The best marketers are the ones who constantly try to improve their craft, no matter how good they are at it already. If you are looking to read some offbeat, lesser-known marketing books that will help you in enhancing your marketing skills even more, here is a list of such books written by our very own Indian authors.
Written by digital marketing experts from Social Beat, this book deals with the various aspects of digital marketing and the methods marketers use to leverage the medium to grow their sales and revenue. Much like the annual spectacle of millions of wildebeest and zebras migrating from the parched savannahs, humankind too witnessed an even greater migration over the last two decades where 500+ million Indians ‘migrated’ to the internet. Over the last few years, this migration has led to a phenomenal growth of digital marketing. This book will help beginners wade through this digital wilderness and is packed with case studies and infallible insights. Decoding the Digital Jungle takes the readers on a safari of marketing concepts transitioning from the traditional to the digital age. You can get a glimpse of the expertise of the team on their YouTube Channel which has a knowledge series called Digital Bytes.
Written by Anisha Motwani, this book is a unique collection of contemporary, true stories about Indian businesses and brands that rewrote the norms of their respective industries. All the twenty stories are not only inspiring, but they will also bring in some remarkable change in your approach towards marketing and business management.
This quirkily titled book written by Ambi Parameswaran, an ad veteran, discusses the story of Indian advertising over the past 50 years. Over a hundred ads have been studied and examined in this book by the author. This book will let you know how advertisements take inspirations and influences from politics, culture, society, etc. Reading this book will give you in-depth knowledge about Indian advertising scenario.
Written by one of the gurus of Indian advertising, Piyush Pandey, Pandeymonium is not just biography but also a brief history of advertising and how its evolved. He has put in some amazing tidbits and experiences from his life at Ogilvy as well his love for cricket. He shares how he helped build brands like Fevicol, Vodafone & IPL amongst others. Most importantly he talks how he draws inspiration from people and things around his daily life.
How interesting would it be if there is a toolkit of new techniques that you can use to come up with new, innovative marketing strategies? Well, that's what the Marketing Unplugged book has in store for you. This book written by Suman Srivastava is a book full of scholarly yet delightful ideas for marketing.
From humble beginnings as a Bollywood film billboard painter to the National Creative Director of Leo Burnett India, KV Sridhar (or Pops as he is known as) has seen it all and today is widely respected as a creative leader in the Indian Ad-world. He’s credited with the emergence of Leo Burnett as a creative powerhouse in India so that makes this book even more interesting.
The book is unique because it brings together behind the scenes of every loved ad, right from the Doordarshan days to today’s YouTube; right from ‘Chal meri luna’ to ‘Airtel smartphone ads’. It covers interviews of creative heads and directors of all generations, right from vintage to new age. Pops has handpicked each ad based on their popularity among viewers and met its creators and talked to them about the entire process. He had left out the marketing jargons and advertising sham and just weaved stories using wonderful stories.
Satish Y. Deodhar has written a series of management books under the IIMA book series title. If you are looking to read the series, Why I Am Paying More is the right choice. This book explains the dynamics of pricing with respect to demand, supply, market structures, etc. Beautifully illustrated through various case studies and examples, this book is something that you can never put down.
Dheeraj Sinha’s book on Indian consumer market is something that every marketing professional should read. Some brands and businesses fail in the Indian market mainly because of their assumptions about the Indian consumers. This book tries to break all those myths and misconceptions. It gives a fresh, new, and a genuine perspective about the Indian consumer market.
Have you wondered why some startups become hugely famous while some just fade away? This book published by Notion Press and written by Yaagneshwaran Ganesh gives you an in-depth knowledge of the various marketing principles. While most marketing books talk about the macro concepts, this book speaks of the micro concepts of marketing as well; this is quite crucial for new-age marketers.
As we all know the sweet spot is the optimum combination of factors or qualities to achieve success. True to the name, this book brings to your notice the sweet spots that you can explore and utilise in the field of marketing. In other words, just like how sportspeople make hardest shots or tasks look easy because of the sweet spot, this book also allows you to make your business grow in an innovative, seemingly easy way.
