Amit Doshi currently leads Consumer Marketing and Digital Marketing at Lenovo India. His responsibilities include designing and developing marketing programs, driving digital marketing transformation and managing driving consumer engagement on social media. Amit started in FMCG industry and spent the first decade in various sales, marketing and product development roles. His career experience spans 14 years across Perfetti Van Melle, Britannia Industries and Lenovo India.
Importance of Digital Marketing in Amit’s profile
- Firstly, Digital Marketing is absolutely central to successful consumer engagement in the Consumer Technology industry. Consumers are extremely involved and tend to research online quite a bit before zeroing in on their eventual choice.
- Secondly, Social Media, especially, is vital to have a continued engagement with Bloggers and influencers who play an important role in shaping consumer opinion.
- Thirdly, A significant chunk of our sales happens through our own e-commerce engine and retailers like Amazon and Flipkart. Managing performance of these funnels on a day to day basis is the other key Digital Marketing deliverable in my role.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?
Amit: I have a natural interest in Technology and All things digital. My Digital Marketing actually journey started at Britannia, when the company wanted someone to kick off the practice. We built one of India’s earliest niche social network for health then for the NutriChoice brand.
Digital Marketing brings stunning capabilities to a marketer, right from data to the ability to do more customized messaging to the priceless opportunity to involve consumers in spreading the brand’s word. I find the above fascinating as do I also love the pace of change. It is exhilarating to keep up with all the innovation that’s happening out there every single day. There’s never a dull week in the Digital Marketing discipline.
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?
Amit: I think Digital as a medium has helped Conventional Marketing to become more engaging, more transparent in RoI measurement and more democratic for the multitude of brands – big or small. Fundamentals of communication haven’t changed. Ideas still matter as much, if not more. Today marketers can get even greater value out of creating advertising that is entertaining, engaging and purposeful. Consumers will reject ordinary or irrelevant advertising, irrespective of it being served through conventional or digital media.
As consumers spend more time with their smartphones and other connected devices, there is no doubt that our media mix will change. This is much like the way the mix changed when TV came along in a world dominated by Print. It is absolutely imperative that marketers do not think of this as an incremental change. It is going to be transformational and it is more critical than ever that we right-skill ourselves and our teams.
Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
- Ranbir Kapoor on Social Media for a day (Lenovo) – The brand made an impactful entry into the fast-growing online channel for smart phones with the A6000 product. To me, it defines how consumer will engage with brands and brand ambassadors going forward – real time, authentic, cross-platform and in new content formats. Ranbir, who has no official presence on Social Media turned out for the brand just for 8 hours on 6 platforms and practically broke the Internet.
- Field Trip to Mars (Lockheed Martin) – One of the most awarded campaigns at Cannes 2016, it is an outstanding example of what future could be. The brand created a group VR experience that took schoolchildren on a virtual tour of Mars by rigging a school bus with all sorts of incredible tech to make the view out the windows look and feel like the Martian landscape, not the Washington, D.C., streets that the bus was actually driving down.
- Kan Khujura Tesan (Unilever) – This effort is a superb example of how Digital Marketing can unlock dark audiences. Parts of the Marketing community still feel that Digital and Social are niche and for the audiences in Metros. This is so not true. Unilever flipped the whole opportunity on its head and created a new medium to reach consumers that could not have been reached through traditional means.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- Ignoring the change entirely or assuming that it is temporary/ fad. I am surprised that I still meet those who haven’t embraced the change/ opportunity wholeheartedly.
- Being just data/ metrics driven. Digital Marketing is not a math discipline. As media buying becomes automated, Creative will start becoming the variable or differentiator even for Performance marketers. This faculty is grossly overlooked today and needs sensitization.
- Not keeping up with the developments; this is especially true of those who got into the Digital Marketing field early and don’t find enough time to keep themselves updated or up-skill themselves with passing time.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Amit: It totally depends on the complexity and size of the Digital Marketing scope. I would strongly recommend to bring operations in-house if your revenue depends on day to day traffic or if optimization is required almost on a daily basis. Some brands have also started bringing content production in-house as it could make a strong economic case depending on the no. of pieces that need to be created.
I always prefer a hybrid model though. We have been fortunate to work with a couple of agencies that are deep experts, have a learning mindset and constantly have their eyes and ears open to scout for new opportunities. Quality agency partnerships can help build expertise in a short period of time.
How do you ensure increasing Digital Marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?
Amit: I totally believe that it needs to start from the very top. I actually prefer the term ‘Digitization’ rather than ‘Digital Marketing’. Consumer decisions are shaped by experiences, which are not limited by exposure to a few search ads, videos or banners. Everything matters from the ease of discovering the right product to finding a store nearby to being able to seek after sales support with reliability and convenience. Digital can be pivotal in transforming each of the key consumer touch points. Finally, one has to be patient and have the belief that people/ organizations are smart and get it when they are exposed to the right knowledge and stimuli. Now than ever, every organization needs to find its digital evangelists. These evangelists cannot just be from marketing but need to come from a wide set of functions, read HR, After-Sales Support, Sales and Lead Generation etc.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: Digital Marketing can be a great leveler. If an enterprise is starting up or chooses to operate in a local environment, one can quickly ramp up awareness in the right audience with relatively smaller spends. Also, most Digital platforms e.g. google and facebook are in the self-serve format, which means everyone can use it with a bit of training.
- For Professionals and Students: Digital and Social are among the top new skills for future’s workshop. As mentioned earlier, these don’t pertain only to marketers but have application in a wide variety of functions and disciplines. Not just this, professionals and youngsters joining the workforce can also build their own personal brand on the Internet and improve career prospects if they are well versed with professional social media and blogging platforms.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
Amit: First and foremost, Passion for the medium is a must. Then, I certainly look for hunger to constantly keep oneself updated. The changes in the ecosystem can be rapid and overwhelming. I also believe that basic comfort with numbers is a must as Digital Marketers deal with performance metrics all the time.
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
Go for it!! Digital’s a lot of fun.
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?
Amit:I use Feedly quite a lot. It helps me keep in touch with the industry blogs by experts and publishers alike.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
Amit: I have learnt from a lot of folks in the industry and my colleagues. Sandip Maiti, CEO of Experience Commerce (our social media agency) has been a real influence. We signed up with Performics.Resultrix for our Performance Marketing duties this year and have immensely enjoyed my conversations with Tanmay Mohanty, who leads Zenith Media in India. Arunabh Kumar of The Viral Fever (TVF) has been a real trailblazer in the world of content. Globally, I like following Gary Vaynerchuk and his feeds.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2017?
- Maturing of Data and Analytics usage within companies
- Companies might start looking at bringing teams in-house, in part or in full
- Adoption of Cross-platform/ channel measurement
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
It’s great to see Digital Vidya grow from strength to strength. The organization has been a pioneer in the space and wish it the very best.
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 :).