A civil engineer from Thapar University, Shivankit Arora started his first company in the final year. Once graduated, he pursued his interest in entrepreneurship with a digital startup in the year 2013.
Meanwhile, Shivankit continued exploring the world of social media and other domains within Digital Marketing. Every time he learnt something new, he was left intrigued to learn even more.
Currently, he is running Marketing Masala, a digital marketing agency helping global clients with digital campaigns.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital MarketingShi?
Shivankit: My first experience in Digital marketing was when I began my first startup which was an offline magazine. The marketing of the same and how social media played a crucial role in the same intrigued me to learn more about the scope of digital businesses and marketing. Over a period of time as I started learning the ins and outs of digital marketing and how social media had an impact on people across the world, I found this field even more engaging. One thing that struck me about digital marketing was the way it was influencing the growth of every type of business may it be a local dentist ,a growing startup or an established enterprise. It left its footprints at all the levels touching customers’ lives like never before and driving substantial revenue.
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?
Shivankit: Conventional Marketing works on relatively different principles than Digital Marketing. One advantage that I feel the former possesses is the reduced level of complexity and the ease of implementation. However,the ability to measure and quantify the results definitely gives an edge to digital marketing. In other words, the impact due to the success or failure of one particular factor can be explicitly stated and analysed in digital marketing making it much more dynamic and hence, more adaptive to customer needs.
As far as the threat is concerned, I feel that in today’s times conventional marketing can not sustain alone, it needs the aid of Digital marketing as more and more people are getting connected to the Internet. On the other hand, digital marketing can not only just sustain alone but drive growth of a business single-handedly.
Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
Shivankit: Three of my favorite case studies would be Dropbox, Airbnb and Hubspot.
Dropbox is a cloud storage facility. To boost their customer base, they used a referral marketing. They smartly used their existing customers as a marketing channel and asked them to refer Dropbox to their friends and get free cloud storage in return. The key takeaway in this case would be how referral programs with giveaways help you increase your user base.
AirBnB helps a user to find accommodations for bed and breakfast. When they were in their initial stage, they got themselves listed with Craigslist, a third-party platform where you can buy and sell anything and everything under the sun. CraigsList already had a pretty good user base which helped AirBnB spread awareness about its existence. This case showed that using an already established website to make people aware of your existence isn’t a bad idea at all.
HubSpot is a leader in inbound marketing that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Almost 60% of its business is driven by the content it has. Hubspot is the perfect case to understand the power of Content marketing and realise that content is truly the king.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- The first mistake that organizations often commit is focussing on a limited number of channels to get traffic and conversions. While in reality a mixture of many digital channels works wonders.
- Secondly, most organizations do not build their customer persona the right way. A complete understanding of your customer is very crucial in digital marketing.
- Thirdly, most organizations I have come across have low to negligible investment in content. It is important to realise that content can be the game-changer as far as brand building is concerned.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Shivankit: Choosing an agency could be a tricky deal while an in-house may not have an advanced level of expertise. I would rather keep an inhouse team for execution and the agency for consulting, guidance and auditing the existing processes.
How do you ensure increasing Digital Marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?
Shivankit: I prefer doing varied marketing experiments on Marketing Masala’s website. These basically deal with technical domains of digital marketing like SEO, Social Media marketing, email marketing, content etc. Moreover, I encourage my team-mates to give advanced training in on different topics so that everyone feels excited.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
- The first one would be Google Analytics. Most marketers still don’t know how to use it the right way.
- The second tool that I find handy is Intercom which allows anyone to analyze customer behavior on site and communicate with customers 1-to-1 or via automated campaigns.
- The third one being SEMrush, which is a powerful tool for search engine optimisation and marketing purposes.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs, I would say that irrespective of the size or type of industry you venture into, digital marketing is going to have an impact at all levels simply because it enables customers to get in touch with the company directly.
- For Professionals as far as digital marketing is concerned there is a lot of scope for learning and practising in this domain in the years to come.
- For Students, I would highly recommend pursuing a career in this avenue simply because it’s way more exciting, rewarding, growth-oriented and dynamic.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
Shivankit: While hiring a candidate for a digital marketing profile I give the highest priority to his/her learning attitude. Digital Marketing is a very diverse field with its own set of technicalities. It is important to stay engaged, question and explore. The ownership of work, most importantly when things do not work out becomes my second priority while hiring. An analytical bent of mind and previous experience in marketing/sales are some important parameters I take my final call on.
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
Shivankit: There is no better way to explore any field as self-learning. Take part in online discussions, enroll yourself into online programs, attend webinars and never be afraid of asking questions.
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?
Shivankit: Staying updated in digital marketing is very important to catch up on the latest trends. The online resources I rely on for the same are Search Engine Journal, Social Media Examiner, Growth Hackers and Inbound.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
Shivankit: Neil Patel, Brian Dean and Larry Kim. Each of them, I feel are the A-players in the field of marketing.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?
Shivankit: Firstly, mobile marketing is going to boom as an industry with an appreciable growth rate.
This with the concept of Digital India will revolutionise the Internet industry, hence needs to be invested in.
Educational content especially for B2B brands could be a trigger for growth in future. And lastly, Funnel marketing would go a long way in replacing outbound marketing.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
We have been lucky enough to get some of our team members from Digital Vidya. You are doing an exciting job in bringing the digital marketing industry together and grooming the next generation of competent marketers. I wish you luck for the years to come.
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 :).