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How Digital Marketing can help Startups Build a Brand in 2020?

Death Valley, a known desert located in California is the hottest and driest place in North America and holds a record for the highest temperature ever recorded in the world with 134 °F (56.7 °C) on July 10, 1913. What most people don’t know is the soil in the Death Valley is very rich in nutrients and very well mixed with dry hibernating seeds of wildflowers and the reason people don’t know is that without water nothing ever bloomed in the desert. In 2005, something miraculous happened, 6 inches of rain fell on Death Valley and desert blooms. Nearly 20 species of wildflower bloom at various elevations.

A Startup can have an excellent Product, Technology, Infrastructure, fantastic logistic but these things are just like soil in the Death Valley. A startup will never grow until it has something as essential as water in case of Death Valley. In the case of the desert it is rain and in case of a startup an impeccable Marketing strategy which helps in building a brand by establishing a relationship between organization offerings and the customers in the market. And it is not an exaggeration to say that the marketing strategy team is often referred to as a rainmaker. It is these rainmakers who creates customer loyalty and make sales possible in the company. Digital marketing, already a proven way to increase the brand's digital footprint will bring more profound impact with the second wave of disruption or Digital 2.0. Influential technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Robotic Process Automation and Blockchain will reshape the whole marketing ecosystem. As per Leonhard’s, CEO of TheFuturesAgency by 2020, most interruptive marketing will disappear, marketing will be personalized, customized. Customers relationships with brands will be built on trust and companies including startups with great product and service will have an opportunity to lead the market and if a company breaks that trust, it will be very quickly viral and very quickly over.

A startup could take advantage of existing healthy Digital Marketing Ecosystem

A technology to sustain, along with infrastructure it needs a healthy ecosystem which allows it to thrive and rewards customers, company, and investors at every touchpoint. As per HBR, Digital Marketing Strategy is the process by which firms employ digital tools, technologies, techniques and tactics to create value for customers. The 2.0 generation of Internet-based apps enhance marketing efforts by allowing firms to implement innovative forms of communication and co-create content with their customers. A startup can take advantage of existing robust infrastructure to develop brand value in the mind of consumers.


1. Internet users in India will rise to 635.8 million by 2021. More of the users better the ROI of digital marketing initiatives.

2. As per a survey conducted by, it was found that 49 per cent of the respondents accessed social media via mobile phones and mobile penetration has been increasing at a CAGR of around 30 % which will add value to digital marketing infrastructure.

3. 75% of total internet users come under the age group of (25-34) Indicates that most of the youth of the country are on the internet which will help a startup in developing a rapport among youth.

4. Current social network users in India are 226.02 million which will rise to 370 million in 2022 so social networking platforms have the potential to play a great role in digital marketing.

Digital Marketing - A Silver Lining for Startups to build a brand

Startups are new ventures that are usually challenged by limited financing and lack of brand. Although social media is considered as an opportunity for organizations in general, including start-ups, to reach their target market, the limited financing challenge and expertise hinder startups capabilities to effectively brand their products. In the digital era, startups have an opportunity to exploit the capabilities of the digital channel.

Startups should focus on below capabilities to support digital marketing.

Knowing your customer

A brand succeeds when it breaks through the boundaries of culture and build trust among consumers. Like any relationship, knowing your customer's needs and expectations is the first step towards commitment. Tracking, analyzing, and interpreting customer behaviour and attitudes helps in designing relevant digital content which triggers customers to buy services. A startup can follow the below approach to have a better insight:

· Segment customer into small groups based on similar attributes and buying behaviour and addressing the customer on the basis of actual behaviour rather than having a preconceived notion.

· Track customer movement among different segments over a period of time.

· Use predictive customer behaviour modelling techniques which will help in predicting the future buying behaviour of customer based on history.

· Design an appropriate marketing strategy for each customer in order to extract maximum consumer surplus.

· Automate the above process using the RPA, AI to create sustainable competitive advantage.

Deliver experience, not just service

Word of mouth is considered the most important source of information about the brand for other consumers since it is perceived as honest and more trustworthy. If a customer has a bad experience. He will stop doing business with the firm and also spread the bad word about the firm. A startup should use the Insight gained from the “Knowing your customer” effectively to make consumer journey a fruitful experience.

Fulfilling expectations of customer needs careful planning of all the steps that define the entire customer experience. Not only technologies and processes are essential to delivering a smooth journey but also the various functions of the organization including marketing, sales, support, service, order management and fulfilment.

Digital technology could play a catalyst role in the delivery superior experience. Lenskart developed a platform, which uses webcams to enable customers to virtually try on different glass shades. To the customer, it is an enjoyable and satisfying experience but it is enabled by complex technology that involves coding programs that match different glasses to a person's face and collecting data on which types of customers tried which type of glasses, then tracking their satisfaction levels after purchase—all of this is analyzed to further improve the customer experience. This mutual flow of information is an important aspect of modern digital marketing which enables companies to alter their services to match the customer's needs.

Selecting the right marketing technology

As per data from the HBR case, nearly 145 billion emails are sent daily and, of that, 94 billion is spam. Banner ads, pop-ups, and other forms of intrusion marketing are growing and becoming more invasive and it is getting worse with the time. With this multitude of data, it is imperative that startups do thorough research before choosing a marketing technology. Special care should be given to end desired out because in a few markets the best marketing technology is not necessarily what's best for the startup. Vanca, an Indian e-commerce brand selling women's Western apparel and Accor, the world's leading hotel operator are success examples who triumph the market after exploring the digital frontier by using the best marketing tools available. Delivering the best customer experience requires a marketing technology that can automate processes, personalize interactions, and coordinate actions. Few of the things which startups should consider while using social media as a tool are:

Social Media

Some of the most well-known examples of social media are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and Myspace. Other Digital Marketing tools are Display advertising, Email (Newsletter), Mobile Applications, Pay-Per-Click Marketing (PPC, Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Implementing processes and governance

A startup should track end-to-end incidents on social media, and respond chronologically to clearly defined emergency plan. Additionally, Social media policy and governance should be aligned with other organizational policies.

Use matrices to drive success

Ability to collect data, monitor, track, and manage the effectiveness of marketing investments should be included in the set of matrices. For example, Customer-centric startups matrices should focus on customer activity rather than product or other activities. Metrics should deliver insights quickly—often in real-time so that lessons learned can successfully be integrated into the next marketing offer and at the same time it should be easy for decision-makers to understand the outcome of the matrices.

Analytical Insights that can support marketing strategy -

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