GenY Labs is a full-service digital marketing company, serving enterprise brands across the healthcare, consumer Internet, BFSI, education and B2B segments. Team Optimist spoke to Yashwant Kumar, CEO & Co-Founder of GenY Medium. Excerpts…
Team Optimist: How did you conceive the idea of GenY Medium? How were your initial days?
Yashwant Kumar: Ravi and I had been practising marketing and, of course, that meant interacting with various digital agencies. We realized both the opportunities, as well as the challenges. Brands needed to be educated and persuaded to start digital marketing. They also needed to be advised not only to ‘experiment’ with digital marketing, but also commit to the channel for the long term. The agencies practising digital marketing were not equipped to talk strategy.
This led us to form GenY Medium, an agency that would help brands create blueprints that actually resulted in business growth and were also equipped to marry art and science. We believed — and continue to believe — that this marriage of art and science would make digital a meaningful channel.
Team Optimist: What services are GenY Medium focussing on now?
Yashwant Kumar: GenY Medium is a full-service digital marketing company. We use our proprietary technology stack to enable all that we do. We have a few focus areas, or specializations:
- Healthcare: We have a dedicated healthcare practice. We work with leading brands in India and overseas. The work ranges from driving patient engagement, listening to patient issues, patient acquisition campaigns and using the digital platform to build brands
- B2B: We have unique capabilities in B2B. Our use of open-source automation platforms helps us influence sales and drive sales for B2B brands. We also have some niche capabilities that differentiate us from others
- Performance marketing: Our technology platform, TrueRoI, helps us extract more out of your marketing spends. Our partnerships with Oracle and the ability to use DMPs, such as Lotame, help us micro-target the right audience across premium properties
- Marketing automation: We use open source, as well as commercial, software to design and implement marketing automation for a variety of brands
Team Optimist: How’s the marketing automation system changing concepts about digital channels?
Yashwant Kumar: Marketing automation makes the oft-quoted Holy Grail of marketing, that is ‘Right Content-Right Audience-Right Time’ possible (and at scale). Automation deployment ensures that your customers experience — and learn about — the brand across platforms and in the most context-aware manner. This helps increase engagement and ultimately conversion rates. We’ve deployed automation across the real estate, consumer goods, financial services, healthcare and education sectors. The results are sector-agnostic. The impact is almost always significant.
Team Optimist: What are the primary challenges for a digital entrepreneur? Your suggestions for your peers?
Yashwant Kumar: The earlier challenges of being an ‘experimental’ channel are gone. The new challenges are unique:
- Patience — Unlike in offline mediums, where cause-impact are ambiguous, at best, digital throws up data in real-time. Customers demand RoI immediately. The challenge is to keep them invested until the right RoI metrics are hit
- Pricing — Larger firms have an unfair advantage in terms of pricing. That poses a unique challenge for growing, but mid-sized, agencies, such as GenY Medium
- Talent — We compete for the same talent that’s sought after by digital product companies and hyper-funded start-ups. This implies that companies such as ours evolve our talent management strengths rapidly.
Team Optimist: How has marketing evolved over the years? What trend changes do you see?
Yashwant Kumar: Marketing has been changing significantly. Mediums, such as print, are proving to be low-impact across various categories. Radio is being used very tactically and not for brand building. So, the role of digital is to augment — and then, increasingly, replace other mediums. The important trends that are already playing out:
- Personalization in marketing: This is becoming an important trend. Not everyone should see the same ad or content. You have AI to pick out the perfect content for different audience segments
- Interactive: AR/VR is making this happen. Brands want the print medium to be interactive and not just a static image to be flipped over. We’ve seen examples of hoardings having an augmented reality component. These trends will gain ground and become mainstream
- Use of AI:Applied AI is making automating optimization of media buy, varying ads, gathering consumer insights automatically and in real-time possible. Advertising platforms are rolling out ‘automated’ features every single month. The results also show great promise. So, it’s safe to assume that you’ll see a lot of ‘AI’ in digital marketing, as in everything else.
Team Optimist: What are your plans on GenY Medium? Are you planning to expand to countries other than Canada?
Yashwant Kumar: We’re actively scouting to start a Mumbai Chapter and a presence in South-East Asia. These are growth opportunities for a technology-enabled marketing service provider, such as GenY Medium.