Events

DIGITAL HIGHWAY – A WORKSHOP ON DIGITAL MARKETING

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INTRODUCTION

Since recently I have been attending all kinds of events, Seminars, Meet up, happening in Kolkata. I also work as a digital marketing professional. I am active on Social Media Platform like Facebook, LinkedIn on my mobile.

Why have I written the following above statement? What conclusion, can you draw from it? Any Guess? Try it ! No. No ? Okay, I will spill the bean.

Facebook seems to know more about me than my spouse or parents. So, any events or seminar which is to happen in Kolkata, Facebook targets me with Ads. Facebook thinks I am more likely to attend such events and bombards me with similar Ads. Anyway, let me not deviate from the topic and come back to what I am writing into this Blog.

An ad was shown to me that a seminar named “Digital Highway” is to happen on 2nd September 2018 at The Great Lalit Eastern Hotel. It was being organised by Mr Amar Krishna Jha, who is a Senior Digital Marketing Professional in Kolkata. A kind of Digital marketing Guru in Kolkata, I have known him through Facebook, LinkedIn and whatsapp. The ticket was priced at Rs. 2500, which made me hesitant to attend it. I attempted to reach out to Mr Jha through Whatsapp hoping he would give me some discounts. ?

Good things happen if you make the first move. Mr Jha gave me a discount of 20 %, and I booked my ticket for the event.

EVENTS ITINERARY

Event Name:- Digital Highway. No Bumps ahead.

Date:- 2nd September 2018

Timing:- 10 AM to 5:30 PM

Venue:- The Lalit Great Eastern

digital-highway-bill-payment

As always, I am punctual and reached the place on time, but since it was raining and not many people had come, it began little late. I interacted with Mr Jha and congratulated him on organizing this event in Kolkata.

DIGITAL HIGHWAY JOURNEY BEGINS

The event began with a seminar by Mr Rishu Kumar – DGM Century Plywood. He spoke about the importance of Digital Marketing in the traditional industry. He asked the audience “whether Century Plywood is B2B or B2C organization?” Most of us said that it is B2C since the consumer directly buys plywood. He said it is a B2B organization since it does not sell directly to the consumer.

It sells its product all across the nation through a vast network of dealer and distributor.

He again put a question to us, “why would a B2B company need digital marketing channel to promote its product?”

Why would an auto ancillary company need a Digital channel to promote its product?

Rishu-Kumar-felicitated-mogisa

Different People in the audience gave different answers.

He summarised the answer, saying we need Digital marketing Channel, irrespective of whether we are a B2B or B2C organization for following reasons

  • Customer Acquisition
  • Brand Building
  • Investor Relations
  • Talent Acquisition

He emphasised that Brand building is futile if we do not get a positive ROI. In Business, in the end, only money matters. ?

Bata has a high brand value and very high Brand recall, but nobody buys Bata shoes. If given a choice, people prefer Nike, Puma, and Adidas. Bata‘s image is that of school shoes. People may name it, recognise it, but not buy it.

He discussed some of the Digital Marketing activity; one can apply if you are into a B2B Organization.

  1. Whitepaper
  2. Thought leadership articles
  3. Webinars
  4. Research-based content
  5. Blog post
  6. Demo offer & free trials
  7. Podcast
  8. Customer reviews

WHITE PAPER

Mr Rishu said that we should publish a white paper on our website. It is nothing but publishing specific unique solutions and methodology to particular problems, which has been faced by the organisation or its client, and how they have successfully overcome it. It should be written in such a way that any prospect that faces a similar problem should be convinced to approach us for solutions.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP ARTICLES

He said that thought leadership articles are in-depth, through industry knowledge and knowing the latest market trends. If we start writing such reports, we can be perceived with authority in that segment and can attract prospects.

WEBINARS

Webinars, as everyone knows is a video seminar, where all participants can join in a common platform. Some of the popular platforms are Facebook, Goto Webinar and Joinme. An organisation must conduct a regular webinar to establish as a thought leader.

RESEARCH-BASED CONTENT

He said that research-based content is wherein you have done a survey, field study; collected some empirical data and you are making a judgment based on evidence. He quoted examples of Hubspot in Digital Marketing to support his statement.

