Digital Marketing

Top 10 Digital Marketing Blogs in India – 2019 Edition

  • Lalitha Shukla
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  • 22 February , 2019
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    • 4 min read

A while ago, we shared the worlds’ best digital marketing blogs which covered a comprehensive range of the kind of content that is being created and shared worldwide. And then we got to wondering, how well-versed in the Indian market with the digital era?

An increasing number of Indian brands are going digital and the key is to keep yourself updated with the latest marketing trends and digital discoveries and use them to the best of your capabilities to expand your business. After all, digital media is all about growing. So, after a lot of backbreaking research, we got down to rounding up some of the best digital marketing blogs in India which could help you guide your way forward in the social media and digital space. You may also find it interesting to read our book on digital marketing insights or subscribe to our YouTube Channel. If you think we missed some amazing blogs, please do comment below and let us know.

Social  Samosa 

Founded by Aditya Gupta and Ankit Gaba, Social Samosa is the provenance of high-toned content which encompasses of agency highlights, in-depth case studies, interviews with prominent icons in the digital world, campaign reviews along with tips and tools that could help you grow profoundly in the social media expanse. The idea is to help businesses understand the world of social media locally and globally.

Digital Deepak

Deepak Kanakaraju is a leading marketing consultant from Bangalore. Prior to being a consultant, he worked as a digital marketing manager for leading brands such as Instamojo, Exotel, Practo and Razorpay. He is also a published author and his book “How to get your dream digital marketing job” is a handy guide for aspiring digital marketing professionals. His blog Digital Deepak covers a wide range of topics ranging from digital marketing tips to entrepreneurship.

Digital Ready

Digital Ready is a leading digital marketing training centre based out of Hyderabad. Their blog is a comprehensive guide for young professionals to understand A-Z of digital marketing. From latest updates and best practices to tips and tricks, Digital Ready covers everything in the world of digital marketing. They also offer digital marketing certifications and placement solutions for students.

Campaign India

Like Campaign Asia, the blogs at Campaign India cover the trending topics in digital media and they act like a solo powerhouse of information that is adequate for online marketers. The content found on this platform is mostly news and opinions from the digital world.

Social Beat  

Focused mainly towards digital marketers and CMOs who are looking to create a footprint in the world of digital marketing, Social Beat blogs cater to a variety of industries. The content in the blogs aims at helping businesses understand how different strategies can help them grow their business online. The blogs are enriched with quality insights and goal-oriented strategies to help brands get best ROI from their digital marketing efforts. You may also find it interesting to read our book on digital marketing insights or subscribe to our YouTube Channel.

Light house Insights

From the latest news to the top digital media trends, Lighthouse Insights provides everything. Timely interviews with eminent personalities from the creative world are also covered in their content hemisphere. These articles are something to look forward to for people who love nibbling on digi facts and understandings.

Sorav Jain

Sorav Jain is yet another digital marketing expert in India. His blog is a great platform to understand the latest tips and tricks for social media marketing. Apart from being a leading digital marketing consultant, he is also an author and a trainer. 101 content marketing tips on social media and Social Media for Business are the two books authored by him. Another striking highlight of Sorav’s blog is # DigitaltalkswithSorav where he interviews various industrial experts.

Shout Me Loud

The blogs of Shout Me Loud offer tips on WordPress, SEO, money blogging and affiliate marketing. Shout Me Loud also covers exclusive high quality content for beginners on how to make a career out of blogging. It is one of the award winning blogs that gives useful tips on how to become an entrepreneur with the help of blogging. Shout Me loud is  owned by Harsh Agrawal, a blogging expert from New Delhi. Today, Shout Me Loud has attracted about 900,000 readers across the world.

Digital Vidya

Digital Vidya is one of the leading platforms that offers digital marketing courses in India. Their blog section covers all things digital and has detailed step by step guides on each digital platform. Additionally, Digital Vidya blog also has case studies on various industries, which helps brands and marketers alike.

Influencer.in

Influencer.in is one of India's leading influencer marketing platforms, connecting brands with bloggers and Influencers. The blog provides excellent insights influencer marketing and tips for bloggers. It is the best resource to stay up to date with Influencer marketing news and tactics for a successful campaign.


Unlocking growth through innovation – Digital Leadership Summit Mumbai

  • Mrinali Fernandez
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  • 11 January , 2019
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    • 3 min read

The recently concluded second edition of our Digital Leadership Summit held in Mumbai saw many industry leaders sharing key insights and discussing trends in the digital marketing landscape. Among our speakers was Mr Abraham Alapatt – President and Group Head: Marketing, Service Quality, Value Added Services and Innovation at Thomas Cook. Mr Alapatt spoke about unlocking growth through innovation. Let’s take a look at some key insights from his speech.

The need for innovation

Set up in 1881, Thomas Cook has been around for 137 years. Today Thomas Cook has grown in strengths from a travel agency to a brand that deals with travel, foreign exchange, business travel and many more. Thomas Cook’s massive growth since 2012 all boils down to innovation. For a brand or company to stay relevant and sustain success, they need to continually innovate to come up with new and fresh ideas for operations, products and service

Formalising the innovation process

Alapatt spoke about his role as head of innovation at Thomas Cook. Innovation isn’t something that is forced. Innovating your process or brand for the sake of innovation is redundant and will only do your company more harm than good. As a brand, try to look for a particular value to enhance. The easiest way for businesses to innovate is to find new customers or create a unique opportunity with an existing customer. The best way to this is by implementing a full-funnel marketing approach will help target and retain customers better. Take a look at our video on full-funnel marketing and how it can help your brand.

Digital-led innovation

Many brands are still yet to make the shift from traditional marketing to digital. Today, ignoring the power of digital marketing means leaving your brand in the dust. By employing a digital-first strategy, any brand can achieve higher reach, better engagement and an increase in generating high-quality leads. Here, Alapatt cited two examples. The first was targeting people who make pilgrimage visits. The Thomas Cook website lets users create personalised tours and packages centred around pilgrim centres around the country, pre-book the darshan and continue on the holiday. This feature helped them tap into a whole new target audience including those in tier I and tier II cities. The second was adding an “Explore” feature to target millennials. The explore button gave millennials the chance to create their own personalised list of activities including adventure sports, sightseeing, etc. as well as a prompt to download an app that shows your every route needed for your vacation. The idea behind these features on Thomas Cook’s website was essential to explore new categories to tap into India’s next billion internet users.

