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Interview with Nishant Radia, Co-founder & CMO, Vidooly

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Nishant Radia started coding after college and since then has been part of two organizations before starting up Vidooly, which is a video analytics platform for social publishers and brands. His first organization Headstrong catered to financial services and his second organization 10times catered to tradeshows and conferences. Across both these organizations, Nishant learned a simple concept- when it comes to marketing- its all about the attention! You need to capture the attention of your audience and follow them wherever they are present, be it radio, print, TV or digital. Once you segment your target audience and know where they spend most of their time, life becomes easy.

Importance of Digital Marketing

Nishant’s inclination towards Digital Marketing and why he chose the title of CMO at Vidooly is because he realized the importance of data early in his career. Digital offered him a gateway to access that data, allowed him to build models around it and test it for ROI with a quick turnaround, at a nominal cost. It was definitely a challenge to shift gears after engineering but Nishant was convinced and wanted to begin the next phase of his professional career.

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?

Nishant Radia:  We’re in an era where we can no longer say Digital is the next big thing. It is here and it is here to stay. Not only millennial, but people across all age groups have started spending more time on digital. As per a recent study, In 2018, adults will still dedicate more time per day to TV—nearly 3 hours, 50 minutes—than to any other medium, but TV time is shrinking, down from 4 hours, 37 minutes in 2012. Mobile time will increase to 3 hours, 35 minutes in 2018, and by 2019 mobile will be the new leader in time spent, with 3 hours, 43 minutes of engagement vs. TV’s 3 hours, 42 minutes.

But like I said, I’m a fan of attention! I’ll grab it wherever I can find it. Just as an example- if I were a brand with a certain specific target audience who’s sold on the power digital, radio would have still been hot for me right now. Why? Because the listeners are switching to streaming apps and radio stations will eventually reduce the number of ads to hold on to their audience. Even if they bump up the spot rates, with the type of attention span there is, it just makes so much sense.

A few points why I believe its still early to write off conventional marketing are:

  1. There is still a huge gap in the pure reach that conventional marketing offers as compared to digital. Things are improving with better Internet penetration and smartphone adoption but we’re still 3-5 years away from a massive transformation.
  2. Reaching localized audiences, Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities is still a challenge when it comes to digital. For example, we at Vidooly study video consumption patterns of different audiences across different markets. However, when it comes to targeting audiences by language, major ad-networks including YouTube does not have more than 2 or 3 regional language targeting options.
  3. The shear scale and volume where conventional marketing is today, the measurement for it is defined. It doesn’t matter whether it is accurate or not, it is accepted across the eco-system. That is one of the biggest problems for digital. Everyone has a different metric of success. I always say this to my team- with more data, comes deeper measurement! If you’re unable to connect the dots in terms of spends and ROI, you’ll always be an add-on marketing channel. Display has pretty much matured and probably on a downfall when it comes to digital but content marketing (blogs, images, video) is on the rise and we need to move past metrics such as views and reach to more tangible ones such as engagement, retention and conversions if we are in it for the long haul.

Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?

Nishant Radia:  It’s not an either-or situation I believe. It depends a lot on the scale and DNA of your organization. If you’re a new-age company who understands digital and its part of your core philosophy, it makes more sense to have an in-house team so that you have a better control over the marketing endeavors. Once you’ve identified the right channels, you can look out for options to enhance your integrated marketing efforts.

On the other hand if you’re an established brand with a history of conventional marketing, it is not recommended to build an in-house team for digital. You need an external entity to bring in a fresh perspective that is completely different from what your understanding of digital might be. Again, the idea is not to do it for the sake of it, but to master it and build a case study.

How do you ensure increasing Digital Marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?

Nishant Radia:  It’s all about transformation and evolution. You need the right set of people in your leadership team who believe in the power of digital and can manage the transition. Every brand story is different and it’s about how you tell them. Once the structure is set, there is enough free content and material available for everyone to come at speed with the trends and how the eco-system is shaping up.

Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?

Nishant Radia:  

  • For Entrepreneurs:
  1. First and foremost, it’s the cheapest means to get feedback and reach out to your target audience.
  2. Second of all, there is huge scope for innovation- both in terms of creativity and in ways you distribute your content.
  3. Thirdly, every penny you spend, every minute of your time you spend, you can measure it. For entrepreneurs, time and money is the most important and its here where you can be the most efficient.
  • For Professionals: I reiterate- it’s about the attention. If your audience is spending time somewhere, it’s a crime for you to not be there. With the advent of smartphones and lower data cost, your audience is on digital and you need to be aware of the ways and channels there are for you to engage them.
  • For Students: It’s the easiest way to make your mark. When it comes to conventional marketing, the processes are set and it’s a matured ecosystem. Whereas when it comes to digital, it’s a great medium for you to standout and do something out of the box.

Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.

Nishant Radia:  

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk- I don’t think I need to elaborate. The way that man has build a brand of himself is remarkable. More over his distribution strategy is worth studying.
  2. Neil Patel- In terms of online marketing, he’s someone who is transparent and shares exactly what he learnt from his mistakes. With him, you can blindly trust on his findings and implement.
  3. Prasoon Joshi- He’s a creative genius. He understands the pulse of the audience you’re targeting and delivers the most amazing content that resonates with them.

Digital Marketing Course by Digital Vidya

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Date: 21st Nov, 2018 (Wed)
Time: 3 PM to 4:30 PM (IST/GMT +5:30)

Team, Skills and Tools

Share about your 3 favorite Integrated Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?

Nishant Radia:  

Heineken Open your world

It’s about opening up with conversations and discarding our inherent biases. This struck a cord with me to not judge people without knowing them. A very powerful message communicated in a very subtle way.

Dove Real Beauty Sketches | You’re more beautiful than you think

Real Beauty Sketches explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. This is a beautiful message of self-reflection and realization and does make one think of our own self-perceptions.

Google maps  look before you leave campaign

Indeed Google maps has become an integral part of our lives and the ad brings out the message in a precise manner. There is a lot of conversation in social media about how maps predict the right traffic and I believe this was a good attempt to come out and say it in the open.

According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?

Nishant Radia:  

  • Not creating enough content: Content is the king and it is the only reason why search engines exist. Even till date, digital is considered as a distribution channel by a lot of advertisers and that is the single biggest mistake. You need to create regular content across different platforms in order to engage with your audience and build recall. Experiment with every platform out their whether it is YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram or Soundcloud for that matter and then place your bets on the ones that are working for you.
  • Not Studying Buyer Persona: When it comes to digital, you have access to data. Partner with the right tools and providers, segment your audience and get into the psychographic details. You need to understand who, what and where the content is consumed in order to engage with them and bring out the intent. If your audience loves music more than DIY content, you need to know that before strategizing.
  • Not Studying Competitors: Keep a tab on trends and study what’s working for your competition. If influencer activity is not working for your brand but it is for your competition, you need to segment and understand where you went wrong.

Digital Marketing Course by Digital Vidya

Free Digital Marketing Webinar

Date: 21st Nov, 2018 (Wed)
Time: 3 PM to 4:30 PM (IST/GMT +5:30)

Advice to Aspiring Digital Marketers

What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?

Nishant Radia:  

  1. A mix of creativity and analytical abilities- It’s important to bring “art and science” to each digital initiative, think out of the box, willingness to experiment and own it up.
  2. The ability to analyze quantifiable metrics- the candidate needs to possess the competencies and know-how when it comes to data driven campaigns, should be willing to take up KPIs that are result oriented and back it up with ROI.
  3. Paid media expertise- the candidate should be well versed with paid social media. I specifically look for experience and scale at which the candidate has operated and the type of budgets he/she is used to. As a startup, optimizing spends while not compromising on the reach or ROI is a priority. 

