As one of the Marketing Honchos on our list rightly claimed, there is no such thing as digital marketing. Today, we are all marketers in a digital world.
Keeping this in mind, and the fact that we are in the middle of an exciting revolution (one that is impacting each and every industry, and therefore, every business function); as marketers you must not only get on board with what digital has to offer (for their brand, agency or even standalone) but also be well-versed with what all the new and exciting tools out there, can equip you with.
A recent Group M report revealed, that Digital Ad spends in 2016 are expected to grow at a whopping 40% against an overall ad spend growth of just 15.9%! These figures make evident what we are seeing around us already, a digital revolution we cannot afford to ignore.
So marketers unite! Whether it’s building a knowledge hub, building your career brick-by-brick, planning skill-sets or avoiding frequent mistakes, you must start preparing yourself to be an ace-marketer who is future ready. After all, marketing is central to the success of any business. Don’t believe us? Hear it from the best in the business!
When the professional world is changing at such a rapid pace, how can marketing fall behind? This evolution and super-fast growth have meant that marketers need to learn new things every day.
But this is not textbook knowledge.
So, we bring to you a curation of what some of the heads of marketing of some leading firms and companies have to say, from their own experience. Use this as your very own ‘Marketing Bible’ and when in doubt – keep this handy!
Pramod on Partnerships and Collaborations
- Partnerships, or figuring out how to create ecosystems, or where you can work with partners to drive intent towards your product. If your product is solving a problem, there should be an effort to ensure that every user gets there.
- For example, we work very closely with Uber on a global scale and it makes sense as our target audiences are similar. The use case is you discovering a restaurant & taking a cab to the restaurant, so it makes complete sense & it drives intent as well as brand awareness for both the audiences.
On What Makes a Successful Marketer
- Growth hacking and attribution. I think a lot of marketers today are data-driven & it’s very critical that decisions & changes are being made on how users are behaving on your platform & how to drive new user’s growth and retention based on growth hacks.
- Small changes lead to high impact or moving the needle kind of momentum.
Rajshree on TG Segmentation
- There is no one gospel truth. The truth of segmentation does not lie either in demographics or just in ‘psychographics’ – it is a very lattice network and you must look at multiple parameters.
Apurva on Bi-Nodal Marketers
- You must learn to be bi-nodal marketers and be very comfortable not only in planning campaigns but also using data to optimize campaigns.
- This basically means you need to be full stock marketers! So, understand business objectives, understand marketing objectives, create digital marketing objectives, create plans around it, execute those programs and finally use the data to optimize the campaigns.
- If you are not doing this end-to-end, you are only doing a part of it and you will never be able to understand whether your plans were successful, why were they successful, which areas did they fail in?
On T-Shaped Marketing
- Imagine the alphabet ‘T’. There is a stem which goes horizontally and there is a very deep vertical stem.
- So, you might be a specialist in search engine optimization or social media marketing or email marketing but you need to understand all the other components of digital marketing as well.
- If you are not a T shaped marketer and are very comfortable with (at least aware of) tactics other than yours, you will not be able to contribute effectively to the campaign.
On Crowd-Sourcing Content
- Crowdsourcing is changing the way marketing advertisements are being generated.
- Earlier advertising was all about brand managers going to agencies giving them a brief and coming up with campaigns, now a lot of content is being generated by users.
- So, your brand is not only controlled by the brand manager but the brand today is owned by the consumers.
- If you use the power of consumer-driven content, consumer generated content, crowdsourcing can work beautifully in amplifying your reach and amplifying the beauty of the content which is created around the brand.
On Partnering with New-Age Agencies
- Brands are no more only partnering with traditional advertising agencies to create videos but they are also looking at new age video producers like the ViralFever or AIB to create very interesting viral videos which are being shared by people and are not only relying on paid forms of promotion.
