Ritesh Osta - Good Marketing Is a Collective Effort That Makes Customers Trust the Brand

Linked In - @Ritesh Osta

1. Tell us more about your journey and background.

I completed my bachelor of engineering back in 2006 in computer science and then started working as a software developer for tech companies and moved up the ladder to become product manager and then product marketer.

Currently, I am working as a marketing head of Innofied, a multimillion dollars digital agency and we help tech companies launch and scale their tech products like Mobile apps, SaaS and softwares.

We also run a YouTube channel where we create videos on tech marketing strategies. I am a regular writer in quora and medium and my articles and posts get more than 10,000 readers every month.

I am also a certified public speaker and trainer and I love coaching people. I love cats and am a part of PAWS which provides shelter to homeless animals.

2. How according to you has marketing evolved over the years?

When it comes to marketing, it all boils down to one word “Attention”.

Marketing in principle has remained the same, i.e. to -
  • Reach out to your audience
  • Capture attention
  • Create Trust

3. What has changed over the years are the medium and technology.

The biggest change that has happened over the years is businesses moving from large scale traditional advertising to social media and mobile. 20 years back there were only a few reliable channels to market yourself, which were newspaper ads, TV ads, Print and banner ads and radio.

And the way it worked was that you put up an ad and show it to a lot of people and then hope some of them will buy it. If your business had deep pockets you could hire a celebrity, create campaigns and continuously bombard a lot of people with your ads to create trust with them.

Today however with the advent of tech and social media, there are countless ways to reach out to your customers and with social media and search engine behemoths like google and Facebook now you have more power and control over who you target and who sees your campaigns.

So it's easier than ever to reach out to the right people but at the same time it's harder to get their attention for a longer period of time.

So that's the tradeoff. Also social media and technology has democratised marketing. Today even a small business and start-up can take advantage of social media to reach out to their audience and compete with even the big players.

It is no longer about what big businesses want to produce and sell, it is now more about the customer’s needs and preferences. Social media, Search engines and online marketplaces have given almost every business an opportunity to go online.

The other major change that has happened over the last decade is the rise of “Influencers”. 20 years back the term influencer was reserved for film actors, musicians and sportspeople.

But today we have millions of macro and micro influencers on various platforms with a lot of power and influence on almost every industry and niches. If you are a business today who wants to reach out to your target audience it's easier (and cheaper) than ever before.

So you have an organic soap to sell, You don't have to hire an A list Hollywood actor to do an ad for you and then show that ad to a million TV viewers. You can just find out health and fitness influencers on Instagram and YouTube to pitch your products to their audience.

4. Where do most of your marketing budgets go, traditional or digital?

When it comes to business, you have to be where your customers are. When the whole world is going digital and that’s where most of our budgets go. We are a tech agency and sour target audience are B2B tech companies and start-ups.

We help them with tech development and product marketing. We divide our marketing budget budget based on channels and ROI. Let me explain what I mean by that.

We divide our marketing budget to different channels in each quarter. The channels that we generally use are - 

  • Running google search ads
  • Linkedin Ads
  • Youtube ads
  • Marketplaces and Listing sites
  • Social Selling and outreach

We measure results and return on investment on a weekly and monthly basis, and then based on each quarter results we determine the budget for the next quarter for each channel(or whether to experiment with new channels).

This also enables us to make our marketing process more efficient and analytics driven rather than just based on guess works or just running after new shiny tools and tactics.

5. How can one reach the top echelons in marketing?

I guess the easiest way to succeed as a marketer is to understand the principles of marketing.

Marketing is and always has been an integral part of every business. It is not only a department but a bridge between the company and its customers.

I remember a Seth godin’s Quote:

“Marketing is too important just to be left to the marketing department”.

Good marketing is a collective effort that makes customers trust the brand. Here are 7 mantras that I follow personally -
  • Understand your business or product objectives, purpose and financial goals and then align your marketing initiatives along with it
  • Listen to your customers, they are your best guide to good marketing strategies
  • Good marketing is not a substitute for a bad product or service
  • Create a great message and then find the best channels to promote it to your target audience
  • Put robusts systems and tools in place to automate and measure your digital efforts
  • Create a balance between creativity and logic, come up with creative campaigns but always experiment and measure results based on actual data and analytics and not be carried away with emotions and feelings
  • And finally, have fun with it, fail fast, learn everyday and move on

6. How will marketing change in the next decade or so?

There are 3 major avenues where the future of marketing lies.

  1. Data Science - Data science can help marketers gather, aggregate, and synthesize data on their products for several different demographics of audience and then based on the insights provided by this data, businesses of the future can develop products and create highly targeted marketing campaigns to their intended audience.

  2. Artificial Intelligence(AI) - AI will be a major driving force of marketing in future, AI will help marketers with automation, automated decision making, contextual content generation, natural language processing and more. I believe that AI will bridge the gap between art and science or marketing.

  3. Virtual Reality - Virtual Reality already has a huge impact on fields like entertainment, gaming and healthcare. VR is emerging as one of the fastest-growing fields that will affect How we market to people digitally especially in industries like real estate, ecommerce and travel industry.

And when VR and AI will join hands, it will not only take the industries by storm but also impact our lives like never before. If VR will provide us with different realities then AI will make it a more personalized experience.

Marketing and Technology have already come together and it’s only a matter of time before all the emerging technologies join them and bring one of the most amazing evolutions in the world.

- Interviewed by - Sanjana Jain