Mainak Dhar has written a dozen of books in multiple genres. Considered to be one of the best-selling authors in India, Mainak Dhar primarily writes on science, marketing, and management. Brand Shastra is one of his latest books and is also listed under the Amazon’s list of Memorable Books of 2016 So Far. This book discusses the various aspects of marketing, ranging from primary promotions to B2B marketing. More than talking about the theories of marketing, this book explains the science and logic behind the various marketing tactics.
Don't forget to check out our video on 7 Best Marketing Books Every Indian Marketer Needs to Read for a few notable additons to the list.
We hope, by now, you have a handful of books to be added to your to-be-read list. What are the other books published by Indian authors, that you would suggest for marketers to read? Let us know in the comments.
I joined Social Beat as an Analytics Intern in December 2020 during the pandemic. I came across this internship opportunity via a Linkedin post and applied for it and within a few days, I went through the process and got selected.
Being a fresher and having no experience with analytics and its tools, I had no idea what I would do and how would I learn this? But my TL Sundar has always given me so much time to understand things and learn at my own pace. In the first week, I was given time to learn and complete certification to build my foundations. Later, I was given tasks I didn't do quite well initially, but I was always encouraged and given time to understand everything, make mistakes, and learn.
With his guidance and constant support, I understood the work and learned something here every day. Other team members have also helped me understand how google ads, analytics, and many other tools work and how to use data to make the marketing efforts the team puts to success. These 5 months of internship allowed me to grow personally and helped me gain skills in Google Analytics, GTM, Marketing analytics, and data reporting. I never thought WFH could be fun and productive at the same time. The HR team created amazing events for all of us from gaming nights to musical nights, to learning sessions by team members and many more things I experienced has made my experience more valuable.
I am looking forward to learning many things about Digital Marketing in-depth and growing my knowledge here in Social Beat.
Being an AIESECer, I always wanted to work for Social Beat as Vikas sir is also an AIESEC alumnus. And it happened; I am glad that I got this internship and I am always grateful that I joined Social Beat.
“Consumer centricity comes from talking to consumers every few days and that should be a part of your organization culture” True words spoken by Manish Makhijani during our insightful webinar session with him.
Manish Makhijani is the Global PDC Director at Unilever and he is the Vice President of The Market Research Society of India(MRSI). He has spent more than twenty years in the research industry on both agency and client-side. Apart from India, he has worked with Unilever in the UK, Singapore, and Thailand across different categories and brands. Before Unilever, he worked on various brands and clients in Starcom and Kantar TNS. He is known for his expertise in the field of insights and analytics and is passionate about enhancing the insights capabilities of the organizations. He has written various papers for ESOMAR and MRSI, presented in different industry forums and webinars. He has helped many budding researchers in their journey as he has also been a visiting faculty and guest lecturer- from MICA in Ahmedabad to the London School of Economics. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious Ginny Valentine Award for Courage in Research.
Market research should inform Strategy development. How do we ensure that they remain integrated from starting from research initiation to strategy execution?
" The journey needs to happen within an organization. The insights function needs to evolve from being a research provider to a strategic consultant to an advisor.
For that, you need to build that credibility with the marketing team and advertising agency first, by offering them a genuine market research insight as to why something like say a particular ad wouldn’t work? Apart from being good thinkers, insight managers should also have leadership capabilities - they should be able to drive a change agenda and be able to stand up and say - look this product is not going to do very well in the market and this is the reason behind it. The talent you hire, the grooming you do, and how insightful you make the team, it all makes a difference to the journey of a research function"
Do you also get into the kind of mapping that figures out the pillars on which a brand is built so that, no matter what the piece of communication is, you ensure that it stands on those pillars?
"We do see what are the various category drivers like how do people choose a brand within a category? Then we look at the brand drivers – for instance, the fundamental driver of Surf Excel is to be able to clean clothes properly, then comes the fragrance, and then we also need to see how our brand is performing on those parameters. There might be other emotional hooks as well. So, even before you show your brand in the ad, people should know that this is a Surf Excel ad and then you know that this is what the advertising of your brand is all about."
Could you paint this picture for us in terms of the needs a product addresses and the psychographic profile of the people who use it?
