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A content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Chennai headquartered software development services company Aspire Systems’ Marketing Director, Raghunath Vijayaraghavan, talks candidly about the importance of social media marketing. He elaborates on which social platforms work for B2B companies, and which don’t.
Interviewed by Avanish Tiwary
The biggest challenge for a B2B company in marketing is that there is a lot of focus even today on cold calling, sending emails, etc., which is basically part of a push campaign, but what we need now is a pull campaign. Because of the intense competition, as there are now hundreds of IT services companies, the question is, how do you differentiate yourself from others? Automatically the focus shifts to making the content different and that is where social media becomes an important tool. It helps to distribute content to the most number of clients.
For B2B specifically, LinkedIn is a huge help as that is one social network that is typically meant for B2B companies where you won’t see many B2C brands. You won’t see companies like Flipkart or Amazon using it as actively since for them Facebook, and maybe Twitter, are better platforms. But that is not so for B2B brands. A lot of companies focus on content and regularly find themselves asking how they can use content to target the relevant customer. Content has to provide value to the reader and at the same time also help in building your company’s brand. Let’s say, Aspire Systems puts out some very good content for someone who is looking for a solution pertaining to a retail problem. The more content they digest from us the more credible we become, and at that point in time there is a huge possibility that they themselves might reach out to us. Most of the social media marketing is focused around content. So social media marketing goes hand in hand with good content.
There are different types of content to work with and we keep changing the flavour so as to avoid monotony. It can be videos, success stories, webinars or a white paper that talks about say, Aspire Systems’ thoughts on mobile apps. The hope is that it would build my company’s credibility and at the same time if someone wants to reach out to us they should have a way to do so.
If you look at social media marketing at Aspire Systems, typically we look at what kind of pain points our customers go through. Let’s say a company has issues with its mobile app; maybe it crashes frequently, or they want their customers to be connected with the company through the app all the time. We develop content that the customer would find useful, then see how we can target them. Through LinkedIn, I can specifically target the VP of say, Flipkart, which is useful for us. Even ads on social media channels like LinkedIn work in an effective way as I can target my ad viewer there. I can set it up in a way that the ad will be shown to only those who have the designation of a director or above of say, a retail company. When somebody in that position sees my ad, they would be happy to give it a read and explore more.
There is also the aspect of consuming content at different touch points that a marketer should keep in mind. For example, if we get to know that a particular client likes to consume content on mobile apps, we give him more content on apps. To be able to do this, we need to create profiles of all our clients.
Marketers are trying very hard to ensure that the customers reach them and for that they do a lot of AB testing of ads. We also use re-marketing effectively, so if you were to come to the Aspire website, the next time you log into any of your social media accounts, our ads would be shown to you.
Snapchat or Instagram kind of platforms are more for a B2C company. For B2B, the most commonly used platforms are LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Facebook is more of a re-marketing platform which is sometimes also used for recruitment. I would say LinkedIn is the most preferred B2B social media marketing tool. But almost all companies have their own YouTube channel, so videos that include tutorials and things like that mainly go on YouTube instead of any other platform.
It’s not that social media is only for branding. These tools are helping in lead generation as well. However, as of now, we still need a lot of traditional marketing methods for lead generation. But social media is quickly moving up the ladder to become one of the strongest lead generation marketing tools. The dependence on other marketing tools for lead generation, I would say, is dipping, and in the next two to three years, social media will dominate.
Without giving exact figures here, I can say that we have increased our budget in social media marketing from last year to this year by four times. The main thing for us to think about, and it’s something other marketers should also focus on, is how to divide the funds among separate social platforms. One has to try and understand which platforms will work for your business and at what stage. Twitter has not worked for lead generation but it’s a good social media platform for branding. LinkedIn is considered as a strong lead generation platform. Facebook is more for brand building.
I would say the challenge is probably more of recruiting the right social media manager who knows the subject and is an expert. Though digital marketing has become equivalent to traditional marketing, there are many nuances to it that only an expert can handle. Talent is still a huge problem. Also, because of its popularity, social media marketing is becoming expensive and a CMO will have to be wary of how much he is spending and what his returns are.
Marketers are still struggling to find mature social media strategies: Results from the “State of B2B Social Media Marketing 2016” survey
The “State of B2B Social Media Marketing 2016” found that nearly 15% of companies still do not invest in social media marketing.
Social media marketing is a great cost-effective option for a brand
Kiran Veigas, Associate Director and Head - Corporate Strategy & Marketing, Happiest Minds
Working social media into B2B settings
Rajesh Nanarpuzha, Assistant Professor in Marketing at IIM Udaipur
To be or not to be? B2B firms and social media
The author has a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad. He is currently working as a marketing analyst.
Likeable Social Media
Dave is a devoted father, husband and the founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media software company.