The Ultimate Guide to Micro-Influencers [Gifographic]

Updated on 03 February, 2017

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The Ultimate Guide to Micro-Influencers

This is a Guest Blog by Shane Barker.

As a business owner, you’re constantly on the lookout for ways to drive more profits while minimizing spending. Although you may have some trouble finding the right channels to help you with this, you do have several options. One of those options is influencer marketing. With the help of micro-influencers, you can drive engagement and conversions without breaking the bank.

What does “Micro-Influencer” Mean?

In the simplest terms, people who have a certain influence on the opinions and purchase decisions of others are known as influencers. Among these influencers too there are several categories, based on the person’s reach.
Micro-influencers are those influencers who have a smaller reach than typical influencers. They usually have a follower base of around 1,000 to 100,000. But despite this smaller reach, micro-influencers can significantly improve your performance in several aspects.

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How Micro-Influencers Improve Brand Performance

Micro-influencers can have a positive impact on several aspects of your brand performance. Some of the more notable ones are:

  • Connecting with a relevant audience – Since micro-influencers specialize in a specific niche, their follower base is also highly specific. It is comprised of people who are interested in the niche and trust the influencer for recommendations and tips. This means micro-influencers can help you reach a group of individuals who are likely to be interested in what you have to sell.
  • Engaging an audience – As mentioned earlier, the audience of micro-influencers are interested in what the influencer has to say. So it’s likely that they’ll be interested in the content created by the influencer. This also means that they’re likely to engage with sponsored content created for your brand. In addition, Markerly found that there’s a much higher engagement rate for micro-influencers when compared to mega-influencers.
  • Driving conversions – With a highly engaged audience, the influencer can effectively promote your product and encourage their followers to make a purchase. This can lead to higher conversions. And since micro-influencers have a more engaged audience, they could help you boost conversions significantly. Some businesses have even boosted sales by 300% after launching a campaign with micro-influencers.

Check out this gifographic containing important facts and tips about micro-influencers:

The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Micro-Influencers-Gifographic

Image courtesy: Shane Barker

The best part about micro-influencers is that they can help you achieve all these benefits at a fraction of the cost. Influencer marketing itself is already cost-effective. Working with micro-influencers is even more cost-effective because of the low cost of hiring these influencers. For one sponsored Instagram post, a micro-influencer may charge you anywhere between $75 and $250. But with macro-influencers you’ll end up spending around $500-$3,000 per post.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why are micro-influencers better than macro-influencers?

When it comes to making marketing decisions, most brands feel that going bigger is always better. This isn’t always the case. The same theory applies to influencers as well. Despite the broad reach of macro-influencers, there are several downsides. Some of them include – high cost to create a single piece of content, unavailability since they’re always likely to be in demand and lack of authenticity due to an excessive number of sponsored posts. Instead, choosing micro-influencers can benefit small businesses and start-ups. They’re more likely to be focused, authentic and powerful.

2. How to connect with micro-influencers?

Compared to macro-influencers, micro-influencers are considered more authentic. Therefore, when you approach them, you have to be careful and wise with your words. Once you find potential micro-influencers for your campaign, you need to devise a strategy to connect with them. Social media interactions are a good place to start. Attempt to start a conversation with them by messaging them on social media and by liking and commenting on their posts. Once you see them responding to you, be honest and direct about your intentions. Tell them exactly why you’ve connected with them and what your goal for the campaign is. If they respond positively to your collaboration request, you win.

3. Are there any metrics to consider while evaluating micro-influencers?

A common mistake most brands make is that they go around pitching to every micro-influencer they find. Don’t do that. Instead, to determine whether a particular influencer is a right fit for you, consider certain metrics.
First, you need to check their relevance. Since they have a smaller reach than macro influencers, you need to see if their fan following matches your goals and the type of campaign you’re running. This means the influencer has to be relevant to your brand, industry or niche. The next factor you need to consider is the quality of their content. Check if they’re creative enough to position your kind of brand and products. Check their profile regularly and see the aesthetics. Will your product or service stand out on their feed? You need to be sure before collaborating with micro-influencers.

Did you find this article helpful?

Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

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A brand or work as a freelancer? ” Or “Which digital marketing segment is right for me?” Before any of this, how do you envision your Digital Marketing career growth, the answer lies in the T. Who is a T Shaped Digital Marketer? The answer to these existential questions are not simple, some gurus have coined the term a “T Shaped Marketer” which probably makes the closest cut. Rand Fishkin from Moz mentions 4 very interesting insights of T Shaped Digital Marketers which have contributed to Moz & other organizations. Being a T Shaped marketer is highly-desirable these days as we’ve seen in the industry. It means you not only have an in-depth knowledge in one function of marketing (like, paid marketing), but also understand marketing functions overall. This eventually helps you grow towards an all-encompassing role, not limited to a silo. Truth be told, most industries are hungry for T Shaped marketers, not just Start Ups! The Secret Sauce behind T Shaped Marketers? Well we thought so too, a T Shaped marketer is probably a myth! But  at the depths of our research at UpGrad, we realized that at the heart of every successful digital marketer lies 3 essential elements: Having a data driven approach Grasping & solving the business challenge Application & not just digital strategy gyan Now, once we identified these core elements, we made sure that in our digital marketing program was raised on these 3 pillars.  We realized we were not the only ones thinking about T Shaped marketing… Who else is talking about the [T]? 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. – Karan Sarin, Chief Marketing Officer at Razorpay So let’s think out of the box, and argue, why these three elements are required for you to become a digital marketer? Secret Sauce Element #1 : Solving a business challenge All Channels, Tools and Strategies are Useless if You Can’t Solve a Business Problem Whether it’s a brand you’re working for, or an agency, or even as a freelancer; you need to understand how for different business situations; channels & strategies combine to deliver optimum results. How did we infuse business situations in our Digital Marketing Program? Mere Case Studies would not cut it! So we identified business challenges across industries, company sizes and their maturity and picked out 15 businesses. These were facing marketing challenges across one or many digital marketing functions. What did HDFC Life do when their Google Search Channel was proving too expensive? How did layered targeting on Display Channels solve this? Did a Microsite really transform Thomas Cook’s revenue streams with round breaking SEO? How did persona based creatives help in habit generation for Grofers?  All of these case studies were infused at the end of every one of our program modules. But you can just read a 1 pager about 100 such case studies on say, the lighthouse insights blog! The difference is, we actually went to each of these brands, sat down with them, understood their challenges & how they solved them. After multiple interactions we then created a custom, detailed case study. These have data tables of campaign performances too. We’ve kept the format at an Ivy League standard, meaning, you don’t just get the problem & solution to spoon fed to you. Instead, you are given the business challenge with data tables all in videos which recreate the atmosphere the brand was truly facing. You then need to apply the learning from the module to actually solve the business case. Post submitting your answers, you are graded based on our rubric grading systems and finally exposed to the solution. You get to experience the way that brand applied strategies to succeed. Are you a [T] Shaped Marketer? Take the Test Now! Secret Sauce Element #2 : All Gyan means Jack is dull! Digital Gyan is one thing, Applying it for a Real Life Business is what Industries seek After speaking to hundreds of seasoned digital marketers in the industry, we realized that students can only become job ready if they are experiencing real life marketing campaigns for a business. We partnered with GentClub, an upcoming e-commerce apparel recommendation engine that picks out outfits for you based on your requirements. Owing to the digital first nature of the business, it fit perfectly into every avenue of paid and organic marketing. Starting from google adwords, SEO, display marketing, social media marketing, remarketing to content, inbound marketing and much more. Doing this individually at the scale for hundreds of students was a challenge. So we focused on the major elements that a student needs to learn. Primarily: Business goals translating to campaign goals Competency for all launch elements like – Campaign structure, Targeting, Communication & Settings Post Launch optimisation drive If a student is solving the Live Project element of remarketing, he put into the shoes of the marketing manager of GentClub. He will then need to plan remarketing campaigns for GentClub basis their target audience. Once campaigns are launched, there is an optimisation drive, where all students are given the chance to improve the campaign’s elements like creatives, targeting, bids, budget and more, based on the real data of the campaigns. For the same students need to focus on channel level data, and optimise based on his learning from the remarketing module. If his suggestions are chosen as the final ones to be applied on the marketing campaign, then if improves his grades on the Live Project segment. Who else is talking about the [T]? 