digital marketing news

Social Beat nominated for Social Samosa’s 40 Under 40

  • Mrinali Fernandez
  • |
  • 15 November , 2018
  • |
    • 2 min read

We are happy to announce that our co-founder Vikas Chawla, Head of Social Media Innovation - Anuradha Nair and Creative Head - Panisa Shah have received nominations under the first edition of Social Samosa’s 40 Under 40.

Social Samosa 40 Under 40 is a salute to pioneers in the field of marketing and advertising in India – to celebrate thought leaders and entrepreneurs who have disrupted and impacted growth within the ecosystem.

Google India’s Year in Search report estimates that by 2020, more than 650 million Indians will be online. In the last two years, digital underwent a major paradigm shift – from a support-marketing channel to a full-fledged business platform of its own. According to the Digital Marketing Industry Report 2018 that we recently released, 68% of brands leverage digital marketing to promote their products and services.

Those nominated for #SS40under40 are those individuals who strive to leverage our country’s growing digital audience and formulate the best strategies to engage with the next billion internet users in India.

The nominations are spread across 10 categories namely - Account Management, Analytics, Brand Management, Business, Content Marketing, Creative, Digital Marketing, Media Entrepreneurship/Leadership, Media Planning, and Strategy.

Each candidate is nominated and assessed based on creativity, planning and execution, strategy, ability to analyse numbers and trends and implement them, crafting their brand’s message and how effectively they engage with consumers.

After a whopping 450 plus entries, Vikas was shortlisted among 228 other nominees by a jury of marketing stalwarts namely:

  • Babita Baruah - Managing Partner, WPP GTB India.
  • Jyotsna Makkar - Head of Marketing, India HMD Global
  • Sunder Madakshira - Head Marketing - Adobe India
  • Kartik Sharma - Chief Executive Officer, Wavemaker - South Asia
  • Lloyd Mathias - Former APAC Marketing Head - HP
  • Rakesh Hinduja - Executive Director and Branch Head - Leo Burnett, Mumbai
  • Gopa Kumar - Executive VP - Isobar India
  • Roopak Saluja - Founder & Chief Executive Officer - The 120 Media Collective

We wish good luck to our Social Beat members in the final selection!

For more insights into the awards, visit 40under40.socialsamosa.com


Social Beat wins Silver for Brigade Group at the Big Bang Awards 2018

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 5 October , 2018
  • |
    • 2 min read

At Social Beat, being imaginative and innovative is part of our DNA. We work hard to reach our client’s goals and exceed their expectations. So it’s always a wonderful feeling when accolades come our way! The recently concluded Big Bang Awards 2018 by The Advertising Club, Bangalore was a celebration of India’s digital advertising talent.

Social Beat won Silver for the Digital Award in the Real Estate Category. We were recognised for our stellar work for Brigade Group – the leading player in India’s real estate industry.

Awards like this prove why real estate brands need to shift from print to digital.

Our award-winning campaign for Brigade Group

Established in 1986, the Brigade Group has a pan-India presence with a diverse portfolio that covers both commercial and residential properties. Apart from property development, Brigade’s repertoire also includes property management services, hospitality and education.

Brigade approached us with a simple objective - build user-generated content and create a buzz around Brigade’s social media handles. Keeping this in mind, we came up with a photo contest idea. While the campaign was centred on audience interaction, it reaped a two-fold benefit – the pictures sent in would promote Brigade and thus increase visibility, as well as encourage people to follow the company across social media platforms.

#PhotoContest Campaign

One of Brigade’s top priorities before the start of any campaign is to be as unique as possible, and the Photo Contest campaign did just that. Brigade’s audience was able to actively engage with them. Each participant had to send a maximum of 5 images, of which at least two had to feature Brigade properties. Participants also needed to add specified hashtags to their posts and follow them on social media platforms. This helped Brigade gain visibility and increased their social media followers.

Reach and results

To help spread word about the campaign, we created a small video that held all the details. The results achieved were staggering. In fact, this campaign also won Silver for the Best Social Media Brands under the Real Estate category at Social Samosa’s digital marketing awards.

There were over 15,000 views and engagement of more than 30,000 people, with more than 3000 clicks.

We received over 500 entries in response to the campaign. The majority of our audience was between the ages of 18 to 24.

This one-of-a-kind approach to creating engaging real estate marketing strategies is what sets Brigade apart from their competitors.

This award is further proof of Social Beat’s commitment to pushing the boundaries and delivering only the best in digital marketing for our clients.

You can also read our Complete Guide To Digital Marketing For Real Estate for more insights.


Social Beat wins big at the SAMMIE 2018 awards

  • Rhea
  • |
  • 11 August , 2018
  • |
    • 4 min read

Our creative, quirky campaigns have always won the hearts of our clients, but when they win awards too, it’s always an added perk! The 2018 edition of Social Samosa’s much-anticipated digital marketing awards was held on July 31 and included 19 categories with 14 special categories.

 

 

Social Beat has won two Silver awards for the Best Social Media Brands under the Real Estate category. This was in recognition of our exceptional work with Brigade Group and Casagrand, two of the largest real estate developers in South India. These awards are further proof of why real estate brands need to shift from print to digital.

Casagrand’s original social media approach

Casagrand is one of the most reputed developers in South India, with a 14 year legacy behind them. Established in 2004, Casagrand has developed over 12 million sq.ft. of premium residential real estate across Chennai, Bengaluru and Coimbatore. Their core values of innovation and quality have translated into their engaging real estate marketing strategies.

Some of their best-performing social media campaigns were able to tap into the variety of emotions that make a house a home.

#FeelAtHome

 The #FeelAtHome campaign by Casagrand was a creative representation of the small things that make our homes special. This campaign featured day-to-day things most of us do, but often take for granted. Each post was crafted along the lines of the philosophy that it’s emotions that go into making a home and not just four walls and a ceiling.

 

 

This post, for example, depicted a colourful rangoli, a staple at the doorway of almost every South Indian household. It performed very well on social media as a large part of the audience were able to relate to it on a personal level. The familiar feeling of waking up in the morning to the sight of rangoli being drawn at the entrance of the house is something most had grown up with.

Experimenting with new formats

 

 

One of the factors contributing to Casagrand’s win was their willingness to experiment with new formats and push the boundaries. During the Wimbledon season, we created a 3D post for Casagrand, which also acted as a quiz for the audience. It featured a tennis ball and users could move the 3D image around to check which side of the court it was on. The post was also able to creatively plug in a mention of Casagrand’s amenities in a non-intrusive way.

Brigade’s best social media campaigns

 The Brigade Group, first established in 1986, is focused on property development. Apart from residential properties, Brigade has a multi-domain portfolio covering commercial property development, property management, hospitality and education. The same attention to detail and drive for excellence that sets their projects apart also drives their social media marketing strategy.

Creative promotions of projects

One of Brigade’s key differentiators is their unique way of showcasing new project launches. For Brigade, we have looked past the usual promotional posts and instead, depicted new projects in a way that captures their true essence.

 

For the Brigade Woods launch, we structured the entire campaign around the abundance of greenery that was the biggest USP of the project. These watercolour-style posts depicted the joy that comes with owning a house in the midst of lush green spaces.

Audience Contests

 

Brigade’s social media approach also involves using creative ways for their audience to actively engage with them. One of the best-performing contests by Brigade is a photo contest. Each participant had to send a maximum of 5 images, of which at least two had to feature Brigade properties. Participants also needed to add specified hashtags to their posts and follow them on social media platforms. This helped Brigade gain visibility and increased their social media followers.

These awards are further proof of Social Beat’s commitment to pushing the boundaries and delivering only the best in digital marketing for our clients.

You can also read our Complete Guide to Digital Marketing for Real Estate for more insights.


Google India Search Report 2017: Online Consumer Behaviour

  • Mrinali Fernandez
  • |
  • 17 June , 2018
  • |
    • 8 min read

While bidding farewell to 2017, Google India came out with a comprehensive report titled, ‘Year in Search’ which throws light into the way Indian consumes content. Google’s annual report offers a unique perspective on India’s most significant trends, major events and local and topical interests that reflect the ever-changing psyche of India’s online millions.

As of 2017, India’s internet users were estimated a little north of 400 million. Today, that number is closer to 450 million. While that number constitutes less than 30% of our total population, it is the second largest online market after China – and it is only growing. By 2020, the Year in Search India report estimates more than 650 million Indians will be online. That’s double the population of the United States.

