Vedanarayanan Vedantham has headed Digital Marketing and marketing overall at multiple consumer tech companies spanning fashion, travel and education and consults for Ed-Tech companies today. Digital Marketing was, is and continues to be amongst the most critical components of the Go to Market playbook for digital first companies.
How did you get into Digital Marketing? What interested you in learning Digital Marketing?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: I got into Digital Marketing purely by chance, when someone in my organization quit. I was handling product then and saw a lot of synergies between Digital Marketing & product management. I grabbed the opportunity and have not looked back since.
According to you, what are the advantages of Digital Marketing over conventional marketing? Do you think that Digital Marketing is a threat to the future of conventional marketing?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: Digital Marketing affords abilities to track results in real-time, make changes in real-time, robust targeting options, is pull marketing and not push, is contextual and most importantly can work on literally any budget.
Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?
- Airbnb: Their focus on not just building scale but on building an aspirational brand too.
- Amazon: The enormity of their success, they utilize virtually every element of the digital marketing playbook.
- Flipkart: The manner in which they have gone about building an entire category and changing behaviour patterns.
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?
- Too much focus on paid marketing: Focus on organic and earned media marketing.
- Too much focus on the technical aspects of marketing: The rigor and focus required to build an aspirational brand.
- Focus only on new acquisition and not on customer engagement: Reduced customer lifetime value.
Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: In the short-term, agencies could work but in the long term, it makes sense to build capabilities in-house especially for critical elements in the digital marketing mix – SEO, user engagement, social media marketing.
How do you ensure increasing Digital Marketing’s relevance and influence in the organization?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: Publishing regular, “idiot-proof”, business relevant dashboards to cross-functional senior stakeholders that provide a perspective of how digital marketing is driving incremental revenues for the business.
Which are your 3 favorite Digital Marketing Tools?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: Act-On, Google Analytics, Google AdWords.
Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?
- For Entrepreneurs: To be able to drive business growth on shoe-string budgets
- For Professionals: To be able to understand and use this new & evolved form of marketing in their day to day lives.
- For Students: To build a career in digital marketing.
What are the top 3-5 skills you look for when hiring a candidate for Digital Marketing profile?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: An eye for numbers (analytical skills), problem-solving skills, digital marketing technical skills, communication skills
What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: Before you go deep in any one aspect of digital marketing, get a conceptual breadth of understanding of the digital marketing universe and the interlinkages between various elements. Then choose any one aspect and go deep.
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?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: Read Neil Patel’s blog, Avinash Kaushik, Moz, SEOland.
Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: Neil Patel, Avinash Kaushik.
You led the webinar What Does the Shift to Digital PR Mean for your Brand’. How was your experience in leading the webinar?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: I had a wonderful experience. Digital PR is one of the less talked about elements in the digital marketing mix and I enjoyed bringing it to the forefront.
Please share top 3-5 takeaways from the Webinar you led for our community.
- The importance of digital PR
- Why PR is better than regular marketing
- The need for putting the ends before the means when it comes to PR
Do you have any suggestions for us to further increase the values of our Digital Marketing Webinars?
Vedanarayanan Vedantham: Have strong participation incentives and case studies which people can be asked to solve at the end of the webinar with strong incentives.
How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2017?
- The death of “SEO for the sake of SEO”.
- With VC funds drying up and companies not having money to spend – Content marketing is going to gain greater prominence.
- The rise of referral marketing.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?
Even back during my Simplilearn days, Digital Vidya was looked at as a worthy competitor and is one of the best platforms for learning Digital Marketing in India today.
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 :).