COO Speak: Top Digital Trends & Ways to Bring Digital Media to the Forefront

“We see competition as enabler of market growth. Lot of Indian & foreign players are entering the digital marketing space, which is a positive sign for the industry as it proves that the potential for digital marketing is huge, industry is growing and brands are increasing their spends on digital medium.” Said Kalpit Jain, COO, netCORE.

In an interaction with MediAvataar.com, Kalpit cited great ways and techniques to bring digital media, especially mobile and email marketing to the fore front, also talked about various trends that will dominate the future.

1. What according to you are the biggest digital trends in 2012?

i. Rise of mobile: With the availability of cheap smart phones, mobile will become the primary device to access web and a host of other applications like email, books, games & social networking. Mobile commerce will rise and help achieve financial inclusion.

ii. Location-based services: Location is the new context and will see a huge rise in adoption to make offerings relevant. Location-based social networking website like Foursquare and near field communication (NFC) technology in products like Google Wallet are the things to watch out for.

iii. Integrated marketing: With majority of marketers using at least 3 different media to reach a customer, the challenge to manage & maintain high quality data is going to increase. Focus would be on integrating these media to collate & manage the data to derive meaningful insights.

2. What is holding back the mobile medium from an explosive growth in India?

The mobile world is shifting from voice to data. Voice revenues may still generate 85-90% revenues for operators today, but they are not going to grow. The new subscriber growth is slowing. The opportunity for the data services revenue is large. India’s top 200 million subscribers have the ability to pay on an average Rs 250 ($5) for various services. This can create new revenue of $1 billion a month, or $12 billion a year. But to make this happen, the right incentives need to be created across the value chain. The top 3 challenges faced are:

i. Lack of an open publishing platform for value-added services,

ii. No integration with the billing capability of the operator &

iii. Operators retaining almost 50-80% share of the revenue

3.What will be the next big thing in Social Media?

Social media has generated a lot of buzz and it is now time to put it to productive use for commerce, business and career. Pinterest can be the next big engagement tool, which will be acquired or get substantial funding to emerge as the fourth largest social media company.  Pinterest is one of the main big things to watch out for. Image or visual-based social networking has arrived and is here to stay. Facebook buying Instagram is a definite indication of their acceptance of the fact that image based social media is set to become big.

4.How important are social media monitoring tools used for analyzing the followers? What is the best tool/way to do that?

Social media monitoring and measuring is absolutely essential for brand managers to justify the investment and track ROI. Many online tracking tools are available and there are a host of companies providing this as a service to brands. There are many social media monitoring tools and each one has its own strength viz. Netvibes, uberVU, Brandwatch, Sysomos, Visible, radian6 etc.

5.Your advice to marketers who are already active on digital media and who want to kick-start the virtual journey this year.

Marketers need to understand that their digital conversations have to be in human voices and not corporate-speak. Brands should be truthful since information is in abundance on the net. In digital media, the consumer is not only an audience but also a participant.

6.Measurement is something which defines Digital media. Do you agree?

Measurement is one of the key elements which are fueling growth of digital media. But digital media is beyond it. It’s an effective standalone media, and it can also augment traditional media, and increase its effectiveness. In order to improve something, it needs to be measured first, and measurement is one of the strengths of digital media. Marketers need to think what issues can be addressed using the data available from measurement. For example, campaigns can be made more effective, ad-spend can go to better performing media, products can be improved using consumer inputs

7.Email marketing is still trusted or all the debates regarding Social Media taking a better off email marketing are futile?

Email marketing is push-based while social-media is essentially pull-based. Social media and email marketing will co-exist and complement each other. Email plays a large role in driving traffic to social media websites. E.g. LinkedIn relies heavily on email to keep its users connected by sending daily digest of group discussions or new invitation to connect. By integrating social media with email, marketers can achieve viral growth & reach out to a large number of prospects. Marketers can grow their opt-in subscribers by capturing email ids on Facebook page. Rather than debating which medium is better, marketers should marry both the media to maximize impact.

8.What is netCORE as a company doing to improve the bonding of email marketing with various marketers?

As a leader in email marketing, we organize workshops for our clients, dedicated workshop at client’s premises, roundtables in association with industry bodies like IAMAI, & workshops in industry events like ad:tech. On an on-going basis, we keep releasing whitepapers and case studies to help marketers learn from success stories and increase engagement with subscribers. Our expert consultancy team keeps analyzing clients’ campaign performance and suggests ideas to improve the response rates.

9.How important is it to embrace the latest technology all the time? What do you think are the side effects of the numerous measuring tools that digital media offers?

There is no choice but to adopt technology as per the market needs. Measurement is not an end goal, but it is the first step in improvement of any business process. Apart from branding, digital offers marketers to do campaigns on Cost-per-impression(CPM), cost-per-click (CPC) & cost-per-lead (CPL) basis which enables marketers to track & measure the success of campaigns with an ease, which is otherwise tough in other non-digital media.

10.netCORE has been a pioneer company in all sorts, how do you see your competition?

We see competition as enabler of market growth. Lot of Indian & foreign players are entering the digital marketing space, which is a positive sign for the industry as it proves that the potential for digital marketing is huge, industry is growing and brands are increasing their spends on digital medium.

11.What’s there in the pipeline for your company?

As pioneers in digital communication solutions, we are working on integrating email, mobile and voice to enable marketers execute their campaigns from a single platform. In-built robust, analytical & behavioral tools will help marketers understand their customers better and execute campaigns intelligently to get a higher ROI.

Jul, 02, 2012

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