Social Beat News

Top Digital Marketing Courses in India

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
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  • 10 May , 2020
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    • 9 min read

With the Indian internet population at over 550 million users (as of Jun 2020), the digital marketing industry is growing. With the industry showing an enormous projected growth potential and an expected paucity of trained professionals, many students, graduates and young professionals are looking to get on the digital marketing bandwagon. Owing to Covid 19 there are even more Indians spending time online. This has led to choice in terms of digital marketing courses and training institutes in India.

To cater to the growing need for these courses, a number of training companies, institutes and universities have started various courses on Digital marketing. There are tons of books written on Digital Marketing and YouTube Channels covering digital marketing. Based on our experience in digital over the last decade, here is a guide on some of the best institutes that you could choose from. Since this is an extensive article we've split it into sections to make it easier for you to navigate and read through.

Our top three picks would be DigiGrad, UpGrad (on the executive side) and Udemy (for an affordable option). There are also many free digital marketing courses, to get started with.

  1. Criteria for evaluating digital marketing courses
  2. Online Digital Marketing Courses in India
  3. Online Vs Classroom courses 
  4. Classroom and Offline Courses 
  5. Executive Programs on Digital Marketing
  6. Global Online Digital Marketing Courses

Short Video Guide on how to select the right digital marketing course in India:



Criteria you should use for evaluating digital marketing courses and institutes

Before opting for a digital marketing course online or offline, here are some pointers to evaluate the desired institute or course structure.

  • Certification: Certification is no substitute for skills learned and hands-on industry experience but, nevertheless, can add to the CV of a fresher making an entry into the field or for a professional looking to make a career switch. Opt for certification courses recognized by various educational bodies and corporates.
  • Course Curriculum & Faculty Expertise: Gauge the Institute or the course offered based on the curriculum, faculty expertise, training modules and relevance to the current industry trends & practices. A program being run by a digital marketing agency themselves is very impactful.
  • Reviews and recommendations: Check for reviews and recommendations from industry experts & former students through Google, online education portals or discussion forums. Reach out to alumni on LinkedIn for their direct feedback, where feasible.
  • Placements: Explore the institute's placement opportunities or institutional tie-ups for live projects & hands-on experience on acquired digital marketing skills.

Here are some of the popular websites/companies/institutes offering Digital Marketing courses which will save you a considerable amount of time in research if you're looking for one for yourself.

Online Digital Marketing Courses in India from Institutes

DigiGrad

DigiGrad is an initiative of Social Beat (a Google Premier Partner and a Recommended Facebook Agency) to impart quality digital training in an online and classroom setting. Priced at INR 30,000 DigiGrad offers the Certificate Program in Digital Marketing that is tailor-made for marketers, entrepreneurs and freshers alike. It is an IIM alumni initiative with Harvard-style Case Study based Learning Methodology and live classes with a small batch size of less than 50 students per batch. Their integrated 12 weeks rigorous learning program has 7 advanced training modules and includes practical application-oriented modules. It also offers specific programs relating to Digital Adverting, Social Media, SEO and other digital marketing streams. As its an initiative by a digital agency, they guarantee a live project and offer internships and projects at Social Beat and with India’s top brands.

Manipal ProLearn

Manipal Global Education Services is from the parent company of Manipal University, that offers online and classroom-based courses on digital marketing. Their online certification program spanning 100 hours of learning covers various aspects of digital marketing such as SEO, SEM, ORM and Analytics. Their PG Certificate in partnership with Manipal Academy starts at INR 95,000 - though its a long program (200 days) whereas the Certificate program starts at INR 55,000.

Digital Vidya

Digital Vidya is a leading Digital Marketing training company and one of the first to launch Social Media Marketing course series in India. Since 2009, they claim to have had participation from over 20,000 professionals and students, from over 10,000 organizations and institutions. Digital Vidya also offers Digital Marketing (CDMM), Mobile Marketing (CMMM) and Social Media Certification programs (CSMMP) in association with V-Skills, a Govt. of India initiative. Their programs are priced at INR 50,000.

Simplilearn

Simplilearn is one of the leading platforms for online training and professional certification programs. They have around 30 courses in digital marketing that provide hands-on experience in various Digital marketing domains. Priced at INR 60,000 they are accredited by OMCP, these courses are aimed at helping working professionals & aspirants stay ahead of the digital curve with relevant skills.

NIIT

NIIT offers a post graduate degree in digital marketing and branding, seems to be designed for freshers. It guarantees 3 interviews and is priced at INR 70,000. The duration of these courses is 6 months. They used to offer this program offline but now moved it to digital - possibly owing to Covid 19.

Internet & Mobile Research Institute

Internet & Mobile Research Institute, headquartered in Bangalore is a full-service international digital media training centre. IMRI conducts a one-month Executive Programme course in SEO, PPC advertising, SMM & Web Analytics, a six-month Professional Program In Digital Marketing (EPDM) and a one-year Graduate Program for aspirants to jumpstart their digital marketing career and it aims to be more experiential than classroom training.

AIMA

The All India Management Association (AIMA) has an AICTE approved 1 year program. The pricing is INR 31,000 per semester and for the full program it is probably INR 93,000. The major digital marketing tools covered in this course are email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, affiliate marketing, digital display, mobile marketing, online video and social media analytics. Spread over a period of three months, this online course is divided into 6 modules.

Affordable Courses

There are many free digital marketing courses and affordable recorded courses from platforms like Udemy, which covers the basics of digital marketing. Even Coursera has some excellent programs. If you are a student then MyCaptain has some useful programs starting at INR 2,800.

How to choose between Online and Classroom courses for digital marketing

Online Courses are generally more convenient for most people, especially working professionals as they can be attended from the comfort of one's home/office Also, with technology having improved, online instructor-led virtual classrooms are as good as actual classrooms, with webinar software allowing for both peers to peer interaction as well as student-teacher interaction. Webinar recordings are also available for those who miss out on sessions. Classroom programs would only work best for you if you are the personality type that prefers learning in a classroom environment or if you're not too comfortable with learning in a live webinar format.

Classroom & Offline Courses for digital marketing

Here is a list of institutes which conduct classroom courses but owing to Covid 19, many of them may not be fully operational yet.

DMTI

Digital Marketing Training Institute conducts a Post Graduate Program in Digital Media Marketing in Mumbai. The course is a one-year, full-time program that focuses on the strategic and practical aspects of Digital Marketing. They have an active placements cell as well which helps course participants get jobs in the digital marketing space.

EduPristine

EduPristine is one of India's leading training providers for international certifications in Finance, Accounting and Analytics. They also conduct digital marketing classroom courses in 11 Indian cities. The course covers 60 hours of digital marketing classroom training over 12 Sundays. They also have a 48-hour online course spread over 6 weekends. On completion of the course, the participants are awarded a Certificate of Excellence in collaboration with the "Microsoft IT Academy Program".

DSIM

The Delhi School of Internet Marketing (now acquired by DigitalVidya) conducts an all in one advanced digital marketing live classroom course for working professionals, business owners and job-seekers, at their training centres in Delhi and Bangalore. They conduct an online instructor-led course as well on weekends. However, they do not seem to offer any digital marketing certification for participants who complete the course.

Digital Nest

Digital Nest conducts an Advanced Digital Marketing Training Course in Hyderabad. The course includes 48 hours of classroom training with weekday/weekend classes. They also conduct workshops/seminars and webinars for corporate bodies and educational institutions.

Social Samosa

Social Samosa, one of the most popular social media news and information portals in India, conducts workshops and seminars on the basics of Social Media, Facebook and Twitter marketing in Mumbai. These one-day sessions can serve as a primer for those who want to gain a basic knowledge of the space.

IIDE

Located in Mumbai, the Indian Institute of Digital Education offers two courses on digital marketing and full stack programming. The digital marketing programme is designed to give freshers a robust introduction to the world of digital marketing and help professionals intensify their existing knowledge of all things digital. The programme is divided into a 6-month with classes conducted thrice a week, and independent certification courses conducted for three hours over one week.

The full stack programming course is an exhaustive 6-month program that gives students a profound understanding of the technical and practical aspects of web development and coding.

Executive Programs & Management Development Programmes on Digital Marketing in India

Most of the courses listed above are best suited for students and working professionals. If you are someone in a fairly senior role who has more than 5 to 10 years of work experience under his/her belt, then it might be worthwhile considering doing an executive digital marketing course.

It's surprising to see that not many business schools in India are offering executive or management development programs around digital marketing. The few that do exist have been showcased below and we have tried to find a mix of programs that focus on digital marketing, e-commerce and analytics. If you have attended any of these programs please do leave your feedback in the comments below.

