February 13, 2017 Anil Kumar No comments exist

etradex, digital marketing

Digital is the future and all businesses are pointed that way. If you have already taken the step that way and have an awesome website ready to go, the biggest question on your mind will be “how will I market it”? One, you can have a digital marketing team for yourself and the second is to outsource the activity. A digital marketing team will be quite expensive compared to outsourcing cost owing to the expertise value.

 

Many businesses have gone digital successfully, however, not all of them are as lucky. “Lucky” is the word since many businesses that have not hit the success road will vouch that digital marketing does not work or does not beget promised results. The digital marketing niche itself has nothing to do with failure, the execution of the DM strategy has.

 

Let us look at the top 9 reasons why digital marketing fails.

  1.  Provider over promises for business

This is normal practice in the DM space. A DM service provider will always over-commit to market his services. He will also promise on the results that may be actually unattainable. As a client business, you will need to take a judgmental approach along with some fact finding so that you will get the right perspective. Never give into unbelievable commitments.

  1. Providers knowledge and capability not assessed

This assessment can be a little tricky since you are not be as knowledgeable as the provider. Asking a few relevant questions can give you a fair picture. Of course, you have to a better doctor to assess another doctor’s calibre, which you are not. Getting some of the provider’s older projects and checking results can be a good way to go. Don’t believe all those testimonials on their websites.

  1. Provider has the same blueprint for all niches

Most providers follow a known but not certified road-map for all their DM practices. However, that is not the right approach. Niche dependent and analytical approach keeping in mind the competition is a good way to create a workable DM strategy. Most providers do not practice this. Asking for a strategy will be a good place to begin. Discussing and analyzing it is very important to assess and finalize. It is a joint exercise and creating a win-win for both sides will work wonders.

  1. Strategy not discussed and frozen

Many businesses jump into a DM practice without a strategy. This can be out of trust on the provider or just plain innocence about how or why it is practiced. A DM practice is not just about getting leads, it is also about building reputation, branding and business online. You, as a business should take care of your online branding because, that is the foundation for your business in the future.

  1. Pre assessment failure

A DM strategy or a practice may also fail when a provider does not analyse or assess the digital assets that a business already has. Polishing those assets, keeping them in order and maintaining them are critical. For example, if you have created a website and then ignored it for a prolonged period, it will be of no use. Web technologies and search algorithms change every day and you may have to upgrade them before putting them to use, adding to your costs.

  1. ROI analysis

Has the provider worked on ROI calculations for the DM strategy before making an offer? As a business, ensure that you sit with the provider and get the ROI done. It is more about achieving the numbers therein in terms of traffic and conversion than about money. This will ensure that you are on the same plane as the provider and expectations are set right, both ends.

  1. Traffic and expected numbers are achieved but no conversions

This can happen due non-compliance of frozen DM strategy or the quality of raw material (test, graphics or video content) used therein. In line with the strategy, there is no way numbers can go wrong, they may vary though, so, check what is being used for content on all your digital assets. In fact, you should keep checking on a daily or at least a bi-weekly basis. Wrong, irrelevant, sub-standard or plagiarized content can bring you down very quickly. Ensure that the content is top-notch; this will ensure good online branding.

  1. Tweaks not made on time

There are times when results are not forthcoming despite all good efforts. As a business, you will need to sit with the provider and check where the strategy is going wrong. An immediate brain-storming is essential to tweak the strategy and check for results, at least on a weekly basis.

  1. Bad strategy or no understanding of client business

Generally, a DM service provider suggests a strategy to follow, however a deep thought and some research will be required on that front. A provider is not expected to understand your business completely, still, a fair level of understanding is required as far as your USP’s and vision is concerned. Ensure that the provider has the right attitude to learn quickly and change the strategy as required.

 

Conclusion

The above pitfalls are quite common in the digital marketing space. To create a perfect and a successful online marketing strategy, a service provider has to understand the client’s business and vision on one end and search engine algorithms and strategic marketing on the other. Is your provider capable enough to walk the talk?

February 11, 2017 Anil Kumar No comments exist

etradex B2B digital marketing

Yes, you got that right we are talking 5 times more revenue. Let us now see, what can make the difference. Though B2C has taken off faster in terms of transformation to digital, B2B certainly has the edge to create persistent value.

