Acquiring customers is critical, but it’s equally important to engage and retain them: Apurva Chamaria

Apurva Chamaria

Apurva Chamaria, Chief Revenue Officer, RateGain boasts of a diverse digital marketing portfolio, having worked with some of the most magnificent brands, including HCL.

Also a part of the esteemed jury panel for Best Social Media Brands 2018, Apurva Chamaria is the author of best-selling book – You Are The Key – Unlocking Doors Through Social Selling – and is in the process of penning another book on growth hacking.

Social Samosa picks Chamaria’s brain, gaining insights on the latest digital marketing trends, social media marketing takeaways from working at a travel start-up, and inside dope on his upcoming book.

Excerpts below: 

  1. How would you explain the term social selling to a five-year-old? In the process of writing a book on social selling, what were the three important things you uncovered about the subject?

Simply put, social selling is about leveraging social media networks to create and manage relationships eventually leading to sales. Most decision makers can be found on social media today. Sales teams can get essential information about customers and prospects (who they are, where are they located, their requirements), engage with them and offer thoughtful content to ease & quicken the sales process.  The three important things I cover in my book “You are the Key-Unlocking doors through social selling” :

  1. a)     Pillars of Social Selling are: Listen, Observe & Learn, Research & Build Bridges, Engage, Hook & Impress, and Collaborate and Close.
  2. b)     The differences between social selling and social media marketing that most people tend to overlook.
  3. c)     Age or experience are irrelevant to social selling. You may be a millennial or a senior employee, if you have the art of making conversation & relationship building, you can easily adopt social selling.
Also Read: Our social content plan doesn’t just stop at doing hygiene posts: Raj Rishi Singh, PepsiCo India
  1. You’re in the process of penning a book on growth hacking. What attracted you to the subject? Please share a few key learnings that brands can emulate.

With more and more F500 companies getting disrupted by nimble agile start-ups, the latest buzzword in marketing is “Growth Hacking”. Every business today is aiming towards accelerated growth. The number of brands today who have made millions of dollars by focusing only on new-age strategies that scale their product is testament to how important the concept is. The likes of Instagram, Airbnb and Dropbox have seen exponential growth over years by implementing Growth Hacking and I found it a strategy definitely worth exploring. Most marketers are uncertain about how to implement growth hacking techniques. To get the most out of this, marketers must experiment across channels & product development to identify what works best for their business. Since every customer is unique, it becomes important to define their progression paths & enable the customer throughout their purchase journey.

Acquiring customers is critical, but it is equally important to engage and retain them.

It takes a team to successfully carry out growth hacking, so make sure your team’s mind-set is aligned to a growth hacking culture.

  1. What according to you should be the parameters to measure RoI on digital marketing efforts?

The easiest way to measure digital ROI would be to look at pipeline generation and conversions but there is a bigger picture.

It is important to measure the website traffic, click through rate as well as the brand awareness and purchase decisions influenced by digital campaigns. Additionally, brand recognition and social media engagement are important parameters. Furthermore, it is a good practice to identify key performance indicators per channel and/or campaign.

  1. What have been the key digital marketing takeaways from your time at RateGain? How can travel start-ups, leverage social media marketing to stand out of the clutter?

At RateGain, digital marketing at present contributes to 60% of overall marketing funnel and according to me it could possibly contribute even more. Our focus is to implement growth hack strategies to improve both site traffic and site stickiness along with improvement in conversions. Social media is an indispensable part of digital strategy for not just travel start-ups but also for enterprises simply because it offers a frugal way to promote the products or services.

Social media is also complementary to search engine optimization & help improve site discoverability without start-ups having to pay too much. I am a huge advocate of building buyer personas by listening and engaging with your target prospects on social media.

Another important strategy is to cross promote blogposts around all the products on social media profiles along with appropriate hashtags & trackable landing page links. It is important or rather more strategic to constantly engage in efforts to build a good quality follower base for all social media accounts. Much of it happens on its own if you’re posting relevant and regular posts however, you might want to invest in targeted follower based campaigns as well.

  1. Top 3 trends that have dominated the digital marketing sphere in 2018.

I would say Video marketing, Mobile marketing, Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence are seen as major disrupters to the industry. Growing privacy concerns and implementation of GDPR is expected to significantly influence digital marketing strategies.

  1. Do you think Indian brands need inspiration from their global counterparts? If yes, why? If no, please share one Indian campaign that managed to create noise globally.

Inspiration is always welcome but I think Indian brands are doing well for themselves. There were quite a few campaigns last year that made noise but Mondelez’s Cadbury Marvellous Creations ad campaign using Augmented Reality set a new industry benchmark. The TVC and on-ground activations were executed very well.

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