Social Media Agency Feature: Mobikon - Integrating Campaigns for Hospitality Brands

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Who are we?

Mobikon is a leading cloud-based integrated digital marketing and customer engagement platform for the hospitality and retail industry. We take care of social media for clients, like The Pan India Group, Little Italy chain of restaurants, Seasons – An Apartment Hotel, to name a few. It was founded by Samir Khadepaun & Salil Khamkar in early 2009 and has enthusiastically grown from Singapore and is now scaling up to Dubai, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and India.

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Meet the Head, Client Relationship Manager Prasad Deshmukh

A post graduate from Wellingkar Institute of Management, he is currently engaged with Mobikon Asia after having risen from scratch to his present post of that of the Head CRM.

“I have worked on practically every level of client servicing when it comes to Mobikon”,

says Prasad.

“A company's relationship with its clients is what defines its past, present and future, so my job is to give constructive direction to this interaction and make it as organised, automated and also synchronize it with the values of Mobikon.”

He considers the best part of his job as being able to interact with clients, and feels that it is not really all about making or breaking a deal, but creating a string of communication that may open up at any point of time, even in the future. He further adds,

"Measuring campaigns, target marketing, acquiring leads are some of the most challenging factors as a CRM Manager, but again, these challenging avenues make you wake up in the morning and get back to work!"

What we do?

We holistically undertake and manage requests made by clients. Our Social Media services integrate campaigns for their restaurants and properties over multiple channels such as email, search, social media, mobiles and direct mail. These systems track clicks, responses, leads and deals. In short, we help our clients engage with their customers on the channels I mentioned earlier at a minimal cost.

Facebook plays a prime role when it comes to this kind of engagement, and in today's day and age, it is not a mystery why. Facebook and Twitter are the golden words when it comes to digital marketing in the 21st century, and we as a company are helping our customers tap this resource. We have recently become very active on Foursquare, wherein the client gives us the offer, which is designed either by the client or us depending on the need of the moment, and we cross promote it on Facebook and Twitter and design different kind of offers on Foursquare.

What’s in the Name?

The name ‘Mobikon’ is the brainchild of our co-founder Mr. Samir Khadepaun. ‘Kon’ literally is a root to the word, 'Connect' which encourages the idea of connecting to people and ideas instantly. ‘Mobi’ means on the move, because that’s exactly how we would like to perceive our company as; helping restaurants to connect with their customers! Hence, the name Mobikon!


Why we do it?

The digital landscape today has changed the face of consumer behavior. The present consumer-brand relationship is not just an interactive and social experience that is placed 'online'. So whether it is a big chain of restaurants or a mom-and-pop shop, there are countless reasons why your restaurant should incorporate Facebook into your promotional strategies. I think that’s reason enough as to why we decided to pick social media as a lucrative source both for our clients as well as us. Let’s take a simple example, would you think twice before going to a restaurant of your choice? The answer is no! Would our parents or grandparents have acted the same as us, or would they have given it a thought? Yes! That’s the paradigm shift the GenX has faced in the last 10 odd years.

How we evolve?

Keeping tabs on what is constantly buzzing around us really helps. Keeping up with social media practices, it's do's and don'ts, newer and better technology are all part of the process that helps us evolve. There are no limits to how social media is burgeoning today and frankly, it is quite exciting to keep up and know different brands. Constant experimentation is another key in the process of evolving for Mobikon. I would say, it’s a mélange of all these factors that has contributed to where Mobikon is today.

Need of the hour

Universally, social media is quite popular and was created as an engagement tool. However, in India this is not the case. Here we use social media to promote offers, sales pitches on this platform which is a fallacy; like a misleading function. This is not recommended abroad. Here people relate social with ROI and hence overlook relationship-building with their consumers. Frankly, it is an 80/20 rule. Only 20% of your posts should be self-promotional, or else you are simply boring your fans and hence losing out on the opportunity of getting any business out of them. So the need of the hour, according to me, is for brands to consider social media marketing as an integral part of their communication mix.

We learned the hard way

In our early days, one of the fans of a client gave them a negative review on Facebook. Our client on the other hand asked us to promptly remove the comment since it was damaging the brand-name. This is something we discourage our clients from doing, as social media is an open forum which consumer use freely to voice their opinion about the brand and trying to curb this voice will be detrimental to the brand in the long run. Having said this, we think it is quite a task to make a client understand this because just like the ill effects of not taking social media seriously are hidden; it is very difficult to evaluate and quantify the numerous benefits of social media.

Did we just share that?

There are so many incidents which I can recount at this point of time.

They work with us

Some of our clients are Hotel Hindusthan International chain of hotels, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, India, St. Mark’s, Bangalore, Mishmash, Bangalore, 121 Kitchen Bar:BQ, Pune to name a few.

Industry as we foresee

The past decade has seen swift changes in social media and the businesses surrounding it. Twitter and Facebook have adapted to the world of business better than anyone. 2011 had social media leap from a simple broadcasting platform to a melange of network connection and rewarding engagements. 2012 saw social media connecting with potential customers and building brand awareness. I think 2013 is going to be rooted on the 'engagement' aspect. Just look at the average time a user spends on Facebook, and I am sure a lot of companies will be weighing in on the benefits of this 'time spent' on social media because here, time is money. In short, we are looking at increasing leaps and bounds in 2013-14’.

A day without Internet

It is definitely unimaginable. The number of mobile consumers have increased in the past decade. So once this connectivity and speed increases there is bound to be more active users, more traffic, and hence more demand for online activity. Social media, we think, is going to take over a prime edge when it comes to online/digital marketing and promotions, considering people are connected 24 x 7, which will be a direct impetus to Mobikon’s business. That is the crux here. We are also aware and tapping the idea of internet penetration since that too is on the rise that will basically raise the value of social media indirectly. So yes, a day without internet today would be like a day without water.

Lastly, are you hiring?

Yes, we are looking for young and dynamic youngsters and also people with adequate expertise in the various job profiles at Mobikon. We want people who are fun to be with; we welcome newer ideas and innovation. We have the kind of work culture that is enviable and completely fun.

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