Life is quite different 35,000 kilometers away from where I was just 10 months ago.
I think the competitive environment in University instills the idea of a perfect job awaiting you as you step out into the world. But the truth is far from that. I stumbled upon my first job- A Sales Role in a Software Solution provider. If you can’t brave a smile for a howler from your boss after 50 sincerely executed although failed cold calls, then you’re not cut out for a sales role. I learnt 2 important things from ‘My First Job’- I am not cut out for Sales (particularly not if it’s a CRM solution I’m not passionate about) and secondly that the idealism surrounding first job is a myth.
I was surer the next time round as I bagged a Marketing Role in an MNC in the Paper Business. This is where the title will start making sense to you all.
Hands-On Experience with Traditional Marketing
The fiercely competitive paper business is driven primarily by price, given it’s a low involvement product. To put it simply, how many of you have paid any thought into the brand of paper you buy? You might be printing left right & center but sure you don’t know the name on that ream you pull out paper from every day.
Sitting in the regional office for a global paper brand I got hands on experience across different verticals which fed my deep rooted love for marketing. I got a good initiation into the realities of managing a brand. The emboldened words from my 3rd year module BM213 ‘Product & Pricing Mix’ came alive- 5 P’s, Channel Marketing, Pricing strategies.
I was overseeing the Modern Trade efforts for the brand, planning promotions, optimizing in-store visibility across outlets panning the small island of Singapore. A particularly bright spot during my time was when we worked closely with PR agencies to organize a Media Familiarization Trip to the Paper Mill which involved hours, days & weeks spent on story-boarding, liaising with agencies, curating the perfect itinerary and getting things ready for Singapore’s most pampered lot: Singapore Press.
The Move out of Singapore
Meanwhile I came across Prukalpa Sankar’s (co-founder, SocialCops) Facebook Post (60% of our team has made a career out of stalking Prukalpa). 5 calls, 2 emails later I was here, in the glorious basement office at Malviya Nagar.
While the stint with the Paper Business was an incredible experience for a fresh graduate lacking industry experience the overall marketing efforts for the company were short of fitting in the 21st century.
Wrapping up life in Singapore wasn’t easy. But I was restless for change. Moreover, I couldn’t wait to be a part of the recent startup wave that had taken the world by storm.
Digital Marketing is the Present & the Future
University didn’t quite tell us this but it’s the truth and the sooner we come to terms with it the better it is for us. The proof is in numbers – the future of business is in digital. Technology is developing at warp speed and those who are making the move to cater to this changing landscape are most successful.
To illustrate the sheer scale we’re talking about, Consider this – if Twitter was a country, it would rank #12 in the world in population with more than 105 million residents. Every time someone makes a tweet it’s like sending it out to an entire country.There is no form of traditional marketing that compares to this type of statistic, does it?
The last decade has been the era of Social Media. Social Media started as a medium to connect people to their social circle, and went on to become the go-to platform for virtually everything. With all kinds of issues like Government and societal problems, celebrity news, debates and prime time prevailing on Social media, it has become an essential part of life- a window to all the information and on-going activities within and outside one’s social circle.
India was embracing this changing landscape beautifully and it’s not just the startups, governments are increasingly using Social Media to communicate with citizens- Twitter Samvad, Mobile One Karnataka.
And so I was convinced about the transition from a traditional marketing role to a digital marketing role. Debuting into Digital Marketing wasn’t as daunting as you’d think it to be. There’s a ton of help at hand if you know how and where to look for it.
Here I’m sharing the 4 important aspects of Digital Marketing that I’ve tried over the last couple of months
1. Organic Search: Google is your best friend, remember?
The favorite way for consumers to get the desired information is through search engine results. The first part of getting your website in front of potential customers and clients is to correctly optimize your website which helps the search engines identify what your site is all about, and how it relates to what the user is looking for. Implementing a solid organic search strategy will increase your website’s visibility within the search engines and help drive more traffic to your website, increasing your potential for a variety of positive opportunities.
2. Content Marketing: Content is king
The buzz around content marketing can be deafening at times but it’s a major driving factor in a digital marketing strategy. Building a company blog is a great way to help provide visitors with fresh & relevant content.
Through proper content marketing efforts you can establish thought leadership within your vertical. Companies like HubSpot, Buffer are doing a great job at it.
Tip: This links back to driving organic traffic to your website (WIN!)
3. Social Media Marketing: If content is king, distribution is queen
Social Media is about building online communities and providing value to your audience. The brands that have got it right on Social Media all have one thing in common: they all managed to build thriving communities that keep their fans coming back for more. It’s the easiest & fastest way to share company updates, information & content about your products & services.
The diversity in the social media platforms in the market make it possible for you to hit every Brand Objective on your list.
4. Nurturing Website Visitors & Email Marketing
‘Statistics say that only 1-3% of website visitors make a buying decisions the first time they come to a website’. Does that mean you lose the 97% website traffic just because it din’t convert at the first stage? This makes it essential to have a robust email marketing campaign.
Marketing research shows that over 65% of consumers are inclined to make a purchase in association with a well planned email campaign.
Change or be left in the dust.