Digital Marketing Conference
As per the I-Cube 2013 report, released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International in Nov 2013, the number of Internet users in India reached 205 million in October 2013, a Y-o-Y growth of 40% over 2012 and by December 2013, the numbers is expected to reach 213 million. By 2014, India can overtake US in terms number of Internet users, since it is estimated that by June 2014, India will have 243 million internet users, while the US currently has 207 million internet users.
Marketers have always kept their pace with the shift in the way people consume information, moving from Offline Marketing (print/TVs) to Internet Marketing (computer based) and now towards Mobile Marketing. According to the IAMAI report, number of mobile internet users in India has reached 110 million in October 2013, and is estimated to reach 130 million by the end of December 2013. And as per Global investment firm Avendus, LinkedIn ranks India among its top 4 growth markets in terms of mobile usage. The Indian consumer is also slowly opening up to the paid mobile application market which is currently being pegged at Rs.300 cr.
These statistics clearly bring out the fact that the future of the Marketing is going to be dominated by the Mobile Devices. Therefore there cannot be a better time to talk and elaborate about the next wave of Marketing, the Mobile Based Marketing, which has already started capturing the Indian market.
Great Lakes organized its annual Digital Marketing conference in association with Jade Magnet on January 4, 2013 and the conference acted as a perfect platform of discussion for Industry experts, corporate participants, professors, alumni and management students. The agenda included discussion on SoLoMo, Geo Marketing and Mobile-the new digital. Eminent speakers from the Industry spoke on the topics and took part in the panel discussion. The guest list included Mr. Satya Prabhakar, CEO of Sulekha, Mr. Sunil Maheshwari, CEO & Co founder of Mango technologies, Mr. Sanjeeth Sen, Country Head for marketing in Symantec, Mr. Sumit Jain, CEO of commonfloor.com and Mr. Pramod Pratap, Digital Marketing Head at Infosys.
Dr. Vaidy Jayaraman, Associate Dean and Professor at Great Lakes welcomed the guests and in his welcome address he gave a brief about the ongoing trends and future of Digital Marketing.
‘SoLoMo’ a term coined by John Doerr in 2010, refers to the conversion of Social networks, Mobile platforms and local commerce. Mr. Satya Prabhakar, the CEO of one of the leading Indian online companies was one of the key note speakers in the conference and he spoke on SoLoMo (Social Local Mobile). He briefed the topic by talking on Social media marketing and mobile platforms and its effect on business today. He chose to talk more on local commerce and how Social media and Mobile platforms can invariably contribute in terms of revenue to the business.
He spoke about his experience of starting Sulekha and how they have gained competitive advantage by giving importance to local marketing. Mr. Satya said, “Today, with the kind of technology that businesses can make use of and the number of options available to the customers, connecting this gap is one of the biggest challenges to people in business.” He gave an example talking about Sulekha’s mobile application platform. “If you give the customer what he is looking for at that time when he exactly needs it, then you get him. For instance, if a person has been searching for a house for a long time in a particular location, and when he gets a message from you while he is around that area, chances are really high that he will go for it.” Digital marketing has created a platform to understand specific needs of a consumer and connect those needs with specific business. This leads to more accurate selling and higher customer satisfaction and that is the kind of advantage mobile applications can give you, he added. “Direct marketing has relatively dropped by 50 per cent while digital marketing is
in the driver’s seat influencing buyers,”
Delivering his key note address, Mr. Sunil Maheshwari, CEO and Co-Founder of Mango Technologies said, “We haven’t scratched the location-based marketing technique completely. We are still getting there and the increase in the volume of smart phone usage will widen the potential of location-based marketing which will further drive the sales.”
Following the key note address, the conference had a 45 minutes Panel discussion moderated by Mr. Kiruba Shankar, CEO of Business Blogging. The Panel members included Mr. Sanjeeth Sen, Country Head for marketing in Symantec, Mr. Sumit Jain, CEO of commonfloor.com and Mr. Pramod Pratap, Digital Marketing Head at Infosys.
With the increase in the number of people using Mobile phones and other devices to access the internet, it presents a gamut of opportunities and challenges for businesses to grow while acquiring new customers and retaining the old ones. The panelists shed light on how Companies are exploiting this opportunity to enhance the Brand Value.
Mr. Sumit Jain briefed how common floor has managed to penetrate the market and come up as a successful company in just less than three years by maximizing the Digital and Mobile marketing space. When questioned about the digital marketing strategies which companies should adopt to stay ahead in the competition, Mr. Pramod Pratap, Digital Marketing Head of Infosys said, “It is inappropriate to think that Digital Marketing is a strategy adopted for making a successful company. Digital is a medium and therefore it is one of the most important things to consider when you are formulating your marketing strategy.” It is even important to measure your ROI on digital, only then you will understand what works for you, he added.
Mr. Sanjeeth Sen, Country Head of Marketing in Symantec discussed on some of the important aspects of privacy issues in Digital Marketing. “No one has a formal education in using Internet or Mobile. We use a browser in a smart phone; we never bother to understand it completely. Even a child less than 3 years of age can use a smart phone today. For marketers this is an advantage, because you get enormous amount of information about a potential customer’s buying behavior. You can capitalize on this information at the same time, it is also important to respect the privacy issues of the customers. If you can do this effectively, Digital Marketing can be a game changer for you.
During the conference, Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, the Founder and Dean of Great Lakes also announced the introduction of a new course in IT and Management in association with Georgia State University “The digital advantage we have is going to create a big boon to businesses but that comes through effective maximization,” Said Dr. Bala.
Dr. T.N. Swaminathan, Director of Branding & Public Relations and Professor at Great Lakes delivered the vote of thanks and presented the keynote speakers and Panelists with mementos.
To view the event in photos click here