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Interview with Ganesh Gupta, Digital Marketing Head, ShopElect

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Ganesh Gupta is a Digital Marketer, Food Blogger, Growth Hacker & Business Automation Expert. Not only this, he was also an UNESCO Young Ambassador for Vietnam in 2013, volunteering in environment & education sector. Ganesh is one of the few marketing professionals based in India trained in Infusionsoft, Marketo & Hubspot, equally. He showcases immense passion for online branding, advertisements, building long-lasting client relationships, and all things creative. Having worked in diverse work environments in India & abroad, he has learned to embrace simplicity, quick adaptability and enjoy change. This experience has sculpted him into an outgoing person who loves meeting new people and welcoming new work challenges.

Ganesh identifies himself as a ‘Startup’ Guy! He loves building and scaling projects, businesses and products, thinking out-of-the box and is an entrepreneur at heart. In his previous roles, he gained experience of both sides of the world i.e., B2B & B2C Marketing. He was associated with one of the most prominent South East Asian Accelerator called Vietnam Silicon Valley where he had an opportunity to work with startups all over the world and learn the recipe that makes startups successful and workplace cultures truly ‘great’. PT Essentials, Safemate.za, Blue Studies International, Camera Love.com, Lauren Touber.com, Mia Munro International, Braap Motorcycles are few tech startups & SME’s he has worked for.

In India, he has worked with an exciting luxury wedding startup called, ‘The Wedding Brigade’. What drew him towards TWB was its unique culture and inspiring goal of transforming the wedding industry in an innovative way. His role was to help ‘The Wedding Brigade’ leverage the power of technology in different marketing strategies and transform the wedding landscape innovatively.

At present, he is Head – Marketing of India’s exclusive B2B electrical marketplace called ShopElect.com. His role at ShopElect involves devising and implementing proven marketing and customer acquisition strategies, raise customer satisfaction, improve brand online reputation, deepen customer loyalty and increase revenues to achieve critical growth curve.

Patient, caring, entrepreneurial minded and highly knowledgeable individual with a very good sense of humor, Ganesh enjoys volunteering and excels in devising non-traditional marketing solutions that exploit emerging technologies.

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

Ganesh Gupta: I couldn’t have done this without social media. The world would not have known’ says a revolutionist during Arab uprising or a statement by a Turkish prime minister calling ‘Social media, a worst menace to society’.

Both these statements, from disconnected individuals are united by a common platform. They both have their democratic judgments on ‘Social Media’. Just like them, all of us indicate the degree of popular belief or dislike in the power of social media and its role in the social, political and global arenas. This delicate balance of like and dislike interests me to be a part of digital space. The fact that the governments can be uprooted through social media, transparency can be brought in corporate & financial transactions or knowledge can be shared with a matter of click is one of the best things humanity could have achieved in the 21st century.

Facebook is now the third largest country on earth and surely has more information about its citizens than any government does. Likewise – Julian Assange, founder of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks provided a platform where individuals can anonymously whistle blow and show their government’s dark underbellies.

Through the digital world, people can accomplish real power to speak beyond their own biological and geographical constrains. Unknown singers can become famous practically overnight with a well-placed YouTube video. And haters can press the right button at the most vulnerable time so that Americans missions would go up in flame (pun intended!)

Being a digital marketer by passion and profession, every second moment is a great learning. What I have learnt, that there is no such thing as “average.” Every second, demands lot of innovation, creativity and appealing content which is bolstered only after rich experience. So by the virtue of choice, I picked to move with the digital marketing world at a lighting speed rather being left behind in an outdated world.

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?

Ganesh Gupta: Because of the longevity, people are accustomed towards traditional marketing. People are still used to finding advertisements in the newspaper and television commercials. The big hoardings on the highways are still very common with all of us. A specific group of consumers can be reached who do not have the access to internet browsing. Personalized marketing is considered to be one of the most useful marketing strategies and face to face contact increases the trust and brand value. Depending on the product, traditional marketing can offer product testing and through this method, prove its quality.

