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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We at Social Beat are proud to announce that, for the second consecutive year, we are a finalist in the Google Premier Partner awards in three categories – Search Innovation, Mobile Innovation and Display Innovation. A Google Partner since 2014, we have continually forged ahead in our endeavours to deliver the best ROI for our clients. Following are a few case studies exemplifying the quality of our work and dedication to our clients.
KLAY is one of India’s top pre-school and daycare chains. They approached us with the goal of closing admissions for their schools and day care centres. To help KLAY achieve their goal, we decided to use a comprehensive Google Search Advertising campaign. Our strategy included using RLSA to bid higher for those who visited the KLAY website earlier, CPA bidding, Dynamic Search Ads, etc. We also invested heavily in Call-Only Ads by understanding consumer behaviour in this industry rather than just focusing on landing page conversions. We also utilised AMP pages (these load faster than regular landing pages) and finally, In-Market Audiences in Search.
Our extensive strategy and approach helped achieve the following results:
Our client, India Home Health Care (IHHC) is a leading healthcare service company came to us with the objective of increasing quality leads while maintaining a low cost per lead. Since the competition in the healthcare space in India is extremely high, we conducted extensive research to understand their target group before scaling up the campaign. Since a majority of the leads for IHHC came through mobile, enabling AMP would have a strong impact. As this would significantly reduce the load-time of these pages, we predicted that it could generate higher leads for IHHC.
Apart from this, we also created smart remarketing lists and using them for RLSA to get better conversions and results, improving the Landing Page UX, focussing on Call Only Ads and Device Bid Adjustments.
Our comprehensive campaign strategy helped IHHC achieve:
Here’s a detailed account of how an AMP Landing Page produced 33% lower CPL for IHHC.
Shriram Properties is one of South India’s leading real estate developers. They came to us hoping to achieve the objective of driving sales to their properties through Google Display advertising. Employing a creative and innovative approach, we used Custom Affinity 2.0 by developing audiences profile of those who visit competitor thank you page URLs, channel partners and In App targeting. We also utilised AMPs, Multilingual Ads and Landing Pages along with Google Optimise to enhance UX.
Our strategy has resulted in the following outcomes for Shriram Properties:
Here’s an in-depth look at how we helped Shriram Properties achieve these numbers.
Social Beat is part of a select group of digital specialists that Google celebrates as Premier Partners. To qualify as a Premier Partner, digital marketing agencies and professionals must prove their expertise in using and applying Google's advertising products. As a young digital marketing agency, we thrive on creativity and innovation. We are constantly pushing the envelope in terms of marketing with an ROI-driven focus to meet, achieve and exceed our clients’ goals and expectations. Whether you are a Real Estate Giant, a leading Financial Firm or An FMCG Brand trying to grow your business by going digital, reach out to us at Social Beat and Engage With India’s Next Billion Internet Users.
According to HT Digital and IMRB Report (India) on “Student online behavior,” 93% of students access the Internet every day and 73% of students use the mobile phone. Nearly 91% access the internet to collect information about colleges and courses. Thus, going online for universities and colleges has become inevitable. Although this calls for investments in creating digital assets, building strategies and online advertising, the costs are quickly realized, easy to the track and attributable. The ROI is much higher in comparison to any traditional mediums used.
The following are 7 ways that universities and colleges can use digital medium in India.
A good website is a blend of three elements, namely aesthetics, functionality, and ease of use. A website is a very strong representation of any brand on the internet. The three elements are elaborated below
A well-designed website for a University or college needs to address the following factors-
The functionality of the website is what determines the final design aspects, these have to be defined ahead, and some of them are listed below
Unless a website is not created with the end user in mind, it will fail to give the results that it had intended to achieve. It has to be “easy to use” and intuitive. The following are key aspects to keep in mind. These aspects may not be always set right a 100%, but a study of user behavior over a period of time can help better these aspects
Developing a mobile version of the website is also a great way to boost the recruitment of students, as today many young people have access to a smartphone or mobile device. Also, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a key to drive organic traffic to the website, without traffic there is no point of having a website. The SEO will drive students/parents looking for relevant courses and information to the website.
Colleges and Universities must use social media to engage with current/ prospective students and parents. They should use social media to connect in a proactive manner, by engaging and demonstrating that the institution cares for its stakeholders. Content built with the right balance of words and visuals is well received and attractive to target audience. Several channels such as Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Twitter and new age channels such as Instagram can be tapped to achieve various goals. A mix of content and imagery
Social listening enables universities and colleges to proactively listen to the students and their concerns across platforms. These tools can be used to build solutions to serve the students/ parents. Many universities in the west use twitter tools to engage with students and the community. Also, intercepting prospective/ current student conversations and directing them to the right information in real time/ quickly helps build a lasting impression about the educational institution
Digital advertising can be used to drive admissions, reach out for campus placements and to improve visibility the in the short term on search engines. Digital Ads can be placed across the Google network and on social media, i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and can be targeted and optimized to reach the right audience. In the current generation, the students rarely use the traditional press for information gathering and hence making any spends primarily on digital ads makes more sense. The ROI is both traceable and visible, making every penny spent, accounted.