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 optimisation or social media marketing or email marketing but you need to understand all the other components of digital marketing as well. So, 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. Apurva Chamaria, Vice-President & Head – Corporate Marketing, HCL Secret Sauce Element #3: A Horse with Blinds can only Execute! Understanding the Marketing Journey: Depth in Strategy is Key If you are new to marketing, or already a marketing professional in the branding segment, or a domain expert, or someone entirely new to marketing; you need a different approach to understanding channels, buyer personas and digital marketing metrics. In the beginning you need a website and/or app. Be it any brand, you would be building a presence, getting quality traffic across different digital channels like Google & Facebook. Working on your organic strategy with SEO driven content. Working on repeat user acquisition and finally setting up analytics dashboards to optimise your marketing efforts. At the heart of all these strategies lies the customer purchase funnel and it’s importance. While strategies are created on Digital, the target groups and their journeys across the purchase funnel of attract, nurture, convert & delight are always in focus. In the end, the student will be in a position to tie all of these digital marketing channels to create a cross-channel digital media plan that solves the brand’s multi-objective goals. Data elements help. One needs clear application driven questions that test business goals’ premise, the targeting and communication elements across all digital marketing disciplines. The rubric driven assessment layer vouches to do exactly that with more than 200 questions, that has a mix bag of data tables and comprehensions. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Best Digital Marketing Courses Online Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management - MICA Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication - MICA Performance Marketing Bootcamp - Google Ads from upGrad To Explore all our courses, visit our page below. Digital Marketing Courses Extra Seasoning #4: Tools will give you the Reality Check! The Digital Tool Artillery Executing channel strategies is only possible if one has clarity on how to use tools over a spectrum of elements in Digital. These start from goals, targeting options, ad formats, bid and budget flexibilities and also the array of optimisation capabilities that different tools & interfaces allow. In our Digital Marketing Program there is a resources section that ties to every channel, and showcases exactly how each interface & tool can be used to launch campaigns and derive insights for a given business goal. Some insightful tools like Unmetric for social listening or Hootsuite for social scheduling has benefited students. In-demand Digital Marketing Skills Advertising Courses Influencer Marketing Courses SEO Courses Performance Marketing Courses SEM Courses Email Marketing Courses Content Marketing Courses Social Media Marketing Courses Marketing Analytics Courses Web Analytics Courses Display Advertising Courses Affiliate Marketing Courses Are you a [T] Shaped Marketer? Take the Test Now! This 10 question adaptive test will test your skill quotient across top Digital marketing disciplines. How much did you score? upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – What’s new in Marketing? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/rumi-ambastha.mp4 Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn Influencer marketing free course Introduction to advertising free course Influencer marketing right free course SEO basics free course SEM basics free course Email marketing free course Social media marketing introduction free course How to leverage user generated content free course Content marketing free course Fundamentals of marketing free course Brand marketing masterclass free course Popular Digital Marketing Blogs Beginners Guide to YouTube Marketing : Complete List How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel? Top 5 Actionable Steps The Complete Guide on setting up a LinkedIn Company Page Everything You Need To Know About Digital Marketing A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy: What it is and How to create it? Digital Marketing Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide To Become an Expert Future of Digital Marketing: How It Goes From Here Importance of Digital Marketing: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs it Digital Marketing Challenges: How to Win Amidst the Challenges in Digital Marketing
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by Nilotpal Roy

