in India. I did not even know about AdWords back then. I was studying Electronics! However, once in Google, things changed and I was suddenly exposed to so much that was happening, and it just went on from there. I think it was more like I was destined to be in this field, and looking back I think it was a good choice!

According to you, what are the advantages of conventional marketing over Digital Marketing? Do you think that Digital Marketing is a threat to the future of conventional marketing?

Dikdyuti: That’s a tricky one! Usually the question is about the advantages of Digital Marketing over conventional marketing. I’ll take a stab at it though. The most important is probably the reach that traditional marketing has and digital is no match for it. However, reach is a term that means a different thing for each business. For businesses which need to speak to the masses, digital just won’t do. Digital is highly skewed towards some segments of the audience and that could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you want to reach out to. Though, it eventually depends on the audience you’re trying to reach. Conventional and Digital are tools to get the job done, and no matter how sharp a surgeon’s scalpel may be, you’d be disappointed trying to chop wood with it.

Now, when we speak about the threat that Digital Marketing poses to conventional marketing. I would disagree. A hundred years ago, marketing would be done by taking the message to the weekly village market because that is where you could get the most people to listen to you. This evolved to Print, Radio, TV, and now we are seeing the boom of digital media. But, the principles of marketing are still the same, you take your message where the people are, and in this case digital channels. If in the distant future telepathy became a channel of communication, you can rest assured that will be a marketing channel too.

100% of marketing spends cannot move to digital media since it is a function of the audience that a business seeks. Print is not dying because marketing spends on print have declined. It is because, many of us find reading on our digital devices, much more convenient. Customers do not follow marketing channels, marketing follows them.

Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?

Dikdyuti: 

  • The Groupon Onion Campaign: I might be biased here but I think it was an absolutely fantastic campaign and ridiculously funny!
  • Zomato: I remember hearing about Zomato some years ago as this website with restaurant listings and menus. It is simply unbelievable how they have gone ahead and embedded themselves into people’s daily lives and all this without much noise.
  • The Great India Election campaign of 2014: Need I say more? It was brilliant, how politics almost exploded into the social media sphere in India and of course weighed in heavily on the election results.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?

Dikdyuti: 

  • Inaccurate Measurement: Except maybe the larger established businesses, many small to mid-sized ones struggle to get their analytics in place. Consequently, the outcome of their marketing efforts are less than optimal.
  • Hiring Compromises: Digital Marketing is a relatively new discipline with hardly any formal training system or experience gathering mechanism. Also, Marketing and more so with Digital Marketing, needs a unique set of skills bridging several areas from aesthetics and design, to technical and quantitative skills. All these challenges make hiring difficult and businesses have to settle for less.
  • Sloppy Marketing: It might seem obvious, but it is something that is often seen. Huge amounts are spent on digital channels on plain vanilla campaigns and sometimes just annoying campaigns, just to saturate the media. Others may argue that it produces results, and I agree. But, isn’t efficient, smarter, and less obstructive marketing the change that modern day marketing should bring about?
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?

Dikdyuti: Depends on the size of the operations, and is more of a cost benefit analysis. For a small company, it might be hard to hire and retain high quality talent. In larger businesses, agencies come in for more tactical initiatives. In either case, the key factor is the liaison between the digital team, whether in-house or agency, and the business.

Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?

Dikdyuti: It might seem like an odd list, but here goes:

  1. Analytics
  2. Excel
  3. SQL
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?

Dikdyuti: 

  • For Entrepreneurs: Our world is going digital and all businesses can benefit from adapting for this. Therefore, for entrepreneurs it is important to know, or at least be educated about this aspect so that they can see the opportunities there.
  • For Professionals: The role of a marketing professional with no digital awareness will soon cease to exist. It is like when computers were first introduced to businesses and now we can’t think of an office without one, can we?
  • For Students: Looking back at my time as a student, I don’t think I knew much about what the professional world was like. Most of what I learned in text books, probably helps me somewhere but not directly. Digital Marketing, is one of those few subjects, which can be applied directly to their professional careers. So, it is a wise investment for those willing to pursue a career in this field.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?

Dikdyuti: First, I believe skills can be learned but the attitude is most important. But assuming they pass the attitude filter, here are some key skills/traits required for a Digital Marketing professional:

  1. Quantitative and Analytical – Scared of numbers just will not do.
  2. Tech savvy – Digital is closely tied to technology so there is no ignoring that.
  3. Ability to learn – The Digital Marketing landscape is changing every day and the person must be able to keep abreast with, and learn continuously.
  4. For experienced candidates – In depth understanding of at least the channels that they have worked in.
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?

Dikdyuti: 

It is a great time to be here! But like with any other decision, think carefully before taking the leap into digital, don’t do it just because it’s the new fad.

How do you stay updated on the latest trends in Digital Marketing? Which are the Digital Marketing resources (i.e. blogs/websites/apps) you visit regularly?

Dikdyuti: There are several websites that I follow, econsultancy.com, searchengineland.com, quora.com, LinkedIn groups. However, I think I learn more from the collective knowledge of the digital marketing community and my friends.

Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.

Dikdyuti: I, Me, Myself! Just kidding.

I don’t think that Digital Marketing successes can be credited to an individual in most cases. It is a Team effort. So, I look up to marketing gurus like Avinash Kaushik, Jay Baer for their thought leadership, and organizations like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Priceline, Rocket Internet for the innovations that they bring.

How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?

Dikdyuti: Digital Media, rather the digital ecosystem, is evolving rapidly and it is hard to know what is around the bed. However, here are three trends that we will see for sure:

  1. Mobile, or to be more accurate, portable devices, will continue to see exponential growth especially in the developing countries. And this will have a strong influence on short transactional behavior such as ticketing, local commerce etc.
  2. Media streaming has had its share of hiccups mainly due to media rights and piracy issues, but it will gain momentum. An indicator of this change is the slow but steady disappearance of CDs and DVDs, and the sudden explosion of wireless audio devices.
  3. Online Banking and Payments is evolving and adoption of this will witness phenomenal growth, driven by the growth of digital commerce.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

Dikdyuti: 

It is great to see Digital Vidya help people foray into the world of Digital Marketing. I wish Pradeep, Kapil and the DV Team all the very best and hope that when we look back, a few years from now, Digital Vidya will be known as having been the catalyst in the careers of thousands of successful professionals.

Are you inspired by the opportunity of Digital Marketing? Start your journey by attending our upcoming orientation session on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth. It’s online and Free :).

[Sr. Associate - Content Marketing] A content passionate, Jasleen handles the content writing and marketing activities. Additionally, she leads Digital Marketing Internship Programme. Her deep passion and enthusiasm for writing guided her towards being the Associate Editor in English for her college magazine. Only deep passion and zeal can guide a person towards a professional writing career. Apparently, Jasleen is one of those persons. She is in the content writing and marketing fraternity for 5 years now. A top-notch individual, she is proficient in writing content for multiple requirements including blogs, articles, books, brochures and social media. She embraces practical knowledge of WordPress CMS. Besides this, she is also highly engaging in Social Media Marketing activities.
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