Every day, more and more Indians are discovering the internet and integrating it into their daily lives – to look for information, entertainment, answers and everything in between.

The report spans 11 verticals and delves into consumer behaviour to reveal what goes on in the minds of India’s next billion internet users and the implications this has for brands and marketers. Here are the top five emerging trends identified in the report.

Non-metros emerged as superstars

Non-metros in India are quickly catching up with the major cities regarding internet usage. Voice, vernacular and video are three key pillars that are showing strong and steady growth. Search queries are growing at a faster rate in non-metros than metros. In fact, 2 in 3 queries are from non-metro cities. And given the growth of regional content online, Hindi is of course still the dominant language; other regional languages like Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Punjabi are swiftly gaining prominence online.

This only goes to show that brands would have to focus on Tier II and III cities and digital marketing strategies would have to focus on languages apart from English. This is the only way to reach the right target audience.

Digital drives revenues

2017 saw digital undergo a major paradigm shift – from a support-marketing channel to a full-fledged business platform of its own. According to the digital marketing industry report that we recently released, 68% of brands leverage digital marketing to promote their products and services.

Sectors like auto, banking, finance and insurance (BFSI) showed a direct correlation between online research and offline purchase. A leading OEM’s sales were driven 20% by digital. Similarly, sectors like FMCG and banking saw entire transactions being carried out online. Consumers relied on Search to educate themselves and discover products before finally converting online. For instance, consumers not only searched for hair care tips online but also looked for products that would help them solve their hair problems. As per the report, the Internet will influence $45 billion of FMCG sales in India. This is further proof of how digital will revolutionise the FMCG sector.

Digital transactions and e-commerce

Growth spurts in e-commerce, travel, finance and digital media have driven online consumer expenditure, which is expected to grow 2.5 times to $100 billion by 2020. Furthermore, the report projects that India’s online spender base will expand 2-3x its current volume to reach an astounding 180-200 million by 2020. There was a 70% growth in Telco-owned owned mobile wallets like Airtel Money, Vodafone mPesa, etc. All these figures point to a robust e-commerce ecosystem.

The omnichannel experience

The online and offline are merging to create a holistic story. The lines between digital and physical consumer behaviours continue to blur. Take for example – a 50% increase in search volume for “stores near me” indicating that online searches for stores are an now an integral part of a consumer’s shopping experience. Similarly, the auto industry saw an astounding 79% of car buyers making purchases after watching a video online. These examples reinforce the fact that what happens online directly affects what happens next offline.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

Newer technologies like AI and machine learning are upping the ante, leveraged as marketing and business solutions. Across categories, Google’s Year in Search shows several examples of a market primed to take on the benefits of AI and machine learning. India’s auto industry saw intending car buyers take favourably to 360-degree video and virtual reality, which could potentially replace test drives. Insurance players turned to AI-chatbots to efficiently answer user queries at scale. Concurrently, content consumption patterns on video viewing platforms continue to be influenced by machine learning.

Sector-specific trends

Auto

As per the Google trends in India report, online searches related to the auto sector are on the rise. This is more so in non-metros where digital sales drove 20% of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) sales.

Two wheeler insurance saw a 100% increase in queries, while searches related to parts and accessories and servicing saw a 43% and 70% rise each.

The report also states that car buyers are now looking for a more omnichannel experience. This is evidenced by a 50% reduction in offline touch points during the buying process. Car buyers are relying more on the internet for videos regarding their vehicles and virtual test drives prior to finalising. In fact, 71% of consumers believe VR test drives and 360 videos could replace the conventional method of test-driving a vehicle. Videos are the simplest way of building your brand and utilising the video medium was one of the key digital marketing trends of 2017.

Banking, finance and insurance

Business and personal home loan queries saw a massive surge, as did searches related to banking solutions and information about mutual funds. BFSI brands have also seen a significant impact on driving consideration and overall digital acquisition as a result of using a “search bar” as a call to action. Businesses also began utilising machine learning for speech to text translations and sentiment predictions in their call centre transcripts, all of which have resulted in a seamless experience and improved efficiency for customers and businesses alike. All in all, leveraging digital marketing for the financial industry has proved beneficial.

E-Commerce

2017 was a good year for the e-commerce sector. There was a 41% growth in shopping queries, most of these coming from non-metros. The most significant growth markets are Patna, Lucknow. By 2020, digital spending and women shoppers are expected to grow by 2.5x.

The largest e-commerce category is fashion with a 53% growth in fashion e-commerce queries. Other fast-growing sectors include baby care, growing at 36% and groceries showing an average growth rate of 65-70% between 2017 and 2020. The report evidences that online shopping is increasing beyond India’s metros; searches in Hindi and other regional languages have gone up by 61% with Hindi commanding the highest share.

Education

Education is rapidly coming up online; it comes as no surprise that learning and education related searches grew by 2x, while education content on YouTube grew to 4x. Non-metros showed more than 100% growth, with maximum interest in courses that taught new technology, i.e. machine learning, cloud computing, artificial intelligence.

For young Indians today, there are a plethora of jobs and career options you can take up with the reach and convenience of the Internet. Follow our YouTube channel Arrear Irundalum Career for tips and tricks on making it big in life by following your passion. Here's a quick video on Job Interview Tips to help get you started. You can also check out our Arrear Irundalum Career website for further career guidance tips!

Fast Moving Consumer Goods

Digital is spearheading business for the FMCG category, particularly the beauty industry. 2017 saw a 60% increase in beauty related searches and searches related to parenting and baby care buying decisions.

Much of this is also influenced by YouTube as there is a 4x growth in watch time for baby care videos. According to YouTube Brandcast 2018, more than 50% of women professionals watch YouTube videos for more information before purchasing in categories like beauty, real estate and automobiles.


Trying this for one of your FMCG clients, On1y, we created an unusual video to advertise their brand and to keep their viewers engaged. The overall reach for the video was over 10,000,000, the total views on YouTube were over 480,000.

Local and classifieds

Online gaming is showing a staggering growth rate; online gamers are expected to reach 310 million by 2021. There was a 2x growth in online gaming queries, with 55% of them coming from outside of the top metros. There was a 70% growth in online food ordering and home deliveries, with 4 lakh orders daily on average. Foodtech startups like Swiggy Zomato have completely transformed the way urban India eats, and currently, rule India’s food tech landscape. Google search is also playing matchmaker and headhunter with a 40% increase in job searches and a 38% growth seen in dating app searches and matrimonial websites.

Real estate

Real estate, too, saw a 43% jump in search queries and a 49% growth in searches related to affordable housing.

Showcasing properties on digital platforms is one of the most effective ways for developers to sell their properties. With a multitude of techniques including advertising on various platforms, multilingual content and a strong search engine marketing, real estate developers can generate even a 190 crore in revenue using the digital media.

Media and Entertainment

Regional content ruled all aspects of entertainment with a 100% growth in vernacular entertainment watch time on YouTube. There were high conversions and growth in watch time when viewers were exposed to a TV ad for a show online.

We have witnessed first-hand the power of regional content on YouTube. For the ‘Good Netizen Good Citizen’ Campaign by The Murugappa Group, we at Social Beat conceptualised for a video that would resonate with their audience base. Since The Murugappa Group is based out of Tamil Nadu, Tamil language content would be more natural for their audiences to understand and relate to.

These videos performed incredibly well on YouTube - one of them even received over 570,000 views. Users actively engaged with the video, commenting and sharing it on various social media platforms.

Retail

Providing shoppers with an omnichannel shopping experience is proving valuable for businesses. Shoppers Stop worked with Google to connect their offline sales with their digital marketing spends. This got them a 2.5x Return on Ad Spends (ROAS).

Our client Gehna, too, follows an omnichannel approach with a physical boutique and presence online, selling on Facebook, Amazon and on their website.

Tech

Indians in non-metros embraced India’s fast-growing internet penetration and used it to research before buying new gadgets, which resulted in a 45% growth in queries for consumer electronics. New and niche technologies also witnessed a boost in search queries to the tune of 3x more interest in smart home devices and 2x growth in both in smart homes, appliances and lighting, and smartwatches and fitness bands.

Business-related tech took off in a big way as well, with an increased interest in accounting software, website builders and HR and finance/payroll categories.

Telecom

With the advent of 4G in India, most of our internet traffic this year came from outside India’s top eight cities. Consumption patterns fluctuated with searches for mobile data jumped to 70% for 4G and dropped to 30% for 2G and 3G.