"Talking about beauty soaps, generally speaking, in India, women in the slightly lower than middle-class category don’t have access to too many makeup products because they don’t want to spend on makeup. They tend to feel a little guilty about spending the money on themselves. A strong part of femininity is that you want to feel good about yourself, not that men don’t want to feel good, but women want to feel soft skin, they want to have a good fragrance, and they want to smell nice because that gives them a sense of wellbeing. Now, can you provide all this in a bar of soap - a soap that keeps you smelling nice for a long period and makes your skin soft, that fulfills the need state of your mind – that is what beauty soaps like Godrej no. 1, Lux, and santoor do. Santoor takes a slightly different angle - it targets slightly older women and for years, they have been showing an ad where there is a young girl and a child suddenly appears and says, mommy. The surprise element is that she does not look as old because she is the mother of a young child.
For a simple humble category like a soap, where people switch brands without even blinking, they need to think about the need state of the consumers they are targeting and do their advertising accordingly. The point is to be consistent over time so that you own that position."
In the current environment, there is a deluge of data and information available. How do you deal with this amount of data and derive intelligence and insights out of it?
"It is very easy to get lost in the data that is available today. Hence, a sharp focus of what you are looking for is extremely critical and a clear understanding of where you are going to get it from is important as well and that is why your skill as a researcher comes in. For example, if I want to know why my sales are declining and I have loads of data coming in, I will run through a hypothesis similar to a typical critical thinking method. Let's say I identify the reason that I am not available anymore as much as I used to be – Now, I need the distribution data, like details about who is selling my brand and who is not selling it, and I will focus only on that data. I think the ability to think critically is far more critical today than it used to be 10 years ago because that gives you the ability to filter out what you don’t want to see and filter out what you don’t need to see. As human beings, we have got our own biases and filters which we need to be aware of and therefore set filters accordingly."
Can you tell us something about the PDC so that we can get an idea of how it is organized to be able to draw insights from multiple sources?
"There are two streams of insights in the people data centre out of the three streams - one is the social listening part, the second is the consumer engagement centre and the third is digital marketing. We use social listening tools extensively to listen to the conversations that people have on social media, of course, which are public - what people are thinking and how their emotions are changing. For instance, initially in the pandemic, people were excited about being at home for a few weeks because they thought they will have a better work-life balance then people started getting tired of that. This was all available on social media as a conversation. You need to make sure that you’re listening to people of different profiles, people from different parts of the country, enough men and women of different economic strata, and so on so that you’re not being biased by one segment. But you complement this with the primary research as well. This is one part of what the new way of doing research is, the other part is through the call centre route which is our global vertical that I lead. There, when we speak to millions and millions of consumers across the world, 30 percent of the time they spend reaching out to us is because they have a problem and they want to complain about a product, but 70 percent of the time they are reaching out to ask a genuine question or give a suggestion. That tells you how interested they are in these products and brands and that itself is a sign of involvement. The insights that we get from those unprompted conversations are huge, so we agree we have brought products back into the market which had been delisted due to this "
Can you tell us if there was a clear progression of how people were responding to lockdown and were you able to do something in terms of insights for marketing?
" Yes, we did through Analytics and Social listening. We couldn’t do research fieldwork for a few months so we recruited some panels of people and started having a conversation with them through WhatsApp every week. We were doing video calls with those ones who were affluent. Women, for instance, who were working but who were now at home because of the lockdown went through a really big problem. They said that at least they could get out of the house for eight to ten hours earlier. Now, they are expected to do all the housework along with the expectations for work from home. Their problems multiplied and incidences of home abuse went up dramatically, So, we did activities not just in terms of launching new things like surface cleaners and toilet cleaners which are very obvious recommendations but we took initiatives for their mental and emotional trauma and helped communities too. We took those kinds of initiatives where we look after people in terms of their well-being."
How can small businesses do research? Is it more like a DIY approach?
" It is not that you don’t need skilled practitioners but at the heart of it, market research is about understanding your customers, what is it that drives them to buy, when do your people leave and go to the competition. You can do it yourself by talking to a few customers and making your organization more consumer-centric or customer-centric. For example, in Unilever, we have a full consumer centricity program where people go and meet consumers and we call it a consumer connect program and even the leadership team spends at least 10 to 15 hours every month meeting and talking to consumers directly. We talk to them asking what they are using? How are they using our products? Have you seen our new ad? Thus, if you spend every month talking to consumers, it gives you a thorough understanding of the real situation. I think that consumer centricity is all about an organization's culture."
