In an atmosphere where collisions between business and technology are increasing and digital is being consciously rated above the core mediums of marketing, it is impossible to become complacent with the medium. In fact, marketers need to accommodate to this medium more than the medium seeks to be accommodated. Needless to say, its inevitable incorporation in the ecosystem cannot do without acceleration in awareness and education amongst marketers.
Samarjeet Singh, with his twelve years of experience in the Internet industry, is the Director-Founder of Iksula. And, while talking about the challenges of digital marketing, he says, â€œWe started becoming a little cynical about 5-6 years back when we started thinking about how hard we were trying and yet not getting there as far online retailing is concerned.â€
However, while recognising this lag in information available to marketers about the evolving medium of digital, Samarjeet talks about â€˜Online Retail Masterclassâ€™, which is a result of translating the skepticism into optimism. â€œWeâ€™ve gone ahead and tied up with various agencies in delivering lectures for free for retailers to attend and discuss the multitude of queries that they have. Till now, I have personally trained close to two thousand people in various forums where we try to detail the A-B-C of digital retail and e-commerce.â€ More importantly, Singh feels that these players need to know about how technology can be integrated and how to look at the content, since fundamentally, digital is a content medium. He says, â€œOn a scale of 10, awareness today stands only at a 3 or 4 and thatâ€™s being realistic.â€
Leveraging the right arm of social media in the right manner is also of great importance. â€œTo me, Facebook is potentially competing with a mass media which is television; itâ€™s competing with word of mouth. Facebook however, is certainly not a discovery medium; itâ€™s a collaborative and interactive medium. And going beyond Facebook, marketers need to realize where their audience is.â€ Samarjeet says for exclusive brands, it might not be about Facebook at all. While illustrating the same, he talks about the biker community which might opine that discussions on a forum like Facebook are flimsy and thus, they will possibly move to forums like Team-BHP where the community really resides.
But, highlighting the first principle, he reiterates that the key lesson for internet retailing in the country, which of course comes after pinning prime focus on the consumer, is to give product the maximum precedence. He says, â€œIn the digital world, product is more important than the marketer, the solution is more active than marketing and the application is more vital than marketing.â€