Abhishek Rungta started marketing online in 1999. In 2000, at the low of dot-com bust, when his nascent digital service business could not generate much interest in the local market, Abhishek took a bold step to move 100% to inbound marketing channel and we pioneered small business outsourcing through various channels including SEO, PPC and Email Marketing.
They also launched ROI-driven digital marketing services in 2005. He continued to innovate and find new ways to attract clients to his business and solely relied on digital marketing till 2007. Even today, digital marketing comprises of a major composition of their overall marketing mix.
Abhishek has always been a technologist by profession, and a marketer by heart.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?
Abhishek: I got into digital marketing for the first time, when I ran out of money during my university days in the UK and needed to attract some kind of work to pay off my bills. I explored my options online, and kept working till I got my first deal within 48 hours!
In digital marketing, I saw an entire world of opportunities. Something told me that this is the future of marketing. I stuck on to it.
I am 100% self-taught, except for learning from some very close friends, whom I consider gurus of marketing.
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?
Abhishek: There are six characteristics that make digital marketing into such a potent force:
- It is big (gives a huge market)
- It is fast (almost instant)
- It is interactive (you can talk, both ways)
- Its engaging (as it encompasses more senses)
- It is measurable (almost every move! – scary)
- It is economical compared to traditional marketing
Digital marketing will eventually become “Marketing”. Digital is just a medium – a complicated, challenging and evolving one. Therefore, there will be a convergence of both – digital and conventional.
There is threat – but not to the discipline, but to those who do not learn and adapt.
Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
Abhishek: Any engagement, which generates proper ROI for client is a great case study. It is relative and hence, I do not rank case studies.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- Lack of focus on core business KPIs: The marketing team remains on a high due to great results in terms of vanity metrics, but lose sight of real business metrics. Marketing is done to meet business goals and not win awards for creativity.
- Not doing first thing first: To build a solid digital marketing platform for a business, you need to have a solid digital infra, digital assets, digital enhancers and then you should run a campaign on top of that. If you jump to campaigns straight away, you get far lower ROI.
- Lack of testing: Digital gives amazing ability to test, test and test in every aspect of digital marketing. Unless you test, measure, analyze and act, you cannot improve your results.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Abhishek: You need to have a mix of agency and in-house resources. They have different functions and one does not replace the other, but they compliment each other. This is a fast changing world, and hence you need to have people who have clarity, fundamental knowledge and who are up-to date on what is happening and what may happen. It can come from an agency or in-house team. The source is secondary.
Also, it is a technology driven marketing. And hence, you also need to converge IT with Marketing. Failure to do so will leave you high and dry. Thus, you must have an agency, which is an all-round agency – which understands marketing, and also have deep tech capabilities.
Last, but not the least, digital needs a partnership approach. It cannot work in a client-vendor model.
How do you ensure increasing Digital Marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?
Abhishek: It is an idea, whose time has come. You do not need to increase the relevance. It will be felt automatically and accepted with time.
However, various teams must be updated about the various trends in digital in their function in their industry. They should also read about impact on digital in other functions and industries for lateral learning, and involve in brainstorming to find out how they can make digital their biggest differentiator.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
Abhishek: Tools are temporary. But, if I have to list some tools, they will be:
- E-consultancy website
- SEM Rush
Said that, I still believe in doing my research the traditional way. Also, being on the strategy side, I may not be the best guy to comment on implementation tools.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: Their business depends upon it
- For Professionals: Their job depends upon it
- For Students: Their future depends upon it
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
- Critical thinking
- Ability to observe and analyze
- Communication & articulation skills
- Ability to think out of the box
- Ability to execute
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
- Do not take shortcuts. Go the length and depth in your research.
- Find out the 80/20. Focus on the 20% which gives 80% result.
- Focus on fundamentals. Do not ignore learning human behavior and marketing as a subject. Have empathy. Have passion.
- Focus on ROI. Do not be swayed away by ‘awesome campaigns’
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?
Abhishek: I generally follow trends through twitter and read useful articles. I do not stick to a particular site, as the subject is vast and it needs you to have best inputs from different sources.
Some suggested sites are:
I also recommend reading books by Cialdini and other popular writers in usability and persuasion.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?
Abhishek: Three trends according to me will be:
- Video Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Influencer Marketing
Most of the old trends will remain and keep growing.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
You guys are doing exceptional work in terms of educating people on digital marketing. I think, to match your name, you guys should go and educate on the entire digital discipline and make a much-needed impact in the market.
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 :).