Today several brands do purpose-driven advertising - when do you think that would work and when would you recommend it?
"There is clear evidence that purpose drives a brand and in the last 10 years, brands with purpose have grown a lot more than brands without purpose. But it works only if the brand truly means what it says. This can happen only when the purpose is truly integrated into the brand. For example - Surf Excel's purpose is to provide the right parenting guidance so that they provide the right environment for their children. That is integrated into what the brand stands for and aligns with the brand philosophy, then it doesn’t feel like you are doing something else whereas if you just once in a while do some promotion then it doesn’t work. People will forget about it quickly. "
Does one need to know data science and have the technical knowledge to understand consumer insights?
"Consumer insights are more about the innate ability to connect the dots – For instance, if I see somebody eating ketchup and I see the same person watching Netflix, I should be able to understand if there could be a connection between these two? One gets very random pieces of data, the point is how do you connect them. Of course, you should have the technical knowledge and you might need to use analytics as well but that is not enough. It is only a foundation but it is your ability to connect intuitively and understand consumers is that matters. Insight is a true integration of both science and art."
Watch the complete session of this webinar on Youtube.
The Digital Leadership Summit 2020 by Social Beat was conducted online due to the pandemic. The agenda was to discuss the current and future trends of digital marketing. The whole country has gone digital these past few months and the discussion enlightened the road ahead. The program commenced with the National Anthem after which the audience was briefed on the agenda.
There were 17 experts from various fields and organisations covering important topics such as hyperscaling, vernacular marketing, consumer journey automation, building a culture for innovation, etc among many other insightful topics.
Dr.Pramath Sinha, Founder & Chairman of Harappa Foundation, believes that the combination of liberal arts combined with technology has a bright future. Digital marketing in education, and digitising education, in general, itself helps in targeting students better due to their constant online presence. Digital mediums help students experience one-on-one conversations which enhances their learning experience.
Ms.Meenakshi Singh, Agency Business Manager, Google tells us that consumers have started adapting to the pandemic. Users are spending more time on small screens. She said that going digital is the new store-front. Consumers are expecting brands to use their digital assets for personalising their experience. Convenience is a key factor that drives consumers to opt for online shopping over in-store shopping. Brands that establish their presence online, actively work on their website and mobile user experience, clearly inform consumers about delays and stock availability are the brands that have a higher chance of succeeding digitally.
Ms.Ruchi Kohli, Agency Business Lead, Facebook enlightened that brands need to embrace new media habits. There is a spike in the dependence of digital media which may even cause demand surges. Brands need to create virtual experiences, vernacular content, and develop content for every part of the business funnel, especially on Facebook. Digital spending concerning mobile wallets and net banking has also been on the rise. Users will also shop more during sales and offers offered by brands on digital platforms.
Mr.Amit Verma, Head of Growth & Marketing, Rapido said Digital marketing is a cross-functional tool that has a multitude of benefits. He advises start-ups and brands to focus on a full-funnel approach. Look for channels that bring you the most distribution. Marketing vernacularly impacts conversion by understanding customer preferences. Focus on what you want out of your marketing strategies.
Mr.Damandeep Singh Soni, VP- Marketing & Growth, boAT recommends brands to stick to two channels and focus on optimizing them to grow fast. He advises using the right instruments to gather data. Some brands use free tools, but the cost of change becomes high in the long run. He advises marketers to visualise the data to create manageable and efficient content.
Ms Shweta Sivasankaran, Director, Marketing, Unacademy shared that maintaining a strong social media presence with relevant and engaging content, marketing with a clear tone will boost your traffic online. She also recommends spending time measuring, listening and analyzing. Shweta asks companies to use accurate and exact keywords, use clear CTAs. She believes that a combination of simple and compelling display ads, along with videos that have clear CTAs have a very powerful impact on social media.
Mr Ajit Narasimhan, CMO, Sundaram Mutual says that going digital is no longer an enabler but a strategic leader. Mr Karanpreet Bindra, Head of Marketing, Rupeek agreed and added that offering both digital and physical transactions saw a hike in the conversion percentage for their company. Karanpreet also said that for wealth creation products, where trust is a key factor, building perception and awareness around the brand online will help. The demand for Vernacular content is high. This avoids the problem of loss in translation for complicated products like loans. Ajit says creating videos is one of the best ways to create a visual feel of the brand, where the focus is to educate the customer.