With the top 4 telcos offering competitive prices, consumers took full advantage – searches for offers shot up by 141%. There was a substantial increase in payment bank searches – nearly 174% as consumers are now looking beyond cash and card payments.

Travel

India loves to travel, and by 2020, the Indian travel market is poised to hit $48 billion, with Tier 2 cities leading this growth. Voice and fast loading mobile experiences and brand awareness are emerging key factors in travel-related searches.

This report only proves that digital marketing is the most important medium to market your brand. Whether you are a real estate giant or an FMCG brand, if you have an ambitious project in mind, reach out to us.

For more information, insights and opportunities in your vertical, download the report here.


Mary Meeker’s 2018 Global Internet Report: Where does India stand?

  • Rhea
  • |
  • 10 June , 2018
  • |
    • 6 min read

The 2018 edition of Mary Meeker’s eagerly anticipated Internet Trends report is out and provides one of the most comprehensive insights into the global digital landscape. This year, the report covered a wide range of important themes from mobile usage and the rise of cryptocurrency to work patterns and immigration. One of the most important topics covered was the rise of China’s technological growth and how it will very likely overtake the US in terms of innovation and advancements.

While the 2018 report hasn’t covered India in depth, it is still an excellent barometer by which we can understand how the digital landscape here compares to the rest of the world. India’s internet growth has followed a very different path due to several factors that are unique to the country. While the US and China are already massive established markets, India’s strength lies in the fact that this is still an emerging market. This presents a huge potential waiting to be tapped into.

Here are a few key takeaways from the Mary Meeker Internet Trends Report 2018 and how India compares.

1. Internet Adoption: Wifi vs. Mobile Data

2018 records the highest number of people on the internet. Almost half of the global population, around 3.6 billion, are now connected via the internet. One of the reasons for this is the growth of WiFi networks across the world. Today there are around 450 million WiFi networks globally, as compared to five years ago when there were only around 100 million.

In India, however, it is not so much WiFi that is spearheading the growth of the internet, but mobile data. Drastic reductions in the price of mobile data have made the internet more accessible to all sections of the population. One of the catalysts for this development was the launch of Jio. Of the 150 crore GB of mobile data consumed by Indians, 100 crore GB was through just the Jio network. Google has made some strides with its Rail Wire initiative and there is free WiFi available in over 370 railway stations. They recently reported 7.5 million users consumed 7,100 terabytes across these stations. Additionally, 80% of all enquiries come in through mobiles. Because of this, mobile platforms are becoming increasingly important for brands. Speed and convenience are two of the most-valued features in Indian markets. This is why brands here are beginning to adopt a ‘mobile-first’ approach and utilise AMP-implemented landing pages to improve a user’s experience and generate higher leads.

2. Internet usage growth: Falling vs. rising

Global internet adoption rates are growing slower than they ever have. In 2017, internet user growth stood at only 7% as compared to 12% the previous year. This could be because since most people are already connected to the internet, there are fewer new users to be added.

 

 

In India, however, a completely different scenario is unfolding. Up until 2016, Indian internet users were growing at an incredible 28% annually. Mobile data, cheaper smartphones and growth of vernacular content online has played a pivotal role in expanding the internet beyond just urban areas, into tier 2 and 3 cities and towns. Most significantly of all, internet penetration in India stands at only 27%. This shows that there is a huge opportunity for brands to take advantage of as internet adoption in the country continues to rise.

3. Mobile sales: Plateauing vs. skyrocketing

While the total time spent on mobile devices is increasing, 2017 marked the first year where smartphone shipments showed no growth. Again, this could be because the number of smartphone users around the world has more or less plateaued. The year also witnessed a paradox, wherein despite some of the most expensive phones such as the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy Note releasing, global average smartphone prices are falling.

As a fast-growing market, India’s smartphone sales figures were markedly different. Counterpoint revealed that India recorded an incredible 48% YoY growth in Q1 of 2018. The demand was for affordable smartphones which still provided a wide range of features. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Chinese phone brands known for providing just this dominated the market. Of the 10 top selling phone brands in 2017, 6 of them were by Chinese manufacturers.

4. Mobile advertising: $7 billion vs. $100 billion opportunity

While consumers in the US are spending more time than ever on their smartphones, mobile advertising budgets are not reflecting this. An average adult in the US spent around 5.9 hours on their mobile phone each day in 2017 as compared to 5.6 hours in 2016. But while advertisers are slowly branching out into mobile advertising instead of just traditional advertising, this shift isn’t happening fast enough. While 29% of time is spent on mobile, only 26% of advertising budgets are used for mobile platforms. This has resulted in a $7 billion gap that brands need to take advantage of.

 

 

 

In India, this potential might be far greater. As the country begins to benefit from cheaper mobile data and smartphones, higher digital literacy and greater access to digital content online, the number of hours spent on their phones will also increase. Currently, Indians spend 89% of their total online time on mobile data, far greater than the US average of 29%. Because of this, a study by Nielsen and BCG identified a $100 billion opportunity for digital consumer spending in India. One of the biggest contributing factors for this was the growth of mobile internet in the country.

5. Voice Search: Machine learning vs. Indian language search

One of the biggest trends in 2017 was the advancements made in voice technology. Google’s Machine Learning technology achieved a 95% accuracy, which is the same as that of a human. Amazon Echo’s sales also skyrocketed to 30 million in 2017 as compared to 10 million the year before. Consumers today are more willing to use voice search as accuracy and convenience of the technology improves.

 

 

As Google’s Indian language voice search accuracy improves, more Indians are beginning to use it as well. 28% of all searches on Google in India are voice searches. There has also been a 400% growth in Hindi voice search, indicating the willingness of users to perform voice searches in vernacular languages. The Google India Search Insights 2017 also showed that there was a 63% jump in data/voice usage. Moreover, 7% of all travel-related queries were through voice. Google Home and Amazon Echo were also launched in India recently, however, they do not support Hindi as yet. It remains to be seen how the lack of Indian language recognition will impact their adoption in India.

6. Growth of e-commerce: Alibaba vs. Amazon

Amazon is by far the biggest player in US e-commerce sales. In 2017, it had a 28% share of the e-commerce market, with $129 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV). To put this into perspective, it had only a 20% share of the market in 2013, with a GMV of $52 billion. The report also showed that most product searches today happen directly on Amazon. While 36% of product searches are conducted on a search engine, 49% of them are started on Amazon. But while Amazon is the biggest e-commerce player in the US, at $701 billion, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has a much higher GMV.

Back in India as well, Amazon is growing at a breakneck pace. In FY2017, Amazon announced that it had grown in its revenue by 105% in India. The number of app downloads for Amazon crossed 100 million by November 2017, with around 4.8% users visiting the app every single day. In the five years since its launch, Amazon has overtaken homegrown e-commerce companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal. The only competition for Amazon India could be Alibaba who has also announced plans to expand into Indian markets.

These findings prove that India’s rapidly expanding market presents a huge opportunity that brands cannot afford to ignore. As more Indians continue to come online, India will soon become an important player on the global digital stage.


Will Facebook’s updated terms and data policy affect brands in India?

  • Rhea
  • |
  • 9 May , 2018
  • |
    • 3 min read

After the Cambridge Analytica controversy, Facebook has taken several important steps to tighten their data security. The multi-billion dollar social media platform recently announced a new set of amendments to their data policies. The question that has arisen is whether or not the recent changes in policies will affect brands and their advertising strategies. However, most of the new terms involve reiterating existing ones, which is unlikely to affect brands’ marketing strategies. Here are some of the most important announcements Facebook has made about their revised data policy and the impact it is likely to have on brands.

Revoking permission to dormant apps

One of the most significant policy changes Facebook is making is to revoke access to user information for third-party apps that haven’t been used by them in over three months. There will also be a more visible button on the news feed which will allow users to restrict access to certain apps by themselves.

Impact: This change will only improve privacy and safety for users with zero impact on brands and advertising. Since apps that users consistently engage with will not be affected, brands will still have access to their main target audience.

Transparency about data-sharing

Facebook has reiterated their commitment to protecting user data by tightening their data-sharing policies. They will no longer sell private user information or allow partners to use this information in ways that violate their privacy policy.

Impact: This new policy is a step in the right direction towards better security for users. The improved privacy settings will help users be more confident about actively participating on the platform. For brands, this is a positive change as it means that their consumer base on Facebook will remain largely the same.

