My Social Beat Internship Journey – Maryna Holubenko

Having lived in Ukraine all my life, I traveled to India to take up an internship. Through AIESEC, an organization that provides young people global internship and volunteer exchange experiences, I joined Social Beat about five months ago and have had the best experience. Social Beat is a digital marketing company founded in 2012 by two brothers, Vikas Chawla and Suneil Chawla. Although the company is just three years old, it is already one of the leading full-service digital agencies in India with a young, friendly and progressive team.

Internship 1

The company has five teams: Web Development, Design, SEO/Advertising, Social Media and Business Development. I worked in social media and partly in business development. I created content strategies for clients in different verticals including hospitality, real estate, entertainment, healthcare and ecommerce. I attended client events and wrote articles mainly for customers from Chennai. I can say that I’m exploring the city through the brands I handled.

I am the only foreign intern in the company and all the team members are friendly and everyone kept me informed about what the other teams are working on. At Social Beat, we have review meetings every Monday and on Fridays we gather around and chit chat about new trends in the digital marketing sphere. Even as an intern, I had opportunities to express and implement my ideas and the team always had my back. I also got to witness some of the interesting projects that Social Beat has been a part of. With Influencer marketing catching up fast in India, Social Beat has built a platform called Influencer, which will help shape the opinions of your brand using the most influential people amidst your potential customers. Social Beat is one of the pioneers in India, who has created a platform to attract bloggers and successfully offers it as an additional option for clients.

Internship 2

The other project I was part of was the Startup Walk. Startup Walk is a city-wide, open house for technology companies and Social Beat was a host company in it. Participants got the opportunity to check out the spaces, get acquainted with startup culture, meet the founders and get a behind-the-scenes look at the most innovative companies in Chennai. I got to interact and meet CEOs and it was an exciting assignment for me. At Social beat, the philosophy is work hard and party hard and I got to do just that. One of the brightest memories of my internship was the wedding of my boss and Co-Founder Vikas Chawla. As a little surprise, my team and I put together a dance performance. It was a lot of fun during practices and I really enjoyed learning Indian dance.

vikas wedding

I also organized a fun activity for my colleagues and peers at Social beat, where I did a photo session and asked them to show five emotions (happiness, anger, surprise, thoughtfulness and craziness) and created a collage. It was really interesting to see how each person expressed different emotions.

emotions

I definitely know that I’ll miss our office talks, group dinners where everyone shared their food. This has been an incredible experience that took me up to a new step of my professional development, I met wonderful people and discovered incredible India.

Before coming here, I had heard several stories about internships and life in India for foreigners. I knew that I will get some culture shock seeing people sleeping everywhere, surrounded by garbage, crazy traffic on the roads, cows walking on the streets and monkey stealing your things (but there are no monkeys in Chennai and I hardly saw any cows). However, my stint in Chennai was extremely memorable and exciting. I met new people and got to do a lot of things. Along with my boyfriend, I even shot for a couple of movies as a tourist. Hopefully you can all see me in “Iraivi” and “Kabali” even after I leave this beautiful country. People here are really kind and if you are a foreigner visiting India, be ready for lots of photos with Indians who like to grab you and take a selfie with you. So come to India and you will get an opportunity to feel like a star 🙂
movie

Customer Lifecycle Value vs Cost of Acquisition in Ecommerce

You cannot acquire a customer for life. In ecommerce, loyalty is a thing of the past. Many startups and new businesses struggle to find the right balance between customer acquisition & retention. This is especially true for the ecommerce industry. In the quest to growth hack to the next level, ecommerce businesses go all out to acquire new customers sometimes at unsustainable costs.

Over a longer term, online retailers might want to discontinue the channels that have a consistently higher cost of acquisition (CoA). But customer acquisition cost alone is not the right metric to evaluate the performance of an acquisition channel. Ecommerce businesses should instead be including average customer lifecycle value for customers from a particular channel as an important metric for strategic decision-making. This article can help ecommerce businesses garner a better perspective to guide their business decisions.

Customer Lifecycle Value (CLV)

In simple terms, customer lifecycle value is the projected value a customer generates over the entire lifetime of their interaction with the brand. Focusing on CLV can help a company determine optimize the marketing spends, allowing it to focus on more profitable customers.

