Delivering the digital edge

Delivering the digital edge

Odigma, a digital marketing firm with a performance-based pricing strategy, is gearing up to serve clients in over 150 cities in India, in addition to setting up shop in Singapore and the Middle East by the end of next fiscal 

MADHUMITA PRABHAKAR AND POORNIMA KAVLEKAR

What happens when a data analytics expert with a decade of experience in the IT industry is bitten by the social media bug? He attempts to derive tangible results out of every Facebook, Twitter and SEO activity and eventually helps other brands get as close as possible to the sales funnel.

That’s just what, Odigma, a three-year-old performance-based digital marketing firm, founded by Advit Sahdev, does. “In India, even today, despite the spurt in the number of Internet users, marketing is largely about putting up a hoarding or a print ad and getting a few people to notice it. No doubt, your sales will increase. But you will never know if it is because of the hoarding or because of something else. So we tell our clients that whatever we deliver, the performance will be measured, based on numbers,” says Sahdev.

Odigma’s services entail Facebook brand building suite, Twitter strategy planning and implementation, social media platform connect, strategy on social media applications and SEO and Google AdWords PPC. Its clientele spans across sectors and includes companies such as Myntra, Infibeam, Indus League, Hidesign, MakeMyTrip and Toyota, to name a few. While 75 per cent of its clients are acquired through referrals and online marketing, LinkedIn pitches account for the rest. “Each and every company that exists is our potential customer. A few years ago, big brands were pioneers in social media and case studies were built around their use. Today, for most companies, online marketing is a must-have and the resultant growth for us is endless,” he says. Odigma is now 85 people strong with its headquarters in Bengaluru and has a presence in Mumbai, New Delhi and Ahmedabad. A year from now, the company is targeting serving clients in over 150 cities in India and is planning to foray into the Middle East and Singapore.

The company recorded annual revenues of Rs. 10 crore last fiscal and expects to reach the Rs. 500 crore mark in the next five years. Its revenue model is built around a fixed number of results which it can deliver, in the form of amount of website traffic and transactions, engagement levels on Facebook or conversations on Twitter, for each campaign. “Conversion to sales matters only in rare cases because there are a lot of things we don’t control, like pricing of product, competitor moves and offline product promotions,” explains Sahdev.

Each and every company that exists is our potential customer. A few years ago, big brands were pioneers in social media and case studies were built around their use. Today, for most companies, online marketing is a must-have and the resultant growth for us is endless.

Additionally, Odigma is in the process of introducing customised tools based on individual user behaviour, to track a customer’s browsing and purchasing patterns and develop in-house applications, to increase sales conversions. It is also planning to foray into advertising, by creating location-based targeting and real-time demographic tools for its clients.

Adapting to change

It is a well-known fact that digital penetration is still at a nascent stage in India. While the mature markets have begun leveraging the digital medium for recruiting, building internal and external social networking technology and improving procurement process with vendors through m-commerce, India is yet to move from the likes of brand building through SEOs and social media engagement. In fact, Sahdev believes that multinational companies are more open to digital innovation than startups. “Big companies have the budgets and are willing to experiment, but the startups are so focussed on sales that they don’t understand the importance of social media. Due to budget and time constraints, most of them prefer to stick to Google AdWords and SEO,” he says.

Operating in the online space, where the innovation cycle is shorter than that of a smartphone, research forms a key to the survival of digital firms such as Odigma. While the agency’s in-house technical team continuously monitors and develops new applications, every week, the client servicing team is mandated to identify new social media marketing tactics and share with team members.

Business wise, Sahdev sees few challenges, but he finds that there is a massive shortage in terms of people with sufficient digital marketing knowledge and expertise.  “There aren’t enough courses designed in these areas. To tackle this, we have laid down a simple rule. The employee must have an IQ of 135 or above. That way, we can train them and bring them to pace much quicker,” he says.

Stepping into the future

What is encouraging to Sahdev and his ilk are some of the emerging trends such as; people getting closer to the sales funnel and looking at a revenue sharing model to increase sales. Also, lead generation, especially in education and real estate, where people don’t usually buy online, instead, sellers submit a lead online and buyers respond, based on their interest. Lastly, as is widely spoken about, developing tools to analyse and churn out industry specific data, to create relevant, customer centric marketing strategies.

Going forward, Odigma is planning to launch customised user behaviour based tools to increase sales conversions for e-commerce companies. “Today, companies don’t get a good picture of the visitors who come to their site, the amount of time they spend browsing through the site and why it doesn’t result in purchases. Thus, we’re developing a sales driven tool which will analyse what the users’ want, why they are not converting and how we can help them convert better,” explains Sahdev. For instance, if a user spends more than three minutes on a site, a pop-up will emerge to understand user requirements and guide him/her to the resultant sale. Or if a user does not transact despite browsing through the website, a pop-up will gauge his/her needs through a series of questions.

Odigma’s second focus area will be in terms of national and international business expansions. As mentioned before, it’s planning an aggressive expansion spree to serve clients in several cities in India and also expand into Singapore and Middle East. The company also plans to branch out into advertising, with the launch of location- based targeting and real-time demographic tools for advertisers.

“If all goes well, we see the company reaching the Rs. 500 crore revenue mark in five years,” states Sahdev, on a concluding note.


Snapshot 

Founder: Advit Sahdev

Year: 2010

City: Bengaluru

USP: Developing performance-based digital marketing campaigns

Service Portfolio: Facebook brand building suite, Twitter strategy planning and implementation, social media platform connect, strategy on social media applications and SEO and Google AdWords PPC

Future expansions: Creating presence in 150 cities in India and foray into Singapore and the Middle-East, developing user behaviour driven analytics tools for e-commerce clients, developing location-based targeting and real-time demographic tools for advertisers


Concept in brief:

Odigma is a three-year-old performance-based digital marketing firm, founded by Advit Sahdev. Its clientele spans across sectors and include companies such as Myntra, Infibeam, Indus League, Hidesign, MakeMyTrip and Toyota, to name a few. Today, the company recorded an annual turnover of Rs. 10 crore last fiscal and expects to reach the Rs. 500 crore mark in the next five years. Odigma is 85 people strong with its headquarters in Bengaluru and has a presence in Mumbai, New Delhi and Ahmedabad. A year from now, the company is targeting to serve clients in over 150 cities in India and also expand into the Middle-East and Singapore. It is also planning to launch customised user behaviour-based tools to increase sales conversions for e-commerce companies and develop location-based targeting and real-time demographic tools for advertisers.

 

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