What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?

Nishant Radia:  

  • Think objectively– as a newbie; it’s easy to fall in love with your campaigns. However, you need to keep in mind the objective and keep focusing on optimizing. As a marketer, your job is to improve efficiency and not focus on only what can go viral.
  • Read- there is a lot of free stuff available. Keep at pace, make notes and try experimenting.
  • Beware of digital gurus- you’ll find a lot of people claiming to be digital marketing experts. Listen to them, but don’t get influenced until their advice works for you and your industry. Build your own case and your own definitions of what works and what doesn’t.

How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2018?

Nishant Radia:  

  1. First and foremost, more emphasis on measurement and analytics. Now the money is getting serious when it comes to digital. With more money, the fraud increases too. Hence, measurement and analytics is going to play a major role. We at Vidooly are working towards the mission of unified measurement in online video and I feel it’s going to be one of the key trends.
  2. Brand Safety: This issue has come up lately across all advertising mediums, be it display or video. Brands are very conscious about who and what they associate themselves with and rightly so. Therefore, investment in brand safety is going to surge in 2018.
  3. Regional content: With penetration of JIO, the tier 2 and tier 3 cities have got access to Internet and data. Regional is going to become mainstream in 2018 and not just as a me-too. You’ll see a lot of original programming and integrated marketing campaigns to target these audiences specifically.

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?

Nishant Radia:  

Digital Vidya can help answer that question way better. You guys have a lot of content and courses. I personally like your content on in-bound marketing, which as a startup is must to gain expertise in.

Other than that, I follow KISSmetrics and a bunch of blogs related to video marketing and analytics, which is our domain.

Questions post Webinar on ‘Social Video Analytics’

You led the webinar ‘Social Video Analytics: From Demography to Pschography of User Behaviour‘. How was your experience in leading the webinar?

Nishant Radia: It was great! I was getting the right questions so I believe the audience was in-line with what I was talking. Also, diversity of questions made me feel that there is a basic gap in the industry with related to accessing data. So, I was quite psyched about doing the webinar.

Please share top 3-5 takeaways from the Webinar you led for our community.

Nishant Radia: Firstly, I realized publishers/creators have a real need to understand what content resonates with the audience. Secondly, the industry lacks the knowledge of basic SEO when it comes to content. That is something we as a company will make sure we educate everyone about it. Thirdly, India as an ecosystem is very closed loop. As creative folks, we need to collaborate more, brainstorm and work together. There is definitely need for a platform for everyone to come together.

Lastly, kudos to Digital Vidya for getting the right mix of audience that could benefit from the webinar.

Do you have any suggestions for us to further increase the value of our Digital Marketing Webinars?

Nishant Radia: I think a lot of people register to get access to the recording of the webinar. Since it is long, it would be great if we can have the webinar broken into 3-4 parts and then put up on the social platforms.

    Would you like to share a few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

    Nishant Radia: I think there is a dearth of talent in the market when you talk about skilled digital marketing resources. Digital as a medium is evolving so quickly that it’s difficult for everyone to keep up with it.

     Considering the fact that colleges and institutions are still not equipped in digital marketing, Digital Vidya has been doing a great job of training professionals in this field. Kudos to you guys for being agile. I think you have covered the entire spectrum of digital marketing including data science, which is great for someone who is looking to excel in a specific domain or someone who is just starting up.

    To know more about Nishant Radia, 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 :).

    [CEO, Digital Vidya]
    Among the pioneers of Digital Marketing, Pradeep has been part of the Internet Industry since 2000. He has been a serial entrepreneur for last 17 years and is currently a Co-founder & CEO of Digital Vidya, a leading Digital Marketing, and Big Data & Data Analytics training company.

    A graduate of IIT Delhi and a recipient of Adobe Content100, Pradeep is one of the most sought-after international speakers in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

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