social beat news

Our co-founder, Vikas Chawla’s interview in LSE Alumni Echo (Nov edition)

  • Abhishek Kumar
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  • 7 November , 2014
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    • 4 min read

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.

 


Social Beat masti time with 288 pani puris !!

  • Abhishek Kumar
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  • 20 May , 2014
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    • 2 min read

Team outing. Competition. Unlimited Pani Puri. What more can you ask for one hell of a fun time? After a hectic day at work, all 15 of us went to Shree Mithai to unwind in style. And what a way to do it J

In a similar competition last year, the team had finished at 140 panipuris with Abhishek winning it with 35 panipuris at one go. This time, the team racked up an even amazing number – 288 pani puris altogether though the defending champion disappointed us with his tally of just 18. Mohan won the competition hands down with 42 pani puris and was eager for more. The “humble-in-victory” Mohan said - “I can easily cross 100. I just need someone to compete with me”. It was heartening to see the dare-devilry of the comrades participating.

“This is the best self-exploration exercise for me till date, far better than any Robin Sharma books I read. :P The contest made me realize that I am capable of having 19 Pani Puris at a stretch. :D”, chirps Meenakshi.

Ekta adds in jest – “I saw that the competitive spirit & the passion to win makes you go that extra mile... After all, if it is about pani puris, who wouldn't wanna binge eat? Burrrpppp!!! (I just had a dozen of them)”

Watch this space to see what our team has been upto. Wait, how can we end it without applauding Shree Mithai. Although Mohan was the winner, but the biggest winner undoubtedly was Shree Mithai since we ordered 48 plates!!


Social Beat becomes Google Partner

  • Rohit Uttamchandani
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  • 28 April , 2014
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    • 2 min read

The Team at Social Beat is excited to announce that Social Beat is now an accredited Google Partner for Google Adwords/Pay Per click Advertising.

Our newly acquired Google Partner badge certifies us as a company trusted by Google which is capable of providing the highest levels of service to clients.

 

Social Beat becomes Google Partner

 

We have fulfilled Google’s three main requirements for being a Google Partner

Certifications

Google requires the team handling Adwords to prove their advanced AdWords knowledge by getting certified in AdWords.  All team members handling Adwords campaigns at Social Beat are certified by Google to have the required levels of competency and proficiency to run successful campaigns.

Best Practices

Google Partners are required to demonstrate that they have mastered the essentials covered in the Google certification exams and are maximizing their clients' performance by implementing Google’s recommended best practices in client accounts.

Google reviews Partner agencies’ client accounts to make sure that their clients are getting excellent service, including the type and frequency of the changes being made, client retention, and whether they're making the most of their clients' budgets.

Spend

A minimum spend of at least USD 10,000 over the last 90 calendar days is required to indicate the state of an agency’s business health.

Being awarded the honour of being in the elite group of Google-approved marketing agencies reaffirms our expertise and ensures that our practices conform to Google’s advertising guidelines and are proven to drive ROI.

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


Social Beat gets mention in Financial Express on Diwali

  • Vikas Chawla
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  • 28 October , 2013
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    • < 1 min read

Social Beat got coverage in Financial Express today on an article talking about how Diwali 2013 has been for e-retailers. As we mentioned in the article, the festive season this could could be better. While companies are offering discounts and freebies in the hope that the next two weeks are better in terms of a revenue uptick, the overall sentiment has been low.

You can read the full article in Financial Express: Dazzling deals from e-tailers this Diwali


“How did we startup” – Social Beat Story

  • Vikas Chawla
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  • 18 July , 2013
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    • < 1 min read

YourStory.in covers the story of how Vikas Co-Founded Social Beat,

After working for 6 years across different industries and different roles I finally took the plunge into entrepreneurship. When I quit my corporate job in September 2012, I had lots of ideas, but no clue of which idea I would finally embark upon. The ideas revolved around media buying, skill development and some around digital marketing. I finally chose digital marketing after evaluating the market and seeing the dearth of result-oriented digital agencies who don’t focus just on the creative aspect of digital marketing but on the business aspect as well. So, with just one client and no website of our own, Social Beat was born in December 2012 with a focus to create business results through digital initiatives for our clients.