Newer marketing techniques may increase the target audience and have loads of advantages but completely ignoring the traditional marketing strategies can be dangerous. Traditional methods have a high success rate and are proven. Internet methods are subject to the luxury of an internet connection with the customer. With traditional marketing, anyone with access to newspapers, postal-service, radio or television can learn about your business or services. Rather than customers using the internet to find your business and probably ending up on your customer’s website, you bring your business or service to potential customers with other traditional methods. However, with digital taking over with time, digital marketing is just an additional channel of marketing for marketers. The full-fledged effects of digital marketing are yet to be seen.

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

Ganesh Gupta: 

  • ShipServce – B2B Social Media Success: ShipServce is a leading e-marketplace in the maritime industry providing designed to enable efficient global shipping. Impersonal Software Company limited marketing budget, using ecommerce as a shipping solution among traditional customers and customer base not early technology adopters were some of their challenges in 2008. A 360° strategy of markmarketing-friendlytal, engaging & insightful blog content, lead scoring, valuable industry focused white papers & SEO lead to jump in traffic, leads and sales. Break-even on the $30,000 social marketing media investment was achieved in three months as compared to $150,000 investment through traditional media.
  • GE – The Message: GE has invested a lot in brand story telling with their new investment in a project called ‘The Message’, which is a serialized podcast of science fiction based on technology and aliens. Developing an interesting story had more emphasis than tying their product. Their podcast is also not a gimmick and is a genuine fiction story. Knowing that emotional content attract more than genuinely rational content hence their podcast is a emotional content, according to some studies. In the phase where ‘Content is King’ the aim is to create a content that connects with your target audience as well a lays emphasis on the genuineness and uniqueness of your product.

Audience loves suspense and will be more interested to buy the product if they are investing in a series of stories with a connected link and in the end finding the suspense and also enjoying the product.

  • Hotmail – PS, I Love You: In 1996, 80 percent of the users on Hotmail were generated through friend referrals. An idea of putting a message after every email was passed– ‘PS: I love you. Get your free e-mail at Hotmail’. The impact was very huge and instant. Within 6 months, they achieved the one million mark and reached 2 million after the successive five weeks. After 18 months of their inception, when the internet had 70 million users, Hotmail had a registered count of 12 million users. Later, Microsoft acquired the company for USD 400 million.

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

Ganesh Gupta: 

  • Digital marketing and traditional marketing teams frequently operate as two separate entities:

Just as the company cannot grow with siloed departments, a company also won’t be able to succeed if the digital marketing and the traditional marketing team work as different entities. This leads to one entity disregarding the other one and also huge losses on budget.

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  • Brands produce content only for having content rather than offering relevant communication that speaks to customers’ specific interests: 

Most brand are of the misconception to post too much of content across the various channels. Digital Marketers understand that the customer interactions take place across all touch points, leading them to believe that they must provide a stream of content irrespective of platform, because they believe that visibility will result in engagement whereas in reality, this strategy just diminishes interest.

  • Digital marketers implement marketing campaigns simply because they can:

Many times digital marketers create programs just because they can and even when they are not necessary. They may create loyalty programs even when they aren’t in a position to provide loyalty incentives. They collect customer information but fail to provide the necessary services.

  • Investing only in the technology, but not the resources that drive success:

While many leaders have agreed to the fact that Digital marketing requires a lot of special attention and they invest a lot on new technology but fail to invest upon the resources. Companies often put their management responsibilities on their already pre-occupied employees, setting the initiative up for failure from the onset.

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

Ganesh Gupta:  A lot of it depends of the business requirements and companies look at customer acquisition. If you are a B2B traditional business using social media only for branding, hiring an expert agency would make sense however If you are a tech or ecommerce company, it would be more apt to have an in-house marketing team as most of the leads & customers are acquired digitally.

Personally, I would prefer to have an in-house talent to a digital marketing agency. Companies that depend on in-house talent are able to analyze data more efficiently, optimize campaigns quickly and scale things faster as compared to agency-dependent companies. Not only this, a full time resource is more committed, understands brand essence, can immerse in the company ethos 24/7 and have emotional quotient with the business needs. In the long turn, an in-house team has a much easier job sharing this emotional connection with the customers through content marketing & branding.

How do you ensure increasing Digital Marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?