04 Nov'16
How To Make Facebook Ads Work for B2B Marketing

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How To Make Facebook Ads Work for B2B Marketing

This is a Guest Post by Deepak Kanakaraju  What’s the secret? Advertising on Facebook is a hard nut to crack. I have seen digital marketers complain that Facebook ads do not work at all. Some advertisers say it works for B2C (Business to Consumer) but not B2B (Business to Business). To be honest, I have seen very few marketers crack B2B marketing with Facebook. The behavior of Facebook Ad Engine is as complex as a person and you will understand it better as you spend more time with it. Recently, I have been running a lot of Facebook campaigns for B2B companies and I have learnt a thing or two about how to make B2B marketing work on Facebook. What does it mean to create the right ad? The first thing that you have to keep in mind is that the mood of people looking at Facebook Ads is completely different than when you advertise on Google AdWords or LinkedIn. When it comes to Google, people are looking for you and they are searching for you with ‘keywords.’ Here, you can directly tell them what your offer is and they will just buy it. On LinkedIn, people are in a serious mood as it’s a professional network. But people log onto Facebook for catching up with their family and friends. Your ad may backfire and could even hurt your brand if you do not get the messaging right. Imagine that you are in a store and someone walks in and asks for a specific product. Google search is like that. Imagine you are in a business networking event and you walk up to a person to talk about your business. LinkedIn is like that. However, think about approaching someone to pitch your product who is having a good time at a bar with his friends. He is sure to get irritated. Facebook ads are like that! You are interrupting people who are just not in the mood for what you have to sell. Now think about what would get a person’s attention when they are hanging out with their friends… Probably an offer that is too good to be true and an offer that they cannot refuse. If you understand their needs and pain points, you can create such an offer. It has to be something that is free, useful, doesn’t require a huge commitment from them and easily accessible. A free e-book, or a free webinar, accessible from a landing page which collects names, email IDs and phone numbers, would work well in this case. Once you generate the lead, take them down the funnel, slow and steady. If you start selling early, people may get pissed off. I have seen people come back to the ad and leave negative comments if you managed to catch their attention with a nice ad but then didn’t deliver on the promise. How can you target the right people at the right places? If you understand your customers, targeting the right people on Facebook would be easy. You need to get your targeting down to a narrow group of people who are your potential customers. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. You can do some good targeting only when you have a lot of details about your customers. You should know about your average customers’ needs, pain points, demographics and psychographics. What’s their age, relationship status, what are their goals and challenges, their household income, what they read and consume online, and more. The more information you have, the better you can target. When you are targeting based on interests, make sure you narrow your audience with the ‘AND’ parameter, rather than the ‘OR’ parameter. For example, if you are targeting startup CEOs in Bangalore, you can target them with their title and interests; for instance, online news sites like YourStory, Inc42 and so on. If you add title ‘AND’ interests to match, your targeting should get pretty accurate. Note that the narrower your targeting, the higher will be your CPM and CPC. But that’s ok, because B2B leads are going to be much more valuable, and FB ads with good targeting will definitely be much cheaper, than LinkedIn Ads. Another way to target potential customers is to re-target your website visitors. With Facebook Pixel you can now re-target your website visitors on Facebook. If you haven’t installed the Facebook Pixel yet, do it right away (here’s an implementation guide). Apart from telling you your capability to re-target, it would give you various options such as conversion tracking, deeper insights into your audience and the ability to create lookalike audiences. With re-targeting, your target may be very small. However, another interesting thing you could do is, develop lookalike audiences based on your website visitors. Facebook will look at all the data they have on your existing website visitors and based on that will create a much larger audience for you, who are similar to your seed audience. Facebook uses its own algorithm to do that and does it extremely well. Work on your funnel and target market If you have a high enough budget, you can reach any target audience on the web. However, since we have limited budgets for advertising, we need to be efficient with our campaigns. The only way to be efficient is to ensure good targeting, good ads and an efficient funnel. What about increasing CTR? If you target the right people, your spillage would be less. Your CTR will be high and your conversions will also be high. In addition, to get a high CTR, you need to also have good ads. These ads should not only attract attention but also communicate the right message to your audience. Once you get your target’s click, you should have a good landing page that converts well. Best Digital Marketing Courses Online Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management - MICA Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication - MICA Performance Marketing Bootcamp - Google Ads from upGrad To Explore all our courses, visit our page below. Digital Marketing Courses You should also have an ace inside sales process, or a drip marketing flow – that converts cold leads into hot leads; and a strong product that sells at a favorable profit margin. Your LTV and profit margin, per customer, will define how much you can spend on your marketing campaigns. The right targeting, the best possible ads, an efficient sales funnel and a strong product are the four main pillars of a successful business. All marketing channels are just a means to reach your target customer. If you get these right, not only will your Facebook Ads work, but any digital marketing campaign will bring you successful results. In-demand Digital Marketing Skills Advertising Courses Influencer Marketing Courses SEO Courses Performance Marketing Courses SEM Courses Email Marketing Courses Content Marketing Courses Social Media Marketing Courses Marketing Analytics Courses Web Analytics Courses Display Advertising Courses Affiliate Marketing Courses upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – How Marketers can enable Sales for Success? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/abhishek-ballabh.mp4 Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn Influencer marketing free course Introduction to advertising free course Influencer marketing right free course SEO basics free course SEM basics free course Email marketing free course Social media marketing introduction free course How to leverage user generated content free course Content marketing free course Fundamentals of marketing free course Brand marketing masterclass free course Popular Digital Marketing Blogs Beginners Guide to YouTube Marketing : Complete List How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel? Top 5 Actionable Steps The Complete Guide on setting up a LinkedIn Company Page Everything You Need To Know About Digital Marketing A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy: What it is and How to create it? Digital Marketing Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide To Become an Expert Future of Digital Marketing: How It Goes From Here Importance of Digital Marketing: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs it Digital Marketing Challenges: How to Win Amidst the Challenges in Digital Marketing
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by Deepak Kanakaraju