- If you look at HCL’s campaign called ‘coolest interview ever’ which we did two years ago, it was the world’s first campaign which did an end-to-end recruitment process on Twitter! So not only did we seek applications on Twitter but we also got people to apply, we conducted the interview process on Twitter and we finally rolled out offer letters on Twitter! This campaign won a lot of awards.
- Community building as a concept in digital marketing is a great way to do ‘influencer’ marketing, you create a community around like-minded people and like-minded interest and you should have a very good community manager.
- If you look at our straight talk platform we have been running it for five years and it’s a great platform to get insights on behavior, engage with them with content which is very relevant.
- I would strongly recommend marketers to try community marketing to conduct influencer marketing.
- The biggest skill gap in the current breed of digital marketers is that they completely lack business understanding.
- What they should understand is digital is a way to achieve an objective, the objective being business goals. It could be customer satisfaction, it could be increased in sales, it could be a gain in market share.
- They could be working in an insurance firm or a travel firm or an IT firm; the first step is understanding the business.
- The second skill gap which I see is, most digital marketers today don’t understand marketing technology Martech. If you don’t understand marketing technology and you are only a specialist in search engine optimization or social media you won’t understand concepts like a single view of the customer and your campaigns won’t be able to use a lot of interesting technology elements which are in play today.
- Last mile attribution is good for very nascent social media adopters but it’s not the right way to go about it from a very evolved digital marketing perspective.
- I would strongly recommend marketers to use either Omniture or Google analytics premium and do multi-channel attribution.
- Because it is unfair to attribute the last click 100% of weightage and today in social media you can attribute the success throughout the funnel!
Woah, wait. Don’t tell me you aren’t all equipped and adept at managing Google Analytics already!
Milind on Knowing Where Your Consumer Spends Time
- Realize that today 50% of the time spent in the world is on mobile as a device. And when I say mobile, that could be pure play phone, a smartphone, or a tab.
- You, as a marketer, would have to realize this and make mobile or digital as a center of the whole thought.
So, don’t just advertise or market your product blindly. Listen to what Milind Pathak has said on ‘going where your consumer is’ (and the consumer is very mobile today) and reap the benefits of actual engagement with him/her in real time.
Gayatri on Building Brands
- There is no one answer beyond just being fluid and ready to capitalize on whatever opportunities you see.
- If you are using TV to build reach, impact and an emotional affinity with your brand; to have the same objective from digital, I think you are just lazy in marketing, right?
- You should be using digital for very different reasons. If television is giving you reach, can digital give you engagement? Can outdoor give you a completely different way of communicating?
- I think earlier people used to talk about the concept of multimedia. What did multimedia mean? It said you have one idea and take that same idea and put it across media, and now what’s gaining currency is the idea of what they call transmedia. Transmedia is that you change the story, based on the medium.
- So, when I want television, I may have a certain story. When I am on Facebook, I have a conversation. When I am on outdoor, maybe all I do is create an image that I can burn in people’s minds.
- I think today’s millennials care about what the brand believes in and what the brand does to make the world a better place. So, the fundamentals don’t change, they are perhaps even more important, but just the way of managing the value chain is so much more complex.
On Organizational Ability
- Sometimes I think that a young marketer would need to see themselves as a bit like an orchestra conductor where it’s not one instrument that’s going to make music, it’s multiple, and your job is to know the consumer well and manage the orchestra to play the music; conduct it in a way that best delivers to your brand.
- No one person can be in charge of this value chain anymore.
On a New Era
- Digital marketing is dead, there is only marketing in a digital age.
Piyush on the Value of People’s Lives in Marketing
- Products and brands sound commercial. But if you take it to people’s lives, it is a way of life.
- So, you get up in the morning and brush your teeth. You have breakfast – you cook on your own or get something from outside, it becomes a part of people’s lives.
- So, if you are communicating something about people’s lives and do not take their lives into account, then I guess you are missing the point.
- As the world goes digital, knowledge is available to people on fingertips. It will not be people with the knowledge only (who succeed), it will be people who streamline their efforts to travel, meet people in their day to day life.
