In Conversation with Akash Kumar, Digital Marketing Head of Digital Vidya
Hi Everyone, Welcome to another New Episode of the Marketing Mavericks Interview Series.
A segment that we had started a couple of months back to empower the digital marketing community, today we have reached at its 10th Episode.
And In this episode, we have with us the person who’s heading the Digital Marketing Arm of Asia’s Leading Brand in Digital Marketing Education & Training Digital Vidya – Akash Kumar.
Today in this session we will not only know more about Akash but we will also discuss many interesting topics related to Digital Marketing Career & it’s future prospects in India.
So let’s start the interview.
Animesh: Hi Akash, It’s great to have you today at the Marketing Mavericks Interview Series. Can you please introduce yourself to our community?
Akash: Hi everyone, I am Akash. I lead the Marketing at Digital Vidya. I am an engineer by qualification and a Digital Marketer by passion.
Giving you insights about me, I passed out from NIT- Hamirpur and started my first job at Sapient Nitro. In my 6+ years of experience, I have had a flavor of working both with MNCs and startups. I have grown not just as an individual but also led several growth marketing teams working across organizations.
Apart from just work, I like sharing my learnings. I have led several Digital Marketing Webinars and hosted key leadership interactions on digital transformation.
Animesh: After completing your B-Tech from NIT, you landed on your first job as a Marketing Analyst. So being a NITian what made you switch into Digital Marketing? Was it a planned move or it just happened accidentally?
Akash: Well, I think my interest in marketing started from my college days. Out of interest, we founded a Motion Graphics & Design Team which eventually took care of the Marketing of College Fests.
Then, in my first job at Sapient Nitro, I started as a Marketing Analyst. In those two years, I have understood the power of analytics & digital marketing. Since then, I have learned & grown as a Digital Marketer.
However, to validate my learning, I did a couple of Industry recognized certifications & a professional course from IIM-Calcutta.
Animesh: Now you are heading the Digital marketing arm of Asia’s leading Digital Marketing Training Company, Digital Vidya. How has your journey been till now?
Akash: I have joined Digital Vidya in April 2019. Working with the top Digital Marketers in Asia and across the globe, the last one year was filled with full of learnings & excitement. Everyone here has a passion to build and grow, not just as an individual but also as a team.
At Digital Vidya, we are focused on delivering the best value via training to our participants. Our training to 60000+ participants depicts the trust of people in our platform. I believe this is the driving force behind our constant evolutions.
As one of the major developments, we have recently acquired the Delhi School of Internet Marketing to expand our reach in the major cities by delivering offline marketing certification programs.
Animesh: How you are foreseeing the Future for Digital Marketing in India? What are the top 3 trends you are anticipating for 2020?
Akash: Digital Marketing is moving at an unimaginable pace. With the growing internet population, the digital ecosystem has taken a whole new shape. We can possibly say that this digital integration in marketing is strong enough to dissolve the distinction between traditional and digital marketing.
Also, predictions never work with digital marketing. One can only understand the future by following the trends, monitoring the market, and understanding customer behavior.
In 2020, delivering the right content, in the most personalized way will help to create a better impact on your products & services.
Animesh: What advice you would like to give who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing?
Akash: The good part of starting a career in digital marketing is that there are no pre-requisites. All you need is a clear objective and a zeal to learn & explore. However, I would always recommend starting from the basics.
Once you have foundational knowledge, advanced learning becomes a matter of personal interest & aptitude.
Even if you plan to specialize in an area like SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, you should have a reasonable understanding of other aspects of digital marketing.
Animesh: Should all Aspiring Digital Marketers be concerned about creating his/ her personal brand to succeed in their career? If yes then why?
Akash: Well, personal branding is a much newer concept in the digital world. While it definitely adds to your credibility but I believe it shouldn’t be your only focus at initial stages of your career. All you should do initially is develop, build & share your understanding of various aspects of digital marketing.
Eventually, at a stage, your learnings will build your personal brand rather instinctively than intentionally.
Animesh: SEO for websites, ASO for mobile apps, Video SEO – what according to you is the most challenging? Why?
