Starting as a technology-based company, Grapes Digital has now evolved as a premium digital marketing agency. In four years, the company has offered its differentiated services to brands like Alpenlibe, Lacoste, Nexa and Videocon to name a few.
In an interaction with exchange4media, Himanshu Arya, Founder and CEO, spoke about his company's evolution and also the recent appointments within the organisation.He said, "We have recently gotten four senior talents on board to scale up the level of services and I am really excited to work with such learned and experienced people to take the company's name to new heights."
Digital marketing is always changing and evolving. How, as a digital company, do you manage to cope up with change at such a fast pace?
The overall industry is changing and so is digital. There has been a huge shift from offline to online and all the clients are rapidly asking for it.
Our partners like Google and Facebook are continuously conducting training programs on their own products, so this, in turn, keeps us updated and upbeat.
The other thing that keeps us up to pace is self-evolution. As a company self-evolution is very important, whether you have to take internal meetings, training, or seminars, wherein all the leading people in the organisation who are hands-on with the platform help to gauge it much faster. So we conduct a lot of internal training. If someone has expertise in a certain area, he passes down this expertise and training to people in the same area.
As a digital content creator, how much do you think blockchain will help creators to monetise their digital growth?
Right now, I don't think blockchain will contribute in any way. The blockchain is more related to payment. So for example, if I want my payment from a client in the US, they will wire the payment, which will take 28-48 hrs. If I accept Bitcoin as currency, then it will come to me in 3-4 minutes and then I am sure that the money is there. So that way, transactions across borders would be much faster and easier. However, regarding digital content, I don't think bloggers will accept Bitcoins. So I am not really sure if it will help in relation to that.
How have you diversified your digital revenue streams?
Initially, when we started, we were more of a website, mobile ads and technology-based company. Over a period of time, we have moved on to media buying/planning, influencer marketing, social media, search engine optimisation and web development. So today, within the overall space, for example in the media buying and planning space, a new aspect of being programmatic has emerged. So we have partnered with Google to take this aspect forward.
We have also diversified our axle to almost each and every bracket of digital. This is to ensure that we have an ample amount of revenue generated from all of the verticals, at any point in time.
What's your breakthrough experiment for the year 2018?
The programmatic aspect is a breakthrough for 2018. Influencer marketing is another, which has picked up a lot. Fortunately, we got into these two verticals in 2016 and now we're reaping the benefits in 2018. Our plan for 2018 is that we are going to develop some kind of Data Management Platforms (DMPs) for our clients because DMPs indicate that all the media buying going forward will be driven by analytics and stronger insights on where people come from. So in 2018, we are looking at investing more money and time towards DMP expertise, which will come to fruition in 2019-2020.
In 2017, your company was featured in a Twitter global case study for best campaign to launch a car on digital media for Ignis. How do you strategise your marketing plan with specific goals for each of your consumer segments?
With the Ignis launch, we took a holistic approach and we recognised that the target audience was millennial. We had a launch event, where artists from all around the world came and performed in Delhi. We wanted maximum buzz to go out on the particular day of the launch. Typically, at a launch, we expect around 5,000-6,000 tweets coming from different people. In this particular case, we had two huge screens which were showcasing how many tweets were made with #ignis. The moment we had 1000 tweets, we had the Twitter API taking to confetti blast machines and we celebrated those 1000 tweets.
On ground, we had 2500 people attending the event and we gave them free Wi-Fi to tweet. That day we got around 27,000 tweets. That is how we created the buzz. To combine the on-ground technology with digital, an in-depth marketing insight and knowledge of the technology is important. We should know about the platforms we used.
Everything seems to be shifting to mobile and social media. Should we still care about the web as we knew it?
Yes, absolutely. The web is not dying. It is true that today more people are on mobile than on laptops, but when it comes to areas like e-commerce, people do prefer to use the web. To expand the image of a product, check it and then make a transaction. It is true that the concentration has moved on to mobile. But when we look at a buyer, we say that he is an observer. To move from just an observer to an actual buyer, there first comes a researcher phase. So the observer and researcher phases have definitely moved to mobile, but when a consumer becomes a serious buyer the web still continues to be most used.
What are your expectations from the new people who have joined your organisation?
We have expanded quite a lot over the last two quarters in terms of a team. Earlier the burden was on me and Shradha, the co-founders of the organisation, in terms of growth. Now we have gotten people from all the leading organisations such as GroupM and our creative director is from Cheil.
The idea is that we want to do a lot more work and the excitement level should not go down. Hence we got the most competent people on board to come and take the practices to the next level.
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