New e-commerce players should focus on niche products: Advit Sahadev, CMO, Infibeam
Sahadev predicts that television will slowly lose relevance with OTT and other such arms of digital coming into the big picture for advertisers
With the e-commerce space increasingly getting crowded, one either needs to have a unique offering or be a manufacturer with deep pockets to succeed, believes Advit Sahadev, CMO of Infibeam. In conversation with exchange4media, he speaks about what is happening to the traditional marketing space after the invasion of digital and how Infibeam stays ahead. Excerpts:
What according to you is happening on the digital marketing front? Is traditional marketing getting lost with digital taking the main stage?
Both have their own advantages, while digital enables us to measure almost everything that happens online, print has the sort of reach that digital doesn’t. The reach of digital is minimal as it reaches only the millennials and hence is very limited. Print is a mass media and its reach is extensive. Television is slowly going down now. According to a report I read, the average consumption of a millennial in India is 14 hours on mobile and 4 hours on television in a day. Now you have OTTs and such other platforms where people can advertise. Although there are a few advantages that traditional marketing catered to, which digital cannot, traditional marketing is decreasing. Print has an extensive cost, which digital doesn’t. Flipkart and other e-commerce players already know that their target audience is on digital platforms but they still use print because not everyone is digital savvy.
With several players getting into the e-commerce space, isn’t it getting too crowded? How do you differentiate yourself?
Infibeam.com, which is our B2C, is just one of our businesses. We have multiple businesses. We call ourselves an e-commerce technology platform. We are an e-commerce end-to-end service provider. That is our core business. This is our difference compared to all the other sites. Other e-commerce players who are entering into this space should focus on certain niche products, only then will it make sense. Duplicating a Flipkart or an Amazon would be very tough because these players are already very strong and have a huge amount of capital investment. One will have to have very deep pockets to get into this sector. Only two sets of people are doing very well in the e-commerce sector, either you need to have a unique set of products or one should be a manufacturer with a large marketing and advertising spend.
Buildabazaar.com is our e-commerce technology platform. Then we have ODigma which is our digital marketing space. Like there is .net, .com, .in, we own .ooo.
What’s the cutting edge of .ooo?
Simply put, another option is available. When you want to buy a .com domain, there are very low chances that you will get the desired name. The advantage that .ooo comes with is that since it is by Infibeam, you can easily integrate it to Buildabazaar, to our marketing and digital marketing services, our e-mail services and also to our e-commerce technology. So you could set up the whole business with one platform.
You began your professional journey as an engineer then shifted to marketing. How did this transition happen?
I was with Intel for four years after which I started working at Mindtree Consultants. While there, one of my clients was Unilever and they were working on projects for their marketing department which helped me get introduced to marketing and learn its details. Then I came back to India, joined Infosys and began working on marketing projects for my client P&G. These four years in handling IT marketing projects made me develop a keen interest in marketing and also helped me understand the big demand for marketing that persists in India.
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