Akash: ASO & SEO (Websites & Video) are the two relatable terms and are quite similar conceptually. But, in practice, there are a lot of differences that make each of them challenging individually.
Although I have never implemented ASO practically, but I have seen a lot of my clients struggling with defining the success metrics to measure ASO. This in turn makes it a little complicated.
SEO on the other hand has been quite tangible. Search engines are constantly working to deliver the best. That’s one reason it is becoming increasingly difficult to cope up with the latest updates.
However, while Google’s algorithm has matured a lot, the basic principles of SEO haven’t changed. The importance of keyword research, user experience, relevant content are still the guiding principles to success in SEO.
Hence, both the processes serve different purposes & should work together in an overall digital strategy for a business that has a website and an app.
Animesh: Out of all the digital marketing channels, which ones have helped Digital Vidya most with marketing over the years.
Akash: To be honest, Digital Vidya’s growth has been a function of its ability to leverage various digital marketing channels including search, paid, social, and email. However, the search would have contributed most so far.
Animesh: The way AI & ML is evolving & engulfing the Digital marketing segment at one point it’s helping the marketers to a great extent but do you think there is any reason to be concerned about it for the marketers? What would be your suggestion for all the budding digital marketers to thrive in this age of AI-powered Digital Marketing?
Akash: The beauty of digital marketing is the extent to which it could be measured. From where I see it, rather than eating its space, AI & ML will contribute to enhancing its capabilities.
The best way to understand the future is to follow the trends and keep monitoring the markets and customer behavior. I strongly believe that AI-Powered Digital Marketing would have more personalized customer data points that would enable digital marketers to take more meaningful decisions.
Animesh: Can you please share 3 of your favorite Digital Marketing case studies from your experience & what advice you want to give to all Digital Marketing Practitioners?
Akash: I remember a couple of case studies from my IIM-C course. Although, all of them picked up some aspects of digital transformation but the ones that really clicked me were of HubSpot, Twitter, and HCL. These focused on identifying the right mix of digital channels for customer acquisition.
A lot of digital marketers start but lack persistence. Eventually, they stop pursuing it. Being consistent in your efforts will get you the right results. That’s the only way that I think could help you in getting the ROI.
Animesh: How do you see SEO over Paid Marketing? For long term success which one do you think is more effective?
Akash: While SEO / organic traffic does take some time to show your results on search engines depending on various factors, we get instantaneous results with paid marketing. Strategically, this defines the way how these two channels could be used.
The efficiency is highly industry & use-case specific. However, starting with paid marketing campaigns and parallel working on SEO would help to reach out to the target audience. In the long run, a mix of both channels really helps to scale & sustain.
Animesh: Top 5 Tools that every beginner in Digital Marketing should have in their toolbox!
Akash: While there is always something new that is coming up in the latest tools, I would suggest one should have a basic understanding of the below tools.
- Google Analytics,
- Google Trends,
- Google Search Console &
Animesh: How do you keep yourself updated with the Latest Trends in Digital Marketing?
Akash: Interesting Question! I would suggest that the best way to stay updated with the upcoming trends is by consistently upgrading your knowledge.
And frankly speaking, one should start with a course. That’s because a course would give one a required push and the right direction to learn.
Although, there is a lot of free advice out there that would only start making sense after one has a basic understanding of the topic.
A couple of blogs that I read to upgrade myself are,
- Search Engine Land,
- Marketing Land,
- Neil Patel,
- Search Engine Journal,
- MarketingProfs, etc.
Animesh: Now one last question, would you like to share a few words about the work we are doing at Jobs Frontier to empower the Digital Marketing Community?
Akash: I am a regular reader of your blog and newsletters. It has been a great learning for me going through the expert speak & career advice section.
Your passion is truly visible in everything you do at JobsFrontier. I suggest that you continue that and if possible, involve more passionate people like you so as to scale the great work you are already doing.
Animesh: Thanks Akash for your encouraging words and sharing such wonderful tips/ advice with our community.
Dear Readers, I hope you have got some really valuable insights today from Akash.
If this interview helped you please share it in your network & Thanks for being an awesome reader, supporter & community member!