Future of Digital Marketing In India – An Interview with Pradeep Chopra, CEO – Digital Vidya

future of digital marketing in india

Co-Founder and CEO of Digital VidyaPradeep Chopra is one of the most sought after speakers in the industry who has trained and advised over 1500 people. He is also an author on Digital Marketing and entrepreneurship and is one of the core member of SEMPO and Social Media Chambers Malaysia.

This interview comes as a part of our #DigitalQandA sessions on our Facebook group. You can find Pradeep Chopra answering the FAQs on Digital Marketing Career in India.

Q1. Sorav: I often get this question from people, where do you see Digital Marketing 5 years down the lane in India?

Pradeep: Considering the pace at which Digital Marketing moves and the stakes involved, it’s a multi-billion dollar question. There are multiple ways to answer this question based on what aspect of the ecosystem we focus on.

At a top level, with the growing internet population in India, the importance of Digital Marketing will become even stronger for all kinds of organizations. It’s evident, looking at the digital media spend projections by various sources. For e.g., according to a recent study by ASSOCHAM-KPMG, digital media spend in India will cross Rs 13,000 Crores by 2018. This will continue to fuel the demand for skilled professionals and create new jobs in the industry.

As in the past, we will continue to see the emergence of newer digital media channels especially for Mobile. With growing adoption of smartphones and increasing internet speeds, rich media such as videos will dominate in terms of consumption of content.

As we spend more time, engage deeper and share more details about us, digital media will be able to offer even better targeting capabilities.

Finally, with increasing digital marketing budgets and stronger integration of digital marketing in overall marketing, the distinction between traditional and digital marketing will disappear.

Q2. Sorav: Can you share some statistics that will inspire people to understand the scope of Digital Marketing?

Pradeep:  Yes, there are multiple statistics which can help one appreciate the scope and growth of Digital Marketing:

  • Digital Media spend to cross Rs 13,000 crores by 2018 (as shared above)
  • India will cross 530 Million smartphone users by 2018 (Zenith Media)
  • Indian E-Commerce industry to cross US$ 50 Billion in 2018 (ASSOCHAM-Deloitte)

Q3. Sorav: What’s the easiest of all to learn and why? SEO, SEM, SMM, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and Email Marketing. Which of these do you think has the maximum scope in India?

Pradeep: Interesting question! I believe it’s a function of personal interest and aptitude. For e.g., SMM/Content Marketing requires strong communication skills, SEM requires good grip on numbers and high level of creativity, SEO requires reasonable understanding of web technologies.

At the same time, as I shared in this blog post Should I learn SEO/SEM/SMM or everything in Digital Marketing, even if a personnel plans to specialize in an area, s/he should have a reasonable understanding of other aspects in digital marketing.

Q4. Sorav: What is your thought on ‘All of A Sudden Rise of Digital Marketing Agency‘ – Do you think this market is going to saturate in another few years?

Pradeep: All of a Sudden Rise of Digital Marketing Agency: It depends upon what time horizon you are referring to. For e.g., we were running a digital marketing agency from 2007-2009 before we started Digital Vidya.

We’ll continue to see the demand for digital marketing agencies in the foreseeable future. However, the growth rate is expected to reduce compared to the growth we’ve seen in the past 5-7 years. At the same time, given the dynamic nature of this medium, there will always be opportunities for new players to get in.

As per Google Keyword Planner, while the search volume for ‘digital marketing’ keyword in India has grown 6 times in last 4 years, the rate of growth in last 1 year is much lower.

Q5. Sorav: The attrition rate in Digital Marketing Industry is really high, what could be the reason?

Pradeep: The gap between demand and available Digital Marketing talent is one of the primary reasons for higher attrition rate. Newer opportunities at internet based start-ups and platform companies such as Google, Facebook & LinkedIn is another reason for growing attrition.

Q6. Sorav: Do you think Digital Marketing courses are the new MBA, like hot selling cakes?

Pradeep: That’s what it appears from outside. Given the low entry barrier and this perception that selling Digital Marketing course is a cakewalk, we see new Digital Marketing institutes mushrooming every week.

While there’s a growing demand for Digital Marketing courses, providing quality education and building a business out of it takes years of commitment and passion.

Q7. Sorav:  Can you talk a little about Digital Vidya’s Digital Marketing Journey? What strategies do you guys adopt and what has been impact of each of these? SEO, SEM, SMM etc.

Pradeep:  We are the consumers of what we teach. And if we are not then we don’t deserve to be Digital Marketing education business. While the focus and distribution could vary and change based on the changes in the industry, we actively use SEO, SEM, SMM, Inbound and Email Marketing.

For e.g., in the initial years of Digital Vidya, we used to make significant effort in leveraging our Facebook Page. Given the negligible organic reach of Facebook Page today, we’ve proportionally reduced our efforts and expectations.

The same is also reflected in the curriculum of our Digital Marketing Certification Course (CDMM). We used to dedicate 3/4th of a day on teaching Community Building on Facebook out of 2 days of our Social Media Marketing course.

One common thread across all our marketing initiatives is to leverage educational (vs. promotional) content such as Blog & Webinar. It is in line with our efforts to strengthen our leadership position in the digital marketing education domain.

Q8. Sorav: Content vs. Technology innovations in Social Media – what do you think is the current strength of Indian social media market and where do you think we lack expertise currently?

Pradeep: To be honest, we are not world class in either but ahead of a lot of other countries in terms of our ability to leverage content and technology for Digital Marketing including Social Media. I wish to see a global Digital Marketing channel and emerging from India.

Q9. Sorav: What’s the need of vernacular courses at present? Do you see enough people asking for courses in other languages? Do you foresee that market as a stronger marketing with time?

Pradeep: Rajan Anandan, VP of Google India and South-East Asia shared in April 2017 that 90% of new internet users in India are non-english. I also learnt recently that none of the top 10 newspapers in India are English. Both of these stats speak volume about scope and growth of users for non-vernacular content.

However, it’s distributed across not one but many vernacular languages. Moreover, given many of Digital Media channels are not yet optimized for vernacular language, it’s tricky to create a learning program on Digital Marketing in vernacular languages. Nevertheless, I still see an opportunity of a Digital Marketing course in vernacular language.

Q10. Sorav:  What should be the ideal starting package for an entrant in Digital Marketing industry? Not many are aware.

Pradeep:  The ideal starting salary for a Digital Marketing professional is a function of multiple parameters such as educational background, understanding of Digital Marketing, location, kind of organization. Rs 1.5 to 4 Lacs per annum would still be a range for starting package.

Here’s a chart which lists various profiles, years of experience and respective salary range.
digital-marketing-job-salarySource

Q11. Sorav:  Which are those sites that you would recommend people to read often to stay updated in Digital Marketing domain?

Pradeep:  Read blogs such as Search Engine Land, Moz, Backlinko, Digital Vidya, Sorav Jain, Hubspot, Neil Patel and attend Webinars led by practitioners.

Q12. Sorav:  Does recession impact the digital marketing domain?

Pradeep:  Interestingly, for the key advantages such as cost-effectiveness, targeting and measurability, Digital Marketing is the recommended channel at all times which includes during recession as well.

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