"While there are areas in technology where India may not be as advanced as their western counterparts but when it comes to digital marketing as a whole India is keeping pace with other countries especially in the usage of new platforms and new technologies." Said Ranjit Nair, CEO of Germin8
In an interaction with MediAvataar India, Ranjit gives us an in-depth knowledge of growing digital trends in India and what customers really want.
Here is the complete Q&A....
What does Germin8 stand for?
Germin8 is a Social Media Intelligence company headquartered in Mumbai. Germin8 is focused on building products for analysing social media data and textual data available within organizations to help them make better decisions based on insights drawn from that data.
Germin8 stands for helping companies/ brands become more customer centric. Every brand’s customers are constantly interacting and expressing their likes, dislikes, preferences etc. across social media platforms. Germin8 captures brands stakeholder conversations which are taken from public sources like social media and news and analyses these through a tool. They then present this in the form of live interactive dashboards which generates actionable insights for various departments within an organization like Marketing, Customer Care, Corporate Communications, Sales, etc. This process helps brands become more relevant to its target audience.
How important is the Online Brand Identity in today’s day and age?
A brand identity is the most effective way any organization (startups, small businesses, big enterprises, agencies, nonprofits, or others) can gain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded marketplace. It is very important for big and small brands to engage directly with their customers and create a unique identity for themselves. This identity must convert in trust and reliability. The main aim for any brand is to be seen as customer centric brand. Larger, successful companies pay careful attention to their corporate identity or corporate image. In fact, many larger companies have corporate communications departments that focus on maintaining and building the identity of the business and making sure that corporate identity facilitates the corporate business objectives. Although I think we have reached a time where smaller brands also need to invest to build and maintain a consistent “online brand identity”.
We at Germin8 offer an online reputation management services which is an effective practice and strategy that shapes a brand’s reputation online, bringing the positives to light and eliminating the negatives that can pose as a threat to a brand. In today’s highly competitive digital world, each brand is out there trying to create a good impression. But sometimes a brand faces severe backlash when their products and services fail to meet the needs of the consumers. This is where online reputation management services come into play. Having a bad reputation online now can have adverse effects on your business, leading to distrust amongst existing and potential customers resulting in loss of revenue.
What’s your idea of enhancing it for clients?
The most important factor would be for us to be able to continue protecting a brands existing identity, it is also mandatory to measure what the brand stands for and to identify threats (on a reputational basis) well in advance. We at Germin8 help brands understand who their brand advocates are and help build positive engagement for the brand via these brand advocates. Identifying and engaging with the correct brand advocates not only creates new customers but they also contribute useful insights to your user personas.
Does one shoe really fit all when it comes to digital marketing?
One shoe never fits all; each brand has its unique brand identity and a unique audience base. Every brands audience will be present across different social media platforms – we use a social media listening tool which helps brands engage with their customers the way they want to engage. Social listening allows brands to monitor, analyze, and even respond to conversations about a brand and business online. It’s an integral component of audience research. If one doesn’t have a social listening strategy in place, then the brand is missing out on precious insights. What does a brand’s customers think about their brand? What are they saying about their competitors? Conversations gathered from various social media and user generated content sites are analysed using industry specific algorithms for topic and sentiment and presented on helpful dashboards for deriving insights.
How do you look at your competition?
We look at our competition as a company from whom we will try and learn. We will always try and be one step forward but there will be times they would have done something better than us and we will learn from them and their mistakes.
In your career journey, what has been one of your most a) gratifying and b) bizarre experiences so far?
What is truly gratifying for us as a brand is when customers not only renew with us but also recommend us to other customers (even to their competition, being fully aware that we will be able to add value to their competition) it’s all about the relationship.
A bizarre experience I would like to share is when our competition sneakily pretends to be a potential customer, try and understand what we offer, ask for a demo of all our products and then ghost us. While this is a little unethical we see it as an encouragement that they consider us as a solid competition.
What’s the secret to attracting the best talent and keeping clients happy while balancing the books?
I truly believe the real secret is to invest in your existing/ current talent, make sure that they are happy and customer centricity is part of their DNA and they in turn will help keep clients happy and also bring in more of their friends as potential future employees.
Where do you place India on the global digital marketing backdrop?
While there are areas in technology where India may not be as advanced as their western counterparts but when it comes to digital marketing as a whole India is keeping pace with other countries especially in the usage of new platforms and new technologies.
Your message to the budding digital marketing professionals in India.
A digital marketing manager resembles a multitasking automated system that has the needed expertise and artificial intelligence to run, track and measure the performances of different components of digital marketing, and manage respective digital marketing professionals as well. One piece of advice I would like to share is that never slack in and think that you know everything, the field is changing rapidly and the only way to be ahead of the competition is to keep learning. They have chosen a line where they can never rest.