Well-designed mailers serve two primary purposes for a college/university. A mailer is a personal touch-point with the receivers and hence,
Students are constantly looking for information to further their study and careers, much in advance of them even graduating from schools. They use the internet to help them prepare better for tests, chose educational institutions or look for career guidance. A University / college can plug into this requirement and serve as a thought leader in the educational space, thereby adding value to their branding. Blogs are a good way to attract prospective students and also improve search rankings on Google.
It is a humongous task to have prospective applicants and current students pay fees and make other payments over bank counters. A college/university website can integrate this functionality into their website and increase application conversions as well as ensure compliance of fee and other payments on time by students. The website and Social Media can also be used to communicate deadlines periodically for the same purpose.
Need more insights on how to educate the younger generation on building a career and making it big in life? Subscribe to our YouTube channel Arrear Irundalum Career for handy tips and tricks on making the right choice. You can also check out our Arrear Irundalum Career website for more information on career guidance tips in Tamil.
Going digital for University/College is not a decision anymore; it is just a “Must”. It is not what needs to be done, but “how to do it” that will make one university/college differentiate from the rest. It is important therefore to set the key USPs and define measurable goals before building a strategy and making expenses on the digital assets and advertisements.
This presentation on the topic "Digital Media & Entrepreneurship" is from the talk for students of Department of Media & Communication at MOP Vaishnav College in Chennai, India. It was conducted on 3rd September, 2015. The talk evolved around questions such as
Check out this presentation that to get answers to the above questions & many more!
Our co-founder, Vikas Chawla, was recently interviewed by LSE Alumni Echo, the alumni magazine of his alma mater. The complete excerpt of the interview, featured in the Nov edition of the magazine, is as follows:
What do you find most interesting about working in the digital industry?
The digital marketing industry by nature is ever evolving. Be it user experience, social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, or Google – it is an area of constant innovation. This means that our team has to constantly keep learning and innovating so that our clients stay ahead of the curve.
The industry is nascent in India which gives us the opportunity to make a profound impact in the sales and revenue of our clients. The internet penetration in India is just 20 per cent and the digital marketing industry is waiting to explode once the penetration reaches 40-50 per cent.
Do you think there is an area of digital strategy that organisations often undervalue?
In India most businesses are devoting just 5-10 per cent of their marketing spends to digital media. They tend to undervalue the return on investment even though the measurement and tracking of results is more seamless in digital compared to traditional advertising. They tend to still rely on traditional marketing channels that have worked for them in the past.
While large brands and enterprises have started to measure and understand the ROI of digital marketing, smaller and mid-sized businesses are still coming to terms with it. We demonstrate it can help in achieving long term results of building a community and building the brand and also short term revenue and lead generation.
What has been the best and most challenging part of starting your own business?
Undoubtedly, the best part of starting out on my own is the ability to impact our clients and their businesses. We are partners in growing their business and this makes it exciting for us as we need to continuously surpass their expectations.
We have been growing 30 per cent quarter on quarter, though it’s from a small base. As we scale up the venture, the greatest challenge will be to outperform this growth while simultaneously ensuring the quality of solutions, along with knowledge sharing and training our team members. In a market like India, growth is bound to happen and we must capitalise. Currently we are a 20-member team; we want our clients to get the same high quality service even when we are a team of 100 with an evolved organisation structure.
What is the most important asset in your business?
Talent. Being in a creative industry, what differentiates us is the talent we have and the creativity of the digital campaigns we come up with. We have a fantastic team and finding the right talent to join this team is one of the most important tasks we have ahead of us.
It’s now five years since you graduated from LSE: what are your experiences as an alumnus of the School?
Since I left LSE in 2009, it’s been an exciting journey. I worked for three years in marketing and strategy across different companies of an Indian conglomerate. I then decided to start out on my own. What I took from from MG428 (Entrepreneurship) at LSE has served me well. We looked at the need in the market and started out with the idea of providing integrated digital marketing solutions with a focus on creating revenue growth for our clients. It was the best decision I have ever taken and it’s been exciting building our start-up and scaling up the team and client base. The network of LSE alumni that I have developed helps immensely, as they are a sounding board for some of the ideas we have.
What did you learn at LSE that has helped you most in your career?
One of the key things I learned at LSE was to understand concepts in their base form and then try to understand how they can impact various scenarios. This has been extremely helpful in understanding our clients and what differentiates them in the market. Also, the sense of curiosity honed at LSE is something we are trying to build into our team. We have a weekly knowledge sharing session where we encourage team members to learn, discuss and share ideas.
Who is your LSE hero?
Professor Paul Willman from the Department of Management. We had some brilliant professors but Paul stood out. His understanding of the role and the conduct of traders in investment banks was brilliant. He could convincingly speak for both sides of the coin and have a plausible argument for and against the traders. His style of teaching always sparked interest in the minds of students. While class mates and study groups make a big difference, it was professors such as Paul that made learning at LSE fun and interesting.
You are an active member of the India – Friends of LSE alumni group. What do enjoy most about your involvement?
Our alumni are from different walks of life and it’s been interesting meeting alumni who are into fields completely unrelated to the one I am in. Meeting like-minded graduates and reliving our LSE days has been fun. It has been especially interesting to attend the LSE TRIUM evening that happens once a year in Chennai. The diversity of TRIUM students and what they have achieved is truly inspiring.
Describe the alumni group in three words…
Fun, dynamic and active.