It’s been more than a decade that Annkur Pandey has been associated with “digital dimension of marketing”. Annkur has been helping various startups/ brands/companies with digital marketing (strategy & execution). He has been fortunate to have worked with some really exciting companies and have had met some real good people (Mentors, friends etc.) along way.
His current responsibilities include helping aspiring technology startups find their fair share of market through growth hacks, community building and lead nurturing. All this backed by strategizing and executing an omnipresent digital marketing program.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?
Annkur: It completely happened by chance to me and now when I look back after 12 years, I can’t thank my destiny enough. I started off my career as selling freight management services in Mumbai and realized soon that it’s a misfit to my professional aspirations. So I left my job and moved back to Pune, a place where my prime time (college days) was spent. Whilst my search I stumbled upon a startup that was looking for an internet executive. Eventually I landed up with the job and that was the start of it all.
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?
Annkur: I feel both have their respective advantages and not “over” one another. “Human touch” still holds the key. An offline BTL activity in a mall would have longer impact than an online BTL campaign like EDM (email marketing). But on the other hand the cost of acquisition is far lesser thru a digital campaign as compared to conventional marketing (economies of scale). So both have their own pros & cons.
I personally don’t see digital marketing as a threat. Rather it complements conventional marketing. As it allows brands or advertisers to device a holistic campaign strategy to achieve the desired goal – branding, acquisition, referral etc.
Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
Annkur: It’s hard for me to name 3 as favorite as I have rather I do read and learn from all of them. Yet the recent one that I read was of “DROPBOX”. It reflects the must-have attitude of a founder of a bootstrapped startup. It taught me what not to do & when!
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
Annkur: There are many of them yet I feel inherently there are only two mistakes that every organization makes irrespective of their size, stature and stage:
- Believing digital marketing to be MAGIC – Being unrealistic and expecting great results in unrealistic timelines.
- Not believing in the MAGIC of digital marketing – Giving digital a step brotherly treatment in regards to – strategy, budgets and resources.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Annkur: Fortunately I have been on both sides of the table and could relate to this better. Both have their own importance. Hiring an agency can help in fulfilling short term requirements whereas hiring an in-house resource is more long term and strategic to management objective. Mostly “time in hand” is an important factor in deciding the better of the two options. In-house resource does helps in building efficient control, better project management &delegating capabilities.
I feel rather than being called an“Agency” they should be called as “project partners”. In reality that’s what they are. Often agencies are treated as some third party vendor. Seldom is an agency considered a part of the team have been on other side and I know how difficult is it to justify & get paid for a thankless job. It’s a tough job.Agencies too, I feel, should evaluate the deal based on the relationship value than on man hour costs. As with the latter the focus shifts from quality to quantity & that takes a toll on the relationship. Something that should be avoided.
Agencies too, I feel, should evaluate the deal based on the relationship value than on man hour costs. As with the latter the focus shifts from quality to quantity & that takes a toll on the relationship. Something that should be avoided.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
Annkur: These keep on changing with time and requirements. Yet Google analytics is my all-time favorite. Apart from this I also often use – Spyfu (for keyword research and competitive analysis) and MOAT (to see the ads creatives used by competition)
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
Annkur: Anything that helps people stay ahead on the curve is good. And today digital marketing is no more a should-have. It’s is like a norm. Irrespective of the stage of life one is (professionally) one needs to learn the techniques to stay in the game. Apart from the apparent benefits, knowing this domain helps in widening one’s horizon and working on larger possibilities.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
- Community Building skills
- Online Conflict handling ability
- Cost optimization skills
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
Annkur: This industry has seen exponential growth in the last decade and is bound to grow in disproportionate magnitude. The flip side to this is rise of unorganized resource management – Human, Capital etc.).
What one needs to be aware is of the choices that one makes in each stage of the career. Also, with everyone accessing at least two connected devices, it brings along immense opportunity to network and learn from each other. All of us should use this to our advantage to tackle at least one societal problem for betterment of people. At least one.
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?
Annkur: I don’t follow any particular website to consume news and trends. Mine is more topical and keyword driven. Twitter does helps me to stay abreast holistically across domain.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?
Annkur: Internet of (every) Thing will change the game in the next few decades. Even though this will bring about lot of opportunities for the digital ecosystem but the margin of error will become thinner.
Cybersecurity will see considerable surge as with so much of digital touch points being created between companies and customers that the need to considerably invest in security is an important consideration.I foresee healthcare and education sector leveraging technology to their advantage. This ecosystem would definitely see substantial pull at least in the developing economies like India.
I foresee healthcare and education sector leveraging technology to their advantage. This ecosystem would definitely see substantial pull at least in the developing economies like India.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
I have been following Digital Vidya since its inception and really commend the way its contributing in the domain growth. Be it educating people or helping brands create efficient workforce, Digital Vidya gets a big +1 from me. I wish you all success in your 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 :).