The emergence of Virtual Reality

Alapatt touched briefly upon Thomas Cook’s virtual reality feature that gives customers a sense of their planned vacation. In the last few years, virtual reality has become a significant part of mainstream digital marketing efforts. Google India’s Year in Search Report 2017 posits that the Indian travel market will hit $48 billion by 2020. Given these substantial numbers, VR is an excellent way for a brand’s audience to “experience” their products or services without direct physical effects. Not only does this help increase engagement, but combined with an effective digital marketing strategy, VR can help mould the future of marketing for your brand.

The power of video

YouTube is currently the world’s second most popular search engine. In India alone, there are now around 225 million active users on YouTube, with this number expected to increase to 500 million by 2020. Brands need to leverage the power of YouTube or face losing out on a sizeable audience. From ensuring your video content uses techniques like YouTube SEO to exploring multiple formats, brands can improve performance and conversions. Videos have been around for decades, but have recently found their spotlight in terms of social media and digital marketing. Going forward, videos and interactive content will be at the forefront of digital marketing trends in 2019 and beyond.

Innovation and social impact

Innovation does not need to be restricted to marketing efforts or revenue made. Several brands around the world focus on giving back to their community and society at large. Thomas Cook, too, with the aim of social impact started a Centre of Learning. The primary objective of this institution was to drive skilling and employability. They are also involved with multiple NGOs and government organisations that help uplift those in need. CSR via innovation is another way to scale up your business in 2019.

This session by
Mr Abraham Alapatt was insightful for several of the attendees. The pace of
growth today is astounding. Business models transformations that took ten years
are now changing in as little time as three years. To stay ahead of the
competition, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and brands must anticipate change
and act with the future in mind while continuing to deliver results.


Building a brand through digital – Digital Leadership Summit Mumbai

  • Mrinali Fernandez
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  • 9 January , 2019
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    • 4 min read

One of the key highlights of the Digital Leadership Summit held in Mumbai was the panel discussion on the topic ‘Building a brand through digital marketing – Pushing the Frontiers’. The discussion moderated by Mr Suneil Chawla, the Co-Founder of Social Beat, had two reputed panellists: Mr Ajith Narasimhan from Sundaram Mutual Fund and Mr Vipin Guliani from Piramal Group. Let’s take a look at the key insights of the session.

Summary of the panel discussion

  • In order to build and sustain a brand, you must strategise your digital marketing techniques.
  • Digital Marketing is no longer just a marketing tool.
  • The customers of this generation need to be acquired, nurtured, retained and engaged with.
  • Today, customers are more interested in curated, solution-based products and goal-based offers.

Strategic nature of digital marketing

Everyone has been talking a lot about the increasing impact of digital marketing in building a brand. But the most important factor that needs to be discussed is the nature of the digital marketing technique, which in fact, plays a major role in achieving the desired results. That very thought started off the panel discussion. So how strategic or technical is digital marketing today?

Ajith from Sundaram Mutual Fund strongly believed in the strategic nature of digital marketing techniques. To substantiate his stand, he explained how the shift of mutual funds from being a push-driven product to a pull-driven product, paved the way towards the necessity of digital marketing today.

Due to major changes brought in by GST and demonetisation, mutual fund companies no longer need a medium of distributors to sell their products. Customers from the newer generation are more interested in getting serviced by the companies directly. Therefore, it becomes very important for companies to build a connection with the customers as well as retain that connect for a very long period of time. This is why the industry gives a highly strategic approach to digital marketing. Doing that helps them understand the need of the customers and provide them with services as per their requirements.

Vipin, from Piramal Group, too emphasised on the strategic nature of digital marketing today. When the aim is to build and sustain the brand, it becomes important to strategise digital marketing. However, he gave equal importance to the technical aspect of digital marketing as well. He was of the opinion that only the technical data mattered as far as the sale of the service or product was concerned.

Purpose of digital marketing

Both the panellists were of the same view that digital marketing has evolved to a great extent and is no longer just a marketing tool. Over the years, the type of customers who consume different products and services have changed to a great extent. The customers of this generation need to be acquired, nurtured, retained and engaged with.

The need to innovate new ideas in order to connect with and understand these customers is the need of the hour. Apart from giving companies the advantage of targeting the right customers, digital marketing also helps them to understand the needs of the customers and design their brands and services accordingly. Therefore, it becomes important to incorporate digital marketing techniques right when the idea of launching a product or a service comes into the picture.

Innovation in digital space

With changing times, the kind of products and services that customers need are also changing. Ajith was of the opinion that in the coming years, there will be a need to re-categorise the products completely. The need of the hour then would be curated solution-based products and goal based offers. That is when there will be a great scope for bringing in innovation in the digital space and engaging with India's next billion internet users.

Vipin also agreed with him. The requirement now is to first find out what the customers need and then build the product. This involves a lot of research for which innovative ideas have to be developed to find the right information from the customers through the digital space.

Targeting customers with the right strategies

The number of consumers has increased rapidly. And not all the people who consume data are recurring customers. There is a need for customer profiling in order to put forth the right suggestions to the customers. Both the panellists agreed that the digital strategy that needed to be applied here varied in the case of B2C and B2B.

Since there has been a shift from mass targeting to micro-targeting, strategies, too, need to be changed. Instead of bombarding all the people with the same digital ads and search ads, it is important to connect with people based on their profiles. This data-driven model would do wonders in the area of lead generation.

In the case of B2B, the target audience is very limited. Therefore, a blended strategy could be used, wherein apart from directly trying to convince the distributors, the help of customers could be taken to influence the decision of the distributors. This could be done with the help of social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Is digital marketing worth the money?

The new generation needs easy access to everything. Today, it is not difficult to bring a customer on board if your products are given to them in the most simplified manner. Going the digital way makes sure that customers get instant satisfaction. Therefore, it is necessary to spend the money to upgrade the reach of the company.