Mr Sandeep Shukla, Head, Marketing, Jaquar group says that a key factor in building a brand is reaching customers. Digital media needs to give all the information they need in one place. He says that everyone is an individual marketeer while talking about the power of sharing and circulating content. Creating videos on YouTube empowers consumers giving them all the data helping them to plan and decide. He requests brands to embrace technology while focusing on communicating and keep the message clear and simple.
This was an extremely interesting and insightful experience. Thanks to the virtual world, the panellists came together to give us their thoughts, opinions, advice on how to make the most out of this pandemic using digital media, and its trends. The summit was concluded after the rendering of the National Anthem. To know more about vernacular marketing, video creation tools, or to read more useful blogs on digital marketing, visit the Social Beat blog page.
YouTube Trueview campaigns on DV360 provide more precise tracking with comprehensive targeting abilities. Advertisers can leverage Google audiences, 1st Party and 3rd Party data and create combined audiences to reach just the right target audience. It can track even view-through-conversions along with click-through-conversions at scale, completed views and the cost for a completed view while automatically optimizing for lower CPCVs and higher view rates using AI & ML.
Sundaram Mutual is an Asset Management Company that manages funds that cater to the investment needs of investors with different risk, reward and liquidity preferences. It is committed to making mutual funds accessible to everyone and is backed with a strong research team and robust processes. It is also an innovative thought leader that is the first to launch funds in new themes like Mid-caps, Capex, Leadership, Rural India, and Micro caps and Services that enhance value for stakeholders while upholding the highest degree of ethics.
Sundaram Mutual wanted to launch a new fund called Sundaram Equity Fund and wanted to maximize the awareness of the NFO. It also wanted to increase consideration for the fund and drive conversions with the audience created in the branding campaigns to push them down the marketing funnel.
87% of the views were completed views
63% decrease in CPV which drove 0.6x incremental views
66% decrease in CPM which drove 0.7x incremental impressions
50% higher views compared to YouTube Masthead in the previous campaign
161% increase in brand search queries on Google Search
I joined Social Beat Bangalore as a Marketing Intern for a period of 4 months. As someone with little to no experience in marketing, I was quite apprehensive of my job role in the beginning, but the assurance I had received from my manager Tejasvi Batria during the interview with regard to my learning curve at the organisation was very helpful in alleviating my anxiety. The work I did was enjoyable and extremely rewarding from day 1. Instead of mechanical/ backend work that I expected as an intern, I was asked to try and create campaigns for leading clients on the very first day, and continued to be one of my main tasks till the end.
This internship has provided me with confidence in tackling social media marketing campaigns, events, corresponding clients and the likes. Besides the immense learning curve, I have also built lasting relationships over the months with my colleagues who were not only warm, but very helpful at every turn. This surely made Social Beat stand out among all the other organisations I have associated with. I have never had to hesitate to seek assistance or inputs from even the senior most employees/ managers.
This internship has been a truly rewarding experience in terms of exposure to the industry, client allocation, the nature of my job, as well as the organisational culture. Not just professionally, Social Beat also allowed me to become more spontaneous and divergent in my thinking, more refined in executing assignments, and thus helped me grow personally too.
Lastly, but most importantly, I experienced "have fun while you work" quite literally at Social Beat!
23 January 2020, Mumbai - Social Beat’s fourth edition of its Digital Leadership Summit was held in Mumbai, in which the top industry leaders across sectors came together to share their insights and experiences, as well as forecast digital marketing trends for the future. Last year’s Summit, which was conducted in Bangalore and Mumbai, was a huge success, focusing on innovations across video, vernacular trends, voice marketing, and Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality. This year, one of the biggest talking points of the Summit was tapping into India’s next billion data users, how they will influence digital transformation across Bharat, and leading through disruption in various sectors.
