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Interview With Raghuram S, Founder, Director And CEO Of Aspect9 Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
Raghuram S is a seasoned business leader with nearly two decades of experience within the digital content and creative services domain across nearly seven industries; IT/ITeS being the predominant one. As the founder director at Aspect9 DIGITAL (a part of Aspect9 Consulting), Raghu helps businesses develop their digital content strategy to empower their inbound marketing channels.
Raghu started his career as a web designer in 1996 and rapidly grew to handle larger and wider responsibilities. One of his notable contributions in the dotcom era included leading the visual design and user interaction development teams on one of India’s earliest B2C portals called Planetcustomer.com way back in 2001. In 2003, Raghu designed the content architecture and built the website for one of India’s leading, award winning advertising agency’s direct marketing division.
He thereafter moved on to handle various management roles on the business development as well as the delivery sides of a variety of businesses servicing Indian as well as US based fortune 500 clients such as ADP, Microsoft, Deutsche Bank, Intuit, HP and EDS. In his previous assignment, Raghu managed delivery on a USD 6 Mil plus digital services portfolio, servicing some of the leading media and entertainment brands in the US.
Having donned multiple hats across a variety of organizations ranging from start-ups to large corporations (such as Datamatics, Convergys and Fidelity Investments); Raghu brings a rare mix of adaptability, agility, lateral thinking and customer centricity while solving complex business problems.
He believes that timely, accurate and measured messaging to the right audience is at the heart of getting awesome results.
Digital Vidya: How did you get into Digital Marketing?
Raghuram: I began my career as a graphic designer with the multimedia department of an advertising agency in Mumbai, in 1996. That was my first exposure to how content is used ‘on-line’ (now referred to as ‘digital’) for marketing.
As a ‘Web Consultant’ with Datamatics Ltd., I got deeper into the digital marketing space in 1998 as I was entrusted with the responsibility of building various digital collateral to support out bound marketing and sales teams. I also built the Datamatics.com website, the intranet site and maintained these digital assets till 2000.
Digital Vidya: Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
Raghuram: My 4 years old daughter today learns Maths, Science, geography and a ton of other things on YouTube. The cab driver the other day was streaming music from a popular digital music channel. My mother has figured out that staying up-to-date with my life is just 2 clicks away (by becoming my Facebook ‘friend’); which is way easier than trying to get hold of me on the phone.
‘Digital’ is so closely ingrained into our day-to-day lives that thinking digital when it comes to marketing is just a natural extension of how we live in society today.
Digital Vidya: According to you, what are the top mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
Raghuram: Here are the top mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing:
- Several organizations still want to get hold of the coolest tool or technique that can give them the ‘secret formula’ to online lead generation. They tend to frequently overlook the fact that it is the artist that paints the master piece and not the brush that he holds. i.e. while tools are necessary, not getting the right person for the job is a blunder often committed…and this is true to not just digital marketing.
- Some companies are very risk averse and tend to follow popular trends, and yet expect awesome results. Unlike traditional marketing methods (that are relatively expensive), digital marketing strategies can be executed in stealth mode or can be confined to small market segments on an experimental basis for starters. The risk of loss of reputation or money or anything else can thus be curtailed significantly.
- Not being patient and perseverant enough is also an issue that I commonly notice. Since there is generally a coolness quotient associated with being ‘Digital’, a lot of businesses seek a ‘quick’ digital support system to their ongoing marketing and sales efforts and expect to see ascending bar charts in their quarterly earnings reports. And when things don’t go the desired way, many are in a hurry to change course or even reject the ‘Digital’ approach.
Digital Vidya: You led ‘How to develop a content strategy to turbocharge your Inbound Marketing’ Webinar for Digital Vidya’s community. How was your experience in leading the Webinar?
Raghuram: For starters, it was amazing to see so many registrations. That by itself is a testimony to the fact that digital marketing is here to stay. The number and quality of questions at the end of the session eluded me to believe that we had a bunch of really committed and enthusiastic folks.
It is always a pleasure to engage with the community, build your own network and learn in the process and I’m glad to have experienced all this via the webinar.
Digital Vidya: Please share top 5-7 takeaways from the Webinar you would like to share with our community.
Raghuram: Here are a few takeaways from the webinar that I value:
- A great way to stay up-to-date with industry trends.
- An awesome forum for exchanging innovative ideas.
- An easy and zero cost way of getting to know some of the best minds in the digital business.
- The LIVE experience is better than catching-up with the recording at a later date.
- People are hungry for more knowledge in the field of digital marketing.
Digital Vidya: Do you have any suggestions for us to further increase the value of our Digital Marketing Webinars for our community?
Raghuram: It would be cool if you could build a forum on your Digital Vidya platform wherein participants could continue to engage in Q & A with the webinar leaders, for a few weeks / months post the webinar.
Digital Vidya: Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
I think you guys are on top of your game, which is evident with the quality of subscribers you get for your webinars and the clientele you have.