As compared to the other mediums, digital marketing is the most objective way of measuring ROI. It becomes easy to determine the success or failure of one’s campaign if it’s ROI driven. Not only does it help to determine the number of engagements, but it also helps in finding out the right platforms that help in targeting a specific audience. With ROI driven marketing technique, brands can easily recognise the right social media platform to connect with their customers.

Both our panellists were of the opinion that digital marketing is a key player as far as the game of connecting with the customers or distributors is concerned.


Digital Marketing for Pharma: Why Your Brand Can’t Afford to Neglect It

  • Rhea
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  • 19 December , 2018
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    • 9 min read

Digital marketing will be the next frontier for pharmaceutical companies as many of them are scaling up their consumer businesses and introducing an array of consumer brands. Traditionally, marketing innovation in the pharmaceutical industry has been stunted by heavy regulatory restrictions. Historically, pharmaceutical companies have had little to no interaction with their end-users-patients-since they depended entirely on their health care providers for medical knowledge and advice. With the digital medium democratising information in every sector, however, there is a huge opportunity for the pharma industry to develop patient-centric strategies and transform their fundamental business models. In fact, as patients become more digitally-savvy, the lines between pharma companies and patients will most likely become increasingly blurred. Digital marketing for pharma and healthcare will undoubtedly become the key differentiator for brands charting out a futuristic growth strategy.

There are five factors which make digital marketing for pharma companies essential.

Patients are better informed

Patients are not just passive recipients of prescriptions anymore. They are playing a more active role in their healthcare, researching various drugs and exercising their right to make the final decision about their health. This easy accessibility of information has both a negative and a positive side to it. On one hand, it means patients are more educated about their health than ever before. This empowers them to take more informed decisions about their health and fully understand side-effects that various drugs can have on their body. On the flip side, however, all information isn’t necessarily accurate information. To counter this, digital pharma strategies can help brands develop authority by providing patients with accurate, reliable information. By building a strong presence online and answering queries that patients might have, pharmaceutical brands can also develop a closer connection with their audience.

Shift from ‘patients’ to ‘consumers’

As a direct consequence of accessibility to information, end-users for pharma brands might soon be perceived as ‘consumers’ rather than ‘patients’. Marketing solely to health care professionals will not be viable in the long run as these might not be the actual consumers in the future. Armed with greater awareness, patients are in a better position to request or reject specific brands. The consumerisation of healthcare means that pharma companies will need to take a larger step towards consistently engaging users throughout their journey, ‘in good times and in bad’. Developing a strong and trustworthy brand image through digital pharma techniques has never been more important.

Transparency is forcing greater accountability

One patient’s experience with a drug no longer operates in a vacuum. The ability to track key physiological responses, progress and efficacy of medication (made possible through wearables and the interconnected Internet of Things network) has given individuals greater visibility into their healthcare. If they have a negative experience, they are very likely to share their journey publicly over social media and cause large-scale damage to a pharma company’s brand image. Unlike in the past, companies cannot control how much information about their product is available and how it is distributed. In this environment, digital marketing for pharma brands can effectively communicate the USPs of their drugs and develop a bond with consumers to win their trust.

New competitors are closing in

The pharmaceutical industry is unlikely to preserve the oligarchic market it enjoys today. With the proliferation of technology making user’s vital information more accessible, patient healthcare information is no longer in the sole control of healthcare providers. This has led to the emergence of new competitors in the pharma space -particularly from the tech industry. These digital pharma companies are moving beyond just drugs, providing patients with high-tech solutions that offer them greater visibility and control of their healthcare. Some of these include wearable activity trackers, ‘chips’, AI, VR and other potential disruptors in the space. If traditional pharma companies do not realign their strategy, they might not be able to compete with recent entrants to win the new age ‘consumer/patient’.

A wealth of data is available

With the huge volume of data available today, pharma companies cannot afford to neglect it. Brands can get a unique insight into their consumers concerns, behavioural habits and more. This data, that was previously unavailable, can help pharma brands build a more comprehensive digital strategy to engage with their end-users.

Top strategies in digital marketing for pharma

Since pharma brands have operated largely in the offline space, venturing into the digital medium can seem daunting. However, with these key digital marketing for pharma strategies, companies can soon start building a strong digital-first presence and engage with consumers to drive greater business results.

Content marketing

With the tight regulations and severe penalties that the pharma industry has to operate within, it comes as no surprise that most are hesitant to test out new marketing strategies. Under Indian law, companies are restricted from advertising drugs, with exceptions made in only a few cases. Content marketing is the ideal digital marketing for healthcare strategy as it can deliver long-term results without companies having to openly market their products. With the information-seeking mindset most consumers today possess, building a useful knowledge resource through content marketing can establish an enduring, positive brand association.

Pharma companies can use content in a number of different ways. The foundation of their content strategy, of course, should be a strong, comprehensive blog. The blog should cover a wide variety of topics that deliver value to readers. The focus shouldn’t be on using it as a purely marketing platform but leveraging the blog to build a community of engaged, responsive consumers.

Other forms of content marketing that pharma companies should deploy include:

  • Videos
  • Guides for consumers or healthcare providers
  • Industry reports

For our client, Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, we created a video based around the concept, 'Winning @ 90'. This video celebrated patients who had triumphed in their struggle against diabetes and reached the age of 90. Through the emotional content, Dr. Mohan's was able to build a closer connection with their audience on social media. The campaign performed phenomenally well on social media, garnering close to 2 lakh views on Facebook.

Search Engine Optimisation

SEO and content marketing go hand in hand; one cannot work without the other. Search Engine Optimisation a crucial component of digital marketing for pharma brands to gain visibility and organic growth. Ranking for important keywords demonstrates expertise in that field; a crucial factor for pharma companies to develop credibility among patients and healthcare providers alike. It ensures that visitors, which can include doctors and patients, land on the company’s website when searching for a related query. Why is this so important? Because on their website, a company has complete control over the accuracy of information shared and the brand image projected. Once on the website, users can be compelled to explore the content on it, watch videos, learn more about the service and even fill in an enquiry. This is an important technique for brands to improve the quality of digital leads generated.

