Thursday, December 13, 2012

Online marketing–Where careers are happening!

The online space is no longer just another place to park information about a company, product or an individual. Over the years, it has metamorphosed into an astounding platform that connects marketers with customers and job seekers with lucrative career opportunities.  Among scores of other lingos, which are not within the purview of this article, online marketing is a buzzword that’s doing the rounds among the job seeking youngsters and seasoned professionals alike.

More and more net-savvy youngsters are already making a killing in the world of online marketing. When it comes to choosing a suitable online marketing job, a newbie would be spoilt for choice. Online Marketing Manager, Digital Marketing Manager, Social Media Manager, Search Analyst, Web Analytics Expert, Search Engine Optimizer, Link Builder, SEO Copywriter and PPC Executive are just a few of the positions that have cropped up in recent years. Though this is just a partial list of the career avenues, a wise web aficionado can explore and discover a multitude of new options.  But pragmatic youngsters usually zero in on what they are really passionate about, and make a mark quite early in their career.   

A seasoned digital marketing manager, employed by an integrated marketing communications company in Bangalore, urges most of his job seeking Facebook buddies to contemplate learning social media marketing from a professional training center.

According to Bavajan, Managing Director of the software and digital marketing training center Inventateq‘Online marketing is akin to an ocean; there are loads of opportunities waiting to be leveraged. But a career aspirant should first get a macro level understanding of this industry, and then choose a specialization––Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC), Web Analytics, etc.’

Online marketing has boundless scope for those who are planning to make a career shift. So it’s less wonder that scores of professionals from sales, marketing, creative design, advertising and media are already making a beeline for this happening space.

Qualification is no bar for this domain, though it could be a factor that helps determine the pace of growth. A fresh graduate, for instance, can work an account executive at an online/digital marketing agency. The role would involve the task of managing the online campaigns/promotions of a client. Today, companies are also recruiting trained online marketing professionals in their marketing/marcom teams. These professionals are given the onus of either managing campaigns in house or outsourcing it a suitable online/digital marketing agency. Whatever is the modus operandi, the value add such a person brings to the table will be enormous.

There are innumerable institutes offering various short term/long term courses and workshops in online marketing. Most of them do not really stress on any minimum qualification, albeit a degree/diploma would be a definite plus. Those who have excellent communication, analytical and computer skills are likely to have an edge.

NIIT Imperia offers an Advanced Program in Digital Marketing that introduces the student to almost every facet of online marketing. Echovme, a Chennai-based social media training company, conducts one-day workshops across major Indian cities. Furthermore, there are several centers that offer only SEO, Pay Per Click Advertising or Social Media Marketing.

Narasimman, a BE (IT) graduate who elected to become a creative designer, is ‘excited’ about everything on the web. He adds: ‘As a tech-savvy web designer, it was easy for me to grasp the fundamentals of online marketing. Today, I am eagerly trying to chip in and make a difference to my company’s online marketing strategy.’

Online marketing is likely to become a rage in the coming days since colleges are already teaching the same as part of their curriculum in various marketing, advertising and communication courses. But the challenge is to know what works for one and what doesn't. No matter how cluttered the future employment market is going to be, online marketing will surely open up a clear career path for net-enabled people from all walks of life–students, freshers, professionals, housewives and senior citizens, to name just a few.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lead Scoring: All About Getting More Bang for Your Lead Generation Buck.

What’s a qualified lead? Are qualified leads marketing ready or sales ready? Should 100% of the qualified leads result in conversions? Can a meticulous tracking and reporting system augment the efficiency of a lead generation program?
Quality is a paramount factor in lead generation; so is an effective lead scoring system. 
Since not all leads are equal, it is imperative to have a reliable methodology to gauge the quality of every lead that a program churns out. Experts in lead generation swear that a minuscule improvement in lead quality results in an astounding increase in sales productivity.
Lead scoring refers to a method where every prospect is assigned a point based on his interest in the product or service offered. These points are in turn based on a set of criteria defined jointly by the lead generation agency and
the client’s marketing/sales team. The higher the score, the more likely a prospect becomes a customer. The scorecard could either have an alphabetical rating system (A,B or C) or a numerical system (1,2 or 3), where the first is a hot lead, second a warm lead and third a cold lead.
Both explicit and implicit information need to be considered while creating an accurate scoring model. The former usually refers to the basic data–designation, company size, vertical, location, etc. The latter is a lot more complex–it’s about tracking and analyzing a contact’s responses and behaviors. When a comprehensive scoring system is adopted, the true potential of every record in the database is realized. It’s also easy to figure out the list that needs to go to sales for immediate conversion, and the one that needs to go to marketing for further nurturing. What’s more, a provision has to be made for negative scoring too!

Different marketers and lead generation companies have different criteria for judging the quality of their leads. Some might focus more on the lead generation methodology, list quality and messaging perfection while keeping the scoring process simple. Some of the others might bank on an automated system that manages and simplifies the most complex of lead generation processes. So the most critical question now is: How can
a business pick the right scoring system for its lead generation program? The answer is quite simple–it’s again a question of whether the business wants to do it now or do it slowly and steadily! The smartest marketers and business consultants are the ones who like to make it fast, sure and steady. In other words, they are the ones who know where and how to get more bang for their lead generation buck. 


About Me

Bangalore, Karnataka, India
I am a creative wordsmith experienced in direct mail, email, online and print media communication. I wield Masters degrees in Journalism and Social Work. I have also completed the Advanced Program in Digital Marketing (NIIT Imperia). My current area of focus is copywriting and online marketing. You may write to me at