- Book knowledge and real knowledge of 2 different things. Books are available to everybody, those who can go and catch the pulse of the people are those who will have an edge.
- Data is important to tell me – so how is someone leading her life? But then that data is available to each one of us.
- Who’s the one to make sure that those 3 minutes that this person spent on something, out of those 3 minutes one and a half was mine? So, within those numbers, where is the idea of yours that kept somebody engaged?
Shubhajit on Flexible Marketing
- The tech industry is probably close to a 60:40 where I think you can plan about 60% of what you want to be.
- But you always need to have a large chunk of your marketing programs as very reactive and opportunistic depending on what is happening in the marketplace.
- I think the big judgment as marketing leaders we must bring is what part of your business can be planned and what part do you need to necessarily leave that flexibility for you to be able to react quickly.
On What Holds Different TG’s Together
- The equity, the personality, what the brand stands for; should be the common glue that binds each of the different target segments.
On Data-Driven Marketing
- You used to get aggregated data and then you would bring it down and make assumptions of how individuals behave.
- I think what you’re now doing is, you’re collecting data at an individual level and then coming back to the aggregate.
- I think that fundamentally shifts how you will approach marketing or any part of your business.
We have to agree with Shubhajit on the point of data. Today we are in a unique and exciting sphere as marketers in a digital world, where aggregated or macro-level data is not enough. But what it is good for is breaking it down till it helps us understand the individual and his behavior. Doing this will ensure you are appealing to the exact needs of your consumer with your marketing strategies.
On Knowing Your Audience
- Probably about 60% of purchases in the mobile category today is either by the youth or strongly influenced by the youth.
- So, if you’re a 45-50-year-old person, quite often you would ask your son or your daughter what phone to buy?
- I think that is something that we have kind of uncovered very early. The truth is that the youth is an incredible consumer of information related to tech. From both these perspectives, I think youth is exactly the right audience for a tech company to go after.
Sujoy on Tapping Into Data
- Your phone knows if you are in office, if you are on the road or if you are in a metro train or at home. And that is very critical data for marketers to use.
- It’s important to step back and look at the way we as marketers address consumers on digital and mobile devices.
On the Importance of Holistic Understanding
- Digital marketers are often very good at tactical understanding of channels but they need to bring to the table a holistic understanding of business, consumers and strong analytical ability.
On Why It’s Important to Continuously Learn
- In a fast-paced space like digital marketing, it is important to continue to keep upskilling yourself.
- I take out 10 to 15 minutes at the start of every day to read up on the latest happenings in the industry and what people are talking about. Without that, it’s very easy to get left behind.
- Technology is changing very fast, not just technology but consumers are also changing very fast. So, it is an investment that we make for ourselves and our careers to continuously keep upskilling.
On Community-Driven Marketing
- Community-driven marketing is a critical skill set or important focus to have on all platforms.
- Word-of-mouth is the strongest form of marketing you can possibly imagine.
- Go after the most active users and get them to be the evangelists of the product.
- Everything needs to start with the consumer and what business goals are for that consumer. Channel tactics come later and channels are just a way for businesses to reach consumers.
- A problem that we have before us today as digital marketers are ‘banner blindness’.
- Consumers become banner blind when they stop noticing any digital advertising which is because they are bombarded with so much of it every day.
- We only have ourselves to blame as digital marketers because we put out boring or very intrusive advertising.
Colvyn on Purpose of Marketing
- Now, in marketing or in advertising, it’s all about targeting a specific individual or customer, to try and get him/her to buy what you are selling.
- And that’s the value of building a brand. Today you will build on a digital platform.
Ashok on Understanding Consumers
- Digital marketing is about understanding consumers and their behavior. Their consumption of digital media how they use it and then understand the correlation of the brand to the consumer in the digital medium.
- Also, the ability to build messages and communication programs that go beyond a singular platform and work across digital platforms that bring an understanding of consumer insights to the table. This is what clients and brands look for.