Closing third-party data providers

Earlier, through a feature called Partner Categories, advertisers on Facebook could target consumers based on very personal insights provided by third-party data agencies. But now after details of these providers exploiting private user data has come out in the open, Facebook is shutting down Partner Categories.

Impact: The Partner Categories feature allowed brands who lacked an existing customer database to find a target audience. While brands can continue using Facebook’s database as well as their own customer data through the Customs Audience tool, the exact impact of this change is yet to be seen.

Greater control over ads

Users will now be able to decide which ads they want to see appearing on their newsfeed. This is also an important step towards personalisation of a user’s newsfeed.

Impact: This feature has always existed on Facebook, the only difference now is that it will be more prominent. As long as brands are using the right targeting, they will be unaffected by this change as users will be interested in their ads. Brands with inaccurate targeting, however, are very likely to be negatively impacted.

Exact reach not shown for custom audience

 Advertisers who upload their existing database onto the custom audience tool will not be able to see the exact reach of their targeting. This is to prevent advertisers from being able to see exactly how many of their customers are on Facebook.

Impact: While advertisers will not be able to see the exact reach when using the Custom Audience tool, they will still know how many customers were in their database. This will give them a reasonably accurate idea of how big their reach is.

Facebook still rules the digital marketing landscape

The revised data policies are unlikely to have any significant impact on the way people are using the platform. Currently, India is Facebook’s biggest market with 240 mn monthly active users, overtaking even the US which has 230 mn. Far from decreasing anytime soon, these numbers are only going to grow. By 2020, there will be around 250 million new smartphone users and 100 million new internet users. A significant portion of these users will also start using Facebook.

For brands, Facebook is and will continue to be one of the most effective ways to reach out to their consumers. Despite the new terms and conditions, the number of Facebook users in India has not shown any significant decline, nor is it expected to. With their customers still active on Facebook, brands need to maintain a strong presence on this platform in order to build brand awareness and encourage customer loyalty. Advanced social media analytics tools, can also provide detailed targeting for brands. As the number of users will only continue to grow from here, Facebook remains one of the most important platforms for brands to engage with India’s next billion internet users.

As our Digital Marketing Industry Insights for India 2018 also points out, Facebook is one of the best-performing platforms to help brands meet their business goals. Through Facebook, we have even been able to generate a 190 crore revenue for Casagrand. The recent privacy changes Facebook has implemented is a positive step towards protecting a user’s personal information online. Brands in India are unlikely to face any negative impact over this decision as the number of Facebook users are only going to grow from here.


Digital Bites with Google and Social Beat

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 18 March , 2018
  • |
    • < 1 min read

Whether you are an enthusiastic start-up or a well-established organisation, there is no doubt that you are missing out on a pool of potential customers by not tapping the reach of digital marketing. Keeping this notion in mind, Social Beat and Google were proud to collaborate for yet another insightful session of Digital Bites.

 

 

 

The event took place on the 9th of March at Bangalore, with thoughtful insights presented by industry professionals. The session focused on the importance of Video Marketing and how top video sites like Youtube are emerging as an alternative channel to television. It also threw light on the growth of regional content and how brands can leverage the ease of voice search to engage with India’s next billion Internet users. The previous Digital Bites session was held in Chennai during September, 2017.

 

 

Make sure you read our blogs on Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing for deeper insights.


Social Beat: Brand new identity, same bold promise

  • David Appasamy
  • |
  • 14 March , 2018
  • |
    • 4 min read

Over the five years since our inception, Social Beat has consistently pushed the envelope and stood at the helm of digital innovations. This relentless drive towards perfection has been a key factor in the successful business results we have achieved for each of our clients. But the digital landscape within which we operate is continuously changing and with it, so are we. As we progress from being a startup to a meaningful player in the digital ecosystem, we are charging head-first towards a phase of rapid growth and impactful creativity. To keep up with our constantly evolving nature, we have re-launched our brand identity to better reflect the values we strive to embody today. But while the overall look of our brand might have changed, our core promise remains the same: to achieve measurable milestones for our clients through ROI-driven digital marketing.

What sets us apart?

Social Beat today is a powerhouse of talent, creativity, strategy and innovation. With our vibrant 80-member team spread across our offices in Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, we have the best resources to help brands meet their business objectives. With our unparalleled capabilities in the field, we can say with full confidence that no one understands the digital landscape of India better than us. Social Beat has several unique tools at our disposal to meet the challenges and potential of India’s consumer audience today.

As the importance of video marketing continues to grow, our expertise in creating engaging, insightful video content is one of our biggest strengths. With a talented in-house video team, we offer brands a special edge to capture the attention of their consumers. Influencer by Social Beat is one of our most important services, capitalising on the rapid emergence of influencer marketing. Through Influencer, we put brands in touch with key influencers in the category, helping them achieve greater brand awareness and trust. As tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India benefit from easier access to high-speed internet and low-cost phones, regional language marketing is crucial to help brands engage with India’s next billion internet users. This is why 22 Languages by Social Beat helps brands create engaging content for their audiences in the language they are most comfortable in. This focus on results through a comprehensive marketing strategy is perfectly encapsulated in our new brand identity.

The meaning behind our new brand identity

The new brand identity symbolises the progressive vision of our company. From the choice of contemporary fonts to the colours used, every aspect of the logo is an embodiment of the values, culture and innovative methods used by us. After weeks of brainstorming and ideation, our in-house creative team led by Creative Head Panisa Shah finally conceptualized a logo that was the best representation of all that our brand stands for. We adopted a clean, minimal and contemporary look to symbolise our progressive approach to digital strategy. Aside from our new logo, our brand relaunch also involves a redesign of the Social Beat website. In keeping with the minimalist theme, we are giving our website an uncluttered, clean layout that is captivating in its simplicity.

A journey through our logo

The brand new Social Beat logo is minimalistic and contemporary with clear-cut edges and a bold, yet refined design language that is reflective of our distinctive identity. It successfully captures our passion, energy, creativity and professionalism in a memorable way.

Every component of the logo has a symbolism of its own that throws light on the values, ethics and passionate spirit that defines who we are.

Solid colours with a rock-solid approach: The colour strategy behind the logo was to combine the enthusiastic vibe of orangish red with the reliability and expertise of royal blue. A typical day at Social Beat is replete with vibrant minds working towards reinforcing our clients’ trust and confidence in us. This is why we chose a vibrant red to represent our fresh ideas, passion, creativity and energy, while royal blue represents our dependability and trustworthiness.

Bettering the lettering: We opted for an uppercase, clean, sans-serif font to portray the professionalism we offer. The straight lines reiterate our commitment towards providing polished, masterful end-results for our clients.

Forward is the way to go: The forward arrows represent the result-driven business generation approach and the progressive vision of the company. We are constantly scouting for the latest trends in digital marketing to ensure that brands stay ahead of the curve.

Energetic, enthusiastic and youthful: The strategically placed flash symbol symbolises the energetic and dynamic nature of the team, driven by fresh ideas and new-age concepts.

Strategy comes full-circle: The circle encompassing the logo stands for the holistic digital marketing solution that Social Beat offers to each of our clients.

Our re-envisioned brand identity will accelerate us towards our goal of becoming amongst India’s top companies offering digital marketing solutions. This new identity resonates with our USP of boosting ROI for our clients across a variety of sectors like the finance industry, FMCG industry, real estate sector and more by being a holistic digital marketing partner. It's a brand new identity but the same bold promise!


Suneil Chawla featured in DC

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 20 January , 2018
  • |
    • < 1 min read

Our co-founder Suneil Chawla was recently featured in Deccan Chronicle in a short article titled A more ‘personal’ Facebook. The article focused on how Facebook users felt the platform was primarily used to connect people together across the globe but is now like a Classified showcasing products, services and other events related to the them. To address this concern, Facebook has now changed its algorithm in such a way that it will favour personal posts which have more engagement with viewers rather than promotional posts put up by organisations and news hubs.

Suneil Chawla shared his thoughts on the same. According to him, “The new update continues Facebook’s approach over the last few years, with a pay-to-play model. So, organic or unpaid reach will drop and brands will need to advertise to be found by their target customers and the cost of acquiring a customer may marginally go up.”

“As a Facebook user I believe it is a great move as we can see more content from friends and family. As a brand, anything good for the user, can’t be that bad for a meaningful brand”, he added.

You can check out the entire article here.