Read the full article on "How did I startup" on YourStory


Social Beat on Industry Council of Digital Academy

  • Vikas Chawla
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  • 5 July , 2013
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    • < 1 min read

Digital Academy India as the name suggests is a academy that was started recently to focus on training students and professionals for the internet and digital industry. With Digital Marketing Institute, Ireland and Internet Marketing Association, USA being their program partners they aim to develop the skills and knowledge required for a digital marketeer. The focus of Digital Academy is to blend academic and practical learning so that the trained candidates are industry ready.

As part of their initiative, they have formed the Digital Academy Industry Council, to engage with digital agencies, and digital marketing companies to understand the talent requirement in the industry. The Industry Council of which Vikas (Co-Founder of Social Beat) is a member will be contributing to the learning ecosystem of an ever growing community of Digital Marketing professionals.

Social Beat is privileged to be associated with Digital Academy to build the next generation of digital marketing professionals in India. For more information email Digital Academy India.


Re-hiring Retirees: Social Beat Advisor Jagdish gets featured in Small Medium Entrepreneur Magazine

  • Suneil Chawla
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  • 4 June , 2013
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    • 2 min read

 

Our advisor, Jagdish Chawla was recently featured in the Small Medium Entrepreneur Magazine. You can find the full interview below and can read the article on Entrepreneur India here.

Do you think it is a good idea for retired individuals to go for second employment in start up firms

Startups are usually started by young enterprising individuals. Having senior advisors and mentors will ensure that the young team can leverage their experience and pursue faster and profitable growth.

Since start ups generally face a talent crunch, do you think retired individuals with their age and experience can help in serving the firm on their advisory board or provide valuable mentorship/training?

Absolutely. Experienced professionals have seen a lot of business cycles and have worked with people with different personality types and motivation. Bringing such experience to a startup can only be helpful.

Do you think it is viable to encourage such post retirement opportunities, keeping in mind that India is mushrooming with start ups?

A platform to connect Advisors/Mentors with such young startups would be very useful. There are angel investors and startup communities, but none for retirees.

Do you think there is any downside towards hiring ex-servicemen?

None I can think of. Its a win-win situation for both.

Research shows that there is a wide mismatch, a “generation gap” between the brains behind a start up firm and an ex-serviceman? Have you faced any such notable hindrances? If yes, have you to managed to overcome them and still be an active member of the firm?

Opportunities today are much higher than say 20 years ago. This has meant that youngsters are a lot more ambitious. While growth is critical, young startups should also focus on business fundamentals and cash flow management.

In what measure have you provided growth opportunities to the start up firm and helped it in its foundation days?

End of the day its the founding team which does all the work. As advisors, we can provide a good sounding board for key decisions


Bidding Farewell to Abhishek with 140 Pani Puri’s

  • Suneil Chawla
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  • 27 May , 2013
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    • 2 min read

To bid farewell to Abhishek, who was at Social Beat for a 2 month internship, the team went for a Pani Puri competition, thanks to Abhishek's inspiration whose earlier record is 85 pani puri's. So, 6 of us crowded around the pani puri wala at Gangothree on RK Salai, Chennai. Ofcourse, no surprises that Abhishek won the competition with 35 pani puris, with a total of 140 puris being consumed by the entire team. Gangothree was visibly happy :)

On a more serious note, Abhishek played an integral role in many initiatives including the Social Media Survey. Quoting Abhishek "The past 2 months has allowed me to grow immensely as an individual as well as a professional. The realities of the business world is immensely different from the classroom learnings. It was the first thing I learnt here while working for our clients. The immense exposure that i received in the course of 2 months involved direct client pitches, closing contracts, managing accounts for existing clients, delivering results for clients, participating in networking events; you name it and I have done it. Social Beat has shown me the result oriented approach for its clients."

Abhishek wanted to share his experience with the Social Beat team "The whole team worked and bonded together as one big family, whether it was parties or outings, every moment was special and memorable. And how can i forget the farewell party that ended with the awesome Paani-poori competition and I would be humble enough to mention myself as the winner :). I can say I could have never dreamt of a better internship. When I look back now, I wish the summers would not have ended."

Social Beat is glad to have had Abhishek over and wish him all the best for his future endeavours.


