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Interview With Lakshmanan (Lux) Narayan CEO & Co-Founder, Unmetric

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Lakshmanan (Lux) NarayanLakshmanan (Lux) Narayan‘s professional career is built on a foundation of both analytical and creative disciplines. After receiving a degree in mechanical engineering from IIT Madras and an MBA in Marketing from IIM Calcutta, he held various roles in advertising, media and entertainment. He went on to spend a greater part of the past 17 years at the helm of various startups. Unmetric, his most recent venture, dovetails analytical and creative thinking in many ways -from how they analyze data to the products they develop for marketers.

Digital Vidya: How did you get into Digital Marketing?

Lakshmanan:  During the dot com boom, I set up Lintas Middle East’s interactive division – something we called Linteractive. Thereafter, when I was at Vembu Technologies, a data backup software company, I was handling digital marketing among other things. At the time, we were one of the largest advertisers in India on Adwords. Managing that kind of budget helped me really focus on the company’s digital marketing work. During this time, social media was really taking off, but I was stumped as to how I could market such a niche B2B company on a social network like Facebook. I started by looking at the content other B2B brands were posting and recording what was working for them and in doing this the seeds for what became Unmetric were sown.

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

Lakshmanan: Peter Drucker once said: “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” Today, ‘digital’ is the de facto form of marketing and is how brands largely engage with existing and potential customers. Digital marketing budgets are increasing every year as brands seek the most efficient ways to market one-to-one with consumers at scale and track the impact their efforts have on business objectives. Research indicates that digital marketing spend is projected to outpace traditional marketing, and it’s important for entrepreneurs and marketers to stay on top of these industry shifts.

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

Lakshmanan: Digital marketing produces a lot of data. Whether you call it ‘big data’ or something else, how to manage and make data actually useful to a company is something we think about all the time at Unmetric. When it comes to digital marketing and measurement, some of the top mistakes that companies make include:

  • Not establishing objectives / goals before implementing specific marketing tactics.
  • Not accurately tracking metrics / not knowing which metrics to track (goes to objectives).
  • Not setting up proper attribution or understanding how digital marketing efforts bridge back to leads, sales and other business goals.
Digital Vidya: You led ‘Why You Should ROFL When Asked for Social Media ROI?’ Webinar for Digital Vidya’s community. How was your experience in leading the Webinar?

Lakshmanan: In the past, I had the opportunity to guest lecture in business courses at a couple of universities in Dubai. Today, running a fast-growing technology company leaves me less time to be able to teach formally, so I really enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity the Digital Vidya webinar gave me to share insights with the marketing community at large and pass on some of what I’ve learned over the years.

Digital Vidya: Please share top 5-7 takeaways from the Webinar you would like to share with our community.

Lakshmanan: The top 4 takeaways from the webinar were:

  1. You can’t attribute an ROI to a Like.
  2. You can use the traditional media attribution model where an increase in social media performance may equal an uplift in sales.
  3. Of course, calculating social media ROI for an eCommerce brand is far easier than calculating ROI on a consumer product that’s sold globally and through multiple channels.
  4. Look for other ways to show impact or other goals to achieve from social media beyond ROI.
Digital Vidya: Do you have any suggestions for us to further increase the value of our Digital Marketing Webinars for our community?

Lakshmanan: It was one of the more professionally run webinars I’ve had the pleasure of being part of, so no feedback right now.

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

Lakshmanan: Digital marketing is an essential skill in the modern marketing world.

Digital Vidya is doing a fantastic job of helping the whole marketing community learn skills that simply weren’t taught a few years ago at university and is filling a critical knowledge gap in India’s workforce.

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