David Appasamy quoted in RealtyPlus Mag on marketing post-RERA

  • Team Social Beat
  • |
  • 2 January , 2018
  • |
    • < 1 min read

There is no doubt that digital marketing will transform the real estate industry in 2018. However, the recent implementation of RERA has caused a huge shift in the way marketing strategies are created and conducted in the property sector. The much-anticipated Real Estate Regulatory Act has made developers rethink and reformat their marketing strategies to comply with the guidelines for the promotion and marketing of properties.

Our Head of Brand and Strategy, Mr. David Appasamy, was recently interviewed by Realty Plus Mag about this topic. In this interview, David gives us his thoughts about how the game of real estate marketing has changed with the introduction of these major policies.

You can read the article here: http://realtyplusmag.com/the-post-rera-marketing/


Vikas Chawla speaks about Live videos in TOI

  • Team Social Beat
  • |
  • 2 January , 2018
  • |
    • 2 min read

Audience engagement has always been a challenge for most brands and companies. Reaching out to your target group is just half the battle won. The key lies in engaging your viewers to an extent in which they ultimately convert to loyal customers. One such digital marketing trend that has emerged as an effective tool to keep customers engaged with your brand is Live Videos.

The advent of live videos has changed the face of audience engagement for the better. The live video streaming option is available on all leading digital marketing channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, to name a few. With live streaming, like Facebook Live, companies have a cost-effective mode of promotion that audiences can easily view since studies have shown that there has been an increase in the viewing of live videos after the introduction of the 4G network. There are many benefits and drawbacks of the usage of live videos but overall, it has been found to be an extremely effective method of communication and engagement between brands and audiences.

Social Beat believes in the power of live videos for promotion and marketing. Featured below is Times of India's article where our co-founder, Vikas Chawla, gives us clarity on how live videos can benefit your brand and help you reach your marketing goals. For more insight on Live streaming, make sure you check out our blogs on the top 10 live chat software for your website and 4 tips to integrate social media for live events.


Social Beat & Notion Press featured in Social Samosa Year book 2017

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 4 October , 2017
  • |
    • 2 min read

Social Beat is proud to be featured in the Social Samosa Yearbook 2017 for our spectacular campaign executed for our client, Notion Press. Our featured campaign is listed under the Media and Entertainment category. The objective of the campaign was to create a buzz about the launch of the book, The Great Indian Obsession by Adhitya Iyer. The book is an interesting read on how Indians are obsessed with Engineering with a twist of humour. The campaign too, was a reflection of the book, with a funny hand-drawn cartoon sketch. Titled as Bizzare Engineering Facts, it took a light-hearted approach in showcasing quotes from the book, throwing light on hypocrisy in education. The campaign was exclusively posted on Facebook and Twitter and clocked a reach of half a million, with 21k likes and 986 shares. Its relatable context made it an instant hit amongst the target audience and eventually landed us with a feature in the much-awaited Yearbook of Social Media Campaigns 2017.

The updated 2017 version of the book is packed from cover to cover with over 60 eye-catching social media campaigns which are guaranteed to inspire you. These campaigns have created a stir in the digital space and are the best performing campaigns of the year.

Apart from mind-blowing campaigns, the yearbook also features a foreword by Kunal Jeswani – CEO, Ogilvy India – and expert insights from social media biggies like Umang Bedi , Managing Director, Facebook India and South Asia, Taranjeet Singh, Country Director, Twitter India and Rajesh Ghatge, CEO, Indigo Consulting. Grab your copy today for an awe-inspiring read.


Vikas Chawla featured in Times of India

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 1 September , 2017
  • |
    • < 1 min read

There is no doubt that digital technology has engulfed our world with a blanket of convenience. There is an app in our phones for literally every day-to-day activity, from booking a cab to ordering pizza. However, the lack of storage space and increased consumption of mobile data and time has led to stagnation in the number of app-users worldwide.

To address this issue, websites are now being re-designed with app-like behaviour. Frequent visits to these websites will lead to a pop-up in your phone prompting you to add a direct shortcut to the website in your main menu. The progressive functions of these app-like websites have led to the emergence of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). This new technology has taken the digital world by storm and is here to stay. Social Beat is one of the few digital marketing agencies who has incorporated this technology in our website. Following is an article from Times of India in which Vikas Chawla, our co-founder, has given us a closer insight into the benefits of Progressive Web Apps and their impact on the consumers.


Vikas part of the top 100 Digital Marketers in India

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 25 August , 2017
  • |
    • < 1 min read

We, at Social Beat, are proud to announce that our co-founder, Vikas Chawla, has been listed as part of the prestigious Pluralsight Digi100 List powered by Paul Writer. The objective of this list is to recognize the top 100 Digital Marketers in India and it’s an honour to be enlisted in it. Last year, Vikas was also awarded As One of The Most Influential Digital Marketing Leaders in India.

The list was unveiled during the Futurist Business Conclave on August 18, 2017, at the Leela Ambience, Gurgaon. Apart from revealing the reputed list, the event also featured the master class - The Futurist Marketer - hosted by the CEO of Paul Writer, Jessie Paul. The day-long event was concluded with the revelation of the CX100 and Content 100 lists, along with a keynote delivered by Jaspreet Bindra, Vice President, Digital Transformation, Mahindra and Malcolm Frank, EVP, CSO and CMO at Cognizant and Co-Author of What to Do When Machines Do Everything.

For a closer insight into the listing, please visit the Pluralsight Digi100 List Powered by Paul Writer and get inspired!


Social Beat launches book on Digital Marketing with Notion Press

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
  • |
  • 17 July , 2017
  • |
    • 2 min read

Since our inception in 2012, we have posted more than 200 blog posts around digital marketing, which have received cumulative page views of over a million. In 2017, we have taken one more step towards sharing our knowledge and learnings and launched our first book titled ‘Digital Marketing Insights 2017’. As the name suggests, the book provides its readers with a close understanding of the tips and tricks involved in digital marketing, with deep insights on its diverse platforms.

‘Digital Marketing Insights 2017’ was launched during the second edition of the Facebook Digital Marketing Masterclass conducted in Mumbai. The workshop focused on how to approach digital marketing to build a brand and to acquire quality sales or leads. This insightful session was aptly concluded with the book launch as we presented the first copy to Meera Parthasarathy from Facebook.

The book deals with the various aspects of digital marketing and the methods marketers use to leverage the medium to grow their sales and revenue. It also provides readers with a better understanding of the digital marketing trends you must watch out for in 2017 and insights from key areas of digital marketing such as social media, content and SEO, video, digital advertising, mobile app marketing and user experience design. If you are unable to get the right business results via your digital marketing efforts, then this book can provide you insights on how to make the most of Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest. Insights in the book have been compiled with contributions from digital marketing experts from across India. Kudos to the team at NotionPress (India's largest self publishing company) for editing, designing, publishing and distributing the book in record time.

You can buy the e-book through Amazon. You can also find a hard copy at all leading online retail stores such as Amazon,Infibeam and Flipkart. We look forward to receiving your feedback on the book so please do share your comments below!


Women in Leadership – May The Force Be With You

  • Team Social Beat
  • |
  • 8 March , 2017
  • |
    • 4 min read

“Some leaders are born women.” -  Geraldine Ferraro

Through the ages, men have always been considered as the breadwinners of the family, while women were reduced to the role of caregiver and homemaker. The generation gap has changed much of this; feminist movements have pushed women to proactively think of better career opportunities and corporations have started become more people focused rather than commodity focused.

In today’s world, as women climb up the corporate ladder, the population of women employees usually decrease. At the highest level, world-over, there are only 3% to 4% who are women. In the business world, women currently hold only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and the same percentage of Fortune 1000 CEO positions. While organisations all over the world talk about promoting women, they are yet to get into the practice of regularly doing that.

We find it rather puzzling looking at these statistics since here at Social Beat, the statistics are the opposite. We have an amazing team filled with women leaders who are passionate about their work and are helping Social Beat scale up as one of the leading digital marketing agencies in the country.

Social Beat and the women of power

At Social Beat, 60% of our employee base comprises of women, who come from diverse cultural backgrounds, yet share the same passion for exceptional work ethic in scaling up the company to new heights. We nurture the leadership qualities in women and give them the space to grow. Some grow by helping their peers and creating a support system for the organisation to bank on while the others climb up the ladder, taking our company to tremendous heights which we couldn’t have even dreamt of achieving. Whatever be the case, our female employees have always been the driving force to push our organisation to grow - Grow out of our comfort zones, branch out nationwide, and make a mark in the digital world.

There are innumerable ways in which, lady power has helped us on an everyday basis. From working with different teams to managing people from various backgrounds and cultures, the effort put in by our women is not that of playing their designated roles but that of playing a role model for each and everyone of us.