Upgrad

Upgrad offers course across many streams. One of the streams is marketing where MICA has partnered with Upgrad for the PG certification in Digital Marketing and Communication and covers social media marketing, content marketing, branding and marketing analytics. Its a pretty long program at 6.5 months. Starting from INR 87,750 and going up to 1.25 lakhs it is one of the most expensive online course available. Some of the interesting aspects of this course are certifications from MICA case studies, projects and one on one mentoring with industry experts.

TalentEdge

TalentEdge provides a Specialised Executive Programme in Digital Marketing from MICA, Ahmedabad, ideal for early beginners and working professionals. Priced at INR 70,000 for a 4.5 month program, they claim to have reached over 8,00,000 registered learners who have benefitted from the live lectures, case studies and content structure designed by MICA faculty & industry experts. Apart from this, TalentEdge also offers an Executive Development Program in digital marketing from XLRI at INR 80,000 for a 6 month program. The executive development program is a course for marketing managers who wish to understand the nuances of digital marketing techniques and tools to execute a campaign. Talentedge offers over 250 courses across different areas and while they dont specialize only in marketing programs, they do have good university tie ups.

Amity Future Academy

Amity University started its online avatar called Amity Future Academy and launched the Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing Strategies in collaboration with Wharton University. Priced at INR 1,55,000 it is a pretty steep price point, especially considering the faculty is not from Wharton. It is a 12 month program with 13 modules including brand strategy.

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

IIM Bangalore has a programme called "Digital Marketing for Business Growth" which they conduct mutiple times in their academic year. The programme aims to give an overview of digital marketing with a focus on the different social media marketing channels, search engine marketing (both search advertising & search engine optimization) and digital analytics. So it aims to give an overview of each of the key elements that can enable brands to get better engagement, leads and conversions. It also touches upon analytics and what metrics can be used to measure the performance of the digital campaigns.

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

IIM Lucknow does seem to have a programme on Digital Marketing by renowned Professor Moutusy Maity. She has done extensive research in e-commerce, m-commerce and CRM so the quality of the programme is likely to be very high. She has worked in the Industry (at Nielsen) and handled clients like PepsiCo and Eveready Batteries so she would definitely bring a practical experience to the table. We are yet to receive more details on the programme from them so we shall update it here shortly.

Great Learning

Great Learning, from the house of Great Lakes Institute of Management has a PG Program in Strategic Digital Marketing. It is a 6 month module with a 4 week capstone project, with mentoring from faculty of Great Lakes. The course is a blended model with recorded content as well as live mentoring. The pricing is only on request.

Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

ISB Hyderabad has a 3-day executive program titled "Digital & Social Media Marketing Strategies" priced at Rs.1,50,000 + GST. It is specifically targeted for professionals and leaders in the marketing and strategy domain. The program aims to give an overview of digital and social media marketing and how to get ROI from the medium.

Global Online Digital Marketing Courses

Jellyfish Training

Jellyfish is a global leader in training around programmatic advertising platform - Google Marketing Platform (GMP) and its components, Campaign Manager, Display and Video 360 (DV360), Search Ads 360, Google Analytics 360 and Optimize 360. Its a pretty advanced program and the subscription is INR 42,000 per month and its meant for users who already have access to the GMP platform. Here is an article on the basics of programmatic advertising and DV360 case studies to help you get started.

HootSuite Social Media Certification

Hootsuite, one of the most popular tools for social media scheduling and monitoring has Hootsuite Academy, which offers a social media program at USD 199, which is worth exploring.

Hubspot Academy

Hubspot Academy offers a free Inbound Marketing Course & Certification marketers, entrepreneurs and students. They also conduct classroom training but only in the United States.

Conclusion

If you are a self-learner keen on understanding the digital marketing space, there are various youtube channels, digital marketing blogs, articles, books and real-time case studies available online. You can also join relevant LinkedIn groups to participate in discussions & connect with industry experts.

All said Digital marketing is a field where just taking courses or following the industry trends alone will not make one an expert. Maximum learning can only be gleaned from actual hands-on, on-the-job experience. Hence, the success of these courses will eventually depend on the quality of digital professionals they send into the industry and how well they execute the acquired knowledge & digital skill sets. If you are looking out for digital marketing careers in India, check Social Beat out.

Have you taken up any of these courses? Please share your experiences with us in the comments!


Marketing during and post Covid 19 – Guide for Indian Marketers

  • Rhea
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  • 22 April , 2020
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    • 6 min read

There are few instances in a brand's lifetime when it encounters a real litmus test. A test to see if the brand values it professes and communicates time and again to its audience are genuine or just marketing fluff. Today, we see ourselves right in the midst of this test. As the Covid-19 coronavirus spreads rapidly across the world with a complete disregard for national borders, class or gender, communities everywhere are seeing a complete overhaul of 'life as we know it'. In this time, marketing, which has always focused on staying relevant by leveraging trending topics, sees itself in a conflict. Not creating posts around the coronavirus might make the brand sound out of touch, but talking about the virus for the sake of it can come across as insensitive. 

So how does a brand stay true to its values and build equity during these challenging times? Here are some essential points every brand should keep in mind. 

Do not stall marketing activities

It's clear that the overall public health crisis and the drastic changes in buying behaviour caused by the Coronavirus have led the economy to go into a slowdown. In fact, the economic impact of the Coronavirus is expected to continue long after the last patient is treated. While companies across sectors have been hit, the biggest blow has undoubtedly been to the travel and hospitality industry. The chart below illustrates this best.

If you are noticing a steep fall in your organic and paid traffic, it might be tempting to pause all activities until the situation stabilizes. However, sustaining marketing during the Coronavirus period is important because it ensures that you don't lose brand visibility and recall among your target audience. Pausing your campaigns could mean that you will have to work twice as hard to regain your brand presence once the Coronavirus disappears. We recommend that brands continue to invest in brand marketing, even if it’s at a minimal level.

While marketing your products and services might not result in any impact at a time like this, you can start posting positive and informative content that can help your consumers. Posts that create public health awareness or uplift your audience's spirits during this time can be the best way forward.

Steer clear from scare tactics

With so much false information making the rounds, it's important that brands stay true to official facts stated by the world's leading health organizations. Given the immense reach and power to influence that every brand has, it's crucial that we evaluate every piece of information we put out. Brands should also keep a close eye on the tone of their communications. Doomsday-esque messages might bring in the shares and engagement, but our responsibility as brands is greater than that. Always include credible sources whenever you share a post on Coronavirus facts or safety tips. This could go a long way in ensuring every person takes the necessary safety precautions to combat the virus.

In one survey of what customers expect from brands during the coronavirus period, 28% said that brands should be a trusted source of information, while 27% said that brands should attack the crisis and show that it can be fought and 15% said that brands should offer practical advice that can help consumers face their new normal. Achieving these three goals can help your brand far more than sending out negative messages can.

You can learn more about the survey and other strategies to build a strong marketing plan in times of crisis through this video.

 

Build goodwill through user-centric initiatives

The onset of the Coronavirus pandemic doesn't necessarily mean that brands have to go into damage control mode. This could be one of the best times for a brand to create a lasting positive impression on their audience by providing something of genuine value. LinkedIn is one of the best examples of this, having come out with a number of complementary courses and resources on working from home and maintaining productivity to help those in self-quarantine. You can also use this time to branch into new techniques like influencer marketing and vernacular content, or a combination of the two, to reach your audience and build credibility. For instance, influencers can spread social awareness messages in the various regional languages your audience is most comfortable with to get the word across. 

Of course, brands in the healthcare space are best positioned to launch medical marketing strategies during this time. A hospital specializing in the treatment of diabetes can provide content specifically designed to help at-risk diabetes patients protect themselves from the virus. Below is an awareness video created by Dr. V Mohan, which exemplifies this: 

 

But virtually any sector can offer content of value during this time. For instance, an early learning education brand can start offering online webinars to continue a child's education despite schools being closed. These strategies can help users build a positive association with your brand that will outlast the pandemic. 

The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that empathy is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience. Brands need to listen closely to what their audience is saying and sharing on different platforms and then respond accordingly in a way that builds solidarity. It will also be useful to take a step back and audit your new marketing campaigns and messaging to check if they are having the intended effect. All too often, a well-meaning ad can be downplayed by an insensitive 'Subscribe Now' button that pops up at the end of it.

This presentation covers the blueprint that brands should follow to engage with their customers during the coronavirus crisis and examples of some of the brands who have been most successful at it.

Use the down-time to update your brand assets

Are there any existing evergreen brand assets like ebooks and whitepapers on your website that need to be updated and improved? Or perhaps, there have been long-standing plans to create new guides, a new video or webinar series or new pages on your website. Most companies have ideas in the pipeline which never go live because of a lack of time or organizational bandwidth. The relative slowdown due to the Coronavirus could often translate into a lesser workload. This means you can finally take all of those ideas off the backburner and actually start bringing them to life! You can approach this time as an opportunity to revamp your existing brand assets and create new ones that will rake in results once the Coronavirus clears up.