CLV as a metric assumes greater significance when put together with CAC. The CLV:CAC ratio is a powerful metric to define the Return on Investment (ROI). Focus on both the levers can help you devise a winning strategy.

Let’s take a look at the comparative illustration of 3 customers from different acquisition channels (A, B & C) assuming 1 year as the time period under consideration:

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How to calculate the Customer Lifetime Value

First step would be to segregate the customer acquisition and purchase data on the basis of marketing channels. Once this is done, there are 2 principal models of calculating the customer lifecycle value:

  • Historic Model

Under this model, the gross profit from all historic purchases of individual customers is summed up & divided by the total number of customers. This gives the average CLV for each acquisition channel.

  • Predictive model

This is an advanced method built upon the historic model. Predictive model uses the past customer behavioral pattern to predict the lifetime value of customers. This factors taken into account by this model are as follows:

  1. Number of visits per month (N)
  2. Average customer basket size per visit (B)
  3. Average profit margin per customer (m)
  4. Historical customer retention rate (r)
  5. Discount rate for future cash flows (d)
  6. Average customer lifespan (l)

Assuming next 10 years as the time period (T) for consideration, let us look at the formula that can help you arrive the lifetime value.

Average customer value per month (v) = N*B

Total customer value per year = S = v*12

Total lifetime spend of the customer = L = S*10

Average gross margin per customer lifespan = G = L*m

CLV 

= N*B*12*m*[r/(1+d-r)]*T  

= S*m*T*[r/(1+d-r)]

= G*[r/(1+d-r)]

 

The final CLV value obtained can be plugged in the ROI ratio (CLV:CoA). Greater the ratio, the better the impact on the company’s growth strategy.  The ROI ratio can be used as a good measure to evaluate the performance of the marketing channels and accordingly optimize the budget allocation.

Factors boosting customer lifecycle value

For the CLV model to work, the data set under consideration has to be long enough to provide. CLV is not just for evaluating the marketing channels and campaigns, it can be a great lever to look at the overall business strategy for ecommerce businesses. There is nothing wrong in looking out for new customers. But, it’s important to look at the value brought by ten new customers acquired vis-a-vis ten retained customers. From the cost perspective, it mostly turns out cheaper to retain existing customers. With the wide array of choices thrown open to the consumers with just a click of a mouse, brand loyalty and customer retention becomes more important.

A quick look at Nielsen’s Global Loyalty Sentiment Report provides good insights into the consumer sentiments that result in switching retailer & brand-hopping.

blog-customerlifestyle

The 5 factors listed above- price, quality, service, selection and features; can together drive the lifetime value of your customers. Doubling the CLV of existing customers is equivalent to doubling the customer base. Here’s some handy tips that can help online retailers increase the CLV:

  • Loyalty programs has been used by offline retailers for a long time to create long term loyalty and drive repeat purchases.
  • Do not charge for product returns. It does put in a load on the operations side but brings in the baggage of good experience and more future purchases.
  • Size Fittings is one of the major reasons for product returns. Interactive tools for size fittings can go a long way in aiding customers to find the right size for categories like footwear, apparels, etc.
  • Ecommerce is all about providing easy access to products and services from the comfort of the home. Similarly, customers expect an excellent 24*7 support to aid them for their queries and complaints.
  • Wider range of custom delivery options is required. Ecommerce players like Amazon provide different delivery options that allow you to get the product delivered even in 1 day. Other possibilities can be incorporated like the option for nominating friends, etc. to be delivered the product in the absence of the customer.
  • Being in touch is important. Sending post purchase emails and festival wishes can be a way to continue to have relevant mind space. We usually recommend using Mailchimp or Sendgrid for sending out emailers and tracking its results.
  • Do not fail to surprise them. Sending a small reward or gift along with their purchased product can win their heart and create a long term goodwill for your ecommerce brand.

Don’t stop marketing on unprofitable customers but start actively engaging with profitable customers

In the rapid-growth ecommerce boom, it’s easy to get lost in the race for acquiring new customers. Brands go upto the extent of acquiring new customers at 10x the historical averages. They fail to remember that retaining your existing customer can cost lesser and would pay in the longer run to get hold of these low-hanging fruits.

For any marketing and strategic assistance with your ecommerce business, feel free to reach out to us at team@socialbeat.in.

