Exclusive with Danish Bagadia
Hi my name is Danish Bagadia, I work at Delta X, I head up the Europe market. My role at Delta X is to look after the sales operations and launching big products in to the Europe Market. Delta X is an advertising cloud technology that helps unify digital media for all channels like PPC, social and display. My role as a digital marketer is to help my clients achieve the best out of their digital campaigns, from strategy to execution, to all the technical questions about the technology that we use at Delta X.
What trends have you noticed within the Digital Market recently?
The trends that I am noticing at the moment are mainly around conversions. As obviously, digital nowadays is becoming more and more non-linear, especially with the rise in tablets and mobiles, and that is a strong trend that we have noticed, and that is going to continue to grow more and more. What we have also seen is that the traffic has also moved from desktop to mobile. One of the clients we work with, about 40% of their traffic already comes from their mobile, and that is a big start for us. Again, with the technology side of things we see more media moving towards biddable media, so programmatic buying is huge at the moment, and that is the whole proposition of Delta X as well. This is one big trend across all media, not just in digital. We have seen some channels like ‘Out of home’ in the US move into programmatic buying, TV has also moved into this arena.
What are the differences working within media agencies to working for Delta X? Why did you make the transition?
I spent about seven years working within media agencies, with it be a search agency or a digital agency. The differences that I have noticed are, obviously it is a techs provider, and now we work with the agencies instead of working for them, so agencies have become my clients. The reason I moved to technology, is because it is a move towards the future, as more and more things are becoming digital. Technology basically powers everything. It is all about what software you use, what analytics, what bid management tool you use. There is going to be more technologies that come up in the future and I believe it was the right time for me to make that decision. With Delta X being natively integrated with digital channels I believe again is was definitely the right opportunity for me.
What challenges might someone face working within digital marketing?
The biggest challenges a digital marketer might face, whether they work for an agency, tech or even client side, would be to re-educate your stakeholders. Even though digital marketing has been around for a decade there is still a gap in the skills across multiple agencies, technologies or client side. The reason for this is because digital is purely so quick, so dynamic that you can’t keep up. That is the biggest challenge that everyone faces, but it is a challenge that you have got to keep up with. The happenings in the industry whether NFC for example, how is that going to affect advertising, so again, no one thinks about that when it comes to execution. This is a future trend, if people are starting to pay through their phones, through NFC, that is a big mobile phone converse impact, and you have to understand how advertisers can then change towards this trend.
What challenges might someone face when heading into the market?
I have recruited a lot of people in the past, from senior people to account director levels, and I would say the biggest thing you need is passion and an understanding of digital. You have to show that you really want to work in digital, and that you’re not just doing it for money or because everyone else is doing it. You need to really understand the business, so why you are learning your degree, whether you are studying marketing or media or even business, you need to make up your mind. You need to research into ‘what is digital marketing?’, what are the different areas, because there is so many options. That is a big challenge that the graduates today face, there is so much to choose from in digital marketing, with so many jobs out there. Picking the right channel is very important. If you take a look at ‘Search’, it is very technical and numbers orientated, if you look at strategies it is very much a creative side of things, then you have everything in between, display and social etc. Therefore it is very much about understanding all of your options and making that decision.
What digital marketing techniques or technologies are companies not using?
There are a lot of technologies out there, for example like Delta X. I think there is a big skills gap in using those technologies. Everything that you need to do within digital marketing you can do form any technology, whether it is Delta X or any other technology, the important thing is to really train your staff in making the most out of your technology. By this I mean, really using the features, for example the simplest thing is reporting. If a technology can do automated reporting you should make sure you utilize that. If they can do automated bid management, automated campaign creation or whatever it maybe you need to train your staff to really make the most out your technology.
Where do see digital marketing in five years?
