Tejas Krishna leads the social and digital media team of a renowned marketing communications agency. Apart from work he loves writing blogs, is a community builder and they call him ‘The Social Guy’.
Digital Marketing is his bread and butter, and is closely weaved into almost everything Tejas does. At work it’s about bringing in fresh thoughts and new ideas, deciding the correct mix and getting the best results for his clients. For his blog and online influence, it’s all about creating experiences, sharing information that’s useful and build connect with his audience.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?
Tejas: The journey has been interesting. I started off with creating marketing content (primarily text) for businesses. Writing blogs on Social Media, SEO, Sales and Marketing got me into a lot of reading eventually making me develop deep interest for the industry. I have been experimenting with various forms of content (text, short videos, GIFs, snap stories, periscope streaming’s); campaigns, ads, emails, search rankings and still hungry for more
What’s exciting is the dynamic nature of this industry; you learn something new, apply it for a business, get success and add value. The satisfaction that it brings is supreme.
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?
Tejas: Conventional marketing has got wide outreach that’s the only advantage I could think of when we compare conventional and digital marketing.
The bottom-line is “If your content is engaging enough, you will rock on any platform.”
The first billion of internet users was reached in 2005, the second billion in 2010, the third billion in 2014. The rate at which internet and smartphone penetration is increasing, I totally believe that by the next decade Digital Marketing will hold more potential and value than conventional forms of marketing. If you look at the current search patterns, and consumer behavior, 90% of today’s consumer does online research before making a purchase decision and about 40% of Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook users have purchased something after watching and sharing it.
Who knows, probably our smart TVs and digital devices of the future will also have in built ads mechanism and will show us ads based on the channels that we browse, the ones on which we spend most amount of time, based on the food products we consume more frequently from our refrigerators and more. That would be some cool marketing.
Share about your 3 favorite Integrated Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
- Xerox created a targeted “Get Optimistic” campaign to connect with 30 top accounts and partnered with Forbes to create a magazine that offered relevant business tips. 70% of targeted companies interacted with the microsite, generated 1,000+ scheduled appointments, added 20,000 new contacts, readership increased 300-400% over previous email campaigns, and get this: yielded $1.3 BILLION in pipeline revenue.
- Flipkart, I think in India they are one of the most forward thinking companies when it comes to digital marketing, they do it all and they are present everywhere you go, print emails, newspaper, radio, mobile, influencer outreach, blogger engagements, Facebook ads, search ads, social apps, engaging campaigns and much more. I love all of what they do. Just follow their Facebook timeline and you will get a hang.
- HubSpot focused social media on solving customers’ problems as a way to earn leads. For example, HubSpot is first to release guidebooks their target market needs to create success. When something changes in online marketing, HubSpot is there with a guide to manage the change. They share the best advice, fast and have earned a reputation as the educational resource for the market they serve. They give knowledge and advice (content) away free and make sure it’s the very best stuff possible. This (now) famous software start-up exploded onto the scene in 2006. Two years later they hit $2.2 million in sales and $52 million 4 years later.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- Acting in Silos: Integration of your marketing elements have become really crucial in today’s scenario. Consumer’s today are data grazers and to get something registered in their minds and influence a purchase decision has become tough. You need to be where your consumers are trying to find you, engage and create interest to push them down the marketing funnel.You need to understand your audience well, know what platforms they use the most, keep a tab on current trends (Viber Public Chats, Snapchat Stories, Videos and Influencer marketing are big in 2016), bring your strongest network to its best use and just formulate all of this well.
- Blurred Goals: Today if you ask a bakery shop owner or even a flower seller, all of them want to be on social and digital media. But when you ask them why they want to be there, most of them don’t have a clear answer. Similar is with even most of the corporates and large companies, most of them don’t have a clear answer as to why they should be doing digital marketing and if they have a slight know-how, many of them don’t know how to link it back to their core business objective.