Online Reputation Management

Unfortunately, the pharma industry has to deal with negative coverage and inaccurate information from niche groups. Left neglected, this type of coverage can do major damage to a brand’s reputation in the market. Online reputation management is the art of detecting negative coverage and charting strategies to tackle it.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by search saturation. This is just an extension of Search Engine Optimisation, but with a different purpose. Instead of ranking for branded keywords alone, companies should be vigilant about negative keywords related to their brand. After identifying them, brands should target the same keywords and create new positive content based on it. This way, they can ensure that negative coverage is kept to a minimum.

Build a comprehensive website

The one place where pharma companies have complete control over the accuracy of information shared and the brand image projected is on their website. Since both patients and doctors are looking to do intensive research before consuming or prescribing drugs, the website needs to deliver all the information they will require to make this decision. It should contain details about possible side-effects, benefits, recommended dosage amounts and anything else that might be pertinent. Details about clinical trials, in particular, are a very important feature to have on the website as they build credibility.

For IHHC, we developed an AMP landing page to improve a user's experience with the ad and the website. Through this strategy, we achieved a 33% lower cost-per-lead as compared to previous campaigns.

Build a strong brand through social media

Social media is the core of any digital marketing for pharma strategy. With such a significant portion of their target audience and consumers present on these platforms, pharma companies cannot afford to ignore them. The approach for companies is slowly shifting from merely communicating the benefits of a drug to healthcare professionals and medical reps to developing an emotional connect with patients themselves. Facebook is the perfect stage for brands to humanise their brand and reach out to a wider audience on a more personal level. Marketing for most drugs on Facebook might violate their policies, however, digital pharma strategies can include promotion of wellness and lifestyle-related posts. Emotional content is also something brands can always bank on to resonate with audiences.

For Himalaya Pharmaceuticals, for example, we leverage Facebook as a tool for building awareness of certain products as well as of the brand as a whole. We do this through a series of informative, entertaining and emotional posts around topics our audience is interested in. As a result, the brand has achieved greater brand awareness through a highly engaged Facebook audience.

We also leveraged influencer marketing to generate awareness about their facial wipes. This helped us reach a much wider audience through over 150 influencers.

You can learn more about this campaign on Client Case Study: Influencer Marketing for Himalaya.

Nurture consumers through online communities

Social media, like for most other industries, is equally important in digital marketing for pharma as well. But unlike in a typical B2C, the winning strategy for B2B companies like pharma will be to use social media platforms for community building rather than for brand awareness alone. This strategy is useful to engage with both, physicians as well as patients.

The platform brands choose to focus on will largely depend upon their audience. To reach out to physicians, LinkedIn might be better suited as users are looking to broaden their industry knowledge and grow their network. Platforms like Facebook, on the other hand, can be a useful tool to get faster brand awareness among a wider audience. Brands can engage with users here through a mix of informative and emotional content to build a strong personal connect with them.

Chatbots

Chatbots have emerged as one of the biggest digital trends that is having an impact on every sector. As the technology gets more sophisticated, chatbots are beginning to sound more ‘human’ and are even proving to be more effective than actual humans. Pharma companies can use chatbots on their website as an innovative digital marketing for healthcare strategy to communicate directly with consumers, doctors or medical reps. They can be used to market their products and offer assistance on how to use them. ‘Virtual nurses’ can help patients maintain their prescriptions, book appointments with their doctor and even send them alerts when they need to take medication. To engage with patients on a more consistent basis, brands can even develop ‘health assistance’ chatbots to offer them guidance on leading a healthy and active life. Chatbots for doctors can give them information about a drug’s recommended usage, clarify questions and even direct them to research conducted for a specific drug.

Develop a multilingual strategy

Medical jargon can be intimidating and confusing for most patients. This is further compounded by the fact that much of it is in English; a language most Indians aren't comfortable with. Pharma companies typically have markets that spread across geographical boundaries. To cater to this diverse audience, communicating to them in just one language might not be effective. A website can provide in-depth information, but unless it is in a language that the user understands, it serves no use. Adopting a multilingual approach is one of the most important pharma digital marketing trends to look out for. Offering content in a number of different languages on the website, blog and social media posts can help brands reach India’s next billion internet users. As 70% of Indians find content in their regional language more reliable (according to a report by Google and KPMG), using multiple languages can help pharma brands build greater credibility and inspire trust.

In order to use multilingual content to its full potential, it isn’t enough for brands to simply translate their existing content in various languages. Instead, they need to develop messaging specifically for various markets, keeping their desires, challenges and lifestyles in mind. This is why we have developed 22 Languages, a platform to create and amplify content in vernacular languages. The power of a multilingual approach will be the only way to reach the huge audience beyond India’s metros.

For Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, we created a series of posts in Tamil for the campaign '10 Commandments of Dr. Mohan's'. Since Tamil was the language a large portion of their audience was most comfortable with, the campaign outperformed many English language campaigns run in the past.

We also saw similar results when we ran Tamil campaigns for SIMS Hospital. Clearly, without a comprehensive regional strategy in place, pharma companies might not be able to gain adequate traction.

Digital marketing for pharma has the potential to completely change the face of the industry. Getting a head start and adopting a strong digital strategy will give pharma companies the edge they need to stand out from the competition.


Top Digital Marketing Events in India in 2019

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 10 December , 2018
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    • 7 min read

Are you looking out for some really interesting, inspirational and power packed events? Attend some of the biggest marketing and digital marketing events in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and other parts of India; that not just inspire but also give you an opportunity to network with the best marketers in the country. It’s an opportunity to listen to the finest in the advertising and marketing field – a forum that stimulates conversations and ideas around design, marketing, digital and more. You may also find it useful to read our book on digital marketing and view the Digital Bytes knowledge series on the Social Beat YouTube Channel.

Here’s a quick glance into our compilation of top marketing events taking place across the country in 2019.

IDMA – Indian Digital Media Awards

Exchange4media organizes the Indian Digital Media Awards since 2010. It has always encouraged contributors in the 360-degree digital media space to keep getting better with the transformations taking place in the industry year on year. For this, it recognizes their talents, appreciates and celebrates them through these awards. It has showcased the work of many contemporary digital professionals and rewarded them for their beautifully executed digital blogs and viral campaigns. This event in itself is a huge networking opportunity for every business professional to connect and grow.

