Webinar lays stress on knowing one’s target audience for effective brand building.
An entire business can now function on a smartphone or a laptop, from selecting a product to buying it. Industry professionals gave the lowdown on Digital Marketing: How to brand and boost the business at a virtual session as part of CampusToCareer 2020, a webinar series presented by ABP Education.
On the panel were Vikas Chawla of DigiGrad; Atanu Ghosh of Bluebeaks Solutions; Abhishek Mukherjee, Ex-Ola, Myntra and Unilever; and Abhilash Somanchi of Dailyhunt.
The virtual discussion was moderated by Nandan Sengupta of Cambridge Marketing College, UK.
Catch the session here.
Here's what the speakers had to say:
Vikas Chawla, Co-Founder, DigiGrad
Just over 40 percent of Indians, or 55 crore people, have access to the internet today. Sixty percent of the population is likely to get internet access over the next decade. Hence, there is a lot of growth, innovation and opportunity online. We will see more home-grown apps and platforms as we move ahead.
The pandemic has led a lot of businesses to migrate online and accelerated digital adoption. Going forward, digital marketing will be a huge career opportunity.
Fresh graduates need not have the hands-on knowledge to create a campaign on Instagram, advertise on Google, or write content for a blog since these technical skills can be taught through training. However, the candidate should exhibit creativity or a strategic and analytical approach, where either the left or the right brain is strong. Good communication skills, demonstrated teamwork along with a positive attitude to unlearn and relearn quickly, are essential.
Subjects such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) have evolved over time, and someone who has specialised in it will have to understand how content marketing, websites and data analytics work.
If you want to explore SEO, start by making use of the wide variety of tools Google has, including Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner and Google Search Console. Other great paid options are Moz and Ahrefs.
If you can write amazing long-form, video, or infographics content that users will love to consume and share, you are in a good place. Your focus should be on making content more engaging, as content marketing has huge potential.
While designing your content strategy, you need to find the fine balance between what you want to say as a brand, person, or community, and what content your customer or follower is looking out for.
Atanu Ghosh, Managing Partner, Bluebeaks Solutions
There is a lot of confusion around what constitutes digital marketing and what doesn’t. All facets of marketing that have been disrupted or transformed by the digital aspect, including the 4 Ps of marketing — product, pricing, place and promotion — fall under this.
Firstly, we have digital products instead of physical products today, in terms of photos and music. Secondly, pricing has become dynamic. Thirdly, the place has completely changed from physical stores to e-commerce sites. Lastly, promotion, which includes advertising, has moved from billboards and display advertisements in print to search engines and social media.
The number of people on phones is increasing, and the entire customer journey has seen a switch. These platforms facilitate our search process and increase our ability to research. For a product to be discoverable, it has become essential to enlist them on platforms such as Amazon. The research to buy a product has also changed with the onset of public reviews. Besides this, the distribution channel has been disrupted, enabling the transformation of the entire chain of customer experience and making it essential for a brand to go digital to grab the customer’s attention. Here, you are not trying to sell the product. You are trying to sell the brand.
While creating a digital presence for businesses such as education, legal and medicine, building trust is of utmost importance. The focus needs to be on credibility, as in-your-face marketing isn’t appreciated. You need to be discoverable on a consumer’s Google search list. You can then prove yourself by demonstrating your work on your portal and giving customer credentials. These will help you generate leads. When it comes to personal brands, platforms such as LinkedIn should be optimised.
Digital marketing as a career is based on a combination of complementary skills. First, you have to understand the foundations of marketing and learn the basics, and then decide your area of specialisation, be it creative content building, data analytics and AI, or marketing.
Abhishek Mukherjee, Ex-Ola, Myntra and Unilever
There is a clear disruption in the way brands were built 15 years ago and today. Today, it is all about live feedback as your brand is accessible 24x7 and whether you sell offline or online, people have the right to give their feedback, requiring you to continuously be on your toes.
When it comes to digital marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all. This field is divided into four stages — inside stage, management stage, creative stage and measured stage. The inside stage is a good mix of data and social sciences to understand consumer problems.