Keep your store information updated

Just as important as spreading accurate information about the virus is spreading accurate information about your brand itself. Since most physical outlets are shut, you should ensure that the most accurate information about your working hours is updated on your GMB listings and on social platforms. Change your working hours to 'Closed' if you have a physical presence and are not operational. If you are an e-commerce brand and are unable to ship products, make sure that your database of consumers receives a notification about it and that this information is displayed on your website. 

Prepare for post-Coronavirus marketing

While the situation might be grim now, there's no doubt that it will pass eventually. Brands need to gear up for when this happens by putting in place a contingency plan. This is especially true of the travel, hospitality and entertainment industry. Once the pandemic clears, the world isn't going to go back to normal overnight. Post-Coronavirus consumers are very likely to still be fearful of travel or of visiting crowded locations like malls and movie theatres. Experts postulate that there will be ten major shifts even once the coronavirus pandemic clears up:

  • Increased levels of anxiousness and depression
  • Decreased trust in hygiene of people and products
  • Travel restrictions
  • Permanent shift to work-from-home setups, at least for some job roles
  • Rise in conflict
  • High levels of unemployment
  • Increased home deliveries
  • Lesser contact with older people
  • Expanding our identity beyond just our job role
  • Value of certified immune consumers

This presentation goes into the above ten factors and breaks down how brands can navigate through them to increase their ROI on post-COVID-19 marketing.

In this scenario, brands need to put in place a holistic full-funnel marketing plan to instil confidence in their audience and reassure them of the safety of their safety. Special promotional activities and offers might be required to help brands gain traction.

 

The sudden spread of the Coronavirus has certainly come as a shock to consumers and brands everywhere. But with the right strategies, brands can emerge from this trying period with greater brand equity, more engaged audiences and powerful new assets. The most important thing to focus on now, of course, is to stay safe until this tides over!


My Internship Experience At Social Beat : Aaratrika Chatterjee

  • Vimal Michael
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  • 13 February , 2020
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    • < 1 min read

I joined Social Beat Bangalore as a Marketing Intern for a period of 4 months. As someone with little to no experience in marketing, I was quite apprehensive of my job role in the beginning, but the assurance I had received from my manager Tejasvi Batria during the interview with regard to my learning curve at the organisation was very helpful in alleviating my anxiety. The work I did was enjoyable and extremely rewarding from day 1. Instead of mechanical/ backend work that I expected as an intern, I was asked to try and create campaigns for leading clients on the very first day, and continued to be one of my main tasks till the end.

This internship has provided me with confidence in tackling social media marketing campaigns, events, corresponding clients and the likes. Besides the immense learning curve, I have also built lasting relationships over the months with my colleagues who were not only warm, but very helpful at every turn. This surely made Social Beat stand out among all the other organisations I have associated with. I have never had to hesitate to seek assistance or inputs from even the senior most employees/ managers.

This internship has been a truly rewarding experience in terms of exposure to the industry, client allocation, the nature of my job, as well as the organisational culture. Not just professionally, Social Beat also allowed me to become more spontaneous and divergent in my thinking, more refined in executing assignments, and thus helped me grow personally too.

Lastly, but most importantly, I experienced "have fun while you work" quite literally at Social Beat!


Social Beat organises 4th Digital Leadership Summit in Mumbai

  • Deepsikha Agarwal
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  • 11 February , 2020
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    • 2 min read

23 January 2020, Mumbai - Social Beat’s fourth edition of its Digital Leadership Summit was held in Mumbai, in which the top industry leaders across sectors came together to share their insights and experiences, as well as forecast digital marketing trends for the future. Last year’s Summit, which was conducted in Bangalore and Mumbai, was a huge success, focusing on innovations across video, vernacular trends, voice marketing, and Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. This year, one of the biggest talking points of the Summit was tapping into India’s next billion data users, how they will influence digital transformation across Bharat, and leading through disruption in various sectors.

The Summit focused on the prospect of the digital space this new decade, especially this current financial year. Sectors that are expected to see transformation were also discussed, including FMCG, retail, e-commerce, B2B, BFSI, real estate, and Internet businesses. Abhinav Jain, Co-Founder of Shop101 and Kaushik Mukhergee, Co-Founder and COO of SUGAR Cosmetics took up the first two sessions. They spoke about their individual brands, and how each of them introduced their products to consumers in the Tier II and Tier III cities - targeting to reach close to 400 million new Internet users. Abhinav also shared his insights on leveraging social relationships of sellers and democratizing commerce with a seamless product. He then spoke about creating micro-entrepreneurs in Bharat, driving 70% of transactions from outside top cities.

This was followed by a panel discussion on leading BFSI through disruption. This session included Ajit Narasimhan, CMO of Sundaram Mutual Funds, and MVS Murthy, Head of Marketing, Digital and Corporate Communications at Tata Mutual Funds. Moderating the panel, David Appasamy, Head of Brand and Strategy of Social Beat, said, “While the banking and financial service sector has been slow to adopt digital, many upcoming trends and new technologies are taking efficiency and outreach to new heights. Big data, AI, and voice are just a few major trends that are likely to make a huge impact on BFSI.”

 The next series of talks were led by Ravi Saxena, CEO of Wonderchef, Sandeep Lodha, CEO of Weddingz.in and of OYO, and Arjun Choudhary, Chief Business Officer and Founding member of mfine. Mr Ravi spoke about how Wonderchef has built its brand name and become a digitally-led business in a competitive market, while Sandeep and Arjun spoke about the disruption of their business fields in India, and solving challenges using the right channel mix and building great community networks. Sandeep also shed light on how innovation can impact a digital user’s behaviour, and the influence innovation has which can potentially disrupt the wedding industry.

The event came to a close with a final panel discussion on innovation and trends for 2020, digital growth, and focus on digital strategy and performance by industries across their respective fields, moderated by Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat. He stated, “The last decade saw a quantum leap in the growing number of data users. This decade will now witness the digital medium open its doors to vernacular content and marketing to a brand new audience, radically changing the landscape of digital solutions. It will be exciting to see the impact unfold.” He was joined by Vinesh Gadhia, Senior Vice President of Lupin Ltd., and Juhi Singh, Digital Evangelist, Digital Transformation and Strategy Division of Marico.


My Internship Experience At Social Beat : Gaurav K

  • Vimal Michael
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  • 2 February , 2020
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    • 2 min read

I heard about Social Beat from my classmate who happened to be working there as an intern for digital media. I was searching for a good place to do my internship to gain some experience and I joined Social Beat as a web intern.

I had gained some experience in the domain previously by working on college projects. I had also completed my undergrad in Computer Science and Engineering from Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science.

After starting my internship with Social Beat, the first month was a tester for my skills where I was trained and later given tasks to complete, based on the training provided. I was mentored by a skilled designer who has now become a good friend. I learned quite a few things about designing from him.

In the second month, I was given client work which made me confident about my communication skills and also taught me to keep the client at the center for better client retention - one of Social Beat’s biggest values. I made mistakes and I also ensured that I learnt from them. 

In the third month, I was mentored by a video editor. This time too, I didn’t just make friends but also got essential learnings for video editing.

When my internship came to an end, I understood that what I knew about my domain was just a bucket of knowledge compared to the whole sea. Over the course of my internship, I learned how to face and handle clients, how to work professionally, how to create impressive and impactful work,  and how to take ownership.

I was also given the opportunity to work on other domains to experiment such as Voice-Enabled websites, Uber and Ola APIs for the clients. I also worked with Virtual and Augmented Reality as it was one of the domains I specialized in.

The atmosphere in the company is pleasant and everyone always greets each other with a smile on their face. Working as an intern made me realize that I have so much to learn. So, when I got the opportunity,  I joined Social Beat as a full-time Web Developer. It's been 10 months and I get to learn something everyday from my colleagues and peers.

I don't know where to start but I would like to thank Vimal Micheal, my mentor. Vikas Chawla, Suniel Chawla, the co - founders and Arushi the head of the Tech Team for giving me this opportunity to work for the company and letting me contribute my skills and knowledge for the betterment of the company and my personal growth as well.


Top Digital Marketing Trends 2020 in India – What does the future behold?

  • Vikas Chawla
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  • 11 January , 2020
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    • 6 min read

The year 2019 has been a whirlwind in terms of growth in the digital space. The number of internet users has gone up to a number that was previously unprecedented - from 483 million users in the year 2018, India has now crossed half a billion internet users at a whopping 566 million. This means brands and companies have a whole new audience to market to and multiple innovative ways to do so! If you are keen to learn more about digital marketing, do check out our digital marketing training arm, DigiGrad.

