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Girish Nair

Chief Executive Officer | 03 Jan 2013

“With the recent regulations laid by TRAI in tele-marketing, e-mails will be the best next option for marketers that are looking at low marketing tools. E-mail can stand out to be a richer medium where content and technology can be integrated to its best. As the market will mature, the relevance of e-mail as marketing tool will be accepted overwhelmingly.”

Girish Nair, Chief Executive Officer, netCORE, has over 22 years of experience in senior management positions at organisations such as Consilium, Intel, Webvan and Siebel. Nair holds a ME from Virginia Tech, B Tech from IIT Mumbai and has completed his management studies from Stanford.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Nair speaks about evolution of e- mail marketing, the mobile marketing industry, his wish list for 2013 and much more...

Q. How has e-mail marketing evolved over the recent years in India?

Earlier a lot of brands who were into email marketing created and handled the function in-house and didn’t really seek specialised agency’s help. In India for a long time, e-mail was not understood as a marketing tool. If we considered it today, it is still at its nascent stage but things have changed for the better.

Most of the brands started using e-mail in their marketing plan when they had to scale up. The need for a expert help came into picture when these brands started understanding the potential of this medium. This led to the arrival of specialised e-mail technology providers and content creators for the medium.

Brands started understanding the potential of the medium and the value addition by an expert to leverage the power of this medium to its optimum. netCORE, started 14 years ago, has already taken 30 per cent market leadership in e-mail marketing in India today. We are known to provide best e-mail operation and technology around it.

Q. How are brands in India looking at e-mail marketing in their digital media plan?

E-mail marketing is here to stay; the reason being India is getting better access to internet every year. According to regulators, 66 per cent of India is going to have a data plan very soon, which is a positive sign of increase in consumption of data.

With the recent regulations laid by TRAI in tele-marketing, e-mails will be the best next option for marketers that are looking at low marketing tools. E-mail can stand out to be a richer medium where content and technology can be integrated to its best. E-mail can be used to go mass as well can be useful to customise and profile users. As the market will mature, the relevance of e-mail as marketing tool will be accepted overwhelmingly.

Q. What are the five elements that make e-mail marketing campaign a hit?

The five things that every e-mail marketing specialist should keep in mind are: Make the subject line short and attractive. Secondly, always keep the spam rules in mind. Thirdly, keep a publishing calendar because time is a very important factor in e-mail marketing. Fourthly, always innovate with the content of the e-mail and lastly; always keep the e-mailing list clean.

Q. Is the industry pragmatic in the expectations it has from mobile in India?

Mobile marketing has taken much more time than expected in India; the industry thought 2012 would the year when it will take off completely but looks like 2013 will bring in better hopes. All operators today are looking at investing for licences than pushing for cheaper data plans. It’s time for operators to welcome open architecture to increase revenue share. Also, brands should realise that mobile marketing is not just about SMS and voice; it is imperative to integrate all the features of mobile to reach to the right set of audiences.

Q. Is the growth in the number of smartphones helping mobile to become a medium of communication in India?

It will in due course of time. A lot of innovations such as location-based services; integration of various features, etc. will help brands in pushing mobile marketing ideas.

Q. What are the advantages that are unique to mobile?

The biggest advantage of mobile as a medium of communication is that it can be personalised and be used to reach out to a large set of audience. Mobile can give great return on investments for small segments of brands. The medium has analytics and the advantage of segmentation. If the medium is used to its optimum, it can result in bringing in better return on investments than even traditional mediums of communication.

Q. Can you please share any netCore’s successful mobile marketing campaign?

We did a campaign for HUL’s detergent brand Active Wheel. The brand used the solution to identify and engage prospective consumers in media dark geographies of North India. Plugging in mobile medium enabled it to get in touch with its audience by giving them access to branded entertainment such as jokes said by popular Bollywood star Salman Khan.

Through the BTL activity, and later through NetCore’s mobile database, a toll free number was exposed to the target group. The campaign touched about 1.5 million mobile numbers, with the number of missed calls going up to 15 million.

The brand appointed a third party R&D agency to understand the pre and post campaign effect on the target group. It was proved that there was a 30 per cent increase in brand recall after the campaign and 80 per cent of which was recorded to be the top-of-the-mind recall category.

Q. What is your wish list for 2013?

One primary thing that I would want is stability in telecom regulations. Secondly, I hope there is openness of operators to come on open platforms that can help increase revenue share amongst content creators, service providers and aggregators. I am sure with increase in data consumption, this is bound to happen.

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