Correct implementation of CDP will help in crafting the right data story for brands: Shibu Shivanandan

Shibu Shivanandan
Shibu Shivanandan

Shibu shares his opinion on the mounting fear of global inflation, where India stands and more on the digital front in this brief conversation.

Shibu, Founder & Managing Director PivotRoots and a jury member for Social Samosa SAMMIE BSMB 2022, shines a light on the MarTech industry and its future capabilities, the agency’s future plans and more.

Edited Excerpts:

How has digital marketing grown in the last few years and how do you see it evolving in the future?

Digital marketing has witnessed a huge increase in the spends over the last few years. However, digital is still around 35% of the overall ad expenditure in India, while advanced markets operate at more than 70% digital share. You can imagine the opportunity. With an expected CAGR of +25% growth, we would be one of the fastest-growing markets.

Now brands are evolving and building better measurement frameworks and investing in Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), giving them better control of their data and useful insights into their behaviour. This was previously largely dependent on third-party platforms. Other aspects as ML& AI will play a much stronger role in building better products and solutions. Conversational commerce will see an increase.

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As per TAM AdEx, digital ad insertions have dropped by 13% during Jul-Sep ’22 over Jan-Mar’22. Do you think this is because of mounting inflation fears, or what has led to this drop?

Honestly, digital is growing year after year. There would be a few good quarters and a few not-so-great ones. Collectively, we are seeing it trending positively.

Though there is a lot of chatter around global uncertainty, I am very confident that India will emerge as one of the shining countries.

This year Pivotroots strengthened its MarTech capabilities. What are some MarTech trends you expect and some challenges you’ve seen in the industry?

With the giants like Google moving away from third-party cookies, one of the critical capabilities brands are and should focus on is building first-party data. Correct implementation of CDP and its usage would help in crafting the right data story for brands. Brands need to invest in marketing automation platforms. This will help increase conversions and drive more engagement with customers.

Having said that, while there is awareness in the market of tools and solutions, there is hesitancy in allocating budgets or investments on CDP. These platforms are not realising that the tool will pay for itself if used in the right way.

Can you walk us through some of the highlights that the agency has seen in 2022?

We have had a great 2022 which had some key moments for us like integrating our first acquisition PivotConsult into PivotRoots for faster growth in the martech space, we launched our new office in Bangalore, and have bagged some great accounts like NH Hospitals, LeapScholar, Parcos, Hobspace, Amazon Fresh among others. We have reached close to 300 employees with offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and UAE.

Previously the agency expanded its root in UAE. Is the agency planning to expand any further?

Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and others seem to be on a fast growth trajectory. The region would be another exciting market to enter.

What does the road map for Pivotroots looks like in the coming year?

To strengthen our creative capability and to support our social team, we have set up a large comms team and have hired senior leadership to level up our expertise and do more meaningful work in the space.

We are looking at investing/building impactful martech and adtech solutions, and we are in the final stages of building a few products to increase efficiency in the Media and SEO/Content space. PivotRoots is looking at building an end-to-end D2C capability team by the end of the year. 

To sum it up, we are looking at an accelerated growth year and are extremely positive about the roadmap for 2023. So yes, look forward to exciting times ahead! 

What are you expecting from the nominees this year at SAMMIEs?

With the quickly changing digital landscape, I am really looking forward to seeing how brands and agencies have successfully paired creativity with technology to innovate or disrupt the space.