A part of our inspiring female workforce comprises of vibrant and youthful freshers who are fueled by their educational qualifications and are brimful with energy to prove their worth in the corporate world. Their dedication towards work is nothing less than an experienced professional and we often find inspiration in their fresh and crisp ideas. The other half of the workforce comprises of skillful experts who radiate enthusiasm through their thoughts and perspectives. Being an ROI driven digital marketing agency, we are all about results and achievements.

The Iron Ladies

Talking about inspiring women; three of the most dynamic and versatile women at Social Beat lead the creative, social media and BD teams. Their high-spirited and level-headed nature is the glue which binds their respective teams together. We are proud to mention that 40% of the workforce even at the leadership level comprises of women and we trust their maternal instincts to nurture the company’s everlasting growth.

What makes the Women of Social Beat so unique?

The problem is, many companies misunderstand the concept of leadership. Becoming a leader acquires more than just skills that define the very role. There is a quality that matters too; a fundamental identity shift that women seem to master better than men.

Qualities of a good leader:

  • People management skills: People management skills are not something one can earn out of a book, it comes naturally or through life experiences. Women have the natural talent of being people persons; their ability to induce a happy working atmosphere is one to cherish.
  • Great listener: As commanding as leaders should be, they must also have an open door policy;  women are known to be great listeners, always keeping the door open to suggestions made by team members.
  • We before me: A good leader knows that the team matters much more than the individual. A woman’s companionship nature makes her dependent yet equally headstrong when it comes to team effort.
  • Multitasking: It may sound cliche but is the cliche that makes the difference between a good leader and a bad one. Undoubtedly, women will always hold the title as the hardest working, fastest and smartest multitaskers.

The feelings are mutual

Social Beat’s efforts in making a wonderful working atmosphere have been well received by our numerous female employees. A majority of them have cited four common advantages that make working in the company a pleasurable experience.

  • Freedom of expression: Whether it is spilling your heart out or sharing ingenious ideas, Social Beat is always open to all things new, amazing and sometimes flat-out quirky.
  • A plethora of inter-job opportunities: You may be employed here in a particular post but there is no restriction as to what you want to explore. If you enjoy doing something more, we enjoy helping you do that something, better.
  • Awesome work-life balance: “All work and more play, an employee’s life is hip-hip hooray” as quoted by everyone here!
  • Safe work place: Clean, serene and comforting and uber-friendly, Social Beat makes the safety and security of their employees a very high priority.

More women are taking up major roles, which has directly influenced the atmosphere in a workplace. Companies have reported an increased dynamic among their employees with team efforts responsible for improved financial results; women are making a workplace calmer, friendlier and more engaging. Ultimately, having a working atmosphere that is well balanced in gender is important as it helps generate stronger leadership identity development.


Rachna Conferred the Woman Super Achiever Award

  • Faizaan
  • |
  • 21 February , 2017
  • |
    • < 1 min read

We are delighted to share that Rachna, the dynamic Head of Business Development & Strategy of our Social Beat Team, recently won the Women Super Achiever Award at the World HRD Congress at Taj Lands’ End, Mumbai.

The award commemorates women across the globe who are leaders, executioners and decision makers in the various fields they represent.

“I am honoured and humbled by the jury of the World HRD Congress to have conferred the Women Super Achiever Award to me. I am extremely proud that I represent Social Beat an organisation that believes in nurturing and encouraging talented professionals. It was amazing to be placed among so many talented professionals across the globe. A big thanks to all the wonderful inspiring women in my life”

The World HRD Congress celebrated its Silver Jubilee this year and is the only known event to encompass all elements of HR. Over 133 countries and 1400 leaders attended the event, giving HR professionals a unique opportunity to connect, share and learn on a global level.

This is the second award we have received for the calendar year of 2017. Casa Grande and Social Beat previously won the BBC Knowledge Award for the Best Search Marketing and Display Campaign.


Social Beat is now in Mumbai

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 16 February , 2017
  • |
    • < 1 min read

Last year, we started an exciting journey and opened an office in Bangalore and now we are proud to launch our new office in Mumbai.

We are now one of the leading end-to-end digital marketing partners in India, offering the entire gamut of digital marketing services that include Website and App Development, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Digital Advertising and Influencer Marketing.

Our ROI-driven approach to digital marketing has helped us consistently deliver business results for clients across sectors including real estate, finance, e-commerce, start-ups, retail, FMCG and healthcare. We have partnered with over 100 clients including Citibank, Saint Gobain, Akbar Travels, Murugappa Group, Forum Mall, Urban Clap, Casa Grande, Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Chain, Raintree Hotels, India Home Health Care, Notion Press, Sulekha.com, Cambridge English, PNG Jewellers, JVC Headphones amongst others.

Here is our awesome team at Mumbai creating magic. Meet our colleagues, Monisha Shivdasani and Tanvi Balekundri.

We look forward to delighting clients in Mumbai. Feel free to reach out to us at team@socialbeat.in or drop by at our office.

Our Mumbai address: B Wing,  5th floor, Ackruti Trade Centre, MIDC, Andheri (E), Mumbai, Maharashtra 400093.


Social Beat turns 4

  • Suneil Chawla
  • |
  • 12 December , 2016
  • |
    • < 1 min read

Four years of sugar, spice and everything nice has made Social Beat what it is today and as we step into our 5th year, we would like to thank each and every team member for their significant contribution to our growth and success.

Its been a phenomenal year - right from turning Google Premier Partners to being invited for the Facebook India SME Council, from visiting San Francisco for the Global Google Partner Summit to running digital marketing workshops across the country, from organising our first Digital Leadership Summit to opening our Bangalore & Mumbai offices, from winning awards to releasing our Industry Digital Marketing Report.

Of course, all of this wouldn't have been possible without our team and our existing and new clients. So thank you once again. Together, we learn, we grow, and we make it beat :)

Continue reading about us on the Social Beat internal blog.


Vikas awarded as Most Influential Digital Marketing Leader

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 24 November , 2016
  • |
    • < 1 min read

It gives us immense pleasure to announce that earlier today, the World Marketing Congress & CMO Asia recognized our Co-Founder, Vikas Chawla as one of the Most Influential Digital Marketing Leaders in India.

The recognition  is a result of an intense research followed by a review by a Jury of senior marketing professionals from across the globe. The criteria for the award included:

· Marketing Competencies
· Strategic Perspective & Future Orientation
· Track Record, Integrity and Ethics
· Commitment to Sustainability (Business, Social & Environmental)


The award function and conference help in Mumbai brought together Marketing Experts, Strategists, & Media from all over the country to learn and share the best practices that shape the digital marketing landscape.


Social Beat participates in Google Partner Summit in San Francisco

  • Vikas Chawla
  • |
  • 14 November , 2016
  • |
    • 3 min read

It was a delightful day when we got the news of being invited for the Google Partner Summit and being upgraded to a Premier Google Partner. So when the time came, Rohit & I packed our bags and took the journey to cover 13,876 kms from Chennai to San Francisco. The journey was not just the distance, but the fact that at the Summit we were amongst 900 partners around the world, who together controlled about 8% of the global digital advertising spend. It was indeed a delightful experience to be part of it.

"Now is our Moment" was an apt theme for the Google Partner Summit with multiple interactions with senior Google product managers and account managers interspersed with knowledge on how to manage talent as well as clients. It was a holistic agenda to help agencies like us succeed.