Campaign India Digital Crest

Campaign India is back with the ninth edition of its awards on 5th Jun 2019 to honour excellence in digital advertising and marketing. Rechristened Campaign India Digital Crest Awards (CIDCA) in 2013, the property has evolved over the last nine years from its origins (as the Campaign India Digital Media Awards), to remain contemporary, relevant and inclusive of the dynamic changes in the digital ecosystem. It also features an award evening. Placing greater emphasis on ROI and effectiveness, significant changes were introduced in the jury composition in 2018.

Pitch CMO Summit

Exchange4Media group boasts of another event that it hosts, the Pitch CMO Summit. It is considered to be their flagship event which gathers some of the greatest marketing minds to discuss the latest, complex and challenging marketing trends in the global market scenario.  Every year, the event is theme-based. The theme for 2019 was “Reinventing Consumer Experience”.  At the Pitch CMO summit on 7th March 2019, leaders from the Industry explained how to concentrate on ‘the buy’, underlines the challenges, and highlight the opportunities.

Ad:Tech Mumbai

ad:tech is the original industry authority for marketing and media technology, where marketing, technology and media communities assemble to share new ways of thinking, build strong partnerships, and define new strategies to compete in an ever-changing marketplace. The 10th edition of ad:tech in Mumbai will take place on 13th and 14th November 2019. The summit will enable participants to explore the future of marketing and discuss the ever-evolving and complex landscape, focussing on how technology, data and content are helping brands win through superior Customer Experiences, regardless of the touchpoint.

Social Beat Digital Leadership Summit

Social Beat, a digital marketing firm present in 3 cities, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai conducts free events across these 3 cities.

  1. Digital Leadership Summit in Mumbai, Bengaluru & Chennai - This is a CXO event which brings together Business Leaders and CMOs to discuss how to drive business results through digital marketing and share innovation across Video, Vernacular Content, Voice, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. The business leaders and attendees would be from across sectors, including FMCG, BFSI, Real Estate, Entertainment, Education and Internet Businesses. The next Digital Leadership Summit is in Bengaluru on 26th Feb 2019. The one prior to this was on 15th Nov 2018 in Mumbai. The first edition of the Digital Leadership Summit was held in Chennai in 2016.
  2. The Digital Marketing Masterclass: Multiple editions of the Digital Marketclass have been conducted in Mumbai, Chennai & Bangalore in partnership with Google & Facebook. The last one was conducted in Mumbai on 21st April 2017 in partnership with Facebook India. With a packed audience, the event saw an insightful evening on how to approach digital marketing to build a brand and to acquire quality sales or leads.  It covered key points such as  Mobile First Marketing, Instagram Marketing, Art of Audience Targeting on Facebook and backed it up with a few case studies. An extremely informative and engaging event that should see a place at the top of your consideration
  3. Digital Chai Pe Charcha: Social Beat conducts a series of free workshops for startups called Digital Chai Pe Charcha, which allows first-time digital marketers to get a better sense of how to get ROI from their marketing efforts. After successful editions in Bengaluru and Chennai, it was also launched in Mumbai in 2017. The last event's topic was on ways of getting ROI from Digital Marketing and the Charcha went on between entrepreneurs and marketers from across industries which were the major makeup of the audience. Newer and first of its kind strategies were unveiled along with some really interesting takeaways.

Streamcon Asia

Conceptualized by the online video analytics & marketing company - Vidooly, StreamCon Asia 2019 is a one-stop congregation for content creators, video platforms and advertisers from the online video industry in India. It is one of largest event of its kind in India with speakers and panelists from UC Web, Indigo Airlines, Eros Digital, Fab India, Oyo Rooms, Trent, Dailyhunt and more. It will also feature many content creators and YouTuber Influencers giving it a power packed event for anyone who is leveraging video content.

Indian Content Marketing Award & Summit

A niche awards night started by exchange4media in 2016, is now an annual summit. The last one took place on 7th September 2018. In the world of marketing, content has definitely changed the way marketers present their brands to consumers. As more and more brands choose creative content for engaging with their consumers, the need to stand out increases every minute. Indian Content Marketing Awards aim to promote and recognise this talent, expertise and hard work that go behind cracking breakthrough ideas & concepts to create exceptional brand stories.

The Content Marketing Summit is also going to have an Asia Summit in Mumbai in May 2019 so watch out for that too.

Adobe Symposium India

Adobe Symposium is one of the biggest Digital Marketing events in Mumbai. This event invites thought leaders in the field of digital marketing to redefine your experiences with Adobe partners. As their marketing promos claim – ‘Take it to another level, soar new heights like never before and extend your digital experience with courses straight from the Adobe Digital Learning Services’. Apart from these, there are several other reasons to attend this conference, including networking goals. This is the most sought-after experience for most digital professionals in today’s utmost competitive era and has been rightly defined as the event “Where digital marketing meets extraordinary experiences.”  Every marketer looks forward to making the most valuable connections with their digital marketing pioneers and peers and if luck may have it, then with the digital marketing veterans and Adobe leaders too.

The next Adobe Symposium in Mumbai is scheduled to take place on 16th April 2019 at Mumbai's Grand Hyatt.

The Marketing Conclave

This is a grand event in Mumbai organized by the IAMAI (Internet and Mobile Association of India).  It is an endeavour towards establishing a great comprehension of the modern methods and mechanics of marketing.

Key highlights:

Major Speakers were MDs & CEOs of leading companies such as Group M and Pepsico, top marketing managers of Times Internet, Starbucks, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, eBay and Renault amongst others. There were Panelists to take the conversations to another level.  The sessions were followed by networking breaks at regular intervals.

Topics of discussion revolved around Marketing in new age Digital India and around the globe that included:

  1. The new age brand’s marketing techniques that go beyond analysis in numbers
  2. Programmatic marketing
  3. Marketing on Mobiles
  4. Video Marketing as a part of Social Media Marketing
  5. Performance Marketing

Paul Writer Brand Summit and Hot Brands 2019

Spread across three cities, the Paul Writer Brand Summit and Hot Brands 2019 is in its second year. The summit will focus on brand engagement, content marketing and marketing AI as an emerging trend in the digital marketing landscape. The summit will also feature a special segment on upcoming brands and startups as well as celebrating those brands that have achieved massive growth and accolades the past year.

