Ashug Arora is currently designated as the Digital Marketing Head at Finlace Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
We are living in an age of digitization where the internet rules almost all aspects of our lives. In this scenario, digital marketing has also gained increasing prominence and now forms a predominant part of any business. The importance of marketing for a business has always been vital and is a salient factor in either making or breaking a business. In this brutal rat race where everybody is leaving no stone unturned to make it to the top, digital marketing aids businesses and brands to attain an influential position and high visibility, even if online. Hence digital marketing strategies when implemented in the right manner can help businesses accomplish triumphant position, helping them fare much better than conventional marketing strategies.
In the current scenario, digital marketing has a lot of importance and relevance. All you need is creativity and out of the box ideas which along with some unique content can work wonders for your business venture. If you have these tricks up your sleeves, you can actually become unbeatable in the digital marketing arena. Moreover, digital marketing can also help you reduce costs while giving you good results which can be easily measured. Digital marketing also has many other advantages over conventional marketing that has made it a favoured choice of businessmen and marketers to project their businesses to the public.
Digital marketing is a cost effective affair for it is very inexpensive when compared to the conventional marketing techniques. Advertising your product online requires less money and time than putting up billboard signs. And since almost everybody has access to the internet, the product can reach greater masses in short time. Social media websites play a crucial role in helping you market your business to a larger audience at once. The only thing you need to take care of is using the right keywords and unique content. Moreover, digital marketing also reduces manpower requirement as one person can handle a big chunk of online work with greater ease. You can thus save up on costs here as well. Another benefit of digital marketing in the present scenario is that it can be easily and accurately measured for most of it is electronically managed. This gives you accurate data on the performance of your business and pitfalls can be identified easily. Also, digital marketing requires less logistics, hence saving on travel time. This makes digital marketing highly desirable and sought after in the current scenario.
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?
Ashug: Marketing any business is important for its success. But over the years the marketing trends have shifted significantly and are still growing. Moreover, access to smart phones has given easy access to digital media making digital marketing easier for marketers. But with the rising popularity of digital marketing, one question still lingers, especially amongst smaller businesses: which is better- digital marketing or conventional marketing?
While the digital marketing methods can work to increase a company’s audience and clients, completely doing away with the conventional marketing methods can prove to be fatal for a company for this segment of market, even though old, is still important. Conventional marketing methods have proven success rates. Instead of going to search for your business venture online where there are chances of your prospective client landing up on your rival’s page, old school mediums like newspapers, billboards, radio or television can spread the word about your business or product. Print advertisements and other conventional methods or marketing are still trending in the marketing arena. Also, because this marketing strategy has been in practice for a long time, people are accustomed to conventional marketing strategies and understand it better than digital marketing. Despite the advent of digitization, people still tend to read newspapers, billboards, posters, etc.
But then again, like all other things, conventional marketing also has some disadvantages when compared to digital marketing, some of which include escalated costs, problem of measuring impact and most importantly it restricts interaction with the target audience.Over the time, as things have become more digitized, digital marketing has taken over the marketing sector with
Over the time, as things have become more digitized, digital marketing has taken over the marketing sector with storm. Every little task of our lives is becoming digitized, be it banking transactions, reading, and writing. Even newspapers and magazine have gone digital. Hence this rise in digitization of various mediums is making businesses invest in digital marketing. It has become imperative for business to create websites to enlarge their consumer and customer base. So keeping in mind the present scenario digital marketing has become more important than conventional marketing to keep up with the pace of new marketing techniques.
Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
Ashug: Digital marketing campaigns have been order of the day for the new marketers. For some, it has been a great success story to tell while others have learnt and improved as the time moves on. Here are three top digital marketing campaigns, the ones I have personally found innovative and purposeful at the same time.
- 2008 Presidential Campaign (Barak Obama)
‘Yes We Can’- when you hear or read these three words, you easily memorize of the image of American President Barak Obama. You would be surprised to know that just one year ago before contesting for presidential position, Obama had only 10% brand recognition being only one-term senator. But in just 18 months, he was able to raise the biggest amount of money as compared to any other presidential candidate. He finally won the seat of 44th President of the United States of America.
So how did he manage to do all of this? The answer is simple- It was a well executed digital marketing campaign. Well, one of the earliest which Barak Obama smartly recognized as an opportunity keeping everyone surprised. The campaign became talk of the town and surfaced on YouTube with more than 20 million views. Also, at that time the campaign FB page won as many as 2.5 million fans. Today, social media has become a crucial part of elections worldwide but this was the beginning for sure!
