He is a regular on the speaking circuit, and address audiences at various conferences and corporate events. He also conduct workshops on Mindful Travel, Social Media Marketing and PR, and Personal Branding.
He run a publishing company for all his writings – and publish books and magazines in multiple format including paper and digital (for the iPad, iPhone, Kindle and other tablets, computers and mobile devices)
Ever since switching to writing as a career in 2001, he dabbled with various media including newspapers, magazines, blogs and books. He has written books and columns on travel, management, technology, environment and personal development. He has worked for and written columns for leading publications including The Hindustan Times, Mint, Financial Express, Indian Management (Business Standard / Financial Times), Outlook Business, Deccan Herald, Mumbai Mirror (Times of India), Discover India, Swagat, Asian Age and Rediff.com.
Prior to taking up writing, he has worked in the Information Technology and Sports Management sectors. He hold degrees in Mechanical Engineering (Delhi College of Engineering, 1992), Management (Fore School of Management, 1994) and Journalism (Cardiff University, UK, 2002). His schooling was at St. Columba’s School in New Delhi.
Digital Vidya: How did you get into Digital Marketing?
Ajay: I have been using digital marketing from very early for all my work. I was one of the early adopters of blogging as a publishing tool, and have been on various social media platforms to share and promote my writings, photography and other work.
As a small entrepreneur, I found these to be highly effective from both a cost and efficiency point of view. And I now share my learnings and experience with others – small and big businesses alike.
Digital Vidya: Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
Ajay: The first thing we need to realize is that we are always marketing ourselves digitally. The moment we create accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media, others are watching us and judging us. It is thus, important to put your best face forward and market yourself. Not overtly, but subtly.
And since we are all under public scrutiny, whether we like it or not, it is important for us to understand digital marketing. At the same time, everyone should realize its value and power. Digital marketing can be do-it-yourself, economical, interactive and providing instant feedback. Very importantly, it allows you to engage and connect with stakeholders you want to address; these could be customers, employers, employees, media, investors, regulators etc.
Digital Vidya: According to you, what are the top mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
Ajay: Digital marketing is still not being handled by specialists. Very often, traditional PR, advertising and corporate communications professionals are being asked to handle digital marketing.
DM is a new medium, and requires a different kind of understanding and skills. It requires customer care, journalism, PR and advertising all rolled into one – and with its own characteristics over and above that.
Companies should realize that DM is like interacting in the real world; it is not a one-to-many but a many-to-many form of communication. The company can control conversations and feedback only to a certain extent. The crowds are the ones in real control; brands can only do limited steering.
One should not make the mistake of treating DM like shouting from the top of a billboard. Companies often make the mistake of only promoting their point of view. The customer is too smart for that; don’t underestimate him, or challenge his wisdom.
Digital Vidya: You led ‘Super Brand You: Why Personal Branding Matters’ Webinar for Digital Vidya’s community. How was your experience in leading the Webinar?
Ajay: Every interaction like this is also a learning experience for me. I was impressed with the desire of the audience to learn about the subject themselves, and apply to their professional lives. Will surely look forward to more.
Digital Vidya: Please share top 5-7 takeaways from the Webinar you would like to share with our community.
- In today’s digital world, our professional lives are an open book. Make sure the contents do not hurt you.
- Always experiment and test new platforms and technologies to your advantage. It was heartening to note participants being on a webinar to learn.
- Being on LinkedIn and even Facebook affects our personal brand – make sure you use it to your fullest advantage.
- Talent and performance are critical to success – but your personal brand is what distinguishes you from equals.
- Develop all aspects of your professional and personal character – it all counts in today’s world.
Digital Vidya: Do you have any suggestions for us to further increase the value of our Digital Marketing Webinars for our community?
Ajay: I think you are doing a good job. Perhaps, further promoting the idea of attending webinars as a valuable learning tool will get more participants.
Mixing it with a few offline sessions might be a good idea too.
Digital Vidya: Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
Ajay: Such services are the need of the hour, and this is only the beginning. Digital Vidya bridges that gap in the market. Hope you scale up further both in terms of content and participation.