29 Nov'16
Digital Marketing Careers with Sujoy Golan : Marketers Unite Podcast

5.34K+

Digital Marketing Careers with Sujoy Golan : Marketers Unite Podcast

Welcome to the UpGrad Podcast, ‘Marketers Unite!’ In this post, Neil Roy of UpGrad talks to Sujoy Golan – current head of Marketing at Unbxd & former Global Digital Head at InMobi.   PODCAST Timeline (in minutes): 0-4:00 – Explore Sujoy’s Tech Background 4:00-8:50 – Learning at DirectI 8:50-10:50 – Transitioning to FlipKart 10:50-16:00 – Growth at Inmobi 16:00-21:00 – Vision at Unboxed 21:00-24:20 – Views as an IIM-C Faculty 24:20-26:27 – Parting Advice on Digital Marketer’s Unite Series with Sujoy Golan Neil: First of all, I’d like to thank Sujoy for speaking to us and kicking off UpGrad’s, first ever, Podcast Series. ‘Marketers Unite’ could not have asked for a better and more insightful career journey where Marketing and Digital Marketing is concerned. Sujoy was candid and completely transparent regarding the struggles, challenges and ultimately, victories that have characterized his ascent in this domain. It goes without saying that the world of Digital, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution as some like to call it, is already here and having an impact on businesses like never before. Marketing, has been especially reformed. Sujoy helps us get a sneak-peek into this phenomenon and how it already is (and is likely to) affect how Marketers think, whom they target, how they do this targeting, the medium they use and how they track the impact on consumers, business, etc. So here goes! Hope you enjoy it. Engineer in the Making Neil:  I see that in terms of education, you have had a tech background and you passed out of IIM and you got into a few tech jobs after.  So if you could take us a bit through your tech background and then the transition to digital or marketing that will be great to start off. Sujoy:  Sure, Neil.  Thanks for having me…  So, right out of college I did the regular thing – engineering – which so many students end up doing today. Essentially I knew this was going to be setting the trend for what was to come later in my career. This was also at a time when IT services hiring was really big and IT services jobs were the most coveted on campus. Sujoy:  But this did not excite me too much for a bunch of reasons, and interestingly – maybe I just got lucky with it – the first company that came on campus, was Soliton Technologies.  This was before the IT guys could come and pick up a huge number of students. They said they could fit in an applications engineer. Essentially, this is somebody who would understand the system, go and make a preliminary solution, which would then get sold to the customers and they said there was some amount of sales exposure as well. Tech Learning at Soliton Technologies Sujoy: So I got through. I think I convinced them, came to Bangalore for the job. And again I think I was in the right place at the right time.  It was a company where I was surrounded by brilliant people…  Neil: Ok, so there wasn’t any legacy kind of situation that, this is ABCDEF and this is all you need to do.  Sujoy:  No, absolutely not.  We were able to try out new things.  In fact, I said, hey, I would like to talk to customers, have more interaction with customers.    Back to the Student Life Sujoy: And then I said, hey, the business side looks interesting, and that is when I said OK, that’s maybe the right time for me to do an MBA. Sujoy: B school is a time where you can get as much exposure to different fields and different verticals as possible.  I interned with Castrol – so that was FMCG.  Going and understanding a certain sales channel meant visiting markets across the country. 8 different cities on a bike behind a sales rep. Sujoy: Somebody I know referred me to this company named Directi. This was one of the earliest Internet business pioneers in the country. This was also my entry into digital, I would say. Transitioning to Digital with Directi Neil: So Sujoy, once you have entered into the digital space, I am really interested, And probably I would want to do a bit of a deep dive in each of your roles.  So at Directi, I want to understand what were you initially there for and then how did your journey there and career there evolve. Sujoy: So Directi at that point of time was structured into two different parts.  One part was the suite of web presence products.  When I say that, that means web registrar. And these were products that were not India specific but played on the global stage. So these were some of the world’s largest domain registrars and some of the world’s largest web hosts on the web presence side. The other part of the business was ad-tech, (Digital Advertising Technology). Sujoy: So the first few weeks, months, were spent learning about digital. I did not understand anything, so I spent time understanding what CPC was, what CPM was, what CTRs were, what would a high CTR mean versus a low CTR.  What could it mean? Why do people even click on ads?   It seemed incomprehensible to me how companies could make money by people clicking on ads, because I personally had not clicked on ads.  But we understood that companies like Directi, and also Google and Facebook much later, made billions of dollars through showing users relevant advertising and then users reacting to it.  So essentially I spent the initial part learning the nuts and bolts.  And then started working with customers. I was a strategic partner manager where I managed a few large customers and was responsible for all business with them. Officially, yes. But what I ended up also doing was wearing multiple hats, working on a few special projects with the CEO and a few other people to get things done. While the strategic partner management thing continued, throughout my stint there I did multiple small projects that I worked on, that was the most interesting part of my stint. upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – What’s new in Marketing? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/rumi-ambastha.mp4 Neil: you want to share a few lines on some of these projects and probably how it helped you learn, it would be great for our listeners as well. Sujoy: Sure. To start off, we need to understand the business. How do ad placements impact revenue or impact performance? So we would look at heat maps and determine where on the page… Is an ad on the right side going to be very different from leader-board on the top? Is a skyscraper on the left going to be very different from what is below the fold? So these are technical terms, but essentially that is what we did. There were multiple AB tests running for everything that we tried out. And even to the level of detail to say, ok, if I put a blue border on the ad unit, is the performance going to be different than when I put a green border on the ad unit. And, believe me, there are differences at times. Sometimes there is no difference but you only know when you test. Neil:  So what after Directi? Dreaming with a Unicorn | The FlipKart Saga Sujoy: So that was when e-commerce was growing.  