Here are 7 digital marketing trends for 2020 that we expect will see the most traction:

The rise of new social platforms

While user growth has slowed down across most key markets, India has shown no such trend. This is a direct result of easy accessibility to mobile internet and cheaper smartphones with the advent of Jio. This has consequently led to the huge influx of new social apps in digital markets, like TikTok, Helo, Sharechat, Vigo, Bigo, Firework and some more in the pipeline.

The year 2020 will likely see a rise of even more such apps as these have proved to be a hit with new data users, having tapped into vernacular content and the interests of people in smaller towns. And since a large chunk of internet users from rural India - 251 million to be precise - have contributed to the growth in the total number of Indian internet users this year, 2020 can expect to see a higher demand for social apps that cater to this demographic.

It also doesn’t hurt that these media conglomerates have figured out a key factor in driving growth - offering social apps with access to entertainment like short-videos, gaming and live-streaming. 2019 has already seen these newer social apps climb the rankings on Google’s Android PlayStore, with TikTok ranking number one, and Helo at a close second. Facebook currently holds the third position, which may indicate that the dominance the Facebook family of apps has had may see a negative impact.

Vernacular will go mainstream for brands

On that note, with so many first-time internet users, the rise of a lot of social platforms have seen their tremendous growth simply because they offer their content and services in vernacular. Language-driven services have had such an impact this year, that even Amazon and Flipkart are planning to get on this bandwagon soon to catch up with new age players like niki.ai, bulbul tv and Shop101. With a higher demand for vernacular content online, brands across segments will be forced to explore and deliver too if they want to see bigger growth. Storytelling is an impactful way to engage and connect with customers, and when done in a native tongue, the outcome is very personal and unique. This is evident in the thumbstopper format that Facebook offers, which intends to tell a story without sound, in order to capture the essence of a story and be able to tell it to speakers of any language.

Featured below are the thumbstopper videos we did in collaboration with Malabar Gold to promote their ‘Men in Platinum’ collection. The campaign dismantles stereotypical gender roles and highlights the fact that men are at their best when they are in their element. With an overall reach of 13 lakh views across Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, the brand’s Facebook page witnessed a 450% increase in user engagement proving that relatability is a language in itself.

Speaking about breaking language barriers, Swiggy recently ran a campaign titled #SwiggyStarhunt - a platform for delivery partners to showcase their talent by uploading videos on popular video-sharing app TikTok. These videos come under the categories of acting, dancing, singing and musical instruments. Since the campaign was targeted at delivery partners, we created a robust social media strategy in 11 languages to grab their attention and encourage them to participate in the event. The campaign resulted in an outpour of uploads onto the video-sharing app, with a whopping 44+ million organic views, reaching a pan-Indian audience and giving Swiggy the uplift it deserved. #SwiggyStarhunt is also a testament to the fact that leveraging new social media platforms like TikTok, along with the relatability of vernacular content, is a great way to connect with consumers.

AR will pick up momentum

4G has taken India’s markets by storm, and Indian service providers are eager to capitalize on this moment to drive user and customer engagement. Augmented Reality can be used in a multitude of ways, changing experiences across different sectors, be it retail, live events, museums, real estate, education or automobile.

Facebook introduced Spark AR this year for the general public, which allows users on Facebook and Instagram to create filters and upload them online. Other users can then save these and apply them to their stories. Facebook has been seeing a lot of success with the launch of this product and this will probably ‘spark’ AR trends even more. Google had already rolled out Google Lens which is an image recognition technology that uses the point and shoot feature to show fitting search results. These two giants have showcased the diversity in the use of AR and how successful it can be when implemented right, driven by function.

VR will also start to pick up more as we enter 2020, but since VR devices are still too expensive for the Indian market, it is unlikely that it will pick up at the same pace as AR will.

Voice will also start driving e-commerce

E-commerce is the way of the future, and with search interaction having increased, leading companies will find voice a profitable technology to drive sales and revenue. This has already been evidenced in the huge investment Amazon has put into Alexa and Google into Google Home and its Google Assistant. Businesses will see voice user interface as an innovative tool that enables faster, more efficient customer engagement as voice commands surround every sphere of life, driving purchases, payments and more. Voice ordering, already a popular phenomenon in the US, will start picking up in India as well. Brands are also tying up with new-age start-ups like niki.ai to engage with the next billion internet users. These AI powered start-ups build user experiences that are not just intuitive but also in a language that the customers in the Tier II and III cities are comfortable in, making it easy for them to place orders using voice commands.

Looking for a few tips on voice search marketing? Here’s our tell-all guide:

Better audience targeting through AI and first-party data

It’s quality over quantity, always. Which is why many brands are now wanting to capitalize on their first-party data, instead of opting for second and third-party data. First-party data allows for exact, valuable insights into a customer’s direct engagement with the brand, whether it’s their individual interests, which ads they engage with, or how much time they spend on the brand’s website. This information is unfiltered, specific, and relevant, which helps to build an audience profile that is an exact match with the product or service in question. It is also cost-effective, as it’s free, and is lawful and transparent. Nike is one such company which has already announced that they will be selling only directly going forward.

Artificial intelligence fits into this equation as it can prove to be extremely beneficial in sifting through these data sets, which for a team of actual people, can be daunting. AI could uncover insights that could have been missed otherwise, identify critical data and trends, and all at unmatched speed with extreme accuracy. Thus, AI and first-party data may hand-in-hand serve to drive more personalized communication soon.

Influencer marketing will have a rocky 2020

Social media platforms have seen quite a few changes this year, which were a little surprising for everyone. At one end, there are platforms like TikTok and Sharechat, which incentivized influencers, and at the other end, Instagram rolled out an update that removed the like count. The Advertising Standards Council of India has also announced that they are framing new guidelines and rules in a bid to protect consumer interests, which will include influencer marketing under its purview. With the aim to curb forms of misleading information, the reach influencers have, the kind of information they put out, and the engagement brands have with influencers may all change in 2020.

Online to Offline Attribution will be more prevalent

It is commonly believed that as the world became increasingly digital over the years, physical stores began to see less engagement. But this doesn’t hold true for brands that rely heavily on location, like hotels, restaurants, and auto dealerships. For such brands, online to offline attribution is extremely relevant and useful, as this metric helps brands to trace and identify which online ads can be attributed to driving in-store foot traffic.

While Google Store Visits is already live and being used across brands, other platforms will also start leveraging location data, combined with first party and CRM data, to showcase what results digital is driving for retailers and offline stores. This can be a game changer for traditional brands that did not have digital as a key aspect of their marketing campaigns. The start of the next decade will likely see a lot of brands who are not yet using digital come online to use this tool to engage with customers better and drive sales insightfully.

Store visit ads were an integral part of our campaign with retailers like Malabar Gold, Khadims and Specsmakers. We leverage a mix of Google products using detailed demographic targetting as well as geo-fence the retail stores. The ads used online to offline attribution data to measure the increase in footfall to their stores. The below case study of Malabar Gold showcases how thousands of shoppers were targetted and tracked, for the recent Brides of India campaign.

All that being said, the trends predicted show a range of exciting opportunities to be used for growth. We at Social Beat are definitely eager to see what the start of the new decade has in store for the digital marketing sector and are excited to grow with it, scaling new heights.

This article was originally published in The Economic Times Brand Equity.


My Internship Experience At Social Beat : Harsha

  • Vimal Michael
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  • 2 January , 2020
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    • 2 min read

Internship is the most stressful period in any student’s college life, but my experience with Social Beat has changed the whole mindset of it. I joined Social Beat three months back and I have learnt a lot in this period. In these three months, I have not only learnt about HR functions but also how to handle people around you.

The team is very welcoming and they always give the opportunity to learn and implement your subject. The culture of the organization is very different from other organizations where I have interned; they have a very warm and energizing environment. This helps any intern to explore the subject as well as their other interests.

The HR team with whom I interned always treated me as one of their team members and did not hesitate to teach or to assign any task. The team is very supportive and helps you to learn and understand your subject. They always give you space to work according to your preference and also gives you the liberty to learn from your mistakes. The team makes sure that your style is exhibited in your work and does not restrict you to work in a particular manner. When I compare my previous internships with the present one, I can see myself learning a lot in terms of my subject. 

The team always encourages their interns to think out of the box, and helps them to act upon it. They are always open for any discussion, which can be with anyone from the team. They have freely adopted an open door policy, where everyone is approachable including the founders. In fact, I’d say Social Beat is the perfect example for exhibiting open door policy. This has helped me interact with different team members, and have an insight on digital marketing as well.

This internship is a valuable one as I have learnt to prioritize my work, be independent, and also pay attention to my values and follow them. I am thankful for this internship opportunity and it has been a great experience working at Social Beat. 


