A new web marketing mantra creates a buzz
Mar 07 2012, 12:28 | By CNBC-TV18
Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO of WatMedia
Image: SME Mentor
If you are looking at creating a buzz for your brand on Facebook, Twitter or the internet, you could possibly look at hiring 26 years old Rajiv Dingra's WATMedia. Now WATMedia is a social media marketing company which is already build successful social media campaigns for clients like Procter & Gamble (P&G), Warner Brothers, Nokia, HSBC, Mahindra and Mahindra and rediff.com just to name a few. WATMedia has already grossed revenues of Rs 4 crore and Rajiv is now looking to take his venture global.
The internet has inspired many young sparks to take the entrepreneur route and Rajiv Dingra is one of them. In 2005 then just 20, Rajeev launched a job site for freshers but within a year he called it quits and discovered the power of social media. After a year of studying the online advertising market Rajeev launched WATMedia in 2007. An info web advertising and technology WATMedia combines the power of three to help brands advertise on social networking platform.
Here is a verbatim transcript of his interview. Also watch the accompanying videos.
Q: Tell us more about your company and what are the work it has done so far?
A: What we are doing is we are enabling brands to converse with consumers and create experiences across touch points now and conversational using multiple platforms whether its text, audio or video, all of it. From our perspective we are trying to build a company that marries creative and technology for our clients. So we are trying to further that by building analytics by using technology to deep dive into numbers. To give you an example Facebook today is 37 million users and last month it grew by 1.5 million users. In one month that's how many new users got added and that's a lot of number crunching for clients to know as to who is communicating with their brand? Who is reacting to their brand?
So that's one part, technology. The second is creative. Because this medium is conversational, it's not about just one creative or one message. Because if you put that one message out you get a reaction. Then what do you say?
Q: So are you involved with both these steps or are you involved with the tech of reaching out to the consumers while the creative is dealt with by somebody else?
A: It's a combination today so let's say a brand came with a TVC, you need to convert it into a 140 character tweet and not one tweet but multiple such alternations of that brand message. Same for Facebook update. You need to keep a page alive for a whole year.
You may run the same ad 100 times on television but I can't do that on Facebook. In fact some of the really big clients that we have are consulting us as to whether the main line idea is socially active or socially viral. If its not we are consultant to make it socially viral before it gets finalized.
Q: How have you seen brands really open up to the social media space?
A: two to three years earlier there used to be this one young guy in every company and he used be at an executive level who used to be excited about the medium. As we move on that young guy is getting older, he has gone from executive to manager today and that's the part. Those guys understand their consumers of the medium.
The other aspect that's happening is that brand or marketing heads who are in their mid 40ís, have children who are addicted to this medium. So suddenly their children tell them that they are uncool if they are not on this medium. And I think that's really causing marketing heads to deep dive into this medium.
Q: Reaching out to 40 million social media users in India WATMedia works today with over 35 brands like P&G, Godrej, Radio Mirchi and Virgin Mobile. So, how are you helping companies exploit the potential of digital and social media.
A: Right from social media management which is managing your page, building content strategy, updates those consumers will interact with. We go on to social media marketing which is your campaigns, creative thoughts, contests, all of that. We move on to what you call as online reputation management. What we do is we help brands track, understand, segregate and help them respond to negative comments on social media. In some cases we do a city level tracking of complaints.
Profile level tracking of complaints and tell brands what kind of consumers are not happy with them, what kind of activities that they are doing either at their retail outlet or with their products is not working. We build social media products. So, we build interactive games, we also build micro sites where consumers tag each other for Diwali, they engage with each other, send comments to their friends. So thatís another offering of us and finally we also help brands advertise on social media. So we are an accredited agency with Facebook and we actually run ads on Facebook, on twitter, on YouTube for brands to get maximum visibility.
Q: How are you able to monetise this platform for your clients, how do they see the tangible difference partnering you?
A: Different clients look at it differently. You have the B2C clients. The way they evaluate their ROI is the cost of reach and the cost of engagement. What they get on this platform they donít get on TV and print. The other kinds of clients are the B2B clients. These are the people who are looking at specific niche audience. Here the value actually can be even more.
Given the profile information available on social media through LinkedIn, through Facebook I can just targets CFOs and may build a very small but very powerful community for CFOs and out of that even four clients convert for this B2B player the value of that client is huge.
Q: What is your revenue model, what is the kind of money you make into the venture?
A: Retainer is the number one revenue, in addition to that there is apps that client spend on, there is Facebook ads that clients spend on and as WAT blog has its own advertising revenue and to get the industry together we do these digital media physical advance called WAT Summit where we get sponsors and thatís our way of marketing ourselves and getting people together.
Q: WATMedia logged on to revenues of USD 1 million last year and was listed on the Red Herring's Top 100 Asia this year. Charting the next round of growth for his venture Rajiv has launched Indiaís first social media marketing cause in association with Internet and Mobile Association of India. What will be the next big thing in this space?
A: Given the mobile penetration. I think location plus mobile will be a huge opportunity for India. Just to give an example you go into an event what if you could pull up Facebook or any other social network which allows this where all these people are sharing their location and you would know who is there at the event and who can easily interact with them. What if a Pizza Hut in a mall knew who are the pizza lovers within that mall at that very moment and how if they could push offers to them.
I also feel as the country ages, half the country is under the age of 24-25, as it goes into next league in next five years into a much more serious working population business networking where online social apps for business will become very big.
Q: What are the future plans at WATMedia. How do you see yourself grow from where you are today to the next five year plan?
A: I think by 2014-15 we hope and we believe that we will be a 200 plus people company in terms of size so if we could corner 60-70 of the top clients in India plus looking at the south East Asia and the middle east market over the next four-five years we would be exciting. We hope to probably touch a USD 5 million mark by 2014 with the kind of growth rate that we are seeing in our revenues.
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