From a task given to interns to now a full-fledged marketing science – digital marketing has come a long way. A strong mix of content, analysis, and strategy, digital marketing by nature is a fast evolving medium.
Yash Chandiramani, Founder and Chief Strategist, Admatazz gets in conversation with Social Samosa, sharing how saw the industry flourish over the years. Right from where it all began for Admatazz to the digital marketing trends he foresees, Chandiramani gets candid.
Where did it all begin? Please take us through the journey of Admatazz
I was always a copywriter, whether it was the offline marketing business I started when I was 17 or even when I was in the restaurant business, my restaurants were known for their quirky ad campaigns and social campaigns.
I started freelancing on the weekends to help other friends in the industry with their campaigns, that was the start of Admatazz. When I realized the potential Digital Advertising has in India and how it is yet being explored in the nascent stage by agencies, I took a leap of faith, sold out from the restaurant business and decided to scale Admatazz up.
When I started I got 3 of my closest school friends to work with me for 6 months to help me setup everything. We worked from a small cabin of my mom’s coaching class office.
Once it gained momentum, I moved out to the space we have right now. We are now a team of 15 people and will be approx 25 by next quarter. We have worked with over 50 clients and we still have our first 3 clients with us.
Apart from the rigorous 5 day work week, I teach Digital Marketing to final year students of degree college and MBA colleges on Saturdays.
What’s in the name?
You know like Razzmatazz? Defined as a noisy showy activity designed to attract or impress…. Admatazz. We aim to create campaigns that stand out, every single time.
In the cluttered digital marketing space, what gives Admatazz its USP?
Digital Advertising is the sweet spot between a creative campaign and an accurate media plan. If your advertising campaign doesn’t yield results or is not goal/ROI oriented, we believe you’re doing something wrong. We have the best of creative minds dishing out idea after idea and media experts to make sure the amplification gets you the numbers you are looking for.
Thus, we lay equal importance to the creative as well as the mathematics of a campaign. That we believe is our USP.
How long did it take for you to establish Admatazz as a go – to digital marketing agency? What will be your tips to folks aspiring to make it big in this industry?
It’s tough to setup your own shop in this Industry. There are client expectations, working capital requirements, and talent acquisition challenges. But like every other business, if you’re willing to go the extra mile, it will surely be rewarding. Just make sure you’re not in it because it’s a trend, and you actually like what you’re doing.
Over the years, how has the digital marketing industry evolved over the years? How do you at Admatazz stay abreast with the trends?
I believe it has become a lot easier from the client’s side. At first we had to explain SME clients about the perks of Digital Marketing, but now they all know they can’t miss the bus, so everyone is open to it. Whereas the big brands have now realised that Digital Advertising requires a different set of expertise and not necessarily a traditional big league agency’s cup of tea. So they’re open to trying out new agencies as well.
We are always discussing podcasts, blogs and updates in office. Usually one of us reads up about it and explains it to the rest of us as a learning session. We try to include new developments immediately with our client campaigns.
Who all work with Admatazz?
We have a team of approx 15 people. They comprise of Copywriters, Designers, Web and SEO specialists, Business Development and media planners. Everyone is aligned to our common goal of delivering ‘creatively different’ services to our clients.
Stop Making Sense. That’s our motto. If you make sense, your campaign and strategy is predictable. Our lunch breaks are noisy, tea breaks almost always move into extended PUBG sessions, we’re always munching on something or the other and sometimes client wins turn into beer chugging celebrations.
When the work got a little too much to handle for me alone, I pursued another very close school friend to ditch his Dad’s business and work for Admatazz, Samyaak manages client servicing and Business Development now. I also have a few of my students who have joined me straight after they were done with graduation.
We are also backed by two solid mentors/consultants on our advisory board.
Sanjay Trehan, ex Head of Business HT Media and Ex CEO NDTV Convergence, is our media consultant, he is on board to help us optimize performance driven marketing campaigns and content centric brand awareness.
We also have Sunil Lalvani, the former VP & President of Qualcomm Asia who is on our board and is mentoring us in expansion, growth strategy and is also leading us to become a tech driven Digital Agency.
One thing that you learnt the hard way in this dynamic industry?
Talent.The most difficult resource to find. I’ve realised that inadequate hiring will never get you anywhere. We take interviews every single week at Admatazz and are constantly on the lookout for good people. I don’t mind investing in training as long as my team has the intention to learn and grow every day. I’ve learned not to make hasty decisions when I’m hiring.
Do you think Indian brands understand the concept of influencer marketing? What are the 3 fundamentals of the concept that brands need to keep in mind?
In my opinion a good media plan has to have an influencer strategy.
I believe the brand should keep 3 things in mind:
- Understand the audience clearly, you need not go in for an influencer in your niche everytime, you can target a fashion influencer for a product brand as long as your target audience is the same.
- Unless its an affiliate campaign, don’t look at sales immediately, however track the social sentiment and you’ll see a marked difference if you’ve hit the right strategy.
- Don’t design an influencer campaign like as endorsement. They are not celebrities they are influencers. It has to be content centric, you have to give their followers something to consume, not just a ‘product in hand’ post.
Let’s play a round of rapid fire:
- One Indian campaign that you simply love – I loved the Skoda Kodiaq campaign – Power Should be beautiful. Also the kinley campaign – BoondBoondmeinsachaai, its one of my favourite ads.
- One global campaign that you think we can learn from -If I talk about social media, I feel we can learn a lot from the way Durex does its topical communication
- One campaign you would like to remake- I loved the ‘Kunaaaal’ campaign for Wildstone, I feel there’s a lot that could have been done as sustenance for the campaign on Social Media.
- Your icons in the industry -HareshMoorjani (FCB Ulka) , Nandini Dias (Lodestar Media) and Prasoon Joshi
- One saying that applies to this industry aptly – An Ad agency is 85% confusion and 15% commission (for all my clients reading this: I’m only kidding)
- If not in digital marketing your profession would be – I would yet be in the restaurant business I suppose.
- Sales pitch in one word – what would the word be? – ROI
What trends do you foresee in the digital marketing space?
We’ve seen the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence nowadays in quite a few campaigns whether it is through a Chat interface or even social listening tools. I feel that AI is going to influence the way campaigns are thought of, in a big way in the future. Also, I’m a big believer of Data. I believe campaigns need to be created on the basis of a strong data analysis. I feel in the near future a lot of agencies will have to start relying extensively on Data analysis to create successful ROI driven campaigns.
What next for you and Admatazz?
Well, it’s been a fast and fruitful one year; we have managed to win many accounts and a large concentration in the education sector. We are now servicing industries such as Automobile, BFSI, Beauty and Apparels. We are also in the midst of expanding our office space.
In the near future, we are in the midst of expanding operations to the United Kingdom and I am working on that set up. We are also working setting up an in-house data analytics team to provide a holistic service to my existing clients and the new ones that come on board.
As for me, I hope I continue to get time to write campaigns personally