Arunima Singh joins Social Beat as EVP

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 29 November , 2019
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    • 2 min read

Social Beat has got Arunima Singh on board as the executive vice president – growth in Mumbai. She will help the agency drive success with existing and new clients for the west region. Singh will work closely with the core team to drive growth and move closer towards the company’s vision of being India’s top independent digital agency by 2021.

Singh comes with more than 19 years of marketing experience, on both client and agency side. A media professional, she has a background in brand management, and marketing. Throughout her nearly two decade long career, Singh has held multiple positions, her last one being business director at Wonderman Thompson. Her journey also includes stints at AdFactors PR, L&K, Saatchi and Saatchi, and Mirum in the past. She brings with her experience in content management, SMM/SEO, website building and management, and business development.

Singh said, “Joining Social Beat, a young & agile agency, beautifully nurtured with a class apart culture and an apt environment where creativity is nurtured and nourished, is indeed a challenging platform for widening my portfolio in digital advertising. It is said that when a drop of waterfalls in the pool, it has no value, whereas if the same drop of waterfalls on a lotus leaf, it can shine like a pearl and a diamond. I am excited & looking forward to working with Social Beat and contributing to taking it to the next level with my team.”

She has worked on brands like Pidilite, Kalpataru, Godrej Group, Essar, KPCL, Parle, HCC, Lavasa, Magma Fincorp, Force Motors, Kotak Mahindra, HUL, Apollo Clinics, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Tata Housing, Intel, Piramal, Kellogg’s, HSBC,Colgate, and Flipkart during her career so far. She has also won multiple awards during her career.

Social Beat co-founder Vikas Chawla said, “We are ecstatic to have Arunima on board as an EVP in Mumbai. We look forward to working together towards realising our 10X vision to being the no.1 independent digital agency in India. With her immense experience in mainline and digital, she will be a great addition to the team and our journey.”

 


Social Beat strengthens its Leadership Team with 3 new Executive Vice Presidents

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 9 November , 2019
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    • 3 min read

Social Beat is delighted to strengthen its leadership team by bringing on board Avinash Shenoy, Pratiksha Sinha and Tuhina Bapuli as Executive Vice Presidents (EVP) for Mumbai and Bangalore. They will be working closely with the team to drive growth and move closer towards the company’s vision of being India’s no. 1 independent digital agency by 2021.

Avinash Shenoy hails from a core advertising, brand management and marketing communications background. His professional journey spans across management and execution of strategies for various marquee brands. His 17-year-long professional journey includes working at various key roles in brand marketing and customer marketing at PepsiCo, in addition to managing key personal care brands for Unilever at Lowe. He was also a part of a key online jewellery brand where he worked towards delivering their growth hacking and digital marketing initiatives.

Talking about his new role as an Executive Vice President in Mumbai, Avinash stated, “The new world of the consumer is fast evolving in terms of consumption and communication, thanks to digitisation and e-commerce. It is imperative that brands and businesses are on top of the game to match these needs. I really believe that the team at Social Beat has the right passion and purpose to deliver these evolving digital needs. I am delighted to be a part of this journey and look forward to working with this young and dynamic team to create winning ideas, and solutions to build business for our clients.”

Pratiksha’s career in marketing took shape 6 years ago, with her gaining expertise in creating and executing GTM strategies for known brands across various verticals, including building client relations and business development. Her stint at Sokrati and Anarock has been instrumental in shaping her career in performance marketing. In Anarock, she was also given the opportunity to onboard and work with established brands such as Piramal Realty, TATA Housing, Mahindra, Shapoorji, Viacom, Swiggy and AJIO, to name a few.

Joining Social Beat as an Executive Vice President in Mumbai, Pratiksha shared, “In Social Beat, my key focus area would be to grow our business by almost 10x in the next 18 months, by helping our existing clients scale their customer growth through paid marketing and also onboarding new clients who are looking at driving significant scale through digital.”

Tuhina Bapuli has over 10 years of experience in the craft of core marketing having worked in brand awareness, consumer marketing and brand building. She has also gained exposure in corporate events including MICE and trade meets, and managed dealer engagements with CHA, IT, FMCG, Apparel, BFSI and automotive brands. In addition to this, she has explored structured social and digital marketing attributed to her stint at Autumn Grey - WPP. 

Expressing her excitement, Tuhina said: “The digital marketing field is ever-evolving, with the need to stand out in the crowd. It is indeed exciting to step into a new journey in my professional career, working with a company that recognises talent and brings the best results. I look forward to contributing my skills and expertise at our Bangalore office, and utilising digital marketing’s dynamic nature to the fullest.”

Co-Founder, Suneil Chawla said, “As we move towards our goal of being the no. 1 independent digital agency in India, we are really excited to have Avinash, Pratiksha and Tuhina join us and play a crucial role in our growth journey. With each of them having varied experiences across branding, storytelling and performance marketing - we look forward to them accelerating our growth, nurturing talent and taking our work across some of India’s best brands. We are delighted to have the three of them be a part of this journey.”


My Internship Experience At Social Beat : Divya Meena Babu

  • Vimal Michael
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  • 13 October , 2019
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    • 3 min read

When I was interning at Social beat, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It was my first time coming to an office every day and all I wanted to do was learn. I interned for about 3 months with the video team before becoming a full-time employee. I’d like to thank my mentor Ananyaa who guided and taught me everything - from how to ideate, how to coordinate, to giving writing exercises and literally making me realise my true potential.

One month into the internship, I developed an interest in scriptwriting and wanted to focus on that. The next two months, I worked on honing my script writing skills. I learnt everything from how to write without any grammatical errors, how to shorten sentences, and how to visualize. I also had the chance to face the camera for Social Beat’s youtube channel “Arrear Irundalum Career ''. My internship was definitely a learning experience that led me on a successful career path. It taught me to be confident, work independently, be organised, prioritise my work, manage my time efficiently etc.

I also wanted to thank my team manager Divya Ram for being warm and supportive from the time she interviewed me and then on. I still remember the day I told her that I was worried I wouldn’t get the chance to work here. She has always been there whenever needed help or guidance or had doubts about the simplest things.

Apart from work, I really love the people and work culture at Social Beat. They are really friendly and welcoming. The game nights, hangout sessions and the movie nights are great avenues to communicate and bond with the team members. I also look forward to the chit-chat sessions every month where they celebrate our work and talk about our learnings.

One of the things that I really love about being in the video team is that you have the freedom to go crazy with your ideas, think out of the box, be as creative as possible. They are always open to new ideas and trying out new things which gives me the motivation to be better.

Overall, my 3 months of internship is an experience that has shaped me in more ways than one. It helped me discover my creative side. It was really difficult at first but after hours of research and a better understanding of the target audience, I am a lot more confident now. In fact, I am really excited about what new ideas I can bring to the work that I do and learn more every day. I’ve grown as an individual and a professional and it was made possible with Social Beat.


My Internship Experience At Social Beat : Harini

  • Vimal Michael
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  • 13 July , 2019
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    • 2 min read

I interned with the content team for a brief period of time. As a biology student in school and college, writing was something completely new to me, especially professional writing. I walked into Social Beat clueless about the field but with the hope and willingness to learn anything and everything that was required of me. The team was completely supportive and helpful. They taught me everything from scratch. Be it how a blog has to be constructed, basics of SEO to effectively use various tools to make your work better. Coming up with new blog topics every month was challenging but opened my mind to think wider,  giving me different perspectives of different things. Writing blogs moulded my thinking and organizing abilities. Working on meta descriptions and static content taught how to be concise and impactful while communicating. Not to miss the creativity involved in our work, which cannot be taught but brought out of an individual. 

Special mention to Ayesha, Rhea and Nandita for having given me the opportunity and shaping me as a person, both personally and professionally. They have been instrumental in bringing out my skills and creativity. From correcting small mistakes to giving valuable feedback, they played a critical role in improving my work every day. They gave me the space to rectify my mistakes by showing the right path to hone my work. Also, they helped me identify what my strengths and weaknesses were in terms of work, which helped channelise my learning in the right direction.

A big thanks to the team to have given me the chance to try, learn and improve in every aspect of the work. Special thanks to all other content and SEO team members who were always there to help whenever I needed. I have learnt something new from everyone here!

The sessions and interactive events in Social Beat opened gates for me to get to know different people and what other teams do. These sessions gave me an idea about different aspects of digital marketing and appreciate the efforts of other teams. My overall internship experience was great and I enjoyed working with the team. Again, a big thanks to the entire content and SEO team who made my tenure fun and valuable. This internship will always remain extra special to me as it paved the way for my first job as a content specialist in Social Beat!