- Dove: Campaign for Real Beauty
They say ‘beauty lies in the eyes of beholder’. With Dove: Campaign for Real Beauty, took this notion to another level. Very few cosmetic/soap companies are seen delivering a message like this. The campaign had its roots in places like London and Canada where people were asked to vote for women in pictures. Like Presidential Campaign for Barak Obama, this was again a campaign that started at a time when people were gaining a liking towards social media platforms. People who liked the campaign were found saying/commenting that for the very first time truth and advertising has joined hands in a beautiful way. It did require guts to come up with a beauty campaign like that when most others are advocating skinny and shiny figures. Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty helped in sending a good message to society. Most importantly, this campaign helped so many women feel proud of their bodies. Kudos to such a campaign!
- Old Spice: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
This is third on my list of top three digital marketing campaigns. The campaign brought in sex appeal, humour and recognition for a long forgotten brand- Old Spice! A series of 180 real time videos were made under this campaign which generated great enthusiasm on YouTube and led to 107% rise in body wash sales just within 1 month of the launch of campaign. The learning point for a digital marketer in this campaign was that you need to engage with your audience- as much as you can! Also, it highlighted the need of content that is truly share-worthy while being targeted at the same time.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- In digital marketing, innovation is the key. But many organizations seem to overlook this important aspect. What they need to realize is that in order to bring their product or business into limelight, they will need to experiment with a lot of different ideas until one of them works out. So digital marketing is a constant game of hit and trial. It may not be necessary that if one idea worked for somebody, it might even work the same way for you. Also, ideas tend to go obsolete and the digital marketers need to keep coming up with something fresh each time. Also, many firms produce content just for the sake of it. They need to realize that their content should be engaging to the user. They also need to design content based on the needs of different social media platforms.
- Another mistake that digital marketers make is the underutilization of data. Digital marketing makes things easier by enabling measurement of different variants so that a firm can assess their performance and decide on a future course of action. But many firms don’t know how to make use of this data to their advantage which in turn leads to losses and under performance. I feel that the companies need to work on the proper measurement of their campaigns. This will give them a good insight as to the performance their campaigns and also their consumer base. When done correctly, this can really prove to be helpful in designing future campaigns.
- Many digital marketers don’t pay the attention planning deserves in digital marketing. To implement the most lucrative practices, things should be planned with a long term perspective. This is important for we see many organizations in today’s time who using up all their money in digital marketing and are still not getting the desired results. It is a good thing if companies have funding and investment but if this money is not utilized with careful planning, the metrics of digital marketing can easily go haywire. So it is important to realize the long term relevance of digital marketing.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Ashug: I feel that this debate between In-house and Agency is a never ending one and is purely based on the material and financial capacity of the concerned business. Before one decides which course of action to take, they should carefully analyze the different aspects of their business such as the type of industry, the cost involved, the extent of campaigns, etc. Both in-house and agency can have a role to play in helping your digital marketing.
There is no doubt that having an in-house team will give you a better grasp over the course of action and can concentrate better on the objectives and requirements of your business. A team dedicated to the task of managing digital marketing can be hired. But this requires time and effort and not to forget the extra expenses which also include the extra marketing budget and the expenditure that will be incurred on the skill set of resources. It is therefore a big decision and should be taken after proper analysis of your needs and strengths. And if the cost of an in-house team comes out to be much more than outsourcing, I suggest going with an agency is a better option.
Agencies have the advantage of expertise in the domain you are seeking help in as the agency will provide you with experts in the field of creative ideas, creative and unique content and also the power of media. Irrespective of your business size and function, you will easily be able to find an agency which can help you create effective campaigns. This way you can also save on the overhead expenses involved in hiring an in-house team. But then again, this option does not come without disadvantages. Since agencies hire more than one client, they cannot be there for you full time and their attention is divided which may result in decreased efficiency and effectiveness.There is also the option of utilizing a combination of both practices. Firms can combine the expertise of agencies with close and detailed understanding of the in-house team to produce the best results for the company. These options are purely requirement based and depending upon their needs as well as financial strengths, the companies can come to rational conclusion.
There is also the option of utilizing a combination of both practices. Firms can combine the expertise of agencies with close and detailed understanding of the in-house team to produce the best results for the company. These options are purely requirement based and depending upon their needs as well as financial strengths, the companies can come to rational conclusion.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
- Google Analytics & Omniture
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: Every entrepreneur wants to grow and expand his/her business and their consumer base. How will they excel their ventures if they are not well versed with the latest trends in the marketing business? Digital marketing will give the entrepreneurs an edge that will enable them to expand their customer base and business network, if required, even crossing geographical barriers. Through digital marketing strategies, they can also get an accurate feedback about how their product or services are faring and can help them discover new marketing channels. It is here that digital marketing becomes imperative for an entrepreneur. So an entrepreneur should have the knowledge of basic digital marketing tactics and techniques at least.
- For Professionals: Marketing has become increasingly dynamic as well as digitized. So any professional who is the marketing field has to know the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of digital marketing. Conventional marketing is gradually becoming a thing of the past and digital is the new dominant trend. So professionals who are either already in the field or looking to enter marketing have to well versed with all aspects of digital marketing. If they don’t, they will end up losing not only their customers and but will lag behind their counterparts and competitors, which can be lethal for one’s career in today’s fast-paced world.