The summit will take place between 8:30 am to 6 pm in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi NCR on February 8th, 15th and 22nd respectively.

Influence Now Communication Conclave

Since 2015, a two-city conclave has been organised by Reputation Today in the key metros, skipping the metro closest to the PRAXIS venue of that year. Having started in 2015 in Mumbai the conclave has seen 7 editions already. In 2018 there was one each in Gurgaon and Mumbai. Since PRAXIS will take place down south in Hyderabad, Bangalore will not witness the conclave.

DigiMarcon (Digital Marketing Conference)

It is The Largest Digital Marketing Event in India.  This conference generally takes place in September - October. This year it is scheduled to be held on September 4th and 5th, 2019 online. It is a Live Conference held as a response to the massive demand and the huge response it receives. Set your goals straight whether they are primarily aiming to reinforce customer loyalty, improve lead generation, increase sales, or even drive stronger consumer engagement, DIGIMARCON INDIA 2019’s agenda will enhance all your marketing efforts through perceptions of innovators and influential people. Pull up your sleeves for the sessions will enlighten you through remarkable insights through powerful talks on ways to build traffic, expand your brand awareness, improve customer service and finally know about today’s latest digital tools. A must-attend event that impresses you within 20 minutes, you can't afford to miss it.

Content Marketing Summit Asia

CMS Asia is a premier not-for-profit event organized by the thriving marketing community across JAPAC and ANZ. This year the summit is being held in four different cities – Sydney, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai. CMS Asia will features speakers and attendees coming together to explore and discuss the various facets of content marketing, emerging trends, best practices and innovative though leadership.

The South Asia leg of the summit will take place in Mumbai on May 8, 2019.

IAMAI Marketing Conclave

IAMAI introduces the 14th edition of the Marketing Conclave - Game of Marketing. A Game of Thrones-themed one-day conference, where the work of marketing gurus and professionals come alive. Its taking place on 5th December 2018. Jaime Lannister, Daenerys, Khal Drogo or the popular favourite Jon Snow - we have watched them, loved them but now it’s time to live the glory of the kingdom with a twist.

VdoNxt

The 3rd edition of VdoNxt Asia is India’s largest convention for those who live by the promise of digital video. Having taken place on 17th January 2018, it is the complete experience: listen and network at the conference; get in touch with the latest in technology at the exhibition, and celebrate the best work in digital video at the VdoNxt awards. The next edition will only be in 2020 and there is no event scheduled for 2019.

If you are based in Bengaluru, you may find it interesting to read our blog on Top marketing events in Bangalore.

Do feel free to comment below or reach out to us in case you feel any other event in Mumbai deserves to be a part of this list.


First Look: Digital Leadership Summit Edition Mumbai

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 24 October , 2018
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    • 3 min read

The number of people online today in India is greater than it ever was before. Currently, there are around 450 million internet users in the country and this number is likely to increase to 650 million by 2021. But what is more significant than just these numbers is that a majority of these Internet users will be coming, not from the big metros, but from the smaller towns and villages of India. Along with a shift in audiences, there has also been a change in the way audiences access the Internet and what they do on it.

In the first edition of our Digital Leadership Summit, we discussed how measuring ROI is one of the biggest challenges for digital and content marketing. For a brand to capture the next billion Internet users in India, finding a way to adapt to the new market is essential – which is exactly what we will be addressed at the 2nd edition of the Digital Leadership Summit by Social Beat. In this edition, marketers and brands can get a closer look at the biggest challenges and upcoming trends in the digital space from the reigning experts in the field. As a sneak-peek, let’s take a look at the three factors that have emerged as indispensable in a brand’s digital marketing strategy: video, voice and vernacular.

Video

In 2016, Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of Facebook’s operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa predicted that in 5 years, Facebook’s newsfeed would comprise of videos alone. At the time, this claim sounded far-fetched. However, going by recent trends, video content will soon become the most important type of content created for the Internet. Each day, around 100 million hours of video content are consumed on Facebook alone. When Indians aren’t watching videos on Facebook, they’re watching them on YouTube. As per YouTube Brandcast 2018, the world’s second largest search engine currently has around 225 million active monthly users in India, with this number set to increase to 500 million by 2020. A majority of these users watch videos to help make purchase decisions. Clearly, the fastest way for brands to capture the attention of their target audience will be to make engaging, easily understandable videos to tell brand stories. Check out our case study on how Cholamandalam Finance harnessed the power of videos and vernacular content to widen their reach.

Voice

At the Google for India summit in 2017, the growing importance of voice search in India became even more evident. The Google year in search report also mentions, around 28 percent of all Google searches in India are through voice. Even more significant was the fact that a majority of these voice searches were conducted in vernacular languages. Hindi voice queries are growing by around 400 percent year on year. India is also witnessing the increased usage of personal assistants such as Siri, Alexa and Google Home.  The advent of voice search points towards a fundamental re-thinking of tried and tested SEO strategies. Since voice search results only pick up the most relevant result (usually the featured snippet), digital marketers will need to optimise their content to ensure it is voice-ready.

Vernacular

Two of the biggest developments in India’s digital story in recent years have been the steep drop in smartphone prices and the availability of affordable high-speed internet, catalysed by the Jio network. Both of these factors have led to the growth of internet audiences from tier 2 and 3 cities and towns in India. For marketers, it is attracting these audiences and not the urban population that will prove crucial. A study found that around 70 percent of Indians trust regional content online more than English language content. If brands want to engage with the next billion internet users in India, the way forward is vernacular content. Currently, Tamil is the most used regional language online with 42 percent, while Hindi follows closely with 32 per cent. To tap into this huge potential, a strong, comprehensive strategy with end-to-end messaging in regional content is indispensable. Read our case study on how a multilingual approach generated 90% growth in leads for further insights.