Suneil Chawla participates in the Pitch CMO Summit in Bangalore

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 10 June , 2019
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    • < 1 min read

Suneil Chawla recently participated in the Pitch CMO Summit 2019 held in Bangalore. The Pitch CMO Summit is a flagship property of exchange4media group, and the presenting partner for the event was The Hindu. Each year the summit focuses on current and relevant marketing topics, in the transforming global market. This year's theme for the event was ‘Demystifying Brand Building Experience’.

The discussion started off with the topic ‘Survival of the Fittest: How Brands can win in the Digital Age’. The panelists for the discussion were Aarti B Iyer, Marketing Head, Unibic; Ashutosh Vaidya, Chief Marketing Officer, Kurlon; Mangesh Panditrao – CEO, Shoptimize; Meera Iyer, Chief Marketing Officer, Medlife.com; Samyukta Ganesh Iyer, Head of Marketing, Baskin Robbins India, and Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder, Social Beat & Influencer.in. The session was moderated by Ramesh Jude Thomas, President and Chief Knowledge Officer, EQUiTOR Value Advisory.

The discussion started off on a political note which then moved towards recognition of a brand followed by how brands need to constantly adapt to changes and keep up with new trends. Suneil Chawla speaks about the importance of gaining the trust of a customer by reaching out to them and how digital makes people create shortcuts which helps in a faster response.

The event was a grand success with insight being shared by industry leaders, helping in understanding the role of digital marketing and brand building experiences.


My Internship Experience At Social Beat : Rakshika

  • Vimal Michael
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  • 13 May , 2019
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    • < 1 min read

I joined as an intern in Social Beat a few months after graduation. The first time I entered Social Beat, I was nervous and was worried about accustoming myself to a new organisation. However, I overcame that fear very easily. All the employees were welcoming from the first day and ensured that I felt like a part of the team.

As someone from a commerce background, I had a lot to learn about the digital world. However, my teammates have taken efforts in building my learning and understanding. They ensure that my learning is continuous and never fail to recognise and appreciate a job well done. This acts as a motivation for me to improve my quality of work. My teammates and mentors Srinidhi, Sanjana and Darshana help in enhancing the standard of work presented from my end.

I am in a client-facing role which can be tedious to handle. However, my transition was smooth with their guidance.

Apart from the work, Social Beat as a whole has been a great environment to be in. It is important that we feel comfortable in an office surrounding. I felt comfortable instantly because of the friendly attitude of my co-workers.

In such a short time, I feel like a part of the organisation. I would like to thank all those who have been a part of my journey and hope to continue at Social Beat.


Social Beat bags top awards at Maddys 2019

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 6 May , 2019
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    • 2 min read

2nd April 2019: Social Beat, one of India’s leading digital marketing agencies,  bagged two top awards in the ‘Digital’ category at the recently held ‘Maddys 2019’ in Chennai. The first, a Gold Award, is for the Best Use of Digital for Klay Schools, and the second, a Bronze, for the Best Digital Public Service for Social Beat’s road safety awareness video.

‘Maddys 2019’ is an annual award event organised by the Ad Club of Madras to honour the most creative minds of the Indian advertising industry.  This is one of the top advertising awards recognising path-breaking campaigns in various categories such as Print, Radio, TV and Digital.

Commenting on the digital initiatives for Klay Schools, Vikas Chawla, co-founder of Social Beat, said, “Klay is one of our premier clients in the educational sector and our specialised digital initiatives have played a significant role in establishing them as one of the preferred pre-schools in India. We began with a refresh of their website keeping in mind factors like design functionalities and user - experience.  We also leveraged their YouTube channel with a series of videos highlighting the environment and the approach adopted by Klay schools in nurturing future generations. The center-specific digital campaign strategies proved to be a great tool for increased visibility, creating brand awareness and driving walk-ins.”

In addition to this, Social Beat also won an award for their unique video highlighting the importance of maintaining good road etiquette. Speaking about this recognition, Suneil Chawla, co-founder of Social Beat said, “The video titled ‘A Day in the office ft. Bad Drivers’ highlights the bad behaviour of drivers on the road compared to everyday work life. We projected basic road safety rules such as ‘Don’t text while driving’ and ‘Don’t drive on pavements’ using some common professional etiquette examples. This video was a huge hit on all our social media platforms.”

These awards follow close on the heels of the prestigious ‘Best Digital Marketing Agency of the Year’ that Social Beat won at the Marketing Maverick Awards held in Mumbai.


Digital Transformation of B2B Customer Experience – Digital Leadership Summit

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 2 May , 2019
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    • 4 min read

Social Beat recently concluded the Digital Leadership Summit for 2019 held at Bangalore. The event was a grand success. With industry leaders sharing their insights. Mr. Atin Chhabra - General Manager, Marketing at Schneider Electric shed light on the digital transformation of B2B Customer Experience for large and diverse organizations like Schneider Electric. Here are some of the highlights of the session.

  • Linear supply models are outdated – customers now want experiences
  • Digital Customer Experiences help brands attract, engage and transact with customers
  • 70% of investments for Digital Capabilities go towards creating customer experiences
  • 86% of customers will pay a 16% higher price if satisfied with the experience

No more linear supply models:

Gone are the days when companies introduced a product in the market and it had to be accepted by the consumers. Times have changed, today there are more platforms for consumers, more architectures to experiment on and more connected products. This gives rise to a demand-side play, consumers these days do not demand more products or services but a more engaging customer experience.

Mr. Atin speaks about how it wasn’t long ago when the competition was determined on the basis of products or services. Another company selling similar products or services they were considered as competition. However, that isn’t the case anymore. For a company like Schneider which deals with energy, management, and automation, the competitor for Schneider would be Amazon. This is solely because of the customer experience offered by companies like Amazon. The thin line between who competitors are and who offers a better experience is diminishing.

Change in Competitive Advantage

Traditionally competitive advantage was factored in on the basis of 2 key points which are:

  • Lower cost
  • Differentiation

However, gone are the days when competitive advantage meant low cost and differentiation. Today there are a number of companies that offer both lower costs while also being highly differentiated. One of the most important takeaways from this differentiated competitive advantage is the scale of operations and the experience they have within the specific domain. This indeed is competitive for any traditional company.

To adapt to this companies may look at case studies on big internet giants like Google, Uber, and Amazon, but this constitutes only 6% of the total companies in the world. Other than these big companies that make the 6% while the rest of the 94% of companies which have existed for more than a century or two. What is it that these traditional companies that make up the 94% have done? How do they compete with the big names? According to the statistics, these traditional companies who have implemented digital transformation strategies have seen a 9% increase in revenue. They have seen a whopping 26% increase in profitability. Not only does the digital transformation for companies help in money making but also helps in saving costs. These companies are known as digital masters.

Digital Masters look at digital transformation on two dimensions:

  • Left-hand side - This side accounts for the Digital Capabilities (Google, AI, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc) introduced in the organization to be technologically sound and ready.
  • Bottom side -  This side accounts for the leadership capabilities. How digital talent is trained? How to upskill talent to think digital?

Digital Capabilities

Digital Capabilities today are spread across 3 different functions.

  1. Customer experience - How good the customer experience is
  2. Operations - this is all about the connected products, sensors, etc
  3. Business model - looking to reinvent business models or supplement existing business models.

According to public data, close to 70 percent of digital transformation investments go to digital customer experience. This is because over the course of time customers have also changed, this change is not limited to B2C but also B2B customers.

The change is such that 57 percent of the B2B customers have decided what to purchase even before contacting the vendor. Almost 55 percent are looking for B2B products on social media platforms other than LinkedIn. The most astonishing fact is that 86 percent is willing to pay 16 percent more price for an amazing experience. While a good digital experience is important for the digital footprint, it is important to have content to offer a good experience. 

Digital Customer Experience

DCX or Digital Customer Experience is becoming the forefront to interact, engage and transact with customers. It is very important to get the basics of user experience correct.

Here are the four pillars for creating a digital customer experience function or strategy.

  1. Frame the digital challenge: At any large organization, the digital transformation is primarily run across various departments.
  2. Sustain the transformation
  3. Keep customers at the core
  4. Mobilize the organization

These four pillars need to be kept in mind while creating a digital customer experience strategy. As each pillar looks into important aspects of a digital customer experience this ensures the strategy covers these aspects.

Here are 4 pillars looked upon for the digital transformation agenda at Schneider:

  1. Secure: this function deals with cyber security which is essential when taking functions digital.
  2. Eco-Structure: these are the connected products, sensors that can provide data giving predictive analytics
  3. Operate for efficiency: integrating different platforms to create one platform with multiple functions
  4. Engage through experience: Schneider defines the metric of experience by looking at the digital net satisfaction score. When this score is equal to the country’s net promoter score it is considered to be delivering an experience. This translates to the customer being happy with the platforms as well as the services.

