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An Interview With Soumyadeep Sur, Director Marketing, ValueLabs

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Soumyadeep Sur

Soumyadeep is a global marketing leader with over 10 years of experience in spearheading marketing functions in leading organizations. He is a strong believer in combining art and science for effective marketing. Currently, he is the Marketing Director for ValueLabs – a mid-sized IT services firm where he heads the brand communications and digital business marketing verticals.

Prior to joining ValueLabs, Soumyadeep was associated with Adobe Systems and Wipro Limited. He has a proven track record of demand generation through digital marketing and of raising the brand profile of the organization through innovative thought leadership programs and influencer relations.

Soumyadeep holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM) Pune. Beyond his regular work, Soumyadeep prefers to spend time with his family and read about digital marketing technology. Soumyadeep also actively participates in NASSCOM events.

Importance of Digital Marketing:

Soumyadeep believes advances in digital technology are reshaping marketing as a discipline. Digital marketing is helping:

  • Influence the customer decision journey through personalization and real-time engagement across social and personal digital channels to drive personalized products/services, and communication
  • Increase outreach to relevant prospects
  • Track campaign effectiveness
  • Drive integrated marketing programs
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?

Soumyadeep: Conventional marketing is a form of push marketing wherein you “push” information on 1: many basis about your company and its products. Channels considered as part of conventional marketing – television commercials, radio broadcasts, direct mails, and print advertisements.

Some of the advantages of conventional marketing over Digital marketing

  • Massive reach
  • Gives advertiser an ability to emotionally connect with the audience (TV)
  • Faster brand awareness
  • Catalyst for other channels

Digital marketing is not a threat to future of conventional marketing. Both forms of marketing has its advantages and can provide significant competitive advantage when used together.

According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?

Soumyadeep:

  • Mistake #1: Poor planning

The lack of cohesive strategy will lead to wasted time, money and opportunity. Before you invest hard-earned dollars, you should have outlined clear marketing objectives, KPIs, expected results, and a follow-up campaign.

  • Mistake #2: Unrealistic expectations

Due to unrealistic expectation setting, the question that digital marketing leaders get asked the most is “Why aren’t we on page 1 for Google?” It’s important for digital marketing leaders to create awareness and education about digital marketing being an ongoing marketing program and communicate the timeline within which objectives will be achieved.

Eg:

  1. Search Engine Optimization: 90-180 days – Result expected
  2. Social media – 0-30 days – Results expected
  • Mistake #3: Not producing engaging content  

For a successful marketing campaign, it is important to produce engaging content based on the target audience, their needs, and the medium chosen for content delivery.

Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?

Soumyadeep: I advocate a hybrid model, involving both agency and in-house. Here is what to keep.

In-house: (Design and Measure)

  • Own overall digital marketing strategy to drive one message as one organization
  • Drive content and campaign calendar
  • Define the right metrics and measure the campaign effectiveness

Agency: (Execute)

  • Managing digital ecosystem requires multiple skills – agencies bring in the talent and operational excellence
  • Creativity
  • Speed and agility

Tips to select the right agency

Ask the agency to provide an overview of how they work, along with case studies with focus on – business objectives, deliverables, constraints and results. 

Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?

Soumyadeep: 

  • For Entrepreneurs: Digital marketing is the biggest equalizer. At a nominal cost, an entrepreneur can reach out to his/her target audience, test his messages, and acquire customers. With digital marketing, the entrepreneur can now effectively compete with the incumbents.
  • For Professionals: With the rise of digital channels and millennial generation, the traditional marketing mix requires to be complemented with digital marketing tactics. Digital marketing is giving marketers means to effectively engage with the customer/prospect and drive meaningful interactions.
  • For Students: Digital marketing budgets are expanding annually at double-digit rates, and CEOs say that digital marketing is now the most important technology-powered investment their firms can make. Hence,mastering these capabilities can help them be relevant.

What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?

Soumyadeep: 

The top 3 skills I look for are:

  • Curiosity – Digital marketing is an evolving field; candidates with the right attitude and driven by curiosity will succeed.
  • Passionate – The candidate should be passionate about coming up with innovative marketing programs, and adopts a fail fast approach for work.
  • Analytical – The candidate should be data driven with the ability to conceptualize campaign pilots, refine and drive digital marketing campaigns.
What is your advice for newbies who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?

Soumyadeep: I will suggest the following:

  • Understand your product/service really well
  • Know your customers needs / preferences and their decision journey – how they research and buy your product/service, key influencers, and more
  • Do not hesitate to experiment
  • Be curious – digital marketing technology landscape is changing very fast
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?

Soumyadeep: I rely on Twitter feeds, CMO.com, McKinsey.com, news articles, attend conferences and conversations with peers.

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

  1. Personalized experiences – Customers want relevant, compelling and personalized content whenever they interact with the brand. Businesses which focus on selling personalized experiences will succeed and build competitive advantage.
  2. Rise of marketing technologist – with the rise in devices and connectivity, every interaction is generating data about customers. The businesses which are able to combine this data with enterprise (in-house) data to create meaningful interactions will succeed. To make this happen, role of marketing technologist will be critical. This will also help marketing to focus on efficiency and conversion.
  3. Adoption of Digital Marketing Hubs–to bring customer data from various channels together to create a single master audience profile. This will allow marketers to develop relevant and integrated campaigns and unified measurement and optimization. 
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

Soumyadeep: 

I would like to congratulate Digital Vidya team for being Asia’s leading Digital Marketing training company. Their courses on digital marketing will not only help marketing professionals, students and entrepreneurs succeed in their digital marketing careers but also drive adoption of digital marketing technologies. All the best for their future endeavors.

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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  • There is 1 comment


    • 1 year ago

      Jasleen Kaur   /   Reply

      Thanks Soumyadeep for your contribution to our community through this interview. Really happy to know your feedback about the work we are doing in spreading digital (marketing) vidya :).

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