Swati Bhargava is a classic Investment Banker who turned into an entrepreneur. She grew up in Ambala, small town towards North Delhi. She was in Ambala till 16 years of age; then got offered a scholarship to study in Singapore, and then a scholarship to the London School of Economics. She joined Goldman Sachs in London right after that and worked in the Investment Banking Division & Executive Office for 5 years.
Digital Vidya: How did you get into Digital Marketing?
Swati: My husband and Co-founder of Cashkaro.com, Rohan is also from the finance world in London. We both wanted to do something different and started looking into the Digital Marketing space in the UK. We realised that while daily deal sites like Groupon were becoming very popular and there were many of them, the Cashback space was relatively untapped. So, we started our Cashback business in the UK called Pouring Pounds, which we expanded to India last year and launched CashKaro. Digital and Affiliate marketing is at the heart of CashKaro’s business model. We drive sales to leading ecommerce sites like Myntra, Jabong, Amazon.in, Snapdeal for which we get paid commission. We then share a large part of this commission as ‘Cashback’ with our members. Plus, CashKaro also has the latest Coupons and therefore, we give both savings to our members. This makes us the cheapest way to shop online in India.
Digital Vidya: Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
Swati: I think the best part about Digital Marketing is that it is measurable. This is what makes it the obvious marketing choice for all businesses, whether big or small. One could explore different types of Digital Marketing depending on what your business is e.g. Affiliate Marketing, PPC, Google ads, Facebook ads, Custom Audience & more. You can add tracking links and parameters to measure performance of each ad you run, optimize costs and returns. Determine which channel works best for you and invest more in that. In fact, if you have an online product Digital Marketing is essential because when customers click on your ads, they have a chance to discover, sign-up or buy your product right away. Offline marketing breaks that flow; it works only when you do a lot of it with big budgets, though with Digital Marketing you can start small and scale up.
Digital Vidya: According to you, what are the top mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
Swati: I’d say the top mistakes are:
- Not optimizing ads on an ongoing basis, it helps to continually assess how ads are doing, change bids and try to lower the cost per acquisition.
- Deploying capital before experimenting: It’s safer to put more budget once you have experimented with different forms of digital marketing and seen which channel is giving you the best returns. Then spend big on that channel.
- Under-estimating the importance of good copy and ad text.
- Not doing enough data analytics and not measuring performance enough.
Digital Vidya: You led ‘Affiliate Marketing For Leads & Sales: Things You Must Know’ Webinar for Digital Vidya’s community. How was your experience in leading the Webinar?
Swati: Firstly, thank you for having us on Digital Vidya. It was a great experience to host the webinar as the audience was really interested and engaged. They asked very relevant questions and knew about the space – so it’s always fun when you know people are also enjoying your presentation!
Digital Vidya: Please share top 5-7 takeaways from the Webinar you would like to share with our community.
Affiliate Marketing as a concept is very established globally and fast catching up in India.
- It is a very effective form of Digital Marketing that enables businesses to acquire leads and customers at a very reasonable cost compared to other forms.
- The Affiliate Marketing ecosystem consists of the merchant who wants sales, affiliate network who tracks them, affiliate who markets & generates the sale and the customer who shops.
- Why brands love Affiliate Marketing: it’s performance driven, high ROI, pay only if objectives are met, get extra marketing from affiliates.
- Key examples of Affiliate Marketing: price comparison sites, Cashback sites, coupon sites, review sites. You would have seen it in many places but may not even have realized it!
- Top tips to succeed as an Affiliate Marketer: Generate engaging content, know your audience, play clean, add value to your readers/members, and build a brand.
Digital Vidya: Do you have any suggestions for us to further increase the value of our Digital Marketing Webinars for our community?
Swati: Cant teach the teachers! No, nothing to add.
Digital Vidya: Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
Swati: I think Digital Vidya is doing a fantastic job in educating thousands of people on relevant topics that can make a meaningful impact to their business. Digital Marketing is still new and many a times people wonder how to get started. Well, Digital Vidya is all you need not only to start but to continually keep yourself abreast of new developments. I love the approach of conducting webinars – live interaction is definitely more conducive to learning vs simply reading. The webinars also enable presenters to share learnings and mistakes more easily and connect with the audience. The Digital Vidya team is amazing and I wish you all the very best!