The management stage involves the management of resources, the business, and top line and bottom line, where an MBA or BBA degree works very well. The creative stage has people from the arts, with skills like movie-making, animation, voiceover and graphic design, who use digital platforms to enhance and showcase their talent. The measurement stage looks after data generation and possesses an analytical and engineering bent of mind.
To excel, you have to be very good at one thing. Whatever unique talent you have, go deep into it. Use a mix of classical and digital education and work experience to keep enhancing your skills.
It is far better and cheaper to retain your existing customer than acquiring a new one. This reinforces the importance of customer relationship management. A service-oriented brand like Amazon spends heavily on this to maintain the gold-standard of service management and motivate customers to remain loyal. Call centres, too, have started to seek AI replacement as bots have standardised quality of service.
Brand building starts with defining your target audience, understanding what they do and how they feel. Earlier, consumers often felt like they were consuming the same product or service, irrespective of the brand. Digital marketing is enabling brands to go deeper and stand out from the herd. Differentiation is very important, be it in your target audience, insights, or delivery.
In order to learn the nuances of this field, you need to get into a live situation, take up a project, and get your hands dirty by doing an internship or working for a start-up. Do not rely on your degree or certifications because the most important thing for recruiters is the hunger to learn and excel.
Abhilash Somanchi, Senior Director, Dailyhunt
All of us have a digital presence today though it varies from person to person. You can be good at anything today and monetise it.
The internet gives you a platform. We have never had a platform of self-expression which is so democratic. The key is to pick anything that you are passionate about and translate it onto a platform. If you like to text, you can make a blog. If you like videos, create a YouTube channel.
Trying to build followership is a very interesting exercise and the starting point of what you will end up doing at any corporate job. The best way to learn is by doing it.
When you ideate on a digital marketing campaign, you have to see the objectives and the efficiency of reaching an outcome. While spending on it, you have objectives that typically align with the nature of your business and what you are looking at.
Earlier, digital marketing started as an aid to conventional marketing and hence the same message was echoed on all marketing channels, both offline and online. As digital-enabled its own ecosystem, it grew to have independent objectives. For instance, if a brand wants to sell from its website in a manner where the entire transaction can happen online, the marketing agenda is driven to push traffic on the website or downloads of the app.
Marketing includes paid promotion, which can be determined by an advertisement, be it on Facebook, YouTube, or a search engine. However, a lot of leveraging for a brand happens through social media presence, where rather than putting up a straight-forward paid advertisement, content follows a more integrated approach of furthering the message, without sticking out as an ad.
Nandan Sengupta, College Ambassador for India, Cambridge Marketing College, UK (Moderator)
Digital marketing is basically the marketing management of the classical era. The principles are still there, but the execution and implementation have changed.
It has three main layers. Firstly, you can look at it from the perspective of a company or brand, and how they use it to reach out to the customer. This is a challenge because there is a lack of proper training and knowledge. More trained professionals are required.
Secondly, the perspective of a career seeker has to be understood. When people think about digital marketing, they tend to gravitate towards keywords like website and SEO but it is more than that. It has two levels -- people at the frontend who can do marketing hands-on and concentrate on strategy; and those who work in the backend and handle technicalities.
There is room in this field for people from every discipline. Digital marketing truly has a polyglot culture. Here, you have to learn as you go and regularly upgrade yourself since consistency is key. There are lessons and training modules on the web.
If you can’t find what you can do in digital marketing, search for international jobs in companies like Amazon and PayPal. You will find novel job descriptions of positions that require one of your skills. While this may not guarantee you a job, it will help you determine the skills to work on and allow you to search for similar jobs in companies back home.
Our lifestyle has changed, and we are on mobiles, laptops, apps and social media all the time. Every time we do something as simple as checking WhatsApp, we generate data. Digital marketers monitor device usage to know customers better, capture your data, analyse it, devise insights based on it, and strategise to target customers more efficiently and tell them about their product.
These days, brands can create a customer’s avatar on the basis of what they are doing through their emojis, browsing history and other online activities.
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