The Summit focused on the prospect of the digital space this new decade, especially this current financial year. Sectors that are expected to see transformation were also discussed, including FMCG, retail, e-commerce, B2B, BFSI, real estate, and Internet businesses. Abhinav Jain, Co-Founder of Shop101 and Kaushik Mukhergee, Co-Founder and COO of SUGAR Cosmetics took up the first two sessions. They spoke about their individual brands, and how each of them introduced their products to consumers in the Tier II and Tier III cities - targeting to reach close to 400 million new Internet users. Abhinav also shared his insights on leveraging social relationships of sellers and democratizing commerce with a seamless product. He then spoke about creating micro-entrepreneurs in Bharat, driving 70% of transactions from outside top cities.
This was followed by a panel discussion on leading BFSI through disruption. This session included Ajit Narasimhan, CMO of Sundaram Mutual Funds, and MVS Murthy, Head of Marketing, Digital and Corporate Communications at Tata Mutual Funds. Moderating the panel, David Appasamy, Head of Brand and Strategy of Social Beat, said, “While the banking and financial service sector has been slow to adopt digital, many upcoming trends and new technologies are taking efficiency and outreach to new heights. Big data, AI, and voice are just a few major trends that are likely to make a huge impact on BFSI.”
The next series of talks were led by Ravi Saxena, CEO of Wonderchef, Sandeep Lodha, CEO of Weddingz.in and of OYO, and Arjun Choudhary, Chief Business Officer and Founding member of mfine. Mr Ravi spoke about how Wonderchef has built its brand name and become a digitally-led business in a competitive market, while Sandeep and Arjun spoke about the disruption of their business fields in India, and solving challenges using the right channel mix and building great community networks. Sandeep also shed light on how innovation can impact a digital user’s behaviour, and the influence innovation has which can potentially disrupt the wedding industry.
The event came to a close with a final panel discussion on innovation and trends for 2020, digital growth, and focus on digital strategy and performance by industries across their respective fields, moderated by Suneil Chawla, Co-Founder of Social Beat. He stated, “The last decade saw a quantum leap in the growing number of data users. This decade will now witness the digital medium open its doors to vernacular content and marketing to a brand new audience, radically changing the landscape of digital solutions. It will be exciting to see the impact unfold.” He was joined by Vinesh Gadhia, Senior Vice President of Lupin Ltd., and Juhi Singh, Digital Evangelist, Digital Transformation and Strategy Division of Marico.
I heard about Social Beat from my classmate who happened to be working there as an intern for digital media. I was searching for a good place to do my internship to gain some experience and I joined Social Beat as a web intern.
I had gained some experience in the domain previously by working on college projects. I had also completed my undergrad in Computer Science and Engineering from Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science.
After starting my internship with Social Beat, the first month was a tester for my skills where I was trained and later given tasks to complete, based on the training provided. I was mentored by a skilled designer who has now become a good friend. I learned quite a few things about designing from him.
In the second month, I was given client work which made me confident about my communication skills and also taught me to keep the client at the center for better client retention - one of Social Beat’s biggest values. I made mistakes and I also ensured that I learnt from them.
In the third month, I was mentored by a video editor. This time too, I didn’t just make friends but also got essential learnings for video editing.
When my internship came to an end, I understood that what I knew about my domain was just a bucket of knowledge compared to the whole sea. Over the course of my internship, I learned how to face and handle clients, how to work professionally, how to create impressive and impactful work, and how to take ownership.
I was also given the opportunity to work on other domains to experiment such as Voice-Enabled websites, Uber and Ola APIs for the clients. I also worked with Virtual and Augmented Reality as it was one of the domains I specialized in.
The atmosphere in the company is pleasant and everyone always greets each other with a smile on their face. Working as an intern made me realize that I have so much to learn. So, when I got the opportunity, I joined Social Beat as a full-time Web Developer. It's been 10 months and I get to learn something everyday from my colleagues and peers.
I don't know where to start but I would like to thank Vimal Micheal, my mentor. Vikas Chawla, Suniel Chawla, the co - founders and Arushi the head of the Tech Team for giving me this opportunity to work for the company and letting me contribute my skills and knowledge for the betterment of the company and my personal growth as well.
The year 2019 has been a whirlwind in terms of growth in the digital space. The number of internet users has gone up to a number that was previously unprecedented - from 483 million users in the year 2018, India has now crossed half a billion internet users at a whopping 566 million. This means brands and companies have a whole new audience to market to and multiple innovative ways to do so! If you are keen to learn more about digital marketing, do check out our digital marketing training arm, DigiGrad.