 

How can B2B catch up?

First, digital leaders focus on right and ethical digital practices to enhance and quicken their back-office resource planning and workflows by continuously improving the IT architecture. However, these have only impacted the process efficacies and have not really made any difference to the customer experience. Once, the digital transformation moves to sales and customer support space, growth can be exponential.

 

Second, through digitization, B2B businesses should focus on creating and delivering wow-some client interactions which can be a certain differentiator in a competitive market. Currently, most B2B websites and marketing practices are content heavy, rich in product or process descriptions and use top-of-the lie technology. There is a change required therein making them customer-friendly in terms of navigation and ease of buying with a more persuasive approach.

 

Third, on the buying front, B2B should bring in more transparency in price and needs to contend with ever shrinking product shelf lives. This has to happen quickly as a parallel process to upgrading the customer experience.

 

Fourth, a B2B has to build the required capabilities quickly and resort to online branding or digital marketing process to ensure the changes are being announced to the target audience. While spend will be on the rise, a grown market will offset it in much lesser time compared to the B2C space.

 

Conclusion

Competition for new players like AliBaba and Amazon business have already started  to realise this and are moving in the fast lane. Though not traditional B2B business, the amazing results they are bringing in are something to analyse and follow for any B2B business.

 

The author has an entrepreneurial experience of over 24 years of which 13 have been spent in Digital Marketing is CEO & Disruptive Digital Marketer @ eTraDeX, Founder & Chief Mentor @ Startup Essentials.

 

If you are looking for a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, execution or comprehensive content in any niche, drop an email.

February 9, 2017 Anil Kumar No comments exist

etradex, digital marketing

 

Any task or project undertaken by a business is ROI [Return on Investment] based including digital marketing. End of the day, any marketing practice should beget results in terms of the objectives it is intended for – be it selling products, signing up, downloads or whatever the business intends to practice digital marketing for.

 

Clarifying on the definition of ROI, it is term purely used in finance and not in qualitative terms/ results. ROI is definitely measured in monetary terms and not in terms of traffic, leads or conversions.

 

Traditionally ROI is calculated as

 

ROI = (Anticipated Revenue from DM efforts – Proposed Cost of the DM project) / Proposed cost of the DM project

 

As a marketer looking forward to a juicy contract, remember, before you sit down to calculate ROI, you will need to get a few questions answered.

 

  1. Current traffic (average monthly Y on Y)
  2. Present conversion rate.
  3. Average revenue per sale or average value of an objective.

 

Let us take an example where a business answers the above questions as:

 

  1. Current traffic (average monthly Y on Y) – 5000
  2. Present conversion rate. 0.5%
  3. Average revenue per sale or average value of an objective – INR 10,000.00

 

Let us assume that the said digital marketing exercise is going to cost the business INR 100,000.00. How do you justify this cost to the business? As this is an additional cost to business, you will need to generate this cost of marketing from this exercise itself.

You have to generate additional revenue of INR 100,000.00 from sales.

 

However, once you generate this, the business is at a breakeven point (no profit – no loss) situation. Hereon, to achieve a positive ROI, you will need to generate much more revenue.

The first step is to calculate the number of additional orders in order to get to the breakeven point.

 

So, number of orders required is

 

Proposed cost of DM / Average order value = 100000/10000 = 10

 

If you cannot generate these orders through the digital marketing efforts, there will be a –ve ROI which is a loss to the client. Now, let us calculate the additional traffic required to generate these orders.

 

This can be calculated as

 

Number of orders required to break even / e-commerce conversion rate

= 10/0.5% = 2000 visits

 

Therefore, if you can generate an extra traffic of 2000, your client business will break even on the digital marketing cost. Taking into consideration that your digital marketing efforts will improve the conversion rate, you may need lesser than 2000 visits to breakeven. However, let us keep the average figure as it is as a conservative effort.

 

Since, the idea is to generate a positive ROI, let us double the required visits, so 2000 X 2 = 4000 visits. Applying the assumed rate of conversion, we can generate 20 orders instead of 10, as we calculated above. Revenue generated from these orders will be 20 X 10,000 = INR 200,000.00.

