Digital Marketing in India: What's wrong?

Recently, two events happened. First,  I got a call from a prominent Digital Marketing agency. During the conversation, the Delivery Head (yes, she is in-charge of project delivery) stressed that their agency operated on a pay-per-performance model (she also assumed that after 2 years of MBA I did not know what that meant). What struck me though was what happened next. She stated that they got paid for (they advised companies that the below mentioned points meant better ROI):

  • The number of followers on Twitter
  • Number of fans on Facebook
  • Number of visits on site
Secondly, I read a post on SEOMoz , a company who I think are at the forefront of Digital Marketing.The post read " Senior Marketers Need Greater Accountability", and what followed was what Senior marketers were doing wrong. The post spoke about how Senior Marketers are focusing on simply a Time on site and Page views, rather than on conversions.

Any decent Social Media Expert/Evangelist.. will tell you that what The Indian Digital Marketing agency described as ROI is absolutely wrong. They will also tell you about the wisdom of the post on SEOMoz.

Here's what I think is wrong with the Indian Digital Marketing scenario:
  • No focus on conversions: A lot of sites simply sit without basic SEO being done. Also, websites are still seen as brand awareness machines
  • No real understanding of social media: Followers and fans are being construed as ROI which is not the case
  • No goals or purpose: Most senior marketers are unsure as to what the real goal of a website should be.
What I think is:
  • Conversions not page views are king
  • Social Media is an influence engine
  • Number of Followers and Fans  can never be a true count of your popularity (Read Anil Dash's great post on this)
  • Content is king, especially benefit-oriented and written top down (Nobody really cares about challenges! Simply because if they aren't facing a challenge why are they looking for a solution)
  • Social Media has way more usage than simply gaining fans/followers. It can be used for
    • Support: Real-Time
    • Trend analysis and tracking
    • Brand influence and awareness
    • Feedback tracking
    • Flash marketing campaigns
    • Collateral distribution for free and much more..
  •  Tracking:  I can easily tell what my link activity has been for the past 8 months or so
  • Mobile is the next big thing, but how many companies have mobile enabled websites
  • Multi-lingual sites: How many opportunities do we miss because of this?
Digital Marketing has a long way to go in India. From what I've seen, we really need a tectonic plate shift in terms of what really Online Marketing can do.


Google maps- In the air

Having just got through 10 hours of flying in a week, I had a lot of time to mull over things.

The first thing that struck me was the bland map display on most airlines. I've noticed this while traveling on Singapore Airlines, and to my disappointment, things haven't changed much. Kingfisher Airlines, one of the few airlines in India with in-flight entertainment, has the same old bland map.

The above picture is just an example(source:

Which got me thinking. Why not have Google Maps in-flight also. With their superior features, and great geo-location facility, looking at that bland map could actually become exciting.

Here's how:
  • While traveling on a train , a airline passenger can see cities/towns he's crossing. He could do the same while flying
  • This could also be an educational supplement for children, who might learn something. Google could add some information to each city, which kids could glance at
  • Google can aid tourists by providing the drive-in facility. That way, no taxi driver could cheat you when you get off at your destination
  • Airlines can benefit by adding information about other cities they connect to, while you fly over them

Juts my thoughts.