On a social drive

Dec 5, 2013 09:41 PM , By Venkatesh Ganesh

Deepak Goel, one of the co-founders of Drizzlin Media
A startup that helps corporates make the most out of social
media.
As the profusion of social media starts to gain momentum in
India, a whole host of companies are rolling their sleeves up and
getting ready to ride this bandwagon.
Drizzlin Media is one such company. It was conceptualised by
Deepak Goel and Robin Jacob Abraham in late 2008. Goel, a 31-
year old comes with a background that involves a mixture of
educational disciplines. He holds a Bachelors degree in
Economics from Delhi University and an MSc in International
Management from University of Strathclyde.
Abraham, the other founder, prior to becoming the co-founder,
has had stints with Oracle and Webchutney. Initially, the company
partnered with Webchutney but in October 2009 decided to be on
its own. Goel explains the rationale of starting up this venture.
“Having had an exposure in the social media domain nationally
and abroad, I knew that there is an immense opportunity in this
domain.” The opportunity that Drizzlin sees involves a
combination of several factors- a 200 million Internet user base, a
750 million cellphone user base and a youth population that is
increasingly discarding traditional media for newer ones such as
Facebook or Twitter that puts the Internet at the heart of every
communication.
Growth opportunity
Companies like Drizzlin see opportunities beyond Facebook or
Twitter in India, which, is expected to reach Rs 2,000 crore by
the end of 2013. “Today the need to be present and seen there
has increased. Companies are sensitive towards what has been
said and written about the company on social media,” says Goel.
Hence the urgent need for companies like us, to help them reach
out to their consumers, cater to their needs, which eventually
results in reputation building of the company. So, what is it that
this company does? Drizzlin utilises social media deeply and uses
it for business change. What can it do to your business? How
can it change your strategy? How can you connect with your
consumers better?
In other words, companies like these are locking horns with big
consulting companies like Mckinsey and ad agencies (though
almost all ad agencies have independent social media groups).
The company specialises in two areas – consumer insights and
customer engagement. Goel explains. “We track online user
generated content and observe public sentiments around brands,
social issues and anything that might matter to them. Unlike
traditional market research our ‘observational research’ solutions
source only from unsolicited user generated conversations on the
web.” Similarly, with the insights from the consumers, Drizzlin
then utilise the customer understanding to develop deeper
relationship between the brand and its consumer. “We do not
restrict ourselves to the consumers only. Our three pillars of
engagements are customer, employees and community,” says
Abraham.
We analyse what kind of content works for a brand and what
doesn’t, who are the brand ambassadors across platforms, what
are the best practices and measure campaign effectiveness,
explains Goel. The company also offers employer branding
solutions. This solution explores the ecosystem of the new voice
employees have to talk in the social web. Does it inhibit them or
encourage them? Do companies create policies to channelise this
energy and how can our employees turn out to be our brand
advocates are some of the questions it asks.
Client base
As more corporates begin to get marketing-savvy, opportunities
for companies like Drizzlin media opens up. But like all startups,
the initial part was a struggle. The company battled low
awareness of the concept of digital marketing, poor investment
climate for service businesses and a battle for talent. Over time,
the company has bagged clients like Lenovo, Max Life Insurance,
KFC, Airtel, Bajaj Alliance in the last couple of years. It recently
signed up Dalmia Continental as social communications partner
for its Hudson Canola Oil brand. The companies’ mandate
includes setting up the brand’s presence on the web with an
objective to drive strong awareness around the category and the
brand. The primary target audience is health-conscious
individuals, who can easily make the switch to a healthier lifestyle
by simply changing the oil they use in their kitchens.
The company has growth ambitions but faces a whole lot of
challenges. As a business, digital marketing has a very low barrier
to entry- some contacts and a collection of people who monitor
social media sites and analyse the chatter around them. This
involves sustained investment- in terms of talent and technology.
The company has not raised any funding but it seems to have
been internally funded. While Goel says that he is looking for
funding as it would enable the company to do more research and
in other areas such as infrastructure and people. Looking at
another set of numbers, companies like Drizzlin may be looking at
a very small piece of the pie. India still has around 300 million
illiterates and several millions unable to speak the English
language fluently. So, that effectively rules them out to embark
on the social media space for a few years. Warren Buffet once
famously said that only when the tide goes out do you discover
who’s been swimming naked. India’s digital marketing companies
may well heed that.
venkatesh.ganesh@thehindu.co.in
Courtesy: Business Line

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