In Conversation with Pradeep Chopra, CEO & Co-founder, Digital Vidya

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CashKaro Interviews Pradeep Chopra from Digital Vidya

Pradeep Chopra is among the pioneers of Digital Marketing, and has been a part of the Internet Industry since 2000. He has been a serial entrepreneur for the last 18 years and is currently the Co-founder & CEO of Digital Vidya.

A graduate from IIT Delhi, Pradeep has personally trained & advised over 2500 professionals including CEOs across Asia in helping them grow their businesses through Digital Vidya’s hands-on Digital Marketing trainings.

Recently, we caught up with Pradeep to understand the role of Digital Marketing in India, challenges around and the scope for our other startups who are planning to enter this space.

Question: What should a business keep in mind when investing in a digital marketing platform?

Pradeep: Digital Marketing can be used to serve a wide array of outcomes.

Whether you want to get more leads, increase your sales, develop brand recall, enhance your customer service, or even establish a digital brand, Digital Marketing is there for you to invoke.

“A business should have a clear idea of what it intends to get out of investing in Digital Marking. The goal or the desired outcome should be the first thing determined. Failure to approach Digital Marketing in this manner will make the results be random and insignificant.

The next step would be strategizing. Needless to say, each outcome will require a different approach and a different platform.”

Question: Which digital marketing platform has the most growth potential in India & why?

Pradeep: Again, the potential depends on a company’s goals and the services it offers.

SEO & Content works great for all businesses regardless. The kind of pun a company can give to its Content Marketing efforts determines its success or failure. Usually, small and medium scale businesses are not able to use Content Marketing in an effective manner, so we still have a large gap in this area that needs to be filled in India. An ideal example would be the non-involvement of regional languages in the Content Marketing efforts by most Indian brands.

Digital Advertising is doing well to increase sales.

“Data suggests that the advertising expenditure on the digital advertising formats is led by social media (29%) followed by search (25%), display (21%) and video (20%). Video has a lot of potential with more people being open to watching a video than reading a content piece.”

Data suggests that the advertising expenditure on the digital advertising formats is led by social media (29%) followed by search (25%), display (21%) and video (20%). Video has a lot of potential with more people being open to watching a video than reading a content piece. Email Marketing would be great for businesses where the sales cycle is somewhat long. It also works well for impulse based selling.

Social Media always has worked for brand building and customer service. If used well, it is a great market to drive revenue home as well.

Inbound has worked exceptionally well for B2B businesses.

So, in essence, I say that all the forms of Digital Marketing are relevant today. It is the company’s goals that determine the division of the budget on each platform.

Question: What according to you are the main problems areas for companies trying to leverage digital marketing?

Pradeep: Unclear goals and lack of competency in Digital Marketing are the reasons that are pulling businesses down.

Unclear goals and lack of competency in Digital Marketing are the reasons that are pulling businesses down.

Digital Marketing is a buzzword in the Indian Marketing arena yet not many Marketers are actually hands-on with it. So, it is wise if organizations start training their teams on this.

The problem doesn’t lie only in the implementation of Digital skills, but many strategists are also not well aware when it comes to Marketing through the digital means.

Companies, therefore, should look for skillsets that can actually make things happen, and step ahead of just theorizing. This would be reskilling and upskilling the staff and strategizing their efforts based on the latest trends that suit their kind of businesses.

Companies, therefore, should look for skillsets that can actually make things happen, and step ahead of just theorizing. This would be reskilling and upskilling the staff and strategizing their efforts based on the latest trends that suit their kind of businesses.

On a side note, I must say, specialists have an open ground to showcase their skills. Gaining expertise in this domain is a great thing to have in your portfolio.

Question: What do’s & don’ts would you suggest to start-ups getting into digital marketing?

Pradeep: In the digital world, opportunities come and go very quickly.

It is true that small businesses and big organizations have an equal footing when it comes to Marketing their products or services on the internet. It is true that the best products win, but only when they are coupled with better promotional strategies.

Startups should:

Be unique
Listen to what their customers say (ie. be on top of analyzing their efforts)
Be proactive in experimenting with new mediums and strategies

Startups should not:

Be scared of innovating
Take decisions on the basis of gut feel and perception
Experiment and not take quick corrective actions

As in any Marketing Program, startups should mark their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats.