Apart from these indispensible marketing strategies, the session will also throw light on how artificial intelligence will change the way marketers work. The newer emerging trends around AI, chatbots and machine learning, have proved to be a game-changer in digital marketing, working wonders for brands across all sectors. Immersive experiences like virtual tours of an apartment even before a site visit have added much-needed value to the content being consumed by potential buyers. Automation and machine learning have also pushed smaller brands to adapt programmatic advertising.

Does your marketing strategy tick the three V’s and marketing automation? Find out how your brand can gear up for the future at the 2nd edition of the Digital Leadership Summit by Social Beat. Our first Digital Leadership Summit covered the rise of digital marketing in India, but the digital landscape has changed drastically since then. Register now to get the latest industry insights from some of the biggest names in the field!


7 effective digital marketing techniques for insurance companies

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 28 September , 2018
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    • 7 min read

The modern concept of insurance might have started in the 17th century, but consumers and their decision-making processes have changed drastically over time. Modern-day consumers, with the power of the internet at their fingertips, are more informed now than ever before. Prior to making a purchase decision, they extensively research various plans, read reviews about different providers and ask their peers for recommendations. Insurance companies need to adapt to this changing funnel and target their consumers at every stage of the customer journey. Here’s how digital marketing for insurance companies can help brands widen their audience and revamp their marketing strategies.

Cohesive brand message across channels

Insurance companies in India today largely operate in the offline space, both in terms of marketing and operations. When transitioning to digital, companies need to ensure that their branding is cohesive on all platforms. Having a uniform, strong brand image is crucial to improving recall value among customers. All of your future communications, promotions and other marketing activities will depend upon the brand image that your company creates.

In some cases, companies might need to rebrand themselves to adapt to the digital space. If you do decide to update the look and feel of your brand to make it stand out better on digital platforms, you also need to ensure that your offline branding follows suit. Consistency between your online and offline personas is key to creating a strong brand.

Create a comprehensive & performance driven website

When it comes to digital marketing for insurance companies, a website is more than just a tool for branding. While one of the most important uses of a website is to communicate your brand image to your audience, it should also be a useful resource of information for them. When it comes to making a decision about which insurance provider to partner with, customers do so only after carrying out extensive research. The Customer Behaviour and Loyalty in Insurance report by Bain & Company found that more than half of all insurance holders choose a provider only after conducting research on digital platforms. Does your website provide consumers with all the information they need to make a decision?

 

When developing a website for your insurance brand, you need to ensure that it isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, but is also easy to navigate and user-friendly. Personalisation of home pages is becoming increasingly important for a positive user experience. It's also important to ensure that the pages are focussed on driving action and driving enquiries or purchases. You can consider creating a login for your customers, which allows them to see details of their plans and customised suggestions based on their needs. It’s also important that you optimise your website with strong SEO techniques to drive organic traffic and gain greater visibility.  Apart from supporting your content marketing, local SEO techniques like getting featured on Google Local Listings and Google My Business can help your audience learn more about your company.

Build thought leadership through content marketing

Content marketing is uniquely suited to the marketing needs of insurance brands. Choosing an insurance provider isn’t a quick decision, nor is it a one-time process. Customers need to renew their plans periodically, at which time they can even decide to switch providers. Effective content marketing techniques can help you gain the trust of your audience by establishing your brand as a thought leader in the field. When backed by effective SEO strategies to increase organic traffic and help your content rank higher, content marketing can be one of the most useful ways to reach a wider audience.

Content marketing can take the form of blog posts, informative videos and how-to guides. This can help engage with your customers right from the awareness stage to acquisition and finally the retention phase. When developing a content marketing strategy it’s important that you think from the perspective of your audience and create content that they will actually find useful. The blog by Sundaram Business Services, for example, doesn’t just have information related directly to their services. Instead, it caters to all related queries that their audience might have. In this way, your customers will be able to recall your brand when they need to choose an insurance provider.

Engage consumers actively on social media

Social media isn’t commonly associated with insurance brands, but it is as important for this segment as it is for any other. There are currently around 240 million Indians on Facebook and this number is only going to grow from here. Insurance, on the other hand, hasn’t penetrated as far in India. Currently, only 20 per cent of women and 23 per cent of men in the country are covered by health insurance. Social media is a powerful way to develop your brand identity and consistently engage with your target audience. Through creative posts, digital marketing for insurance can develop awareness of your product, while at the same time, entertaining your audience.

For Star Health Insurance, we posted a series of quirky posts to highlight the importance of being protected with insurance in an unusual way. This is an excellent example of how out-of-the-box thinking can help social media campaigns for insurance companies gain excellent results.

For some brands, it may be relevant to go after India’s next billion internet users by tapping onto a multilingual content st+rategy. To find out more, find out how we leveraged vernacular content on social media for one of our BFSI Clients, Chola Finance.

Use chatbots for improved customer service

Large insurance companies typically handle huge volumes of customer queries every single day. The Google India 2017 Year In Search Report revealed that there has been a 64 per cent growth in queries related to motor insurance, which has also been a key driver in generating leads. Timely resolution of these queries is crucial to improve a customer’s experience with your brand and to generate leads. But insurance companies might not always have the manpower to do this effectively. To streamline their processes and handle large-scale customer queries, many insurance brands are turning to AI-powered solutions like chatbots.

As a majority of insurance-related queries are related to broadly similar topics like the price, duration and terms of various insurance plans, chatbots can resolve them much faster than human representatives. But the advantages of chatbots aren’t just for the companies themselves; they go both ways. According to the 2018 State of Chatbots Report, 69% of consumers prefer interacting with chatbots over human customer service representatives.

Leverage digital advertising to acquire leads

Paid advertising can be a fast and effective lead generation tool in digital marketing for insurance companies. There are over 25 platforms available today for insurance companies to advertise their services and gain customers. Some of these include Google Search and Display, LinkedIn, Times Internet, Native and Affiliate ad networks. When coupled with high-performing landing pages, these tools can turn your insurance marketing strategy into a lead generation machine. The advanced targeting options available in digital advertising platforms make it easy for insurance companies to find their target audience online. Companies can target audiences by age, locality and intent, which can help them generate high-quality leads. Since insurance companies are also interested in finding younger audiences to build a relationship with them from the start, advertising on Facebook through video ads, carousel ads and more can help them engage with this segment.