Here are 7 digital marketing trends for 2020 that we expect will see the most traction:
While user growth has slowed down across most key markets, India has shown no such trend. This is a direct result of easy accessibility to mobile internet and cheaper smartphones with the advent of Jio. This has consequently led to the huge influx of new social apps in digital markets, like TikTok, Helo, Sharechat, Vigo, Bigo, Firework and some more in the pipeline.
The year 2020 will likely see a rise of even more such apps as these have proved to be a hit with new data users, having tapped into vernacular content and the interests of people in smaller towns. And since a large chunk of internet users from rural India - 251 million to be precise - have contributed to the growth in the total number of Indian internet users this year, 2020 can expect to see a higher demand for social apps that cater to this demographic.
It also doesn’t hurt that these media conglomerates have figured out a key factor in driving growth - offering social apps with access to entertainment like short-videos, gaming and live-streaming. 2019 has already seen these newer social apps climb the rankings on Google’s Android PlayStore, with TikTok ranking number one, and Helo at a close second. Facebook currently holds the third position, which may indicate that the dominance the Facebook family of apps has had may see a negative impact.
On that note, with so many first-time internet users, the rise of a lot of social platforms have seen their tremendous growth simply because they offer their content and services in vernacular. Language-driven services have had such an impact this year, that even Amazon and Flipkart are planning to get on this bandwagon soon to catch up with new age players like niki.ai, bulbul tv and Shop101. With a higher demand for vernacular content online, brands across segments will be forced to explore and deliver too if they want to see bigger growth. Storytelling is an impactful way to engage and connect with customers, and when done in a native tongue, the outcome is very personal and unique. This is evident in the thumbstopper format that Facebook offers, which intends to tell a story without sound, in order to capture the essence of a story and be able to tell it to speakers of any language.
Featured below are the thumbstopper videos we did in collaboration with Malabar Gold to promote their ‘Men in Platinum’ collection. The campaign dismantles stereotypical gender roles and highlights the fact that men are at their best when they are in their element. With an overall reach of 13 lakh views across Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, the brand’s Facebook page witnessed a 450% increase in user engagement proving that relatability is a language in itself.
Speaking about breaking language barriers, Swiggy recently ran a campaign titled #SwiggyStarhunt - a platform for delivery partners to showcase their talent by uploading videos on popular video-sharing app TikTok. These videos come under the categories of acting, dancing, singing and musical instruments. Since the campaign was targeted at delivery partners, we created a robust social media strategy in 11 languages to grab their attention and encourage them to participate in the event. The campaign resulted in an outpour of uploads onto the video-sharing app, with a whopping 44+ million organic views, reaching a pan-Indian audience and giving Swiggy the uplift it deserved. #SwiggyStarhunt is also a testament to the fact that leveraging new social media platforms like TikTok, along with the relatability of vernacular content, is a great way to connect with consumers.
4G has taken India’s markets by storm, and Indian service providers are eager to capitalize on this moment to drive user and customer engagement. Augmented Reality can be used in a multitude of ways, changing experiences across different sectors, be it retail, live events, museums, real estate, education or automobile.
Facebook introduced Spark AR this year for the general public, which allows users on Facebook and Instagram to create filters and upload them online. Other users can then save these and apply them to their stories. Facebook has been seeing a lot of success with the launch of this product and this will probably ‘spark’ AR trends even more. Google had already rolled out Google Lens which is an image recognition technology that uses the point and shoot feature to show fitting search results. These two giants have showcased the diversity in the use of AR and how successful it can be when implemented right, driven by function.
VR will also start to pick up more as we enter 2020, but since VR devices are still too expensive for the Indian market, it is unlikely that it will pick up at the same pace as AR will.
E-commerce is the way of the future, and with search interaction having increased, leading companies will find voice a profitable technology to drive sales and revenue. This has already been evidenced in the huge investment Amazon has put into Alexa and Google into Google Home and its Google Assistant. Businesses will see voice user interface as an innovative tool that enables faster, more efficient customer engagement as voice commands surround every sphere of life, driving purchases, payments and more. Voice ordering, already a popular phenomenon in the US, will start picking up in India as well. Brands are also tying up with new-age start-ups like niki.ai to engage with the next billion internet users. These AI powered start-ups build user experiences that are not just intuitive but also in a language that the customers in the Tier II and III cities are comfortable in, making it easy for them to place orders using voice commands.
