Shivkant Singh is a Digital Marketing enthusiast. Over the past 14 years, he has been involved with various Industry verticals in different roles as a Lead generation specialist, Marketing Communications Specialist and Marketing automation Specialist. He has been associated with Digital Marketing industry since 2007 and was part of pilot team at Iyogi Technical Services (A Digital marketing Success stories). He Co-founded Lux Routes Holidays (An Inbound tourism company) in 2010 and Headed the Digital Marketing Operation and Customer Acquisition for the company. The company generated revenue of 2.5 Cr from Digital Sources in its second year of inception.
Shivkant is Google Adwords & Google Analytics Certified and in his current role, he Heads the Digital Marketing efforts of Bajaj Capital Group. In his previous endeavour with Digital Vidya, he has been instrumental in shaping up end-to-end digital business model. He has given consultancy to some of the big brands like GE & Centum Learning (An Airtel Division).
He is Graduate from JNU, Delhi. He has been instrumental in designing and streamlining end-to-end customer acquisition process (Lead Generation, Lead life cycle, Lead Nurturing and Customer acquisition). His passion for the medium has led him to believe that Internet connectivity would be more required then the water supply in coming years.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?
Shivkant: I started my career with call center industry, and then moved to Business Research. While I was working with IQ Resource, founders of the company were toying with the idea of starting an offshore technical support company Iyogi Technical Services. Iyogi was founded in the year 2007 with an idea of giving free technical support from India to the readers of some of the magazines like “Computer Active”. That idea did not work. Somehow the idea came to reach out to customers directly in the US who are looking for the technical support, and the means chosen to establish the reach was Google. That was the first time I got to know about “Google Adwords”. I got the chance to work with the SEM team and learned my ABC of Digital Marketing. The campaign was a big success and in the very first month huge number of calls generated, and that kept on growing. Success of the project and Digital Marketing inspired me and gave me the passion to learn more and more about the medium.
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?
Shivkant: I may be completely biased on it, however, I feel longevity and adaptability is the greatest advantages of traditional marketing. People are very much accustomed with the ads in TV, magazine, newspaper, and on billboards and with some localization the communication reaches to the lowest level of hierarchy. But, the biggest disadvantage of traditional medium is measurability and that is one of the biggest advantage of Digital Medium. However, Both Traditional and Digital Medium share the same goals, i.eattracting qualified leads and building brand, and with some modified practices both can complement each other to achieve the best possible results. Like leads generated through BTL (Below the Line) activities can be put in the lead nurturing table, so that he can receive continued communication and gets converted over a period of time.
Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
Shivkant: Internet is flooded with various case studies and success stories of varies companies using or started using Digital Marketing and it is very difficult to choose among them however I would like to mention the success of “Iyogi Technical Services” , which altered my life. In the year 2007 when entire world was looking at emergence of Digital World, they came up with the Idea of offshore technical Support for USA. After lot of slips, they chose Google Adwords to generate there leads, and rest is the history. It hardly took them 2 years to growfrom a 35 people team to a company with employee strength of 5000. Now they have received various rounds of funding and are successfully running their business providing technical support all over the world from India.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- Underestimating or Overestimating the medium: This is one of the most common mistakes I have observed whether it is a new company or a startup. Most of the times when we try to communicate our message we rely on the technology and neglect the content and vice-versa, which is why often the communication fails even with a great product being pitched. Second, at times people mistake there social media engagement with their lead generation, please be corrected, engagement on social media do not give any guarantee to increase your lead generation, but yes it will certainly help you to improve you customer satisfaction rate.
- Not Measuring Results or Not Benchmarking the Results: One of the greatest advantages of Digital Marketing is of being completely measurable. Every visit, every click and every action can be measured but still we either fail with tracking of the results or do not measure it at all. Another mistake we commit is not benchmarking the results. So, even if we have tracked and measured the results if we are not benchmarking, it will be very difficult to get optimized results.
- Not Understanding the Value of audience aggregation: This mistake I have seen mostly in bigger organizations because of complexities involved in aggregating the database. But somehow, we will have to do it, because this is where we are going to get our future leads after nurturing them.
Between Agencies and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Shivkant: It completely depends on what kind of Digital Marketing approach you have, and at the stage of digital marketing is running. In my opinion, if you are new to it and just entering in to it you should rely on the expertise of a good Digital marketing agency; this can save you a lot of time, energy and money. If you have done some level of digital marketing and want to expand you should take the approach of building the team in-house, this will give you complete control over the projects and the campaigns you want to run.
The approach which is working best for us is blended approach. We are using it for some time now and it is working good for us. In this we have outsourced some part of Digital Marketing Like Social Media and SEO to the agency and we have a full fledge team which looks after Lead Generation, Online Branding, Lead Nurturing and other parts. This gives us complete control and speed on all the parts of DM. This approach works good but one has to be very cautioned with the KPI’s and KRA’s of both the group.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
Shivkant: My favorite tools are Google Adwords, Google Analytics and Mailchimp.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: The Entire world is changing from Analog to Digital. Out of 7.75 Billion people digital has already reached to 2.5 Billion people. It is the best and the most cost effective way of reaching out to your customers. Emergence of number of e-commerce companies in amazingly short amount of time tells the effectiveness and the reach of the medium. In today’s world no business can afford to look other way.
- For Professionals: Digital Marketing Skill sets are in serious demand. Brands are focusing on Digital Marketing like never before. As per IAMAI and BCG Internet Economy will grow to 4% of the GDP by 2020. This will create approximately 15-20 lakhs new jobs by 2018. This is a huge opportunity for professionals to upgrade
- For Students: According to Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2013-2017* report by PwC, Digital Marketing Industry is worth $100 billion and is predicted to 185.4 Billion by year 2017. This Gives a huge opportunity for the new comers in the industry. I believe working in Digital Marketing is more fun than the work.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
- Passion for Digital Marketing
- Willingness to Learn New Things
- Digital Marketing Skills
- Adaptability to technology
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
Shivkant: People looking for a career in Digital Marketing, this is the best time to enter. Digital Marketing is a vast domain with variety of areas and segments like, Social Media, SEO, SEM, Email Marketing, Content Marketing and much more. To get in to Digital Marketing specialization in one segment along with sound knowledge of other sub domains is the need of the hour.
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?
Shivkant: I follow some of Digital Marketing opinion makers on Social Media. On Twitter, I follow @Hubspot, @wordstreem, @growthhackers, @socialmedia2day regularly to satisfy my new information appetite.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
There are a lot of people in Digital Marketing who can be admired, but in my Life I really respect Pradeep Chopra & Kapil Nakra I give them the credit for shaping up my understanding of Digital Marketing.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?
Shivkant: People Say Digital Media is Future, but I think Digital is present. In my opinion some of the experiences our Kids may never have like, folding down the corner of a book, renting a movie or leafing through the classified section of the newspaper. The Next generation will have a richer media experience than any other.
In the process of evolution 3 most important thing which will happen eventually are:
- Focus will shift to more on small screens.
- Importance of Building of Optin Audience will increase.
- Movement towards automation of different process will be faster.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
I consider myself privileged to have been part of Team Digital Vidya. It is great to see that the Idea of Digital Vidya is spreading day by day and touching great heights. I would like to congratulate the Team for the effort they are putting to spread the message. Since I have been part of the Team I know how much effort you guys put to give the real value to each and every participant. I would like to thank Pradeep and Kapil and the entire Team of Digital Vidya for the kind of service they are doing for the industry.
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 :).