It had started taking off in the path of a hockey stick in India and I decided that it would be good to do something for the Indian market in the new industry that was making so much of a difference.  I joined Flipkart as the category head for cameras and accessories in the beginning, which was the third largest category at Flipkart. Sujoy: Anybody who has worked in e-commerce jobs will validate that e-commerce is like a job on steroids every day.  So it is extremely high-pressure because you are tracking sales of tens of thousands of orders every day and anything that you do, you change a price, you change copy, you add a new product, you run a new promotion, that has direct impact on thousands of orders. Sujoy: Most people who joined e-commerce around that time came from multiple different industries, consulting, FMCG. Again, it was the time of learning and I think this was again a new start in the sense that I had to go to warehouses, I had to go to distribution centers, look at what the picking, packaging, and shipping lines look like, where could the possible improvements be. Sujoy: Then I moved on to a role internally – headed strategy and operations for the consumer electronics category.   Growth at InMobi | Becoming Digital Head Sujoy: I knew somebody from Directi who had just joined this company called InMobi then. Because it was quite unknown, fairly new.  And that is when I joined InMobi.  Mobile, again, at this time was not the hottest thing in the market.  People were still questioning if mobile devices with their small screens would even be used or would have any use for marketers. Sujoy: This was in 2012. So pundits were still predicting if smartphones would be widely adopted. And there was still that open question about whether marketers would find this medium useful at all. Sujoy: So that was the start.  Then they pivoted to advertising as an advertising platform for smartphones actually.  And that was around the time I joined.  I started off in an operations role to get my hands into things.  This was where I managed all ad operations and campaigns for the Indian market for InMobi. Sujoy:  So I worked with a team who would set up these campaigns.  So the campaign setup happened on InMobi’s own ad platform, a known interface where these campaigns would be set up, the ad units would be set up, budgets would be put in, and campaigns would be run but that was obviously not enough.  In the world of advertising you need to monitor your campaigns, figure out what is doing well, what is not doing well, and then optimize those campaigns in order to improve performance.   The entire optimization phase could then go into getting feedback from clients and from customers if whatever we are doing is working for them. There is a feedback loop – if it is working, great, if it is not working is there something we can do better? So we would report numbers and discuss these numbers with customers and then optimize campaigns again.  However, I had not been in the marketing team ever.  I had worked with marketers, I was running campaigns for others, I was helping others monetize, but had never run marketing myself. Neil:  Right. So in InMobi you had kind of the longest time you spent, almost close to 4 years.  So, towards that tenure, I just wanted to understand, what was the importance of team structure and when it came to teams, what was it like at InMobi?  Like, when you were, say, managing teams or a part of teams? Would you like to highlight some insights from there? Sujoy: Yes I think it was extremely important because InMobi was not a small startup and it had grown out of that phase. There were people in the US, working with Seoul, Tokyo, and Singapore. So across time zones and different kinds of customers.  So there was a lot of learning in terms of sensitization of how do customers behave differently in Japan vs the US. And very, very interesting.  For example, if we sent an English campaign to customers in Korea, Korea wouldn’t mind.  Some of them consider English to be language of prestige and they say, ok, even though they do not understand what is written they don’t mind being communicated to, even though they do not completely understand English. But Japan; if we sent a global campaign and it also went to Japan and it was in English, there would be a heavy backlash.  They would be insulted that we did not send them something in Japanese but actually sent them something in English. There would be calls to our account managers and to our sales managers saying what is happening. So it was that bad, and that we only learn from experience. Neil: Interesting. Interesting.  So, just so that our listeners connect with the timeline I have kind of jotted that in a flowchart while you were telling me all this, right?  So, you initially had a tech background, you moved into an ad agency where you are managing clients, parallelly doing projects, and then you moved into a brand looking at its operations. Then you again moved back to like an agency of sorts with InMobi managing clients and then again moved back to the brand segment of it. I wanted to highlight this to our listeners. This multilateral environment which exists and the fact that your career has taken full advantage of it.  And I think that brings us to where you are right now at Unbxd. Do you want to share your opening views on that? Best Digital Marketing Courses Online Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management - MICA Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication - MICA Performance Marketing Bootcamp - Google Ads from upGrad To Explore all our courses, visit our page below. Digital Marketing Courses Thinking Out of the Box with Unbxd Sujoy: Sure. Thanks Neil.  I think some of this was planned but in most cases it wasn’t.  It was just about something that came up as an opportunity and then I was in the right place at the right time.  It was also moving from client facing jobs to internal marketing roles or corporate marketing roles – but I think what is important for the listeners is whatever is on the cutting edge of digital or whatever new that we as digital marketers or we as marketers can learn.  It was initially basic ad tech then e-commerce with the growth of e-commerce in India. Mobile came in and then there was an opportunity to learn with mobile. Sujoy: Unbxd is an e-commerce SaaS platform.  So we work with e-commerce companies to drive product discovery for their shoppers.  Essentially the flagship product is Site Search and this is Unbxd powering site search for e-commerce companies. So this is the search bar on the site on the app. Sujoy: It’s a fascinating space because search for e-commerce, or product search, is very, very, different from the search that Google had pioneered, which is essentially document search, which works on keyword densities, which works on identifying key phrases, etc.  