- For Students: Considering the fast pace with which digital marketing is taking over, it is clear that in the future this will be sought after arena and more and more job will be created in this field. So naturally, this holds a great potential for generating new and better-paid employment opportunities for the youth presently pursuing academics. Organizations will also invest and expand their budgets. Realizing this importance, many colleges have already begun to incorporate some papers on digital marketing in their curriculum. So it seems like a good idea for students to learn the tricks of the trade early. This will widen their professional horizons later on.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
Ashug: There are some skills that a candidate requires irrespective of his/her job profile. They should be flexible and adaptive in nature, have confidence and positivity, good communication, the thirst for learning new things, and a healthy spirit for working with a team. As for skills specific to a digital marketing candidate, I feel they have a basic knowledge of the industry and different platforms and tools they are working in along with good analytical and cognitive abilities.
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
Ashug: Digital marketing is expanding and in the coming future this will generate a lot of opportunities for the young minds of the country. So for people who have just entered the field or plan to do so, I recommend them fall into the habit to reading and learning themselves as digital marketing has diverse options. Innovate and don’t be afraid to experiment. Let your ideas flow and try getting hands on experience. If possible try and gain experience in different digital marketing profiles such as social media, SEO, analytics, SEM, etc. This will give you better idea about your interest and help you decide on an option after which you can polish your knowledge and skills in that particular direction. Also, train your mind to be analytical and make the most out of it because digital marketing can be enjoyed when done right.
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?
Ashug: Staying updated is the mantra of Digital Marketing. Given below are some of Digital Marketing resources that are quite useful.
- Marketing Land: This blog features breaking news stories on daily basis especially the ones related to digital marketing industry. It is like one-stop news room for digital marketers.
- Kiss Metrics: This is second on my list and is quite a useful resource for checking out infographics that contain ongoing digital marketing trends, stats, tests and studies.
- Social Media Examiner: It helps in knowing social media platforms in a better way. With Social Media Examiner, you can get advice and help from social media experts. This helps you at the times of formulating a social media strategy which must be different for every platform. The resource features interviews, case studies and reviews which are quite helpful.
- Mashable: It is one of the frontrunners when it comes to internet resource. It offers digital content in real-time in various format. With Mashable , you can get usable digital marketing news on daily basis.
- eMarketer: This is another resource which provides helping hand to a digital marketer. It provides easy to read reports and charts. With eMarketer, you can subscribe for daily newsletter, reports and forecasts relating to digital marketing industry.
- HubSpot: This can be referred as an inbound digital marketing management service couples with analytics services. The company even has a mobile app of HubSpot for iOS and Android.
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite is another useful resource which helps in handling multiple accounts from one place. Also, it helps in scheduling and monitoring of posts on different social media platforms.
- Marketing Profs: If you are a serious learner then this resource is one to check out. Marketing Profs renders a number of resources for modern day digital marketers. It includes virtual courses and live conferences and free articles. It is a great place to learn tips and tricks of digital marketing.
- Google Trends: It helps you to know internet audience and current trends in a better way. Similarly, there are other useful resources like Simply learn, PPC hero, searchengineland, content marketing institute, adweek webinars etc.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
- Neil Patel: A Washington-based entrepreneur who is famed as analytics expert. His works in the field of digital marketing is inspiring to young marketers. His best-known works include Kissmetrics, Crazy Egg and Quick Sprout.
- Sandi Krakowski: She is best known as Facebook marketing expert and also writes for Entrepreneur online magazine.
- Matt Cutts: Who can miss to notice his impact as an online influencer and inspiration to thousands of digital marketers. He currently heads Google’s Webspam team.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?
Ashug: Digital marketing is undeniably the future of all marketing and it is scope of expansion is certain. And like anything else, when digital marketing grows, it will also become more complex. It is an ever changing territory where we will see something new appearing every now and then as there no limit to innovation in this area. In the coming days, digital market will enhance connectivity and more and more people will be seen resorting to online marketing, either through their smart phones or laptops. In fact, we can already see people shifting towards an increased usage of mobile phones, with virtually the world in their palms. Some trends that I feel will take over digital marketing by rage in 2016 are:
- mobile marketing
- mobile commerce
- digitization of events
- content marketing
- performance marketing
- video content (facebook video to overtake youtube)
- data driven marketing
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
I would like to congratulate Digital Vidya for providing the sphere of digital marketing a more determining facet. It is a great platform for those who want to learn all aspects of digital marketing providing them guidance and assistance in a very engineered manner. Even the marketing techniques used by Digital Vidya are commendable, right from SEO and SEM to content marketing. You are surely playing a crucial part in adding value to the digital marketing arena.
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 :).