 

Now, let us recalculate the ROI

 

ROI = (Anticipated Revenue from DM efforts – Proposed Cost of the DM project) / Proposed cost of the DM project = (200,000.00 – 100,000.00) / 100,000.00 = 100%

 

This means if the client business spends INR X, it earns 2X in return.

 

With some clarity, we can now assume that this ROI should be a standardized figure in the DM scheme of things because, if the client business earns the spending on DM or less, there is no point in having the exercise at all.

 

Reiteration

 

It is time now to take call on whether you can generate that extra traffic required to get the client business achieve 100% ROI. What are the steps you will need to take to achieve that?

Probably, you might look at changing keywords, a branding exercise, a PPC campaign and any other tools you may require. Do thorough research on all sub tasks you intend to take in the DM space. Get your costs clear and revise the proposal if need be.

 

End of the day, the only question a client business will ask is

“Ok I will give you INR X, how much I will get in return?”

 

Never reply with ranking figures and traffic in return. Tell the client, how much they will get in Rupee value so that the spending is justified.

 

Realistic or Actual ROI

 

Realistic or actual ROI is a little different from the calculations we did above.

 

This can be calculated as

 

Realistic or Actual ROI= ((Total Revenue generated through DM + Total Goal Value using DM) – Cost of the DM exercise) / Cost of the DM exercise

 

The calculation for Total goal value through DM is the sum of “Last Interaction Conversion Value” and the “Assisting Conversion value”. This is a part of Google Analytic s that can be setup to take these into account. If I were to explain the process here, it would take pages and pages.

 

Any DM exercise is not only about bringing organic traffic and ensuring conversion, but it also helps add value through direct traffic sales, display advertising, branding as well as PPC etc. In short, the figure you arrive at with the above formula will take into account overall conversions and not only the organic ones.

 

You should keep in mind that organic Digital Marketing not only helps complete a conversion but also initiates and assists conversions that are completed by other marketing channels (like display advertising, PPC, Direct, Email, Referral etc).

 

Of course, these are not meant for client businesses who are yet to take off in the digital space, where, a DM spend for the first 6 months should be looked upon as an investment in marketing than a cost.

February 7, 2017 Anil Kumar No comments exist

etradex, content marketing, seo

Content is the life-blood of digital marketing and branding. Better content gives you better ROI and more leads or customers. Content creation is more of an art than science, especially for the online consumer. We shall not speak of creation content here, instead, we will speak of what good or awesome content means.

 

Let us talk about newspapers. There are thousands of newspapers out there, but everyone who reads them has a favourite one. Considering that all newspapers source their news from the same set of press distribution agencies in a given country, they would come with the same or similar set of news on a given day. They may vary in presentation, content quality and appeal.

 

Then why does one read “The Times of India” and not “The Hindu” or “The New York Times” and not “The Wall Street Journal” and vice-versa? Think why you prefer to read “The Hindu” and create a furore with the newspaper guy if he makes a mistake.

 

It is possible that you like the language, the presentation or the layout; you can list a thousand things that you like about your preferred reading, be it a newspaper or be it a fiction novel. So, let us call it appeal. A newspaper’s success rate is measured by its readership figures.

 

Simply put, it is imperative that the newspaper with the best readership figures creates the best content. End of the day, design and layout matters, however, without good content they are worthless.

 

If you consider the same example with respect to the fiction novel category and let us say we ask 100 fiction readers to list the 10 best fiction novels they have read. The one book that comes out top, as read by most readers can be easily considered the best book in terms of content. Honest confession, I do re-read my fiction novels once every 2 or 3 years, I love them so much.

 

Quotes – Yes quotes are remembered by many people for years. Why? Because quotes convey more in less words and concisely delivered information creates a mental imprint. Keep it short and don’t put air into the content just because someone said more content means better rankings.

 

Coming back to content and its quality, what then is the content that will ensure your success in your digital marketing or branding exercise?

 

So now, what is awesome content? A dozen pointers:

 

  1. Content that is simply rendered and understood by most, let’s say 8th
  2. Content without typographical or grammatical errors.
  3. Content that is integrated into an aesthetic template.
  4. Content that speaks to the reader instead of lecturing him or her.
  5. Content that is aimed at transforming the reader into a more positive state of mind.
  6. Content aimed to ease pain points of the reader.
  7. Content that makes the reader go WOW.
  8. Content that compels the reader to finish what he or she is reading.
  9. Content that makes the reader think or take action.
  10. Content that adds value or empowers the reader in terms of knowledge.
  11. Content that is clear and concise.
  12. Content that stays in the mind of the reader for long.