While a lot of the inputs provided at the Summit were confidential, we have summarized what we are allowed to share. Below were the 5 key takeaways for us:

  1. Be there in the moment - Being there in the moment in the mobile first world is key and there was indeed a lot of discussion on the usual topics of mobile responsivness as well as website speed. There was discussion around the growing adaptation of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and infact Social Beat has already implemented AMP as well. With the responsive ads that Adwords has launched, the ads become a lot more immersive and adaptable to any device/ad unit size allowing brands to be there in the moment.The challenge with mobile has been that almost 75% of the audience start the interaction with the brand on one device, but complete it on another device. So measurement and tracking of ROI becomes a challenge. Fortunately, some tools like Optimizely help us resolve this.
  2. Measure across devices, channels, offline - Measurement being key, there was discussion around multi device, multi channel and offline measurement since many visitors who search online do visit the retail store. We do have an interesting article on how search can help offline and omni channel retailers in India. While store visits as a conversion metric is already live in Google Adwords, there are many more exciting developments that we can watch out for in the online to offline measurement.
  3. Leveraging Video for Brand Building & Sales - There is no doubt that video is the fastest growing medium in the digital space and many brands are creating engaging yet low cost videos for better brand recall and sales. Lucinda Barlow, Global Director of YouTube marketing pointed out that "There are only two things Americans do more than watch video: sleep & work" and that's the reason why digital video is going to be even bigger going forward. YouTube has lined up some interesting features for ecommerce and omni channel retailers so watch our blogs for more info on this.
  4. Virual Reality / AR - Part of the swag given by Google was the Cardboard which gave us a glimpse into the low cost Virtual Realty but what amazed us was the Google Day Dream (with Pixel) which is a very immersive VR experience and with devices becoming better and cheaper we are surely going to see more of them around. The experience brands can provide via VR is going to be a game changer and we look forward to exploring it. While Adwords is yet to integrate to VR/AR we do see that happening in the near future.
  5. Machine Learning - Machine learning not only refines the experience we get at Google but is also helping agencies like us with programmatic advertising, some of which we have started experimenting with our clients using Double Click. Its only going to get better, allowing brands and agencies to deliver relevance at scale.

Apart from the product learnings, it was amazing for us to network and meet Google Partners from around the world and we even got to visit Googleplex and interact with product managers one on one (though we cannot share the details of these discussions yet).

 


Measuring ROI of Digital Marketing – Panel at the Digital Summit

  • Vikas Chawla
  • |
  • 12 September , 2016
  • |
    • 7 min read

When we conducted our Indian Industry Digital Marketing Survey we found that many brands were facing challenges in measuring the return that their digital marketing and social media marketing efforts were giving. Hence, we included an eclectic panel discussion on “Measuring ROI of Digital Marketing” at our Digital Leadership Summit.

We had four panelists moderated by Suneil from Social Beat: Mr. Vijay Anand - Sulekha.com, Mr. Arasu Shankar - Eshakti.com, Ms. Lavanya Hariharan – Zapluk and Mr. Shriram Sanjeevi - Oyethere.com.

Summary of the Panel Discussion

    • Channels that provide higher ROI will depend on product and customer segment
    • Google & Facebook continue to dominate as primary digital channels for most businesses
    • For products/services wherein search volume is lower - then social would be a better channel to start with
    • Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest allow for better product showcase and for visual products these would be interesting channels
    • Building the brand and social trust is important for long term ROI and can be achieved through a mix of social media channels
    • Influencer marketing is a very strong channel for ROI and also gets higher trust from consumers
    • Instagram, Snapchat, Emailers are other ways to build ROI depending on the business.
    • Life Time Value (LTV) is an important metric as marketing spend cannot be attributed to just the first transaction
    • Tools like Google Analytics & Improvely can help in measuring ROI

Perspective on ROI from the Panelists

Suneil started off by asking the audience as to how many of them believed you could get ROI from digital marketing; it was a pleasant surprise to see that over 60% of the audience believed it could. We as a digital agency couldn’t agree more. The panel started with a discussion on what each of them feels about the results from digital marketing. We also have had a Digital Chai Pe Charcha on ROI of Digital Marketing, and you can read it here.

  • Lavanya from Zapluk highlighted that they got a lot of organic growth once they started using the digital medium and in fact got 80% increase in customer base in just a month. As she rightly pointed out, it was a combination of brand building and lead generation activities.
  • Vijay from Sulekha.com candidly shared that they were one of the highest spenders in the city on Google and that digital is critical to their survival. He shared that Sulekha gets around 250 million visitors via organic search and another 20-30 million via paid search in a year, and it’s their strongest channel for new user acquisition.
  • Shriram from OyeThere.com said they use a 360-degree approach with a mix of digital and offline marketing based on his two decades of retail experience. He rightly pointed out that it’s a myth that digital gives immediate returns. Startups need to focus on building a brand, building the consumer trust and scaling up the service – then results come over time.

Which digital channels are scaleable and to what extent?

The entire panel did agree that the choice of the channel varies with the services/products and the consumer segment. It’s also very important to be smart as you scale adverting, as Arasu pointed out. It’s essential to be clear on what is the message you want to give about your brand.

Vijay continued to be a strong propagator of Google Organic and Google Adwords and said it’s the most scalable as SEO efforts now start showing results in a few days, for existing/older sites. Since they focus on services with low engagement from end consumers they, tend to focus less on social media channels. They did spend 15 crores on their TVC campaign earlier this year it only gives 5000 incremental visitors a day which is minuscule for them as they get about 6-7 lakh visitors a day. Vijay added that for brand building to show results, you need to be at it all the time.

On the other hand, Lavanya, Arasu & Shriram all spoke on how social media and in specific Facebook Marketing has worked extremely well for their businesses to get scaleable results. Lavanya highlighted that for a service wherein the consumer still doesn’t know it exists, the search volume on Google is extremely low hence Facebook & Twitter were the driving growth as they were able to achieve leads along with building the brand and engagement around it.

Arasu & Lavanya also touched upon the importance of building the trust factor with consumers regarding answering their questions and doubts and also in terms of showcasing the products/service in a more holistic way. As Arasu rightly pointed out that Facebook allows for better product showcase via the carousel ads, videos, etc. Even brand awareness and the brand story is better executed via channels like Facebook and Instagram. Talking about the social trust that’s built out, Arasu added that they now see existing customers answering queries raised by potential clients and that it’s a game changer for them.

Shriram added that the approach they take depends on the message, the channel also changes. For example, when they ran a huge campaign around Kabali by selling t-shirts, giving away movie tickets and more; Facebook worked very well for that as it’s a mass channel.

Influencer Marketing & Platforms other than Google & Facebook

We couldn’t agree more with Arasu when he said that "Channel will depend on product and customer segment." For example, if you are looking to target millennials then Snapchat would be an ideal platform. If your product or service is visual and you are targeting a sub 40-year-old audience, then Instagram would be an excellent channel but there is indeed a demographic difference across channels. eShakti also focusses a lot on Pinterest as it's relevant to many a fashion brand.

Emailer Marketing still works if it’s with your own audience. Vijay of Sulekha spoke about how emailer marketing is an important channel and delivers results when done smartly with smart targeting, in spite of Gmail pushing a lot of emails to the Promotions tab. Of course, once a user is acquired it’s up to the brand to retain them and emailers is a great way to do that.

Influencer Marketing was another channel that works very well and eShakti uses it extensively. Arasu shared that they work with 1000s of bloggers and they have built their network over a period. They calculate the ROI of influencers via direct referral traffic as well as transactions driven by the unique referral code given to each influencer. He also gave an interesting insight that there is higher trust from a consumer that comes via an influencer, so the 5-10% off that they give is covered up there.

There was an interesting question from the audience - Dr. Manoj from Dr. Smilez Group of Dental Centers asked about how they got very low engagement low on social as customers were not very keen on sharing their dental experiences. Lavanya shared her similar experiences as not a lot of women would like to share they got a beauty service or a wax treatment as it’s a personal service. The way Zapluk approaches it is  to given them an offer or incentive but in the long run, content marketing is the key. Shriram added saying that ROI cannot always be attributed to direct sales - brand building and marketing is also to be measured

Importance of Life Time Value (LTV) of the Customer in calculating ROI

Everyone on the panel agreed that the return on marketing spend is not immediate; hence Life Time Value is an important metric to help scale up business and understand whether it’s moving towards profitability.

The LTV depends on different businesses, and we got varied perspective from the panel. Arasu spoke about phenomenal ROI wherein it just takes them 1.2 transactions to recover marketing cost as they have high-value transactions and very high repeat purchase. For Zapluk and Pamperazi it was three transactions to get the back marketing cost. Whereas for a brand like Sulekha, the end consumer was not paying anything, so it’s difficult to ascertain LTV.

Arasu mentioned that they look at the time taken to recover the marketing cost of acquiring the customer and for them, it’s usually the first 1-2 months whereas it is 3-4 months for Zapluk. Key metrics remain around customer acquisition, retention and finally on how to make them spend more and more often. It of courses varies by cohort, seasonality’s (for example, summer is a strong season for eshakti), types of customers, depends on the marketing channel and the marketing campaign that you run.

Shriram again had a very different perspective and said that "The word LTV is over done. Companies that boasted of High LTvs have shut down in the last couple of months because LTV was more of a myth." He gave an example of Chennai’s leading retail chain Viveks wherein in many cases three generations have been shopping there and apparently they are also grappling with LTV. He also questioned how come Flipkart only had 32% growth in spite of the perceivable high LTV.