Digital Marketing was considered to be the future of marketing until a few years ago but of late it has all boiled down to digital customer experience. This digital customer experience works across the entire company. It is important to increase the competence of the people, while hiring is possible, the most effective way is by upskilling and strong digital community program. The top-down approach helps in building a stronger digital community within an organization rather than hiring a small group.


Social Beat featured in Insights Success magazine

  • Administrator
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  • 8 April , 2019
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    • < 1 min read

Our co-founders, Suneil and Vikas Chawla, were recently featured in the March 2019 edition of Insights Success magazine, as part of “The Top Ten Mind-Blowing Corporate Media Solutions Provider”.

Digital solutions today are an indispensable part of any brand or company’s marketing mix. While there are several digital agencies in India, the founding brothers spoke in-depth about what sets Social Beat apart from their peers – a client-centric approach backed by creativity.

Suneil and Vikas opine that while multiple agencies are churning out impressive results, one of the biggest challenges facing India’s digital marketing landscape is attracting and retaining quality talent for both the creative and digital marketing areas. The other challenge lies in the dynamism of the landscape and its ever-changing trends. You can take a look at the top digital marketing trends in India that will shape 2019.

To overcome these challenges, the founders speak about adopting new technology for better solutions for their customers including influencer marketing platform Influencer.in and multilingual content marketing platform 22 Languages.

The duo also spoke in depth about Social Beat’s YouTube knowledge series – Digital Bytes that sheds light on current and upcoming digital marketing trends, as well as Social Beat’s book, “Digital Marketing Industry Report 2018” – that provides comprehensive insights into how brands today leverage the power of digital to intensify their marketing efforts.

The success of any company lies in the well-being of its employees. And Social Beat prides itself on creating an inclusive, transparent and empowering work-culture. The founders allude to creativity and enthusiasm running high throughout the organisation that has helped Social Beat grow from strength to strength since its inception six years ago.

Read the entire article on Social Beat: A Homegrown Digital Marketing Leader here.


My Internship Experience At Social Beat : Aaditya Khandelwal

  • Vimal Michael
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  • 13 March , 2019
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    • 2 min read

Data. Marketing. Technology. These were the 3 words revolving inside my mind when I was hunting for my first job after college. 

Considering my interest, Social Beat sounded like THE place for me to learn about paid acquisitions and growth marketing, in-depth.

I was overwhelmed working with Sundar and his experienced team of digital advertisers who actively involved me in the accounts since day one. With such expertise and guidance, It was easy to learn more in the 3-month internship than in 4 years of college. The entire vibe was around experimenting and learning from others. One can actually feel themselves grow along with the team, as every coming day posed a new challenge in disguise, an opportunity to learn something new. As a fresher, I used to bombard my colleagues with doubts which they gladly clarified and even took some time out of their schedule if needed. The training sessions and weekly meetings were greatly beneficial in terms of gaining knowledge about new platforms, strategies and exploring further avenues.

As my first professional working experience, I couldn’t have asked for a better environment where each and every team member was dedicated to make their brand a success story and drive ROI.  A walk through the corridor would be enough to listen to 10 different things that you never knew before and if you found something that caught your interest, you could just drop by, say “Hi!” and learn about it.

Cross working between different teams was frictionless and it’s something anyone would enjoy since you get a chance to think from someone else’s perspective. An example of this would be working on pitch decks where you’d receive ideas from different members across teams and get a holistic view of the solutions that we as a digital agency can provide to clients.

Reflecting back on my internship, in all honesty, I could have never asked for a better internship experience. Deep gratitude to Suneil, Vikas and Sundar for their constant support and to the entire Social Beat team as well for running this sublime organization in high spirits!


Social Beat and TATA Mutual remind taxpayers to say #NoToKatauti

  • Rhea
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  • 18 February , 2019
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    • 3 min read

The main challenge for a mutual funds company in India is attracting a wider audience, especially among the younger demographic. Investments are often considered too complicated for a layperson to understand, with little to no short-term gains. But while the benefits of investments remain a vague concept, individuals are all too familiar with the pain of having their salaries reduced because of taxes. TATA Mutual Funds has woven these twin concerns to raise awareness of the tax-saving benefits of investing in an ELSS scheme.

To capitalise on the growing potential of video and market their product in a completely innovative way, TATA Mutual Fund collaborated with Social Beat, a leading digital marketing solutions company. Social Beat conceptualised a video campaign for them that would break through the clutter and stand out in the competitive mutual funds space in India. Comprising of four short videos based around a common theme, the video campaign highlighted the importance of investing in an ELSS tax-saving scheme.

The idea behind the campaign

Cometh March and the heebie-jeebies flare up like rashes. One dreads to look at the pay-slip as the fear of ‘katauti’ gets amplified. Tata Mutual Fund’s latest campaign on ELSS captures this feeling of being short-changed. A series of 4 ads have protagonists across demographics including a working woman, a management trainee, a sportsman and an executive relaxing in his home.

TATA Mutual Funds looked to Social Beat to highlight this common grouse by presenting their ELSS scheme in a completely different way. Speaking about the objective behind their campaign, Mr Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat, said, “We wanted to make the ELSS scheme more relatable for audiences. The one factor that our entire audience has in common is that no one likes their income being reduced because of tax. We distilled this idea into the central concept for our campaign: ‘How people feel when they don’t get what they deserve’. This idea gave us plenty of room to play around with and communicate the benefits of an ELSS scheme in a creative way.”

Conceptualising and creating the campaign

Building on this concept, the team at Social Beat created four videos based around common storylines that most people can relate to. They used everyday scenarios that everyone, no matter what their age or gender, can identify with, for instance, shopping for groceries and ordering a pizza. The frustration that the characters feel when they get one less slice of pizza than what they expected or when the vendor gives them fewer vegetables than what they asked for, is similar to what many of us go through when our salaries are reduced because of tax. This idea was distilled into the catchy hashtag #NoToKatauti.”

The final launch

The videos are currently being promoted on YouTube and Facebook. With an incredible 225 million and 240 million Indians respectively on these platforms, they are certain to attract a large viewership. “Content is the crucial differentiator when there is product parity. Technology helps make an incisive reach to the correct set of audiences. We chose to take up video on digital because of its growth as a primary form of content consumption. Initial reactions to our films have been that of “Hey! This is exactly how I feel when my March payslip has a ‘skimmed’ salary for the month!” The Distributor Community too have lapped up the commercial and shared positive feedback. With over a million impressions and counting, this is easily amongst our most successful online campaigns,” says M.V.S.Murthy, Head – Marketing, Digital & Corporate Communications, Tata Mutual Fund

For a BFSI company looking to create brand awareness and improving customer retention, videos have clearly become one of the most effective strategies to employ.

This article originally appeared in Campaign India.


My Internship Experience At Social Beat : Mubena K

  • Vimal Michael
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  • 13 February , 2019
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    • 2 min read

Social Beat was the second company that I interned with and the leap from the previous one to Social Beat was huge. The learning curve was steep and it was not restricted to my domain/department alone. Unlike many other companies, I got to learn how the other teams work as well. A few things that I loved about Social Beat were the culture, the team and the work. The culture, in my opinion, was one of the main reasons why I enjoyed my work. It allowed me to enjoy my work while gaining a huge amount of knowledge. The team was very supportive and encouraging and they always looked at what better they could do for the clients. They were always willing to teach me bits and pieces of digital marketing. I never felt like an intern, given the work and exposure that I got was not something that typical interns get. Anyone interning at Social Beat is given proper training and tasks, akin to that the team members do. I am currently specialising in Human Resources and my experience at Social Beat really helped me link theories and concepts that I was introduced to in lectures on what happens in agencies and companies. As a part of the HR Team, I got to interact with all the teams across all the cities. I also got to learn the dynamics of how multiple teams collaborate at different points of time to ensure the end result is always exceeding client expectations. The atmosphere that the team set has helped me motivate myself to push boundaries and always perform beyond what is expected of myself.

I had a lot of personal growth as well, apart from what I learnt professionally. The culture made me realise that your work is only as good as the values you portray while doing the tasks. Integrity, mutual trust and taking ownership have become things that I value, after my internship.

All in all, my journey was filled with immense learning, learning how to enjoy my work, along with looking forward to what I could do the next day. Interning at an agency like Social Beat while I was studying is something I am really grateful for. The amount of exposure I got with regards to the world of human resources, as well as digital marketing, is humungous. I gained a lot of insights into many different things and gained so much knowledge about how things work.


Social Beat’s new video compares road safety to office etiquette

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 6 February , 2019
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    • < 1 min read

Road safety has become more important over the years as the number of cars on the road has continued to increase. Traffic safety is essential as it helps prevent drivers of vehicles from causing accidents and hitting pedestrians. Laws are enforced to ensure the safe and efficient flow of traffic.

