Archana Dhankar is a digital marketing specialist with over 10 years of progressive experience in digital marketing, interactive strategy and e-Commerce. Currently heading the digital marketing team at Dynistics and accomplished in creative development, website operations, enterprise platform management. She has worked with diverse start-up brands on their revenue gains and brand awareness through the intellectual use of digital media. A self-confessed Social Media Fanatic – who loves all things Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SEO, WordPress, Online Advertising, Lead Generation and love exploring more!
Besides this, she also has her expertise in Fashion styling and is a fashion blogger for many years now and she admits that digital marketing has helped in taking this blog to new heights and gain momentum to reach her goals.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?
Archana: I have in fact started my career as a digital marketing professional , I have always been interested in user psychology and behavioural patterns online, how they interact and apply things on the web. I was always drawn to these factors and digital tools. These two things are probably the key reasons I enjoy what I do, though some might say I have a natural instinct to understand user psychology but I believe it is all part of the experience and what you pick up over time in this industry. Another factor that really attracted me to digital marketing is the possibility to explore which you would not find as much in any other platform and reach the maximum number of your target audience.
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?
Archana: I believe at the core there isn’t much difference between traditional marketing and digital marketing as the buyer or the user of the brand remains to be the same. It is just another medium to reach the target customer and it’s truly done on the basis of the research and the amount of time spent by your user on each platform. I feel gradually the gap between these two will reduce over time as more and more marketers start to see that digital marketing is an integral part of all user buying cycles. Digital marketing is not a threat but is a new component of marketing which is very similar to computer technology, which is only a few years old. As the penetration of mobile grows along with the internet, we will see the acceptance and importance of digital marketing to increase by leaps and bounds.
Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
Archana: I have worked with various brands both B2C and B2B in my career and have been part of many brand names and start-up launches and re-branding campaigns. My biggest learnings from all these campaigns I have been part of is that for anything to happen right the most important ingredient is the vision and strategic approach to achieve it. It is good to have short term goals but for any business to be a success it needs to have a clear long term vision and goal which then becomes the essence of all marketing campaigns. Another important factor is to always keep in mind is to make sure the brand identity is intact through a consistent design and messaging in the digital sphere as well.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- Ignoring the Power of Content – It’s rightly said that the content is the king and the greatest tool for any marketer to make their campaign successful and get the maximum number of eyeballs. Whether SEO or PR, it all begins with the content, if you have the right content it will always work in your favour. Often some companies invest on huge campaigns but ignore the quality of the content which backfires.
- Short Winded Approach with Email Marketing – Email marketing has come a long way from the initial approach of sending an email to thousands of people and waiting for a response. It’s time for companies to break away from it and try a more innovative approach. Today it’s important to utilise this tool in a much more personalised manner in order to build that connection with your potential client. One must target the right content to people instead of spamming them with messages; it’s not the number of contacts but the number of highly engaged people in your email base that matters.
- Missing on leveraging the power of social media– Social media has evolved to become a powerful digital tool to get your brand message across to people. However it is called social media for a reason, you have to be social and interactive if you want to harness the power of social media, it takes time and it takes effort and if you are simply posting out messages and not interacting with people out there then consider it to be a wasted effort. If social media is in your digital marketing plan make sure you take the right approach and it can do wonders for your brand.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Archana: I like the analogy here of having your cake and eating it too.
The best approach would be a blended one where you keep some part of the digital marketing in house and get the expertise of the agency to help grow the business with more skilled approach. So I would say it’s important to balance your marketing plans because even though you would need an agency for their expertise, approach and reach, it’s always also good to have somebody in-house too who can take up the responsibility of execution.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
Archana: Some of my favourite digital marketing tools are Google Analytics because it gives you all the necessary insights on what users are doing on the website; they have both enterprise version for bigger business and a free tool for smaller start-ups. Keyword Research tool in Google AdWords to help with competitive intelligence and search the ongoing trends in the industry and Radian6 now part of Exact Target which is a very interesting tool to Monitor Social Media Performance and Brand Visibility.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs without much marketing experience operate under the misconception and have unrealistic expectations that every digital marketing campaign should immediately go viral. In today’s internet age, it’s important for entrepreneurs to be well aware of digital marketing to increase their brand visibility, user acquisition and customer maintenance and to learn how to get the most out of their digital marketing investment. This will help them be clear of the goals on how to market their brands with less wasted resources.
- For Professionals and Students who are our future professionals: As we know in today’s time digital marketing is the integral part of a company’s marketing strategy and it’s important to be well versed with the basic fundamentals of the subject in order to be integrated and get the most out of it. It will also help you understand and measure your revenues by knowing your online customers well and if you’re not allocating enough resources to digital marketing then there are high chances that your competitors will take over.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
Archana: The top skills I look for in a candidate are Self Starter, Willing to Learn & Grow, Analytical Mind Frame and a proactive approach – these skills are very important for any digital marketer, the landscape in this function changes all the time every day with new trends, tools and apps coming out and a digital marketer needs to be on top of the new changes, tools and trends. One needs to be analytical to analyse their own work and learn from it but also be able to implement what works for them from various successful case studies.
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
This is an exciting time to be in the digital marketing industry as the power of the internet is at its peak now and if you are passionate about this I am sure you will succeed.
My advice would be to start your career learn about all the elements of Digital marketing but definitely be a specialist of one rather than being a jack of all trades and last but not least keep yourself updated as it’s the only industry which is evolving every single day and you will not want to miss out onnew trends, apps and introductions in 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?
Archana: I have my certain favourite places where I go to in order to learn and keep myself updated of new happenings in the industry. I regularly follow CMO.com and Marketing Week to stay at the top of my game and understand the new marketing and digital trends. I also read Google Blogs as well on new updates they make to PPC and Search Algorithm. Besides this I also browse other relevant portals so that I don’t miss out on anything, I am pretty competitive that way.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
Archana: I really appreciate Mr. Dan Kennedy’s work and his timeless marketing strategies that are working absolutely perfect in this digital age. The facebook CEO- Mark Zuckerberg has taught us to not just market your product but inspire, today our newsfeed is a personalised digital space. Avinash Kaushik’s books on web analytics are one of the popular books on online marketing that shows how to be the game changer and beat the competition.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?
Archana: The three trends we will see emerging in 2016 will be Video Ads and video Marketing. The Video Landscape is changing drastically and hence the communication channel will also change for people. I see these interactive mediums to be at the forefront and many brands leveraging the same. In 2016 Mobile will also totally dominate the digital space as all internet users are now on mobile and we are already witnessing the start of it as all major brands have introduced their apps for things that we do day to day, many industries like real estate, home shopping, insurance booking which still hasn’t caught the online wave, will now start to catch up with e-commerce trends.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
Archana: The platform you provide in a space where colleges and universities are still to recognize Digital marketing as a field of specialization is immense. In most of the places digital marketing is just one subject that one learns within MBA or marketing but is it enough for the student to understand all that this field has to offer, probably not.
I highly commend what you guys are doing in this space and believe it to be a great initiative. I think it’s a great portal to follow to keep your digital marketing knowledge up-to-date.
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 :).