BLOG POST

I think everyone knows about what is a Blog post, so I am skipping this.

DEMO OFFERS AND FREE TRIALS

Mr Kumar said that the company can offer free demos of product and services or limited period trial offer to the consumer to test their offering. He said that it is a win-win situation for both Company and Consumers. Both gains from the free offer, Consumer, can get to know what it can expect, and Company can get feedback from consumer and hence can improve their product and services.

PODCAST

Mr Kumar mentioned that the company can make a podcast and upload it to the website so that consumers can download it and listen to it while on the go. It is a kind of audio files. He said that it is trendy in the western country, and yet to catch up in India.

CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Mr Kumar mentioned that we should put text or video testimonials on our website. This builds trust among prospect and a unique selling strategy.

Rishu-Kumar-DGM-Centuryply-mogisa

SOME OF THE KEY POINTS FROM MR RISHU KUMAR SEMINAR ARE WRITTEN BELOW

  1. He said that customer has moved from Google to Marketplace. Now when we need to buy certain things, we do not go to Google, but directly to sites like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal. So if we are a B2B company or B2C company, we can list our products on this Marketplace website and take advantage of their visitors to sell our product. Nowadays, these Marketplaces website offers lucrative commission and are a fantastic place to sell our products in a short time quickly.
  2. He mentioned that it is the customer who is driving the Industry and not the other way round. The customer is shifting the goalpost and Company should adjust accordingly else it will perish.
  3. Digital Marketing requires three following strategy like, must have, should have and cool to have. He said that one should focus on “must have” and “should have” and can compromise on “cool to have.”
  4. It is not necessary to be actively present on all platform of Digital marketing. We can choose a platform, depending on where our consumers are available in plenty.
  5. He said that it is essential to know your target audience.
  6. He suggested experimenting with new marketing tools and strategy.
  7. Now the maximum focus should be on Mobile optimisation since 60% of searches are done from mobile.
  8. Always explore alternate content format, never be satisfied with one old channel, else you will perish. We live in an era where companies are born and die early.
  9. Digital marketing cannot work in standalone. It needs both Offline Channel. Going only Digital, may work for some company, whereas the combination of both Digital and Offline works best for some Company, so choose your channel wisely.
  10. And last learning from Mr Kumar was, a customer is not King, he is a kid, and he cries often. So never ignore your crying customer but address its issue early to avoid significant havoc.

‘Nowadays, Customer is not a king, but a Kid, and cries often, so pamper your client quickly, else he will complain to the whole world on Social Media.’

Mr Kumar left for the day, without even having lunch and it made me sad since I could not take a selfie with him ? But the good thing is that I immediately sent a friend request in Linkedin, and he also readily accepted it, and we are now connected.

Amar-Krishna-Jha-mogisa

AMAR KRISHNA JHA ENTERS ON THE SCREEN – SUPERSTAR OF DIGITAL WORLD

The second speaker for the day was Mr Amar Krishna Jha; he came before us to speak about “Marketing in Noisy and Busy Social Media platform”. He then asked the audience, what is the 8th wonder of the world? And the hall was silent, everyone looking at each other.

He announced that Facebook is the 8th wonder of the world, and it is the goldmine for the marketers.

He asked us to imagine that you are at Dharamtalla, waiting for your friend to come, and then he calls you and informs that he will be late by 1 and a half hour. You then decide to kill this 1 and a half hour and walk down the road and find a painting exhibition happening at the end of the road.

You walk into the exhibition hall and see that it is a beautiful white pristine hall, all the walls, ceilings and floor are pristine white and it is empty. Nobody is there, and you are all alone, you can only hear your footsteps.

You walk further and come towards the end of the room, and finds two painting precisely similar to each other hung on the wall, and from behind, you hear a beautiful voice of a lady “how may I help you? “.

You turn towards her and find that she is a stunningly beautiful lady, having perfectly shaped body and wearing a short white skirt and a white shirt with the top button opened. You then ask her “what is the difference between the two paintings?” She replies that one painting is made by Picasso and the other is made by a young student.

After narrating this story, Mr Jha asks the audience; if given a chance which painting would you buy if money is not a problem.

He goes around the hall and asks everyone for their opinion. Some people said that they would buy the original Picasso; some said that they would buy the paintings of a young student to motivate his work at a higher price.