Ganesh Gupta:  One of the latest trends is to harness the online power of employee and integrate it in your social media. In the digital age, relationships are the new currency and a successful social media strategy can be delivered by making your employees as company brand ambassadors. This personal approach to brand communication is highly successful. Gaining trust, implementing innovative ideas & positioning yourself, as a leader will ensure your professional influence in the organization.

Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?

Ganesh Gupta:  

  • Google Analytics
  • Similar Web
  • Lead Forensics
  • Click Tale
  • SEM Rush

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

Ganesh Gupta:  

  1. For Entrepreneurs: Most of the new-age entrepreneurs are tech savvy and hence embracing digital is going to be the first step for their business. It allows them to get valuable information of their customer behavior, ensures global business outreach, increased branding and propelled sales.
  2. For Professionals: Defined marketing campaigns with clear defined goals will help to deliver high ROI and bring in more business to the door.
  3. For Students: Aspiring MBA & Marketing candidates can opt for digital marketing career, as it is fast evolving and a lucrative option in the marketing world. Since, social media is an effective way of engaging your consumers; more brands are using it as a common platform for communication, advertising & driving in transactions. Vibrant startup & tech ecosystem has spelled out the demand of highly qualified digital marketing professionals and hence a career in digital marketing will lead you towards the ladder of success.

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

Ganesh Gupta:  

  • Good Story Teller
  • Understanding of Brevity
  • A Mix of Creativity & Analytical Abilities
  • Flexibility to Change & Adapt
  • Hunger to Learn & Keep Up to Date

What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?

Ganesh Gupta:  

  • Learn: Subscribe to marketing blogs and digital magazine right away to understand digital marketing concepts one-by-one. Prepare a content calendar that suits your interests and schedule. Watch TED Talks, Youtubers and follow prominent marketers such as Guy Kawasaki, Jeff Bullas, Niel Patel on twitter, LinkedIn and their personal blog.
  • Experiment: Take advantage of the ‘FREE TRIAL’ option offered by many marketing software’s to gain firsthand experience of the marketing tools and analytics they provide.
  • Document: Start your own wordpress blog or website to document and share your first hand experience with the digital marketing world. Research and write a blog of 500 words on any digital marketing topics. With time, you will learn faster and would have enough insights about the industry.

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?

Ganesh Gupta: I use Pocket app that easily aggregates all digital marketing stories, trends & updates at one place and sends me push notifications for important industry updates. Prominent blogs that I follow everyday are Social Media Examiner, Marketing Land, KissMetrics, Afaqs, Content Marketing Institute & the Moz Blog.

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

Ganesh Gupta:

  • Guy Kawasaki – Apple Evangelist, Angel Investor, Social Media Marketer 
  • Niel Patel–Entrepreneur, Blogger, Marketer Analyst and Sales Guru
  • Jeff Bullas – Social Media Marketing Blogger, Keynote Speaker and Digital Strategist
  • Rand Fishkin – SEO Expert, Founder of MOZ

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

Ganesh Gupta:

  • Prepare for wearable technology: With wearable technology like smart watches and connected devices, digital marketers will have to find creative ways to engage with customers. The biggest opportunity here is leveraging all this new technology to provide a better customer experience.
  • Make Mobile a priority: Mobile technology in itself is a significant disruptor as it provides great insights and innovative opportunities to engage with users hence a lot of action is expected in improvising the infrastructure and understanding to be able to make the right inferences from that data.
  • Using the Power of Influencers: Influencer & Blogger Marketing will take a centre stage in most of the marketing campaigns as the ROI of an influencer marketing campaign is very huge compared to the conventional marketing or digital marketing campaign. Apart from transactions and driving in engagements, influencer marketing campaign builds trust and ensures brand loyalty among users.

Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

Ganesh Gupta: 

Being a first mover in the training space, Digital Vidya is one of the best digital marketing training companies I have come across. The course content is easy to learn and the trainers are drawn from the best in the industry.

The curriculum has unique practical approach, which makes them different than other conventional institutes. Through their engaging blog & interactive web series, they bring in best insights from top leading brand managers & marketers from the corporate & startup world to their insiders.

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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