Tools to Calculate ROI

One of the participants had a very relevant question - Sejal from Zoho asked what are the tools use for calculating ROI. In most cases, Google Analytics along with data from Google Adwords, FB Ads, Instagram Analytics and other social media analytics tools would suffice. Suneil added that Improvely could be a great tool to understand muti-touch attribution as consumers often interact with the brand multiple times before the sale is closed. This tool allows you to see the history of the person and how they interacted with your brand. Read more about Improvely and other similar analytics tools here.

Suneil also added that there is sometimes a time lag between generating a lead to sale and ROI can be improved if you can figure out how to leverage that time frame to communicate about the brand and the offerings.

Vijay spoke about Google Analytics Premium (GAP) which is more relevant for larger organisations as its costs around USD 90,000 a year. He talked about Google Analytics data being heavily sampled; wherein GAP has unsampled data which can also be downloaded. GAP has only around 15 clients in India but Vijay recommends it’s to e-commerce and digital businesses as repeat customers are harder to track in free analytics tools and attribution is not always clear.


Top Business Centres in Chennai

  • Nandita Raman
  • |
  • 8 September , 2016
  • |
    • 2 min read

The concept of shared work spaces and business centres is getting extremely popular these days. With Business Centres offering ready-to-move-in workspaces, it saves established companies and startups an easy way to setup operations.  With significant cost saving potential and opportunity to network, many start-ups and businesses are moving towards shared workspaces and business centres. Convinced you should try this out? Here is a list of best business centres in Chennai.

  • The Executive Centre

With cutting edge infrastructure, The Executive Centre provides office spaces that are perfect for start-up and small businesses. Their office spaces have high-speed internet, meeting and conference facilities, making it extremely convenient for businesses. Apart from serviced offices, they also offer virtual offices, co-working space, and instant offices. The Executive Centre is also present in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore as well.
Location: Tamarai Tech Park Level 5, Thiru Vi Ka Industrial Estate, Inner Ring Road, Guindy, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600032

  • DBS Business Centre

Located at the heart of the city, DBS Business Centre has an entire range of world class business facilities combined with personalized service. With facilities such as secretarial services, meeting rooms, pantry services and safe deposit lockers, DBS is ideal for any business.
Location: DBS House 31A, Cathedral Garden Road, Chennai -600 034

  • MLS Business Centres

MLS Business Centres are fully furnished offices that are equipped with professional telephone answering, secretarial support services and meeting and conferencing facilities. Apart from Chennai, MLS Business Centre is also present in Pune.
Location: 148, 6th Floor, Dr.Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore, Chennai - 600 004

  • Regus

With flexible options and World-class IT and telecoms infrastructure, Regus provides office spaces for one person or a whole team, for a day, week, month or as many years as needed. Regus has modern office furniture, professional business environment and on-demand access to meeting rooms by the hour. Apart from Chennai, Regus is also present in other cities in India including Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc.
Location: Chennai Citi Centre 10/11, Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai, Level 6, Chennai, TN 600004

  • Vatika Business Centre

Vatika Business Centre provides high quality, fully furnished office spaces designed for all kinds of small, medium sized to large corporations. With modern amenities and state-of-the-art business environment, Vatika Business Centre is also affordable. Besides Chennai, they are present in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gurgaon and Pune.
Location: Prestige Polygon, 3rd Floor, 471 Anna Salai, Teynampet, Mount Road, Chennai - 600035


How Digital drove success of Carat Lane – Digital Leadership Summit

  • Vikas Chawla
  • |
  • 5 September , 2016
  • |
    • 4 min read

Below is the gist of the talk given by Mithun Sacheti on “How Digital drove the success of Carat Lane” at the Digital Leadership Summit in Chennai in August 2016.

Key Highlights from his talk include:

  • Discovery is going to be driven by digital, consumption will remain omnichannel depending on the product/service
  • Consumers often make the decision online, but still, like to see the product in high-value purchases
  • Omni-channel is the approach towards profitability and Carat Lane has seen that with their Delhi centre, which contributes to 38% revenue and is a profitable city for them.
  • Extremely data driven approach with 4000 data points being tracked every month
  • Even spends on TV are tracked diligently
  • Key metrics to track: Cost per lead, Cost per conversion and Cost per visitor/traffic
  • Early days for digital transformation with more to see in the coming years

Mithun started off by highlighting that Chennai as the choice for Carat Lane did not come from the fact that he was based here but based on research that Chennai has the fastest clearing airport in the country. He goes on to talk about how opening the first Jaipur Gems store was challenging. Their biggest learning over the initial years was getting a clear understanding of the top/key customers since they used to get only about three walk-ins a day when they started out. They soon realized that making customers discover the store and new products is key. So when they opened their next store in Coimbatore, they were able to combine their learnings to ensure that 500 key customers walked into the store just on day 1.

How did they get into e-commerce?

They realised that discovery of products is a problem because of the limited walk-ins in retail as well as the limited scope to discover products before walking into the store. E-Commerce fundamentally changes the discovery process.

Today consumers make a choice before entering the retail store – the decision is usually made online. This is why global e-commerce started with books so that the discovery & shopping can happen online. For other products discovery is still lead by digital, but consumption is happening across e-commerce, offline retail, kiosks, etc.

In 2011, Carat Lane opened its first retail store – but they got it wrong in many ways. Firstly, they did not put much jewellery over there, though in hindsight they understood that consumers come in to try out the product. In Mithun’s words “We assumed customers were as obsessed with technology, as we were”. This changed when they opened their future stores. Moreover, their Perfect Look app allows you try out jewellery real time, and this was a big hit amongst consumers.

Why do consumers have distrust amongst e-commerce companies?

Mithun highlights on e-commerce evolution in India and candidly pointed out that between 2000 to 2009 there were early adopters who did not focus on last mile delivery and consumer experience - players like Indiatimes, Rediff, infibeam. This mostly led to distrust from consumers because they went through such bad experiences from these brands. This, of course, changed when the new age e-commerce companies started, including Carat Lane in 2008.

Is ROI real in E-Commerce?

Mithun was candid in saying that “Understanding of ROI was missing when we started, but we understood it the right way.”

In 2012 when the company evaluated its results, it realized that cost of acquisition was so high; it would take three transactions to make the customer profitable but an Indian consumer shop for jewellery twice a year so there was something wrong in the approach.

Their retail stores were a game changer because the process of discovery started falling in place. Consumers now started coming to the store with the product photograph wanting to try the product. It became evident that conversions will happen where they have an omnichannel presence. Two years ago they opened six stores in Delhi and now 38% of their revenue comes from Delhi and is the only profitable city of operation at the moment.

Is it an analytics business or a jewellery business?

Carat Lane is an extremely metric driven business, as Mithun pointed out. They track 4000 data points every month, but the critical ones are

  1. Cost per lead
  2. Cost per conversion
  3. Cost per visitor/traffic

Mithun aptly put it “There is never too little data”. Data helps bring clarity, and while it took Carat Lane 6 years to figure it out, it finally made sense. In the early days, the cost of consumer acquisition was never in focus. You need to know how much you are willing to pay for each of the above actions, as the business profitability depends on that. Each company needs to create its own attribution model - based on customer type. Google Analytics is a good starting point.

Mithun spoke at length about the advanced analysis that is done on TV ad spends. They used tools to find out in which tv program & which ad break & which ad slot had the highest visitors and highest brand search of Carat Lane. As per Mithun, searches & traffic ultimately reflect in conversions & sales assuming you have a great product + great UX. Of course, it’s not a perfect model. You can have assumptions and capture the ROI, in case there are two ads at the same time

On Startups, Funding & more

Speaking on how they used the funding they got, Mithun admits “Money is like oxygen, the human body is like iron - money can corrupt you”. They have learnt it the hard way and now moving towards profitability with a data-driven approach.

Talking about his investor, Lee Fixel, he mentioned an interesting quote. Apparently, Lee said, “My Fund has ten lives. You as an entrepreneur has 2-3 lives. Carat Lane has one life. If you think omnichannel is the right approach, then let's do it.”

On closing. Mithun said that Digital would own discovery and budgets will move digital - which was also reflected in the Social Beat Industry Report. We, of course, agree when he said that India would be driving the digital transformation and even today with the worst internet bandwidth ever we have achieved this much – it's only up to our imagination what the future holds!


WE MEAN GOOD BUSINESS