A commotion and discussion were happening inside the auditorium; one guy said that he would buy both the paintings since money was not a problem. Everyone laughed and applauded this young guy’s remarks and reasoning.

Mr Jha smiled and said that it is how you should engage the audience; a marketer should not first sell and ask for money, but rather engages with the audience and then sell. He said that if he had told in the beginning that he is going to sell you the paintings, nobody would have bought and people would have become cautious.

But since he narrated a beautiful story and all of us became so much engaged in the story, we imagined and felt as if we were inside the exhibition and our mind was focused on painting, and hence out of emotions, we were able to make a buying decision.

He said that people buy things out of emotion and later justify it with logic. As marketers, our job is to kindle that emotional chord in the minds of our audience.

In this age, one should not first ask, instead first give. We live in the “Give economy”. Brand gives free sample sachets of Shampoo; Pharmaceuticals company gives free sample medicine to doctors and chemists.

‘Selling to the customer or asking for money in the first meeting itself, is like asking a girl for sex on the first date. Consider your client as a girlfriend.’

He said that when one approaches a client for doing Digital Marketing, One should ask Client, “who is your Customer?” If you get a reply “everyone,” then leave that client and move away.

Your ideal customer cannot be everyone. Create a Customer Avatar, meaning, create an imaginary character of one right customer and then make a strategy to approach many like that Customer.

Mogis-Ahmed-Audience-The-Lalit-great-eastern-Digital-Highway-

Creating a customer avatar will help you in tailoring your product or services, and in making Ad copy, writing promotional sales material. We can have different Customer avatar at various stages of the customer lifecycle.

Now while writing this Blog, I researched in depth on Google, regarding creating a Customer Avatar or Customer persona, but I will not write here in depth, as it will deviate from the topic.

Mr Jha emphasized that it is essential to understand the Budget of your Client. And based on this devise your strategy and choose the right platform.

HE SPOKE ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA TRAITS AND FACTS

  1. Instagram -Young, cool, Millennial
  2. Linkedin – B2B
  3. Facebook – B2B and B2C

Some statistics, he mentioned about Facebook, which I did not cross-check on Google for authenticity, but I believe he may be right.

  • 1.9 – Billion Users
  • High Purchasing power
  • 78% are adults
  • 77% of users have an annual income above $75000

Mr Jha said that you could create a Facebook ad for as low as Rs. 1500. When we create an Ad, our objective should be to prevent people from scrolling down. We must use high-quality Images, GIF, Video; our Adcopy must hit the emotional side of the brain.

For every Ad Campaign, he advised creating 2 kinds of Ad set. What we call it as A/B Testing.

We should write Adcopy in such a way that after reading the first line, the customer should be enticed to read the second line and so forth.

Images we use in our Ad copy should satisfy one of the below factors

  1. Relevance
  2. Sex appeal
  3. Abstract
  4. Unedited

He also emphasized that videos format Ads are working well now.

Mogis-Ahmed-Lunch-session-Digital-Highway-mogisa
Lunch-session-Digital-Highway-mogisa

He said that while writing an Ad copy, his approach is, to begin with, a question, where he will a get a reply as “yes”. For example, when he is writing an Ad copy for Gymnasium, then one should begin with questions like “Hey! Do you want to lose weight?” or anything in a similar fashion, where the empirical answer would be “yes”. This also helps in building a conversation with an audience.

Our only objective while creating Ads should be to create desire and make people take action now. Create a sense of urgency in the minds of the viewer.

In the next Slide, Mr Jha mentioned how we should target our prospect on Facebook. He suggested to start with a broad audience and then narrow down.

Mr Jha stopped his session in the middle since it was lunch time, we had half an hour break for Lunch, and we again assembled at 2 PM.

Then we had a Mind power Training by a lady named Jayshree Daga, who is a motivational speaker and Personality Development trainer in Kolkata.

After lunch, the audience was feeling sleepy and drowsy.

Jayshree-Daga-Mind-power-trainer
Jayshree-Daga-Mind-power-trainer

JAYASHREE DAGA – THE LADY WHO CAN CONTROL YOUR MIND

She made us stand and danced on the tune of a famous Bollywood song, “Aaj main upar aasman neeche, Aaj main aage zamana hai peechhe, Aaj main upar aasman neeche “from the Movie, Khamoshi. And the entire audience was awake and energetic once again.