- Nature of platforms: Digital Marketing is a vast ocean and you need to pick shells (platforms) according to your choices and business objectives. Say if you want more leads for your business, you should probably run targeted Google ads and create rocking deals and offers that your consumers will be interested into. If you want to link digital to brand building, you should focus on creating experiences.Social media’s core nature is to make real personal connections, and as a brand you need to create stories that stand out from the clutter and establish that connect. So understanding the nature of the platform and leveraging it to the fullest is what majority of the companies are lacking.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Tejas: I hope you would have paid attention to your chemistry lecturer back at school coz, you need to formulate the right mixture and composition for this one. I would say this largely depends upon the size and vertical of a business entity.The decision of working with an agency or hiring an in-house resource can be made accordingly.
If you have the time and resources to understand the digital marketing beast, then take the in-house approach. If your business is huge and you want to focus on core elements rather than experimenting with something new which changes every day, a good choice would be to leave it to the experts.
In my experience, I have seen companies using a mix of both the routes, they have in-house people who keep the basic elements in place and at the same time they work with agencies for campaigns, contests, influencer or blogger outreach and more.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
- Infusionsoft for e-mail marketing, it includes products to streamline the customer lifecycle, customer relationship management, marketing automation, lead capture and more.
- Google Analytics for mapping overall website performance, although Google Analytics Premium comes with a huge list of additional features like BigQuery Integration for Clickstream Data, Google Drive Integration, Adwords Integration, DoubleClick for Advertisers Integration etc. the basic free version is a great tool and can deliver great insights for your business to rock.
- Social media tools by Simply Measured: Simply Measured has a lot of free tools for analyzing social media pages and their performances. They give really cool graphs and in-depth metrics, go for the downloadable excel format and you can pivot it to know so much more.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: If you have a business, you will need consumers. And to attract consumers to your business and make them aware that you exist, you will need a medium to communicate the same. What better than the digital, social one in today’s digitally connected world.
- For Professionals: According to Sprout Social, over 92% of the companies today are using social and digital media for hiring. Being digital and social savvy is definitely an added advantage and will help you stand out.
- For Students: The future millennials, I believe they know enough of it from an end users perspective. Give them some marketing lesson and they will give tough competition to a sound marketer.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
- Content creation skills
- Ability to ideate
- Relevance and spontaneity
- Familiarity with top rated tools
- Some bit of ownership
- And an analytical head
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
Tejas: Digital and social media looks glamorous from the outside but a lot of hard work goes into creating a rocking online presence.
My advice for newbies is to do a lot of reading(only to know what’s new in the industry and to keep a tab on business trends) invest at least 45 minutes every day, implement what you learn, experiment and you will do great.
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?
Tejas: My Twitter community feeds me with enough of trends and knowledge.
I follow some blogs and podcasts religiously, Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Fridays, Jon Loomer’s Blog on Facebook, Pam Moore’s Marketing Podcast, Neil Patel’s blog on search. Case studies from Lighthouse Insights and Social Samosa to name a few.
Apart from this, I mostly just Google if I want to learn more about something new and read the top few links.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
- Rand Fishkin for Whiteboard Fridays, Moz
- Dan Zarella for his Digital Marketing Insights, Hubspot
- Kim Garst for her Social Insights and How-To’s, Boom Social
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?
Tejas: I need not reinforce the fact digital media is evolving at a tremendous rate. There is something new to learn almost everyday and so much more you can apply for your business.
I believe that in next few years digital marketing will become more complex. It will get coupled withIoT, big data, cloud SaaSand marketers will have to talk not only to the consumers but with devices and appliances.Digital marketing will become more dependent on smart devices, specifically on sensors. The machines will talk back with the brands with real-time analytics allowing them to understand the consumer even better. Brands will also know where their consumers are, what they engage with, how their interaction drives sales and much more.
Top trends for 2016 include:
- Influencer Marketing: We saw some fire during the end of last year and by now as I write this, I can name hundreds of brands who have either already gotten their hands dirty or are planning to.
- Mobile and Apps: Web is slowly moving into oblivion as more and more people move towards hand held devices. Google’s change to consider ‘mobile friendly sites’ for search engine ranking, Facebook purchasing Instagram and Whatsapp and trying to buy Snapchat are enough to validate that mobile is huge this year and some more to come.
- Videos: According to Hubspot, 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%. Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion. I think that’s enough stats to convince you about the importance of video as your marketing mix.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
Digital Vidya has some of the coolest Digital Marketing courses and you folks are doing some amazing work to create the digital Millennials of the future. The competition with them is going to be tough I guess 🙂
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 :).