The world is now digitally activated. By every mili seconds, we are generating data which is getting deposited somewhere. This has become so huge that now most of the technology companies are now talking about Big Data. For entrepreneurs in the technology or IT domainBig data is getting considered as a major opportunity. Marketing and branding has become so influenced by such technology trends that in today’s time no marketer can afford to ignore digital.
In our bid to explore budding success stories, we met Mr Sameer Narkar, Director and Chief Software Architect of Konnect Insights. In an exclusive conversation with Faiz Askari of SMEStreet, Sameer explained the phenomena of next generation digital regime, scope of consumer engagements through digital and his startup- Konnect Insights.
Konnect Insights is big-data analytics product used for Social Listening and Market research. It is used by many top brands to understand conversations all over the web. It gives detailed reports on how you are faring vs your competition in the industry based on online conversations on blogs, forums, mainstream news and social media.
Faiz Askari: How the Web is evolving for the brand managers?
Sameer Narkar: Online conversations have an impact on how your brand is perceived. Brand managers make sure that people are not talking negative about the brand and if they are they try to understand the reason and offer a proper solution. They also wants to pick up positive mentions of the brand to help the brand advocacy. Listening hence becomes the key.
What trends are you witnessing with regards to customer engagements on social media?
We can see that the brands are reaching out to people in different and innovative ways. This engagement is not just restricted to responding only to their own customers. Brands are also trying to reach out to prospect customers. This is only possible when you are listening to conversations which are related to the industry and not to a brand in specific.
What level of spending is there on Web?
Ad spending seen growing at 15.5% in 2016, driven by digital in 2016. The year 2015 saw ad spending grow by 14.2%, higher than GroupM’s estimate of 12.4%, to Rs.49,758 crore.
Ad spending in India was estimated to grow 15.5% in 2016 to Rs.57,486 crore with digital advertising expanding at the fastest pace of 47.5%.
Experts often term Web/Social as the cost effective mean for promotion, up to what extent this state is true?
Web/Social is the most cost-effective mean for promotion, this is totally true. Let’s see an example of reaching a consumer offline, through Door to Door Marketing. We would need a salesperson to target any consumer out there. This sales person would visit the consumer, tell him/her about the product or service, maybe offer a free sample or demo and that’s it. The person may or may not get really excited or even there’s a chance, that no one turns up at the door for this sales guy. Now when we talk about Digital Promotion or Social Media Promotion/Advertising, the best part is that we can target the person (consumer), sitting in the close vicinity of our office, wherever he be in the world. There could be a message-blast, an emailer, a road block or simply targeted advertisement on social media or google or any such online platform(s). There could be campaigns done, which gives some kind of offers or discounts and the user has to revert by just clicking the promo and signing up for the same. It’s much easier than sending that sales guy to this person’s home and getting him/her to register with you.
Also, Offline Vs Online advertising is a long debate, what is your opinion on this?
Offline Advertising has its own value, but with increase in Digital Media, we must see the fact that there is one medium, which is handy and always available with everyone, that is our Smartphone. We carry it everywhere. It’s easier for me to reach my target audience/consumer, through his/her mobile phone, or the social apps that he has or even target him through mobile targeting, SMS, WhatsApp, and other Digital platforms. Whereas it’s really hard to make someone read newspaper, magazine, brochures, etc. these days. Even according to a Forbes we can see how the number of TV subscriptions are going down and streaming services are gaining huge base Netflix (80 million subscribers), Hulu (12 million), CBS All Access (2 million), Showtime Anytime (2 million) and HBO Now (800,000) and increasing every passing day. Even the latest entrant Amazon Prime has made a good subscriber base in this short period of time.
Please explain your market focus?
Today Konnect Insights is being used by brands from Automobile, Telecom, BFSI, Entertainment, IT & Pharma. The focus is to reach out to more brands in these sectors. Social listening and analytics has a huge market with a total market size of 5.40 Billion USD and we want to be the market leader in this space in a year’s time.
Please share your line of business priorities for next 1 year?
Konnect Insights is the most preferred tool by many brands and agencies today because of our own search engine capabilities. For us it is important that we make our search engines more robust. Today we crawl close to 25 million websites and as we are going global we will be further improving on this. Our key motto is not to miss any conversation. Intelligent dashboards in Konnect Insights powered by this data are getting very intuitive, we want to further focus on our ‘Konnect Recommends’ module to help brand managers take informed decision based on data. Every single brand from Automobiles, Aviation, BFSI, Entertainment, Telecom, IT, Pharma need Konnect Insights and we are making sure we offer best solutions.