But personally, I would want them to lay more focus on their opportunities and latch onto every visible opportunity without delay. A low entry barrier in the digital marketing field comes with some challenges as well, so capitalize on opportunities proactively before others.

Question: What are the most important Google Analytics strategies to ensure a campaign’s success?

Pradeep: Google Analytics always comes in the picture later in any Digital Marketing action plan. But this is that tool that will give the right direction to your efforts.

Once you ideate a plan, and you take actions to implement that plan, google analytics should now be your go-to tool.

Summarising my thoughts on the best way to optimize campaigns using Google Analytics:

  • Be vigilant about your traffic sources: Invest more in channels that are giving you the most ROI and decrease your budgets for other channels proportionately.
  • Study your audience: Conversion optimization largely depends on this report. Study the type of audience that is showing interest in your products and ones that are actually buying your products.
  • Understand the reception of your site content: Keep a check on the page views, bounce rate and  % exit of your website. This will help you say the right kind of message to the right audience.

Question: How can one maximize the impact of their digital marketing efforts?

Pradeep: There are three main aspects that will maximize the impact the Digital Marketing efforts of any business.

  • Strategy
  • Execution
  • Control

It is very important to brainstorm thoroughly on a strategy. A good strategy is like getting half the work done. Research and own marketing data should be the driving factors of a strategy.

When it comes to execution, you need to be flawless. At this stage, if I say that you should be obsessed with idealism, I won’t be exaggerating.

Finally, you will need to take corrective actions whenever you falter both in execution as well as strategically.

At Digital Vidya, we have been religiously following this strategy and this has worked fairly well for us.

Question: Why do many businesses fail at generating revenue using digital marketing channel?

Pradeep: I have been emphasizing proper strategy and flawless execution so much that this question requires a no brainer.

Investing in the wrong channel, not measuring the outcomes of your efforts and failing to take corrective actions are the most common reasons of failure in Digital Marketing.

Investing in the wrong channel, not measuring the outcomes of your efforts and failing to take corrective actions are the most common reasons of failure in Digital Marketing. Interestingly, some efforts that are invested in Digital Marketing take time to show results. Example, Content Marketing & SEO may take anything between 3 months to 9 months to show significant results.  Some businesses are not prepared to wait that long. This impatience is again a factor of failure.

The best way to understand the future is to follow the trends and keep monitoring the markets and customer behavior. The more you can personalize your efforts, the better you are going to promote your service.

Question: Do you think digital marketing works better for e-commerce companies than traditional businesses?

Pradeep: Digital Marketing and E-Commerce are highly complimentary. E-Commerce companies obviously will get highly rewarded for their Digital Marketing efforts. The buyers, the sellers, and the promotions are all present at one place, ie. the internet.

On the other hand, traditional businesses don’t have the privilege to get all the three entities at one place. However, Digital Marketing has strongly impacted Branding, Promotions and Customer Service of traditional businesses as well.

So, while both the forms of businesses have benefitted from the digital medium, it has been of a greater value for the E-Commerce companies.

Question: Which e-commerce brands have gotten digital marketing right according to you?

Pradeep: Amazon and Flipkart are two giant brands that are really playing the Digital Marketing game well. But I must say that their customer service is what has complimented their Digital Marketing efforts. From among the startup e-commerce brands, the ones that allow more customizations are the ones I admire the more. I am not being specific as there are a few brands out there that have got their Digital Marketing on target.

Question. What according to you is the future of digital marketing?

Pradeep: Predictions don’t really give value when you talk about Digital Marketing. That’s mainly because it’s so abrupt and volatile that you can’t predict for a long time.

The best way to understand the future is to follow the trends and keep monitoring the markets and customer behavior. The more you can personalize your efforts, the better you are going to promote your service.

The best way to understand the future is to follow the trends and keep monitoring the markets and customer behavior. The more you can personalize your efforts, the better you are going to promote your service. Digital Marketers have not been genuine and have been causing interruptions. This trend will stop. So, personalization is going to take you further.

Being authentic and relevant will pay off. Similarly being generous and helpful will give wonderful results. Relationship building will be a more regular practice.

Regardless of the Digital Marketing Channel you use, these tactics will be the way to go.


 

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