Mrs Daga started her presentation by asking “why mind power training is included in this Digital Marketing training?”, What is the need for it?”.

She said that why do we feel tired? We do not work as hard as a labourer. We work in a swanky air-conditioned office with latest gadgets and comfortable environment. But still feel tired and stressful.

Why?

She then said that we have the latest mobile with high battery power (3000-4000 mAh), but still we carry a power bank, why does our battery gets drained quickly?

Because a lot of unnecessary apps are open in the background, without our control, are updating and is causing our battery to drain quickly.

Similarly, a lot of thoughts are happening in our Brain, without our control which is eating a significant part of our energy and this makes us feel fatigued and tired.

A child who does more physical work than adults are always charged up till late at night never feels tired and are still ready to play.

What is wrong with Adult’s mind or energy? An adult eats more food than a child. So an adult must have more power than a child.

An adult mind is always thinking, non-stop, about either 2 things only. Past or Future ?

We never live in the present and enjoy this moment.

When we are in the office, we think about what is happening back in the home. When we are at home, we think about office, career, appraisals, salary, office petty politics ? How would be my future? Either we crib about our past or worry about the future.

‘When our mind starts wandering about useless things, it is important to watch our thoughts and bring it back to the present moments.’

Learn to question your thoughts. Ask is it necessary, now?

Can I do something about it?

Does it affect me now?

She advised us to close our eyes and watch what kinds of thoughts are coming into our mind, right now. We must select essential thoughts and discard unnecessary thoughts. We must do this activity after every 1 hour in a day. She advised us to meditate and control our thoughts.

After this session, we had tea break for 15 minutes and post break, again Mr. Amar Krishna Jha appeared before us to continue his presentation.

He spoke about storytelling and cleared a few queries from the audience in this part of the seminar.

He said that storytelling is an integral part of Digital marketing or Content marketing.

WHAT SHOULD A GREAT STORY TELLING HAVE

  1. Relatibility
  2. Plot, Tension, Suspense
  3. Fluency

A great story telling must have deep emotions, strong character, and universal appeal. It should be simple and understandable to the larger audience. It should have strong character and twists and turns and suspense. (aka like Balaji Teleserials, Ekta Kapoor) ?

Story telling helps in building Brand and emotional connect with the consumer. It should be done to strike the emotional chord of the customer. The brand must be able to tell the real story and maintain some truth; else it may backfire and hit the brand badly.

We all have seen numerous amount of Ad on TV showing how fat people became slim after buying some products. Fat loss, Gym products and weight loss Ads have become a big sham. ?

Mr Jha advised us to “Be Genuine. Be Real. Be Honest”. He said that showing stats, graph, pie- chart, and numbers have become boring and passé.

Mr Jha ended the session with a promise to keep in touch with all of us. He shared his mobile number.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

My opinion is that overall, the event was good, we had only 3 speakers for the whole day. So all the speaker got enough time to speak and answer the query of the audience. Mr Jha is planning to have more such events in Kolkata at a lower budget. Everything was managed well, food was purely vegetarian, and the ambience was great. (The Great Lalit Eastern Hotel is a 5 star luxury hotel in Kolkata)

I am looking forward to the next session of the Digital Highway and better discount next time from Mr Jha.

(P.S:- Hello my friend, Mr Q. whom we fondly call as Cashkanto, I promised you that, I would write my next blog post to 3000 words) (Others please ignore it.) ?

Mogis Ahmed has more than a decade of experience in Marketing, Sales and Business Development in IT & ITES industry. He is a Computer Science Engineer and has done Masters in Business Administration (MBA).He has experience of working in both small Start-ups to Large companies having billion dollars in revenue. Some of the notable organisation, where he has worked is HCL Technology, SRM Technology, Allsec Technology, Indiabulls LTD, FusionBPO Services and Keylines. He has received a Memento from Google Australia for successfully completing all the modules in Google Adwords.Recently made a shift in career towards Digital Marketing for the last 5 year. Whatever I learn during this journey, will share with my reader.

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