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Gillian Muessig

Founding President Emeritus | 28 Jan 2013

Digitisation of business is more important than digitising the marketing. Digitisation of business is digitally powering the integration of all of the communication process, data analysis, data collection, marketing and understanding the manufacturing. One can mine information from social media by looking at the conversations and sparking discussions around it that will eventually tell whether the current product is going to survive or not.

Gillian Muessig is the Founding President of SEOmoz, a leading provider of marketing campaign management and analytics software. Known as SEOmom throughout the industry, Muessig is a thought leader with her finger on the pulse of the international tech startup landscape. She also serves on Boards of Directors and Advisers for companies in four continents.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Twishy, Muessig talks about crowdsourcing of creative ideas in digital, measurement of engagement on various platforms and leveraging the big data on digital.

Q. Do you think that creativity in digital should be placed in the hands of the consumer?

Crowdsourcing creative ideas are a good move. In this process, somebody else takes all the risks and they have the target market and have agreed to pay for it so the brand has pre sold the idea. If the target market is more than a 100 people, it is always advisable to use social media. They can engage and help in making the idea better by rating it. Some B2C leverage it very well, but it’s good to maintain a balance. I would say it’s an interesting way to do things.

Q. Digital has a lot of big data that can be used for various purposes. How can it be leveraged in a better manner?

Big data means tiny bits of data in large volumes. Leveraging data means using it for the highest purpose in every sector of the corporate structure or government. There are companies that leverage the data mined from the internet around specific subject areas and feed the data to the customers so that the customers know everything, and sometimes include this in their marketing.

Digitisation of business is more important than digitising the marketing. Digitisation of business is digitally powering the integration of all of the communication process, data analysis, data collection, marketing and understanding the manufacturing. One can mine information from social media by looking at the conversations and sparking discussions around it that will eventually tell whether the current product is going to survive or not.

Q. How do you measure engagement on social media platforms, because it goes beyond just ‘likes’?

The first thing to measure engagement is to get comfortable with the chaos. There are far more platforms than Facebook, and companies have to find out the platforms appropriate to their business. Following the likes is a very low level of engagement and not interesting.

It is important to note whether customers have commented or not or whether they commented and shared. Trying to get engagement or a great deal of data with a low level of barrier to entry would also be important. A lot of analytics companies are in the development stage and they will come to the market shortly.

In terms of measurement of the existing platforms, one needs to know the volume of engagement, so ‘likes’ are just the beginning. Secondly, the brand wants to know the sentiments, and if there are positive sentiments around the brand, customers would move to buying that brand and supporting it.

It’s not just about liking a brand, but also liking the product line of the brands, which means that the quality of what they produce is not sufficient to buy the product. There should be more clarity on the product line, but I don’t see people looking at product line engagement or even asking what they think about it.

Brands are not even deciding on the intensity of relationship in terms of time. In the end, it’s not just about a million followers, but the experience sharing on the brand’s page describes the level of engagement. I think community marketing will be the next most important tool.

Q. What can be done to improve the ad spends on digital?

It is crucial to spend money on search engine optimisation that also includes social media spends, because social media influences whether or not you are going to show up on the search engine result pages appropriately. Spend money on places like social media and search engine optimisation, and not in paid ads.

Q. How is the Indian market faring in digital and what do you think about the talent in this industry?

It’s an open playing field that is exciting. India is a huge market and doesn’t compare in any way to Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc. We are overwhelmingly focused on making it survive. However, the big difference is that the initiative to educate every child is succeeding. The move from not reading and writing to reading and writing is the biggest difference. The increase in desire and potential of the group will foment revolution. It must be addressed with the capacity to bring technology and stable electricity in rural areas.

The talent in India in terms of digital is challenged and under-educated. It has a long way to go. Digital is not well understood by the practitioners yet, but the practitioners are highly educated and capable of learning about the shift. The young blood has immense untapped power to drive the digital business.

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