I would say three things, one, the rise of programmatic which I touched upon earlier, and that is going to be across all media not just digital and that there is going to be more and more spend going towards programmatic buying. Two, the rise in mobile traffic, for the past years, everyone has been saying it is the year of mobile, but I think it has got to be a decade of mobile. I believe it is going to be an evolution of mobile with more traffic coming through. There is another concept coming through, ‘Phablets’ the idea of the big screened phones, which are in-between mobile and tablets. This is an example of the lines being blurred between devices as well, and then you have got laptops where you can take the screen out for them to become tablets, so it just gives you an example of how the tablet/mobile market is going to be huge in the future. There is going to be more innovation coming out through digital marketing, and how the mobile is very important to people and the next step would be whether people would find mobile advertising intrusive. Some people might not want to be targeted, for example, if they were in Covent Garden and now they are receiving an ad about a restaurant in the area because their location can be sourced, this will be very intrusive So the question is, how do we work around that, as digital marketers it is going to be very important. There could be new ad formats, maybe more native ad formats, like Twitter and how they promote their tweets, and how you don’t see the difference between what is a normal tweet to what is a sponsored tweet. So I do believe there is going to be a lot more native ads. The last one is the conversions, the blurred lines between devices and also the media is going to progress. This is because the consumer behaviour is so non-linear. For example, nobody wakes up in the morning and says. ‘I’m going to click a search ad, or a banner ad’ or even follow ads through on Facebook and Twitter, it is all over the place right now and this will continue to happen. Sites like Instagram or Snapchat have become increasingly popular, with people using these services more and more. So therefore the question is, how do we understand the consumer behaviour online, and how do we as digital marketers sell advertising that is more personalised based on the consumer behaviour and I do think this is going to be very important in the future.
What tips would you give to someone who aspires to get where you are?
Passion is very important. Along with passion, I think you need to give yourself time in any company, whether you are starting or are in the middle of your career. You need to give yourself a bit of time to learn the art of planning or buying. This is very important, for example if you are hopping around every year in different agencies or companies, (which happens a lot in digital marketing) then you will not learn it properly. I was at my previous company for four years, working in search and that unheard of, but I did it because I wanted to give myself a bit of time and I progressed very easily. This is because people trust you, they know that you are learning, progressing and that you know what you are talking about. Therefore it is very important you give yourself time to learn about what you are going to be doing. Whether it be search, social, PPC, stay put and learn, obviously it is situation dependent, so if you are not happy it is a different story but I think experience counts a lot in this industry. Before you decide or get a job I think you need to understand digital marketing. When I started it, it was a fluke, I ended up in search, I didn’t come out of University and think that I was going to progress a career in digital marketing because then it was a myth. Then people didn’t think it existed, people thought ‘who’s making money out of selling keywords?’ So, it was very much a fluke, but I have never looked back, it has been an excellent seven years, looking back and if I had the option to pick, I would definitely pick digital marketing again. So, now that everyone is embracing digital, with people very much into social media and all the rest of it, it opens up the options, but a lot of information more importantly. So again, the information and planning before applying for a job, and not bombarding your CV everywhere is very important. Really take you time to understand the industry, and apply for jobs that are more relevant.
Would you recommend by starting in an agency?
I would agree and disagree. Agree, yes because agencies will expose you to a lot of clients, a lot of channels and it is very dynamic. A lot of pressure (which is good for you in the early years) and you need that, because if you can cope with that then further into your career you will be more chiselled as a digital marketer. I then disagree because there is less investment in training when it comes to agencies, I am being very general and I am not saying for every agency. As there are a lot of good agencies that invest a lot of time in good skill, but there is obviously limited budget. If you wanted to stay put somewhere and agency style is your kind of thing then I would say go for it. But again I would make sure when you are going into an agency, make sure you are asking the right questions in the interview. Ask them ‘What is my day/week going to look like?’ and if you think that is right for you, then go for it. If you are more technical and you wanted to be more involved with the software side of things, then digital marketing does offer that too. Then you have creative agencies or client side, so again it is important for you to work out what area you would want to concentrate on.
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