Social Beat Digital Marketing Survey Report 2013

  • Vikas Chawla
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  • 27 May , 2013
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    • 4 min read

In this digital age, almost all companies want to have a digital strategy but either they do not know how to leverage the digital medium to boost their business or they do not have the required expertise to effectively handle it. After all, digital marketing does not just involve launching a website or creating a facebook page, rather it requires a deeper knowledge of the specific industry in which the company is operating and what channels can leveraged for that particular industry and most importantly, how the online initiatives can be integrated with a company’s overall marketing strategy to boost their businesses significantly.

To get a better understanding of how businesses are leveraging their digital strategy, we carried out a survey amongst 50 companies across industry verticals across the country. The findings were interesting and we have given you summary of it here. You can also download the full Social Beat Digital Marketing Report 2013.

Social Media Marketing

Currently, around 76% of the companies are using social media in one form or the other to leverage their businesses. Moreover, 91% felt that social media has a huge role to play in his/her industry. This shows that there is only a very minuscule percentage who believe that social media does not have a role to play in their industry.

Social media is a great way to build communities around the brand. This is clearly reflected by the survey results where by the respondents felt that brand awareness, customer engagement & generating leads for business seems to be the top-3 objectives of the social media. So, it is definitely a multi-pronged strategy. Initially the focus should be on building the critical mass in terms of number of fans/followers. Now, it is not just about likes and shares for companies, it is also about converting them into tangible benefits for the company, i.e. sales and revenues. But once you have the communities around your brand, you can easily leverage it to your advantage.

Facebook & YouTube seems to be the most preferred channel but Twitter & LinkedIn is also very quickly catching up in India. Facebook and YouTube are visual-driven channels thereby providing great opportunity for B2C companies to target the end-consumers who want visual content.

The quick rise of YouTube as a medium for digital marketing emphasizes the importance of seeing for believing. 2010-2012 period saw the rise of pictures as the prominent medium but the now the focus has changed to videos. Thus, it would not be out-of-place to say that it is evolving from look-n-feel towards a watch-n-feel experience.

Among the B2B companies, LinkedIn and Twitter seems to have a headway. LinkedIn’s relevance among the B2B marketers is not surprising because it is one of the best places to get business leads, create groups based on industry verticals or topics and engage people. Also, getting your employees active on LinkedIn, grow their networks and their active participation in various industry forums can be a great way to impact business relationships through the entire funnel.

Twitter again has attracted the CEOs, top managers & busy professionals. It is a very useful medium for business marketers because of its targeted marketing capabilities using the #-trend feature, break news and announcements, provide link backs.  Twitter is a place where all professionals are, this is where real-time conversations happen so it is obvious when you are planning to create buzz in the professional circles, you need to leverage Twitter as a marketing channel.

Marketing Spends & Resources

Around 33% of the companies are ready to spend around Rs. 50000 to Rs. 1 Lakh per month on their social media marketing initiatives. Companies with in-house teams are ready to spend more than 18 hours a week on the internet. Around 50% of the survey respondents are ready to spend more than 18 hours a week on social media marketing.

Now, 18 hours a week is quite a big chunk of time from the marketing initiatives point of view. But there is an associated pitfall here that we can do things but it is important to the right things in a right measure. And this is where the role of digital marketing agencies come to the fore. They know the market and social media dynamics better and can ensure that the investments in terms of money and time do not go down the drain.

Results from Digital Marketing

In our view, unless the digital strategy is leading to tangible results in the medium term then its not worth it. One of our ecommerce client has had a 250% increase in revenues and 300% increase in web traffic since their association with us. This result in the highly competitive ecommerce industry when all players are putting in a lot of effort on the digital marketing is great by any measure. You can read the Ecommerce India Case Study for more information.

Again, one of our healthcare client which is already a leading name in the industry, had a 300% boost in the number of leads generated via digital media. Now, if this result would have been for a new player in the industry, it would have been good but if it is the impact on established businesses, then it clearly says something big. In this case, the returns that were generate due to their social media presence, were far greater than their investments. You can read the Healthcare India Digital Marketing Case Study for more information.

On the whole, the writing on the wall is quite clear. No matter how well-known the business is, if we are ignoring the digital media, we are clearly losing a chunk of our business. How big the chunk is, depends on the industry. But clearly, we would not like to end up on the wrong side. It is all about money. If it is able to drive the revenues for a business, then definitely it is not just a concept. It is for real and here to revolutionize the way marketing is done traditionally.

As goes the famous quote "The biggest ROI for digital marketing, is that your business will still exist after 10 years"



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