Bijlipay was able to capitalise on the power of Google ads to achieve an unprecedented number of leads in a cost-effective way. They used A/B testing to run different landing pages and altered the copies to communicate with different segments of their audience in a targeted manner. This strategy helped Bijlipay achieve 3,569 conversions at a cost-per-conversion of just Rs. 285. Here are some tips on improving the quality of your leads via digital advertising.

Nurture leads through digital media

Digital platforms have helped to improve the quality of audience targeting and retention in a way traditional media hasn’t been able to. The variety of lead targeting and nurturing methods available today makes it possible to engage with your customers at various touchpoints. In the insurance segment, this is very important to gain new policyholders and to retain existing ones even after their plan expires.

One of the most effective lead nurturing strategies for insurance companies is drip email marketing. With this technique, you can create targeted communications for your customers in every phase of their purchase decision process.

A drip email marketing campaign can be broadly categorised into three phases:

Welcome emails: This is an automated email sent out as soon as a consumer expresses interest in your brand by signing up on your website or filling out a form. A consumer in this stage is usually evaluating various insurance providers and hasn’t made a decision about which one to choose. A welcome email can provide them with details of your company and your USPs, to give them a clearer idea of your brand.

Nurturing emails: The second stage goes deeper to provide consumers with more specific details about your various services, details of your plans and your value propositions. Each of these emails should provide consumers with a clear reason as to why they should convert. The exact number of nurturing emails can vary.

Activation emails: If you have effectively used strong lead nurturing emails, your audience should be ready to convert into actual customers. Activation emails can include a link to sign up for an insurance plan or to get in touch with a representative from your company. These emails include a clear call-to-action which gives your audience the final push to convert.

Apart from email marketing, the introduction of WhatsApp for Business offers insurance companies another medium for lead nurturing. However, since WhatsApp is still largely a personal inbox, companies need to ensure that they keep their communications through this app concise. Sending too many messages to consumers can be seen as spam.

Digital marketing has a number of clear advantages for insurance companies. While this segment has traditionally not been active on digital platforms, it’s clear that making the shift will help insurance companies widen their audience and gain more visibility.


Inbox by Gmail – The Future of Email

  • Abhishek Kumar
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  • 18 March , 2016
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    • 4 min read

In the age of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, Google is taking significant steps to ensure that emails remain a relevant mode of communication. It has not only succeeded till now but seem well set to revolutionize email communication across the world- Inbox by Gmail makes emails not just communication messages, rather a personal assistant of sorts.

  • Have you spent your time searching for your travel ticket in a heap of emails
  • Are you troubled by the enormous amount of emails you receive in a day promotions, social, newsletters and of course, business emails
  • Do you manually spend a significant time assigning your emails into different folders or tags
  • Google Research suggests 80% of searches on Gmail look for a fact in the email rather than the mail itself

Features under the spotlight

The Inbox by Gmail is your personal assistant to help you manage your emails (read work) better. Here's what is there in store for you:

Smart Reply

The Smart Reply feature, which was rolled out for the Inbox App in November last year, has recently made its way to the Web version. Under this, Gmail would suggest three quick reply options. The reply options are dynamically generated based on the content and nature or the received email. The options selected by you are fed into the system to improve future response suggestions similar to the Spam filters.

Bundles

Inbox scans your incoming emails and sorts them into different buckets. All seemingly important mails go into your inbox while others get placed into different bundles or folders: Trips, Social, Finance, Updates, Forums, Promos and Low Priority. You have the option of deleting the entire bundle at once or mark as Done.

Snooze

You can use this feature to snooze the message to a particular date and time when you intend to work or action the message. You just have to open the message and tap the snooze option it gives a pop up to select the scheduled time for the message to reappear.

Smart Reminders

Are you into the habit of maintaining unread emails in your inbox just to remind you to do a particular thing? Now say goodbye to those unread emails. You just need to tap the Remember To field before the email subject line and type in the reminder. Based on the content in the email, Inbox also suggests the reminder options.

Pin It

You can pin the messages on top of your inbox even after it's placed into a folder or bundle. This will act as a reminder to reply to the mail or action the point.

Undo

Now you don't need to regret accidently clicking the Send option Inbox gives you the option to Undo the sent mail. The only catch is that you have got a 15 sec window for the same.

Limitations of Inbox by Gmail

With all the handy features waiting to be explored, Inbox does have its own limitations:

  • Lack of a universal Inbox makes it cumbersome to switch between multiple Gmail accounts.
  • No option to mute a mail thread
  • Machine Learning-based model makes it imperative to train your App. You will have to spend the initial few days navigating through some wrongly bundled mail or not so close replies.
  • Last but not the least, the most obvious disadvantage is that it works only with Gmail accounts

Artificial Intelligence for Communication: Potential Impact for Marketers

Inbox by Gmail as a concept is built entirely on the premise of Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning. For new users, it seems to be a regular app they use but in hindsight, this is an experiment that will govern how people communicate in 2025. Right from smart replies to email sorting, every single concept is geared towards making Inbox do the hard work for you. That will mark the transition of Gmail from an email service to a full-fledged Personal Assistant. It's worth taking a look at its potential impact for marketers.

  • Marketing Emails would still be useful. But it would entail a paradigm shift in the way marketing is done. The fight to Stay on top of the inbox will give way to a marketing format to be present where & when your consumer wants to see you.
  • It's not that consumers do not like promotional emails. They love offers and promotions but get irritated when either it jumps in at the wrong time or too many spammy mails make it difficult to find your important mails. With Inbox in place, it will allow customers to browse through Promotion bundle when they are actually looking for offers.
  • Inbox specific Call-to-Action will become important. For example, Snooze Mail feature can be useful for retailers to provide in-store offers that make consumers Snooze the message for their next visit to the mall.
  • Its machine-learning based so the way your content engages with the consumer will be important. If the interaction behavior of your messages varies differently in comparison to other mails in the Bundle, Inbox will surely provide more focus to your message. The whole idea of machine learning and artificial intelligence is geared towards this to help you perform your work better.

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