On Digital Matrices
- It’s important to baseline what’s gone by and then plan. It is also important to correlate digital matrix with business and marketing matrix which is increasingly becoming the need of the hour.
- Digital Matrices by themselves are good lead indicators. If you get a good amount of traction in the digital space, say you get views for a video or shares or likes or growth in fan base. It could be used as an indicator towards achieving more marketing goals.
On Learning the Fundamentals
- You need to understand the co-marketing fundamentals before you make a full-blown career in digital marketing.
- If you want to know a little more about digital marketing apart from being an average user and a very followed person on Instagram, then you should read what’s out there. You should take courses, that supplement your learning with core fundamentals.
- Be willing to unlearn and relearn so that you can stay current, you can stay relevant and you can be in demand and have a successful digital marketing career.
- You find a lot of people who have an expertise or alleged expertise on one or more platforms. But, they don’t bring a holistic picture, and an understanding of digital, to the table.
On the New Traditional
- Digital is traditional today.
- Digital is no longer new media; it’s been around long enough to be traditional. Today a regular media plan has a digital presence.
- So, unless you are living under a rock, and you don’t even know your company has a website or has a social media presence, and you don’t incorporate any of that, into whatever you call traditional, I have got news for you, you are no longer a traditional marketer, you are a digital marketer.
Check out UpGrad’s Digital Marketing Certification Program, for an industry-relevant take on sharpening your marketing skills and being future ready!
Karan on Right Monitoring Tools
- Identify right tools to monitor your campaign and improvise as needed.
On Managing All Kinds of Resources
- Manage resources (people, money & technology) to execute a campaign.
- Identify buyers’ persona. Drill down deeper to your target audience.
- Who is the buyer of your product or service, how do they make decisions where do they spend their time and how they think. Basically, defining target market gives you demographic information. And defining buyer persona gives you psychographic information.
- Identify right outreach channels, if you have detailed your buyer persona correctly, this should be an easy step. Buyer persona would tell you, where your target audience spends most of the time and that should decide your outreach channels.
- Identify right content, the images, the videos, the words used – all describe the brand and make a connection with the target audience.
Why is content important for brand-building as well as connecting with your TG? Hear, hear! Karan Sarin said it.
On the Role of a Brand
- To have a thriving community, a brand should play the role of an enabler. A brand needs to provide a platform to the users, and then step back, it also needs to provide a purpose and that’s when the real magic happens.
On Using Data
- Look at data as your secret ingredient, as your raw material, it’s not about the data, it’s about the insights you derive from the data and what decisions you make with those insights.”
- In earlier times, marketers used to mostly make their best-educated guess about the demographics and the age of the target audience, but now with the digital information that is available, you can draw your buyer’s persona which is more accurate.
- You know which websites your buyers are visiting, which buttons they are clicking, what is their age; you can define them more accurately.
- To give you an example you can use Google trends, to see what are the latest topics, etc. and use the data to review your marketing strategy.
On Skills to Polish
- There are multiple things you can consider while building a marketing plan; first and foremost what is your marketing objective, are you doing a campaign that is a sales campaign, or are you doing a promotional campaign or an awareness campaign?
- Pinpointing your marketing objective is your 1st step.
- T-shape marketer is somebody who has a broad understanding of different marketing channels and a deep domain expertise in either 1 or 2 areas.
- What you typically find in a market are domain experts, people who specialize in one specific area, but what you need is, and that is where the biggest gap is, people who come with broad understandings of different channels and have specializations in certain areas – that’s the most important.
- Top 3 hard skills, a marketer must have Knowledge of Target Market, Brand Building, & Analytics and Research. Must have Soft skills for a marketer are Emotional Intelligence & Common Sense.
Do write us if you want to know more. Alternatively, enroll in our Digital Marketing Program for much more such industry-relevant insights from the best in the business; and BE the expert yourself!