Looking for a few tips on voice search marketing? Here’s our tell-all guide:
It’s quality over quantity, always. Which is why many brands are now wanting to capitalize on their first-party data, instead of opting for second and third-party data. First-party data allows for exact, valuable insights into a customer’s direct engagement with the brand, whether it’s their individual interests, which ads they engage with, or how much time they spend on the brand’s website. This information is unfiltered, specific, and relevant, which helps to build an audience profile that is an exact match with the product or service in question. It is also cost-effective, as it’s free, and is lawful and transparent. Nike is one such company which has already announced that they will be selling only directly going forward.
Artificial intelligence fits into this equation as it can prove to be extremely beneficial in sifting through these data sets, which for a team of actual people, can be daunting. AI could uncover insights that could have been missed otherwise, identify critical data and trends, and all at unmatched speed with extreme accuracy. Thus, AI and first-party data may hand-in-hand serve to drive more personalized communication soon.
Social media platforms have seen quite a few changes this year, which were a little surprising for everyone. At one end, there are platforms like TikTok and Sharechat, which incentivized influencers, and at the other end, Instagram rolled out an update that removed the like count. The Advertising Standards Council of India has also announced that they are framing new guidelines and rules in a bid to protect consumer interests, which will include influencer marketing under its purview. With the aim to curb forms of misleading information, the reach influencers have, the kind of information they put out, and the engagement brands have with influencers may all change in 2020.
It is commonly believed that as the world became increasingly digital over the years, physical stores began to see less engagement. But this doesn’t hold true for brands that rely heavily on location, like hotels, restaurants, and auto dealerships. For such brands, online to offline attribution is extremely relevant and useful, as this metric helps brands to trace and identify which online ads can be attributed to driving in-store foot traffic.
While Google Store Visits is already live and being used across brands, other platforms will also start leveraging location data, combined with first party and CRM data, to showcase what results digital is driving for retailers and offline stores. This can be a game changer for traditional brands that did not have digital as a key aspect of their marketing campaigns. The start of the next decade will likely see a lot of brands who are not yet using digital come online to use this tool to engage with customers better and drive sales insightfully.
Store visit ads were an integral part of our campaign with retailers like Malabar Gold, Khadims and Specsmakers. We leverage a mix of Google products using detailed demographic targetting as well as geo-fence the retail stores. The ads used online to offline attribution data to measure the increase in footfall to their stores. The below case study of Malabar Gold showcases how thousands of shoppers were targetted and tracked, for the recent Brides of India campaign.
All that being said, the trends predicted show a range of exciting opportunities to be used for growth. We at Social Beat are definitely eager to see what the start of the new decade has in store for the digital marketing sector and are excited to grow with it, scaling new heights.
This article was originally published in The Economic Times Brand Equity.
Internship is the most stressful period in any student’s college life, but my experience with Social Beat has changed the whole mindset of it. I joined Social Beat three months back and I have learnt a lot in this period. In these three months, I have not only learnt about HR functions but also how to handle people around you.
The team is very welcoming and they always give the opportunity to learn and implement your subject. The culture of the organization is very different from other organizations where I have interned; they have a very warm and energizing environment. This helps any intern to explore the subject as well as their other interests.
The HR team with whom I interned always treated me as one of their team members and did not hesitate to teach or to assign any task. The team is very supportive and helps you to learn and understand your subject. They always give you space to work according to your preference and also gives you the liberty to learn from your mistakes. The team makes sure that your style is exhibited in your work and does not restrict you to work in a particular manner. When I compare my previous internships with the present one, I can see myself learning a lot in terms of my subject.
The team always encourages their interns to think out of the box, and helps them to act upon it. They are always open for any discussion, which can be with anyone from the team. They have freely adopted an open door policy, where everyone is approachable including the founders. In fact, I’d say Social Beat is the perfect example for exhibiting open door policy. This has helped me interact with different team members, and have an insight on digital marketing as well.
This internship is a valuable one as I have learnt to prioritize my work, be independent, and also pay attention to my values and follow them. I am thankful for this internship opportunity and it has been a great experience working at Social Beat.