Product search has a lot to do about understanding what your shopper’s intent is, what shoppers are likely to buy if you show them determining ranking across these search results, etc. Sujoy: So it is a complex product but it is a product again that kind of was at the intersection of what I had done before, marketing and e-commerce and digital. Neil: So the next question that I would want to ask is that as Head of Marketing at Unbxd, what are the kind of challenges that you are facing and what are the kind of growth trajectories that you’re looking at, at Unbxd? Sujoy: The objective, which is also a challenge as a marketer, is how do you market something that is very, very technology-heavy and articulate it in a manner the audience understands that is not too heavy and it is just not loaded with technology details alone. Sujoy: Something that I have realized and I have spoken about as well in B2B marketing is that even though you are talking to B2B buyers, they are, very fundamentally, they are consumers first and you also have to appeal to them emotionally, appeal to them and connect with them before just going in with a very bland B2B pitch. So that’s an interesting problem. I won’t say it is a problem that has been solved, but we’re continuously working on it. In-demand Digital Marketing Skills Advertising Courses Influencer Marketing Courses SEO Courses Performance Marketing Courses SEM Courses Email Marketing Courses Content Marketing Courses Social Media Marketing Courses Marketing Analytics Courses Web Analytics Courses Display Advertising Courses Affiliate Marketing Courses Role of an Educator | Visiting IIM C Neil: Also I think there is a very interesting bend here and like I know that you are a visiting professor at IIM Calcutta… How has the importance of teaching really benefited your students at IIM and why is it more important to teach digital and marketing overall now than so many trends are changing.  What is your viewpoint on that? Sujoy: Yeah, I constantly worry about material getting outdated before the next session starts, which is true.  This happened by chance over the last few years.  I have been loving the chance to talk to budding entrepreneurs, budding managers about marketing and digital marketing in general. And startups as well.  This is a very nascent area and most institutes, Universities, in whatever form have not done this earlier.  So it involved setting up, identifying what the course structure should be, what the content should be, what works, what might work, what might not, and then create that content from scratch. Sujoy:  The fundamental principles of marketing which are age-old also apply here.  Nothing changes.  It’s only the way that we reach, engage these consumers is what is changing, and there are a bunch of superficial things that change, but essentially marketing still needs to be relevant, needs to be enjoyable, and needs to appeal.  That is what we’re all about.  And this is on the same track, which is what is also my association with UpGrad. This is an opportunity to be part of a new program that was just starting up, and help create part of that course, so which is why it has been great. Neil: Awesome, One interesting fact that you mentioned, and I think we keep on harping about it but it is never enough is the importance of constant learning and unlearning, right? Because the rate at which digital is changing and new things are adding and digital has become more and more tech influenced.  So I think what you mentioned about constant learning is very important, right? Sujoy: It is.  It is. Especially since there is so much changing.  So I myself make it a point to bookmark and read a few blogs regularly in the beginning of the day to stay on top of what is happening.  While we learn, I think we spend time learning in college or in course that we do, we spend time learning fundamentals but there are still trends that we need to see.  There are still techniques and tactics that we can learn so much from.  This only comes from staying updated on the topic. Neil: Great.  So Sujoy, before we put a close to this podcast, because you have been talking a lot about different areas of your career and how different components have influenced the growth that you have seen in your career, so any piece of parting advice that you want to give to our listeners before we go from this podcast? Any particular piece of advice — I am sure a lot of it is floating, but if you could just tell us one particular thing that we need to focus on.  If I am a growing digital marketer, aspiring to expand my role towards, say, being a marketing head in 5 years or 10 years, how should I look at it, keeping the current market and industry in mind? Sujoy:  We all need to educate ourselves and have continuous education to stay on top of what’s happening, so that is just hygiene and that’s something basic that we all need to have.  But I would also say marketing or digital marketing is not rocket science.  There are tools and platforms and theories which we will learn as part of structured programs, but it always helps to think of it from the eyes of your audience, or as a consumer. Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn Influencer marketing free course Introduction to advertising free course Influencer marketing right free course SEO basics free course SEM basics free course Email marketing free course Social media marketing introduction free course How to leverage user generated content free course Content marketing free course Fundamentals of marketing free course Brand marketing masterclass free course While we are marketers, we are usually consumers first.  We watch TV, we read the newspaper in the morning, or maybe go on Facebook, we see advertising, we see promotions and some of them appeal to us, most of them don’t.  So I think we have got a very innate sense of what is going to work and what is not.  So I would just like marketers to think about that first and to be very consumer-first.  Put yourself in the shoes of your audience and think before you plan your campaign or you launch it and you might see a lot of things very differently.  That’s all. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. Featured Programs for you – Advanced Certificate in Digital Branding & Advertising from MICA Popular Digital Marketing Blogs Beginners Guide to YouTube Marketing : Complete List How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel? Top 5 Actionable Steps The Complete Guide on setting up a LinkedIn Company Page Everything You Need To Know About Digital Marketing A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy: What it is and How to create it? Digital Marketing Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide To Become an Expert Future of Digital Marketing: How It Goes From Here Importance of Digital Marketing: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs it Digital Marketing Challenges: How to Win Amidst the Challenges in Digital Marketing
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by Nilotpal Roy