 

Sadly, all those enterprising businesses online are used to using content that blows their own trumpet and does not cater to the customer. Do you think such content will succeed?

 

Content as in the bullets above, created and deployed across websites and other social media assets can bring in more ROI. More important, you will start generating more leads and improve your conversion rate, simply because, you are appealing to the customer and a niche one at that.

 

February 6, 2017 Anil Kumar No comments exist

etradex, seo, digital marketing

 

Brands and branding theories across geographies have changed and the trend will continue. Reason: Regular disruption by introduction of new digital devices resulting in ever-changing consumer digital habits.

 

For a moment, think about how global brands like Google and Amazon have reinvented themselves in the marketplace over the past decade or so. You could even consider home-grown brands like Flipkart and Makemytrip and their evolution in terms of branding in the local market.

 

Today, every market is facing disruption and adaptability is the key. What should you do about your brand before the disruption gets to you?

 

Start with a thought process

 

Why does your brand exist?

Answer this before you take a jump into a marketing strategy. Most digital marketers tend to jump into tactical action immediately. Instead, think and act, to position your brand correctly.

 

How can you onboard the digital revolution with your offering, if you are not already there?

If you are just going digital, or if you are already there, understand that building authority and trust for your brand is of prime importance. Don’t jump to action before your perception of the competition and vis-à-vis your standing in the market are clearly defined.

 

How to evolve into a brand that exudes trust and authority?

The answer to this can help you leverage your two biggest assets to create a USP. Trust and authority are the only tools to brand your business online.

 

If you are amidst dog-eat-dog competition, what is the perception of your brand?

This answer can guide you to understand how most of your customers perceive you as a brand, thus giving valuable insights into a workable plan of action.

 

Another thought before we move ahead. Do you have the requisite knowhow to render your digital presence THE go-to destination for content and advice that can be delivered through authoritative and trusted information for customers and prospects? If yes, you are already on the path to branding glory.

 

Now that you are done with understanding your brand and have a rough idea of what needs done, follow the next 6 steps to initiate a progressive marketing plan that will work wonders

 

Understand your audience

 

A very important exercise, given that you need to disrupt your branding as well as products/ services according to the customer needs and tastes, you will need to have a good feel for it.  The best way to achieve this will be to interact with a few of your customers using a smart questionnaire.

 

This will also help you create better and innovative products and services in the future. The more important factor is to align your proposition and brand according to the customer preferences that may or may not include delivery and communication channels.

 

Remember; do not appeal to masses with your marketing. Tweak it such a way that it appeals to your target market. That way you will save a lot of energy, resources and money.

 

Freeze your USP

 

We spoke before about using authority and trust to build a USP for your brand and business. This unique selling point will help a customer differentiate your offerings from the competition thus giving you certain measurable brand equity.

 

Create your digital assets

 

Whatever you do as a part of your digital marketing exercise ensure that all your digital assets – website, email templates, auto-responders, social media pages, influence marketing collaterals and everything else is branded consistently and in an eye-catching manner. A customer or a prospect should have instant recognition for your brand.

 

While doing this, show some interest in your competition too and analyze why they are doing well or worse with respect to their branding exercise. The lessons are already there, why re-invent the wheel? You can actually go ahead and create a SWOT analysis that will eventually lead to a benchmarking report.

 

Since we are considering disruption to be the cause of this entire exercise, keep an eye open for emerging channels like toll-free numbers or dedicated call centers, so that you can put that into your business scheme of things. A transition window to the future should always be kept open.

 

Spot-on Content

 

Ensure that your brand narratives and messages including the content you may be using on your blog for informational purposes is spot-on. It should be good for everyone, unique, simple, interactive and comprehensive. Bad content builds bad will. And if you are really looking at building a brand, the content should have its own personality and a human element.

Similar to visual branding that we spoke above, content should also be uniform and come with a singular tone across all your digital assets.

