Lloyd Mathias’ last corporate role was as Marketing Head for the Consumer PC Business of HP Inc. for Asia Pacific & Japan. This role involved handling marketing across the 27 countries that constituted the A-Pac region. While the mainstay of marketing for PCs remain Television & Print, across Asia, in many countries digital is neck and neck.
In his previous roles, Lloyd was the Marketing Director for HP India, CMO at Tata Docomo, Sales & Marketing Director for Motorola and Executive VP Marketing at PepsiCo India. He is currently an investor in 2 startups both of whom are extensive users of Digital 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?
Lloyd Mathias: Not at all. I think Digital Marketing and conventional marketing complement each other. Digital is only a medium and given its increasing use and adoption it will soon be central to any marketing plan.
Having said which all marketing works at persuading consumers and this is best done when one understands the consumer. In conventional marketing, as in digital marketing, one will use this understanding to develop campaigns for your brand. But in both instances, consumer insight, and the ability to emotionally engage consumers is paramount.
Conventional Marketing has its space as not all consumers are digital natives and often it’s important to reach consumers at different touch points. Digital besides growing rapidly also offers marketers the ability to customize and sharply target their communication. Also, lead generation is easily attributable as also close looping.
The other key aspect in the context of India is the exponential growth in data consumption due to the world lowest cost data. This has dramatically grown the number of smartphone users and provided a base of users, a marketer cannot ignore. Given the fact that most people spend more time on digital, thanks to their smartphone more than any other medium offers digital marketing its biggest growth opportunity and also underlines the need for digital marketing to be mobile-focused.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Lloyd Mathias: This will really be a business decision but given increased digital adoption companies may need key digital marketers in-house. However, I would recommend that the data analytics component be kept inhouse. SEO and Reputation Management are important elements that needs to be monitored real time – so either way, these need to be easily reachable.
How do you ensure increasing Digital Marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?
Lloyd Mathias: I think a key step is getting most of the organization starting from the senior management to understand the relevance of digital marketing in an increasingly digital world. Often this would involve evangelizing and sharing the digital mandate within the organization and with key stakeholder and channel partners.
Another exercise is to actively engage staff as each of them can be a potential digital marketing to the world they personally influence. Hence motivating them by giving them a head start to key campaigns will always help.
I have seen reverse mentoring as a very effective tool. Here a younger digitally savvy employee will “mentor” a senior manager to help him effectively use digital.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: the best and often the most cost effective way to grow your business by increasing the traffic and visibility, lead generation and optimizing for conversion
- For Professionals: a wonderful way to build your personal brand on line, enhance your professional knowledge, keep abreast with the latest trends and to interact with peers
- For Students: Digital Marketing is a life skill no matter what your future plans are.
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?
Lloyd Mathias: I read, actively engage, keep an active personal digital profile and keenly follow trends in the digital space. HootSuite is a great resource to track what’s happening in the world of social media. They are also one of the best social media management tools. I also use read the Kissmetrics blogs. Great info on analytics.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
- Venke Sharma of SVP of Star TV. Knowledgeable and astute.
- Ashok Lalla – Digital Business Advisor and Independent Consultant, Former Digital Marketing head Infosys, Mindshare and Taj Hotels.
- Karthik Srinivasan – ex Head of Ogilvy Digital and social media expert.
Team, Skills and Tools
Share about your 3 favorite Integrated Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
1.) Star TV-TED Talks Nayi Sooch campaign
Great integrated campaign with digital at its core. Tied in the brand promise with one of the biggest digital platforms TED and leveraged it to the hilt both the online and traditional components flowed, seamlessly.
2.) OLA Share #FarkPadtaHain
Wonderful use of digital to promote Ola Share that appealed to consumer social concerns (pollution) and used the increased awareness around World Environment Day. Sharp, topical and socially relevant.
3.) Pringles Valentine’s – #SingleAsAPringle
It played off great consumer insight, given that all brands focus on couples – but hey there are a whole lot of singles out there who miss on the Valentines’s mania. And hashtag #SingleAsAPringle has a great zing to it. Great way to drive a traditional category (chips) with loads of attitude.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- Failing to set clear and measurable goals: Without clear goals you will never be able to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and spend. Do not launch a campaign without aproper goal setting.
- Spreading yourself too thin. While its tempting for bands to be omni present in as many digital mediums, often having significant presence in one of 2 does the job better. Also buying likes and followers is short term and meaningless.
- Poor engagement and response to your prospects. Often organizations are so focused on reaching out that they forget the bigger and more critical challenge is to nurture the lead and close loop with your prospects. This last mile rigor is key to positively impact the business.
Advice to Aspiring Digital Marketers
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
- Deep interest in consumer behavior: Every marketer digital or otherwise needs to have this.
- Strong Analytical skills: Someone with a great understanding of key digital marketing tools and analytics
- Good communicator and strong people skills: this person has to be a great team player and work with internal functions, agencies and key digital media outlets.
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
- Learn all you can about analytics. You will always need to know how successful a campaign is and the only way you can do it is to understand analytics. This is the data that shows how well or how badly a campaign has done, and will help you figure out how to improve the efficacy the next time around.
- Create a professional on-line presence. Your personal social media handles will need to be your calling card and will help potential employers see you in the right context.
- Spend time investing in and learning about the latest trends. Online certification is always relevant.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2018?
- Next step in the evolution of Influencer Marketing. The first phase was signing on influencers with high credibility. The second phase is curating and shuffling these to enhance the brand story and at the same time staying authentic.
- Content creation and Live Videos. Little to add except creating relevant content with topicality and interest. Also increased focus on high quality live videos.
- Addressing consumers privacy concerns. Consumer sensitivity on this is growing and rapidly.
Would you like to share a few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
I see Digital Vidya filling a much needed gap and doing great work in this space, as knowledge of digital marketing is an essential skill in today’s word. Having employees trained in this space is not just desirable but necessary.
To know more about Lloyd Mathias, you can check out his LinkedIn profile.
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 :).