We spoke to Moulik Jain, Co-Founder, 3 Minds Digital, on the recent trends in digital branding in the Indian business domain. Excerpts:
The Optimist: In the last decade, digital branding was considered to be the biggest game-changer in the Indian business domain. Was it worth the hype, or just a global reality?
Moulik Jain: Yes, without a doubt, it has been a game-changer in the Indian business domain because of its ‘customer-centric approach’. It’s like, the better you bond with your customers, the less likely are they to leave your brand. Primarily, we know, customer satisfaction was calculated with customer reviews on the products and services they experienced with your brand. But now, the focus lies solely on building customer loyalty. Earning your customers’ loyalty with your improved products and services will keep bringing your customers back to you, each time adding more to your brand’s name.
You must have heard, “Satisfaction is a review, while loyalty is a brand.” This makes it important to choose adequate branding techniques. Let us consider an example of one of the food delivery apps thriving in the market today, Swiggy. It has tried to engage with its customers emotionally. Although they don’t sell food, their good service and active advertisement have won them the trust and loyalty of customers. So, this effect of correct digital branding remains fruitful in the long run.
The Optimist: How is digital marketing complementing traditional marketing in India?
Moulik Jain: India has now become a country where everybody is always on the move. People have prioritized their work in everything. So, with a majority of the population living on their mobile gadgets, you can’t simply rely on the traditional marketing methods to bring your brand name on top. We know that it’s wise to aim at the pond where the fish are and digital marketing helps you achieve just that. You can reach out to people on whichever platform they are, making it easy for them to make a move and give you a conversion. So, yes, digital marketing has definitely complemented traditional marketing methods and has helped amplify businesses.
The Optimist: What has been the role of social media as far as digital marketing is concerned?
Moulik Jain: Social media, as we all know, is the fastest real-time advertising and tracking platform. It was initially created just to make socializing and interaction easier and fun. So, various businesses used it to connect and interact with their clients, thus helping them target their customers even better and enhance their businesses. Social media also gives very apt insights into people’s preferences, choices which become very helpful in making effective strategies. Also, customers are very active on social media. So they, too, can leave their feedback and experiences there. Moreover, all this interaction is free of cost.
The Optimist: Have the dynamics of content changed over the years with digital marketing?
Moulik Jain: Primarily, content was written only to provide information filled with data for users. But, this process was only educating the active readers about your brand and not the rest of the world. Later, to spruce up this content, some entertaining factors — such as images, gifs and posters — were added to the context along with blogs and social media posts that came into existence. This gave increasing engagement to the target customers due to their increased interaction. Now, along with the written content, visual content has started gaining importance in building a strong viewership. Videos and vlogs have all been entertaining yet informative, so being an effective choice in drawing the right amount of attention. We know that many people nowadays use voice search. So, considering that, too, you need to keep your content updated.
The Optimist: What are the real-time limitations of digital marketing?
Moulik Jain: There aren’t really many limitations if strategies are used wisely. But I can list a few, such as real-time feedback from unsatisfied customers, which can certainly tarnish a brand name. This is unavoidable and must be handled with extreme patience and agility. Second, expertise is very crucial. One small mistake can expose you and subject your brand to being scrutinized by critics. Third, with too many social media handles, every platform must be well synchronized. Content that works for one portal may not work on another platform. This, if avoided, may lead to a major loss of money and time. Fourth, to earn your customers’ trust, handing out information about the company is crucial. In addition to this, you are openly in competition with other players in the market and customers study in depth about the better and the best before finalizing their purchase. You may work hard, but there is no guarantee that you will get the conversions you aim for.
The Optimist: What’s the correlation between the rising number of start-ups in India and digital marketing?
Moulik Jain: The use of digital marketing in India is growing at an enormous pace and so is the culture of start-ups. I assume that start-ups begin at a very tender stage and are subject to huge risks. So, they must definitely be well marketed in order to make a strong base. We’re the world’s largest Internet population. So, it’s advisable to choose a very well-strategized digital marketing plan for your start-up. Most start-ups aim at increasing their reach in terms of views and viewers. But, if they don’t have a captivating, fully developed portal, a majority of their leads do not turn into conversions. All the money goes in vain, bringing a very bad tag to the company’s image. No seed becomes a plant overnight. But, if chosen intelligently, the right digital marketing strategy can work wonders for a start-up and make it reach its target effectively.
The Optimist: What’s the future of digital branding and marketing in India?
Moulik Jain: There’s been a huge growth in the number of tech-savvy customers, which is why digital branding and marketing strategies will certainly boost businesses in the long run. The biggest reason why most companies opt for this method of reaching their target customers online is that they don’t have to expand their businesses physically and spend on unnecessary factors. You can reach out to the world even from remote locations. In this way, digital marketing has encouraged a lot of online businesses and also created many job opportunities.
With your business running online, you can keep a count of every penny you spend, you know where to spend, how to spend and so on. An accurate marketing strategy helps you occupy a place in your customer’s subconscious mind, which increases the chances of you getting chosen. If you choose the correct branding methods, your customers will feel they have an emotional connect with your brand. This’ll always reap benefits in the long run.