27 Dec'16
32 Marketing Ideas from a Marketing Growth-a-Thon

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32 Marketing Ideas from a Marketing Growth-a-Thon

In this post, learn the following about a Marketing Growth-a-thon: Objective Plan Flow Outcomes – Yes 32 Ideas (check the end of the write-up) Bonus – How to prioritize ideas based on scoring If you’re in a marketing team, especially that of a start-up, there must have been many ideas you or your peers would have ‘slacked’ or mailed to your team, or the marketing head. No? Well, more often than not these are likely to be shot down, by the day to day micro tasks, CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) or revenue targets. In the fast-moving start-up space, ideas and experiments often stay half-baked, which has happened with me and many in the marketing team at UpGrad too. Learn digital marketing courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Masters, Executive PGP, or Advanced Certificate Programs to fast-track your career. So, what do you do? Forget about these experiments? Forget about non-linear growth? NO! Start a Marketing Growth-a-thon! (Yes, conceptually it is like a hack-a-thon. We DO owe it to the tech team *bows down*) So, what’s the objective of a Growth-a-thon? I don’t know for sure, but reverse engineering the process as a participant, I think it’s along the lines of: Discover the top “must haves” and “can haves” of a company’s growth from a marketing dimension Look for Sitting Ducks or low hanging fruits that require a sprinkle of innovation and intiative to test out Look for Logical Tangents or ideas that are out of the box but resonate with the brand objectives/goals Get some Free Pizza (Wait, No… scratch that!) IMPORTANT: Create a Template for experiments & growth, and plot these out on a “goal completion” vs “feasibility” quadrants.  How do you plan a Growth-a-thon? #NeedInitiative First, set the date. We did it on a Friday, which did not impact regular workflow. We had some quarterly and yearly goals for marketing, like getting 1,00,000 visitors to the Blog or building our YouTube subscriber base to 10,000 and so on. This gave us some direction to cluster our ideas. We had around a week to simulate the experiment and hypothesis, make excel projections and finally bring it to critical mass! Executing Phase 1: Marketing Growth-a-thon Focus: Ideate, Brainstorm, Critique, Reality Checks & Validate Even though before the growth-a-thon some of us had half-baked ideas, some what ifs and some were well-prepared; once we entered the room, we were all ready. Creating a Structured Thought Process – #ThrustAreas So, our marketing head, divided the whiteboard into quadrants, and labeled each one of these as – Reduce CAC Increase Direct & Organic Traffic Awareness & Reach Building Communities & Networks P.S: These were our goals from an overall business perspective, (always important to be mindful of even while working within teams and not get stuck in a silo). However, UpGrad is an ed-tech company, it is possible that if you are working in E-commerce or BFSI industries, your quadrants may be different – but the process is key. Basis these thrust areas, we began our hunt… to the center of our brain. upGrad’s Exclusive Digital Marketing Webinar for you – What’s new in Marketing? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/rumi-ambastha.mp4   Putting on the Thinking Cap: Fill up the White-Board! As we went from one idea to another, we realised that most were very high impact. Focus areas ranged from optimizing mobile landing pages to reducing performance marketing CAC by more than 30%, to more wild ideas like integrating with Uber or Airtel and package existing content for extremely top-level brand awareness. There were product-centric ideas like building a career chat bot, to even hosting a viral video series for each of our learning segments like Data, Marketing, Product and Entrepreneurship. While these ideas were plotted and creative juices flowed, some ideas went through a few iterations in real time – sharpened, aligned to the brand, our target audience, desired scale and efficiency of paid & organic/viral efforts. Tip: As I kept crying out “implementation road-map,” I was told that, ‘let’s decide that part in the next phase, using a template.’ I realized that implementation or execution often limits our mindset. Over the next 3 hours, we boxed ourselves in with out-of-the-box ideas and soon the board was filled. And yes, after that we did have pizza! 😀 Executing Phase 2: Marketing Growth-a-thon Our marketing head collated all these ideas and shared them on an excel sheet with all of us. Every idea that made the cut (32) were sliced across the following dimensions: Impact Time Resource (manpower) Cost Cross team functionality or dependency This sheet is now to be filled by all 10 team members. Each member was to assign a value to all these ideas across all the above parameters – values of high, medium & low; and ideas that would have the perfect fit, would be now chosen as quarterly projects. Best Online Digital Marketing Courses Advanced Certificate in Brand Communication Management - MICA Advanced Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communication - MICA Performance Marketing Bootcamp - Google Ads from upGrad To explore all our certification courses on Digital Marketing, kindly visit our page below. Digital Marketing Certification Executing Phase 3: Marketing Growth-a-thon Implementation Plan Once the projects are decided, the project owners will form teams. These 2-4 member teams would present a detailed step by step implementation plan with overall costs plotted against business goals. The weekly progress of the projects will be evaluated, similar to sprints. The pilot would be evaluated and would require support from other teams like tech or video production and would be assessed before the project starts. Top Digital Marketing Skills Online Advertising Courses Influencer Marketing Programs SEO Optimisation Courses Performance Marketing Certification Search Engine Marketing Course Email Marketing Strategy Content Marketing Strategy Social Media Advertising Digital Marketing Analytics Website Analytics Online Display Advertising Best Affiliate Programs Outcomes: 32 Marketing ideas you can also use We’re now at a very interesting stage of the Growth-a-thon! We’ve compiled all the ideas and given our viewpoints. Sharing the list of ideas below.. Next steps? Prioritizing your growth projects based on scoring If you remember the 6 constraints we spoke about earlier, you could float out an excel to all the team members who can rate ideas “Low,” “Medium” & “High” across these. These could all assume numeric values as 1,2 & 3. Once all the sheets are filled, you can simply add these and you will get a total score of each of the growth projects across these fields. Example: Say “impact” as a metric is given 50% weightage, versus the other dimensions like “cross-functional dependency,” “time,” “resources” & “cost” which could be given weightage of 10%, 10%, 15% & 15% respectively. You can then subtract all the other scores from the impact score for each project and that would give you the final numeric value of the true priority. Basis the final scores, the founders and heads can then take a call to either take a project further in the current quarter or in the next quarter. There could also be some projects which would not be taken forward, basis the scores. A sample of what such an excel sheet could look like: Featured Programs for you – Advanced Certificate in Digital Branding & Advertising from MICA Digital Marketing Free courses to Learn Influencer marketing free course Introduction to advertising free course Influencer marketing right free course SEO basics free course SEM basics free course Email marketing free course Social media marketing introduction free course How to leverage user generated content free course Content marketing free course Fundamentals of marketing free course Brand marketing masterclass free course Popular Digital Marketing Blogs Beginners Guide to YouTube Marketing : Complete List How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel? Top 5 Actionable Steps The Complete Guide on setting up a LinkedIn Company Page Everything You Need To Know About Digital Marketing A Complete Guide to Digital Marketing Strategy: What it is and How to create it? Digital Marketing Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide To Become an Expert Future of Digital Marketing: How It Goes From Here Importance of Digital Marketing: Top 10 Reasons Your Business Needs it Digital Marketing Challenges: How to Win Amidst the Challenges in Digital Marketing
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by Nilotpal Roy

20 Jan'17