In conversation with Deepesh Sharma, Digital Marketing Manager, Digital Vidya
Please tell us about your professional & academic background. What are your key responsibilities at your current job?
I started my career as an entrepreneur when I started my company in my 3rd year of Engineering. Although I am an electronics and communication engineer and was good in academics but had this creative keeda which made me take up freelancing projects mainly for Video Editing and Video Marketing under my brand Editings.in. I still remember the day I landed my first gig of 35$ which was around 1700 INR, a fairly decent amount for an engineering student in those days.
After taking on the project, I realized that I didn’t have any clue on how to complete it. I smiled, spent the whole night researching and next morning sent the completed video to the customer. He really liked my work and awarded me with an extra 10$. After this, I spent all my nights creating something extraordinary for my customers. Later I purchased my own domain, created my website and took on 100s of projects and delivered them with 100% positive reviews.
Although I was doing well as a freelancer, but wanted to expand myself from a freelancer or consultant to a full time Digital Marketer. After completing my engineering, I worked 6 months for a US based e-commerce company Angara and later I joined Digital Vidya. Although all the places where I worked brought new challenges and learning, but Digital Vidya has always been very close to my heart, even more than my own venture.
I joined Digital Vidya as the Digital Media Manager and now in my 3rd year. Initially my key responsibilities were to take care of the e-learning content, esp. video content published across the affiliates and to be delivered with our courses. But soon, I took on more responsibilities. With keen interest in Digital Marketing and experience in the same, I started bringing in new initiatives and always tried various growth-hacking techniques to grow our business.
At present, I head Inbound Marketing and Email Marketing at Digital Vidya. I look into the Affiliate Partnership & Alliances. My key responsibilities involve optimizing and scaling the overall conversions of the organization, creating strategies to drive online traffic, leading and nurturing it so that it reaches a level where it is sales ready. Also I am a trainer at Digital Vidya for Inbound and YouTube Marketing.
Analyzing conversion rates, optimizing campaigns, and creating strategies, amidst so much to do, what keeps you motivated to come to work every day?
Yes it takes a lot. At times just a small tweak can multiply your conversions and such results always motivate you. For example, we do a lot of free industry expert webinars where industry experts are invited to speak on a specific topic for 1 hour every Friday. I started sending an SMS reminder 5 min before the session (earlier we were doing only email reminders) and that shot up the number of attendees in a big way. Digital Vidya acknowledges these Kaizens you bring in. Moreover, planning your day is another very important aspect. The first thing I do every day after coming to office is to list the day’s tasks & keep that paper in front of me to make sure it acts like a reminder.
How challenging is it to position an e-learning portal amongst the target audience? Why?
Of course e-learning is very different from a face-to-face class. Both have their own pros and cons. Our programs are different as we offer Self-study courses as well as Live Instructor Led Online Courses. But this portal has its own uniqueness like recorded session, flexibility of place, time, trainers and many other such aspects. For example, one of our trainer takes sessions from Vietnam, another trainer of Web Analytics; a VP in an MNC recently took a session from US. We offer programs with duration ranging from 1 month to 6 months for working professionals. Such flexibility helps them a lot and that is why such a training infrastructure works exceptionally very well for us.
How effective has been digital marketing in overcoming these challenges? Does it trump traditional marketing?
Definitely Digital Marketing or you can say Digital as a whole media overcomes these challenges. I won’t say Digital is a trump over traditional marketing, which is still very important and would definitely be so for a long time. But Digital Marketing has emerged as a new domain, and the best part is that you can expect some exceptional results from this medium. One viral campaign can make you a superstar overnight and all because of the power of the medium.
What ways do you use omni-channeling within your strategy to attract a customer to use Digital Vidya?
We use various aspects of Digital at Digital Vidya; recently we started with Radio ads and were featured at Career Café program on Lok Sabha television. And of course the Social Media, Website engagement etc. are part of our strategy.
Has any digital platform specifically contributed to the growth of Digital Vidya? Please give us some examples.
We use almost all the channels of Digital for our growth. Leads have come in from Twitter for our flagship course which is Certified Digital Marketing Master. Email has also contributed towards this. I head Email Marketing and have seen some phenomenal conversions because of Email Marketing in the last 1 year.
Name a well-marketed product in your industry that caught your fancy? Why?
I think Domino’s pizza is leveraging Digital very effectively, be it in the form of Discounts or Friday Freak-outs’ or free garlic breads or possibly their combined strategy of Traditional and Digital Marketing.
- Describe working at Digital Vidya in one sentence.
We at Digital Vidya work day and night to empower people with Digital Marketing Learning.
- If you wouldn’t be a marketing professional, what would you have been?
Video editing is one of my passions; I would probably be creating 3D videos.
- Which movie character best describes you? Why?
John Mclean from Die Hard. Because I do not let go of things, I take full ownership for whatever I do or comes under my Locus of control.
- Degree vs. experience, what works best in the digital industry?
I think degree certifications are very important because they reflect your credibility, but they are not as important as your experience. If you have created something exceptional or have run some viral campaigns or you know how to scale things up in this medium, I think there could be no barrier for you.
- Any advice for fresher’s looking at making a career in digital marketing?
My advice is to get your hands dirty. I have always been an internet freak and found that online education has helped me a lot. I didn’t know how to do video editing, I learnt it online, didn’t know how to do Digital Marketing, I learnt that online too. Also fresher’s should attend courses, like our free online Digital Marketing session, which is organized every week and is led by our CEO. Currently I am undergoing my Post Graduate program from IIM Lucknow and Digital helps a lot there too. I see a huge opportunity into this domain and we need talented, geeky, smart people.