Top 10 tools for Instagram

Instagram allows companies to tell a visual story, to develop brands and to be engaged with customers. But just 28% of marketers currently use Instagram for their businesses. Popularity of Instagram in Google Trends shows a really fast growth for the last years.

Posts-Reach

So it’s time to start with Instagram marketing. Here is a list of top 10 tools to help your business to build, manage and grow a strong presence on Instagram.

  1. Iconosquare 

Iconosquare is one of the leading analytical tools for Instagram. It allows you to manage your Instagram activity, analyze your performance and engage your customers. With this tool, you can track which top hashtags are being used on Instagram, get detailed dashboards with graphics on engagement with users and use comprehensive tools including functionality to create contests.

Best-time-to-Post

  1. Schedugram 

Is Instagram a part of your social media marketing? Schedugram, a startup in Australia, is an excellent tool for Instagram users and social media managers to manage multiple Instagram accounts. Instagram was designed as a mobile tool, but Schedugram gives the opportunity to post pics from your desktop or laptop. It allows you to schedule your posts and post photos as well as videos. You can also edit your pictures, including cropping, adding filters, adding light and saturation properties and other cool effects before posting.

Schedugram

  1. Repost 

Repost app is a good tool to make customers feel involved and appreciated. This application allows brands to demonstrate their user-generated content. Search a photo you like and easily repost it. You can find your customers by hashtags and follow them. Appreciate your customers by mentioning them on your page, to earn customer loyalty.

repost

  1. Like2buy 

Like2buy is “Instagram’s missing link”,  a tool to sell products on Instagram. This app gives an opportunity to drive traffic and revenue from Instagram. Like2buy transform images into gallery of products, available for purchase with a click. User should clicks on the link and it will take them to a page of the brand’s featured products.

Like2Buy

  1. Tapshop 

 Tapshop also helps your Instagram followers in shopping. With Tapshop, you can make any image in your brand gallery shoppable by adding a product or category page link. Once your fans find a custom page of their desirable products, they will get an email with direct links to your product pages.

Tapshop

  1. Wispond 

Wispond is Instagram Hashtag Contest App. Gather Instagram photos and showcase them in a voting gallery on your Facebook page, website or mobile. Invite followers to submit their photos from Instagram and vote on their favourite ones. Add Instagram contests into your marketing plan to give your channels a viral impulse.

Wispond

  1. Flipagram 

Create, share and discover fun photo-video stories along with your favourite music! Flipagram allows you to make slideshows, musical videos, stop-motion effects and more, with millions of free music clips for your Instagram page. You can demonstrate how one of your products can be used in different ways or create a slideshow with interesting photos with your team. The more pictures you have, the better the effect.

Flipagram

  1. Piclab 

Piclab is a tool that allows you to add text to your pictures. If you want to have written information on our images this is a perfect programm to do it. Choose from different fonts, shapes, put stunning filters and photo effects, and add a collection of textures, borders, patterns, and more to your photos.

Piclab

  1. Hyperlapse 

Hyperlapse is owned by Instagram and creates beautiful time lapse movies. Capture video, choose the acceleration (from 2 to 12 times) and the program will do the rest for you. The video helps in making a nice video that is easy to share with your followers.

Hyperlapse

  1. Instagram for Business 

 Instagram for Business is one of the best places for businesses to find tools to grow their brands. The Instagram for Business blog has tips, brand spotlights, case studies, and news from Instagram. Use Instagram’s visual language to create your visual story and drive business growth.

Insta for business

Instagram is a powerful tool to connect with consumers and build a community. The key is to stay authentic to your brand and create content and engage with your customers. This will ensure that users not only “follow you” on Instagram, but also become your brand advocates.

 

 

Digital Media & Entrepreneurship in India – MOP Vaishnav College

This presentation on the topic “Digital Media & Entrepreneurship” is from the talk for students of Department of Media & Communication at MOP Vaishnav College in Chennai, India. It was conducted on 3rd September, 2015. The talk evolved around questions such as

  • What is digital marketing? Is it relevant more than ever before ?
  • What does all the growth in digital mean for the youth of this country?
  • What is influencer marketing? How does it work?

Check out this presentation that to get answers to the above questions & many more!

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