Social Beat recently did a video on road safety titled ‘A Day in the Office ft. Bad Drivers’. The objective of the video was to mirror the bad behaviour of drivers on the road in our everyday office life. It took a hilarious stance on road safety and covered rules such as ‘Don’t text while driving’ and ‘Don’t drive on pavements’ with the use of common office etiquette as examples. The video aimed to communicate the message that the rules you follow at the workplace should be followed on the road as well.

The video was promoted on Facebook and Instagram and had a total reach of 26,264.

It helped broaden our presence and increase engagement on social media and increase the number of subscribers and followers on different social media platforms. The video also demonstrated our expertise across different video types.


Future of digital – AI, AR & Vernacular – Digital Leadership Summit Mumbai

  • Pooja Manoj
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  • 28 January , 2019
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    • 5 min read

As a part of our Second Digital Leadership Summit at Mumbai, a panel discussion was held on the future trends of digital marketing - AI, augmented reality and vernacular content. The two panellists were Ms Channan Sawhney - Head, Digital Marketing, Johnson & Johnson and Mr. Prathyush Kukreja – Head, Product Monetisation at Haptik. The session was moderated by Mr. David Appasamy, Head of Brand & Strategy, Social Beat.

Summary of the session:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality has a huge role in driving sales and ROI.
  • Brands must adopt artificial intelligence to deliver the right brand messages to the audience.
  • It’s high time for FMCG companies to adopt AI technology to break the clutter in the industry.
  • The future of digital marketing lies in localised content.
  • Brands must utilise the power of voice search and multilingual marketing to build an effective conversational AI.
  •  Marketing automation has become much easier with the advent of AI and AR.

Evolution of AI

Prathyush from Johnson & Johnson enlightened the
audience on how the perception of AI has changed over the years. He said that
in 2015, AI was just a buzz word and no one really knew what AI was. The
preconceived notion was that AI will automate everything, leading to
unemployment. But, in 2018, the scenario has changed. Expectations have become
realistic and technology has come to a place where it can add value to
achieving the necessary business objectives.

Artificial Intelligence - A tool of competitive advantage

According to Prathyush, this is an era of Conversational AI, a subset of Artificial Intelligence backed with data collected by brands and advertisers. Brands must build conversational AI to communicate with the users based on their behavioural and transactional or historical behaviour.  Unlike a television commercial or a radio advertisement, conversational AI is not linear and one-to-one. When you use conversational AI in advertising and branding, each and every customer is unique and the content will be customised according to the needs of that particular user. He further added that Artificial Intelligence considers several other factors such as the buying nature and purchase frequency of the user. This where AI is today. AI is no longer a buzz word today, but, it is a tool of competitive advantage. Currently, brands are competing with each other to develop better AI to deliver better ROI in terms of acquiring users and telling better brand stories.

AI can break the clutter in the FMCG industry

Channan from Johnson & Johnson said that AI technology is not utilised to its fullest in FMCG industry. If used properly, AI has the power to break the clutter and make the brand stand out. Brands can convey right messages to the user in such a way so as to create a long lasting impact on the audience. Johnson & Johnson is employing AI technology rather than AR. Google and Facebook have already started their AI and AR journey. Other brands have huge benefits from this. But, for FMCG companies, implementation of AI technology is extremely important since this is an industry that communicates with its audience on a day-to-day basis.

The need for localised content

According to Channan, consumers are always on a look out for good content on the Internet. In the case of Johnson & Johnson, there is a huge demand for content related to pregnancy and newborn care. It is observed that most of the customers prefer consuming the content in their own local languages. If you are a market leader in a particular industry, it is important to take the lead and provide the kind of content that the consumer is looking for. That’s why Johnson & Johnson has adopted an active native content strategy. One of the biggest priorities for Johnson & Johnson is to strengthen their regional content strategy so as to deliver the right brand messages for the audience in a manner that they want to hear.

The power of voice search

Prathyush highlighted the importance of integrating voice search and vernacular content to build the effectiveness of conversational AI. Nowdays, majority of people are accessing the Internet using vernacular languages rather than English. The Internet has witnessed a commendable shift with the introduction of voice search. This technology is much user-friendly in the sense that users can directly talk to the device without even touching it. Hence the power of voice search is immense. According to data from Google, after the introduction of voice search, Hindi is the most preferred language for content consumption. Taking this into consideration, Haptik is also working on developing a conversational AI with vernacular capabilities. Many of the leading advertisers are also leveraging Devanagari scripts and other local languages in their lead generation and branding campaigns on various digital platforms.

How are brands benefitting from investing in AI technology?

Channan cited that one of the biggest wins of investing in AI is that market study has become easier like never before. With the adoption of AI technology, brands can provide efficient solutions to customers in a much faster manner. This technology has the huge power to transform the way in which data is processed and maintained for delivering business results

Prathyush spoke about an interesting campaign that Haptik had conceptualised for the Bollywood movie Thugs of Hindostan. Google Maps was a great digital marketing tool for this movie. When somebody asked for directions, instead of the usual voice, users could hear directions from Aamir Khan himself. These innovations by Google and Facebook can be adopted by companies specialised in AI technology in order to help brands and advertisers offer value to their customers.

Artificial Intelligence for story telling

Prathyush cited a recent case study on how HDFC Life
executed a branding campaign using AI. The brand wanted to create awareness
about importance on investing in Life Insurance among the millennials. For this
Haptik created an AI personality called Shayari
wala
who educated the millennials on the importance of investing in the
form of shayaris. The main reasons why HDFC strategised their campaign in this
way is primarily because millennials love story telling and they consume
content that is fun and quirky.

Can Augmented Reality become a reality in 2019?

According to Channan, Augmented Reality is a great
story telling tool for brands if it is used for delivering the right message.
For instance, some of the brands have incorporated AR for product packaging. A
well conceptualised AR lead can communicate great brand stories to the
consumers.

On the contrary, Prathyush said that the use of AR in
branding and digital marketing is still vague and unclear. There is no clarity
on how brands can measure ROI, drive sales and generate leads using an AR
campaign. Augmented reality is a great platform for education and can be easily
adopted by real estate and gaming industries. But, it will take a few more years
for AR to establish itself in the digital landscape.

Role of AI and AR in marketing automation

AI plays a huge role in automation of ads, said
Prathyush. The time taken for education and lead generation have become much
faster with the use of AI technology. According to Channan, marketing
automation is all about programmatic ads, best custom audiences and precision
marketing that help in delivering right brand messages for the right target audience.

Migration of content users to vernacular chatbots

Channan also highlighted the importance for brands to
identify ways to migrate content users to vernacular chatbots. For this, brands
must focus on investing in real time machine learning and customised content
that can play a huge role in understanding your customers, drive sales and
generate leads.

This was indeed an insightful panel discussion and brand strategists from across sectors understood the need for adopting such advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality to drive sales, generate leads and withstand competition.


Social Beat Earns a Shopping Advertising Specialisation Badge

  • Divya Premkumar
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  • 23 January , 2019
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    • 2 min read

We are excited to announce that Social Beat has earned the Google Premier Partner Shopping Ads Skills for Google Ads/Pay Per Click Advertising. Our newly acquired Google Premier Partner badge for Shopping Ads certifies that we have demonstrated expertise and sustained client performance in shopping advertising.

What are Google Shopping Ads?

Unlike traditional text ads that focus on the keywords you choose, Google Shopping ads determine when your product listing ads show up. Google considers the feed, the site and the bids that determine what search queries show your ads.

The success of Google Shopping ads depends on three elements:

  • The optimisation and creation of the feed
  • Continuous monitoring and optimisation that can make a good campaign great
  • Successful bidding that can double returns on ad spends

We have successfully incorporated these elements and leveraged the use of Google Shopping Ads to sustain client performance in shopping advertising.

Best Practices

Premier Google Partners are required to demonstrate that they are maximising their clients’ performance by implementing Google’s recommended best practices in client accounts using Shopping Ads.

As a Google Premier Partner in Shopping Ads, Social Beat can help us place our client’s products on Google Search, set up inventory on the Merchant Center and create Google Shopping campaigns.

Spends

The new badge is designed to recognise Partners who manage a substantial portfolio of Google advertising campaigns and deliver great results for their customers.

Social Beat works with Google Sales Representatives to promote new and effective Google strategies to our clients. As a Google Premier Partner, we use proven techniques to help our clients increase their digital ROI. We aim to deliver the best results to our clients using Google’s strategies such as Mobile Innovation and Search Mobile and Display Innovation.

Contact us to get your Adwords campaign started or to optimise an existing campaign for better ROI.


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.


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