 

Trust and Authority

 

Building trust and authority is a perpetual process and is not done away with, once you freeze your USP. This is best done by leveraging your digital assets to send brand messages across all digital platforms uniformly. And, those platforms would include all disruptive devices that your customers and prospects may be using, at least most of them.

 

Customer care

 

With all the branding and awesome products and services and marketing in place, the one thing that will ensure that your brand stays on top is customer service. Any interactions with the customer should not go unnoticed or unanswered. With customer care, you have to walk the talk, because this is where you create a brand perception for your target audience one-on-one.

 

Good customer support and analysis will get you more customer insights than smart questionnaires and interviews. Evening out customer support qualitatively is the key to long-lasting branding success.

 

Inference

 

Branding is perceived as an expensive exercise; however, brand is an asset you are building that will reward you with results for a long time to come.

February 6, 2017 Anil Kumar No comments exist

etradex, seo, digital marketing

 

Yes, Rest In Peace, SEO has been an abundant practice for many small businesses who have been in the dark ages and probably will stay there. After spending over 13 years in the digital marketing industry, I have always advocated against the practice and got no takers for a long time.

 

It has dawned on me long ago that trying to “game the algorithm” that Google or any other search engine follows, cannot be an ethical one. However, many businesses have poured money into the burning pot through “SEO Providers” and have got no long-term results to show. I do not see, how a business can succeed online by spamming the search engines.

 

The fun part of this entire journey for me was to see people building millions of links and then bringing them down again. In both the practices, the client had to pay from his nose. Because, every SEO provider passed the buck to each other or blamed Google. What they did not realize was that Google was well within its rights to protect its intellectual property by updating it time and again.

 

Another funny aspect of the SEO business is that every provider has the same strategy for every client. Write articles, post to article directories, have as many hyperlinks in them as possible, post the links on social media. There has been no fundamental understanding of the client’s business, the audience for the product or service and of course, there was no branding at all.

 

The war that Google waged through its Panda, Penguin and other updates ended up in cleaning the rubbish and made it an enemy of the SEO community. However through its 600 [approx.] updates from 2006 to the latest Intrusive Interstitial Penalty on 10th January 2017, the company has not only set the market straight but also continued its foray into the mobile search ecosystem. It has also ensured that the pleasurable experience of Google search on any device has remained as consistent as ever.

 

Google always said “Content is King” and “Write for the customer”, the SEO industry instead tried analyzing how the indexing algorithm is implemented and tried to get around the system. They got punished and rightfully so. Google will index your website, yes, in the right place where you belong.

 

So, what is the way ahead?

a. Build your website and ensure that it is index-able by search engine bots. Ensure that it is technically sound.

b. Build your social media assets.

c. Build a rapport with branding and PR.

d. Build your content – concise or comprehensive is a matter of decision, needless to say comprehensive content builds authority, and authority builds organic rankings.

Building a business is not about bringing another business down, it is about creativity, hard work, disruption and of course perseverance.

 

Optimize your business for growth and not for search engines.

 

The author has an entrepreneurial experience of over 24 years of which 13 have been spent in Digital Marketing is CEO & Disruptive Digital Marketer @eTraDeX, Founder & Chief Mentor @ Startup Essentials.

If you are looking for a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, execution or comprehensive content in any niche, drop an email to vp@etradex.co.in

This article originally appeared in LinkedIn.

October 28, 2015 Anil Kumar No comments exist

You already have a digital footprint (a.k.a a website) or looking forward to creating one. This could be to fulfill the gaps in your business processes or to enhance your market globally or even create an entirely new business.

Either way, it would take a lot of knowledge, ability and of course, a set of completely different marketing skills to create, deploy and market your online business. At this stage, you may decide to put all your eggs in one basket or distribute them across. Putting all your eggs in a single basket is no-good, however, in the case of digital expertise and online marketing, it is time-tested wisdom to have a single point of contact to deploy the entire process, strategically and execute with precision.

Why and how is it wise, is something that we can discuss and bring together a transparent strategy with proven statistics and analytics. We can bring a lot of value to the table, if only you can give us an opportunity to discuss and explore.

Let us get one thing out-of-the-way – we are not looking for your business, we are looking at forging partnerships that can shape a better future, for you and for us.

Our understanding is that our success is linked with yours and so we look at a way forward together.