CMO SpeakDialogue

Data is the key to reach the customers

Satya Mahapatra is the Chief Marketing Officer at Junglee Games, an online gaming and software development company. He has more than 15 years of experience in managing profitable digital businesses with proven record in delivering measurable results. He joined Junglee Games in 2013 as the CMO, spearheading overall India operations and marketing communication.

Satya Mahapatra is the Chief Marketing Officer at Junglee Games, an online gaming and software development company. He has more than 15 years of experience in managing profitable digital businesses with proven record in delivering measurable results. He joined Junglee Games in 2013 as the CMO, spearheading overall India operations and marketing communication.

At Junglee Games, his role encompasses planning, developing and managing 360 co-marketing programs with alliance partners.

He comes with a rich experience in digital acquisition and revenue optimisation and has helped companies monetize their businesses by optimising various processes and maximising the ROI on marketing spends. He has effectively used research data to drive strategic plans and segmentation to help create product propositions to meet the needs of the target audience.

Prior to Junglee Games, Satya was associated with Spice Online Retail Pvt. Ltd. as the Head of Online Marketing and presently is also the Director of Digital Marketing at ROI Internet Marketing.

He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Marketing & Finance from ICFAI Business School.

In this exclusive interview with Ratnika Swami for India Digital Review, Satya talks about Junglee Games’ online strategies to engage with the youth, the changing online gaming industry in India and how social media has helped in shaping the digital space in the company. Excerpts:

Q. According to you how has the role of a marketing officer evolved in this industry?

I started with Internet marketing almost 15 years ago in India and I would say, marketing has taken a quantum step in the last decade. Both customers as well as operators have been empowered with real time technology, better reach, effective tracking, affordable devices, flexible and fast fulfillment etc. This has changed the way the customers engage with brands, products and services.

Back in the day, it was all about acquiring customers which has transformed to acquiring profitably, optimizing sources of traffic, retargeting, lookalikes and custom audiences. Marketers have improved by leaps and bounds in acquiring customers, retaining them and finally engaging and gratifying them. 

Earlier, marketing and technology were managed independently. However, today from product tech to ad tech, analytics to content, acquisition to engagement, marketing and technology work in tandem and co-ordinate to maximize productivity and ROI. Technology is driving a lot of key areas in marketing because unlike before, now each and every customer event/action is being tracked as a data point. Every data point tells a story about the customer’s journey which gets analyzed to come up with actionable insights to optimize the user experience and thus maximize the ROI. In all these years, the role of the CMO has transitioned into Chief Marketing Technologist as innovation in product and technology improvements drives the marketing in today’s world. 

Peter Drucker once said that business had two functions – innovation and marketing. It’s time technology is added to this phrase.

Q. Could you please share a brief about the current strategy and direction that Junglee Games is taking in digital in India?  

We are a data driven company and our strategies are formulated around customer intelligence and customer equity. We are hugely investing in the social gaming and skill gaming space in India. The aim is to get market leadership in this area through innovative and localized content with mobile being our prime focus.

Q. The Indian gaming industry touched $171.66 million in 2010, from $144.56 million in 2009. According to an Indian entrepreneur the Rs 600-crore gaming industry in India is growing at a healthy 30 per cent but has the potential to grow 200 per cent. Growth projections look even better, with the gaming market in India pegged to reach Rs 4,000 crore by the end of 2017. What do you think about this development and how is this affecting your business?  

I can’t disagree with that. The industry is growing by leaps and bounds and the biggest contributors have been innovations by entrepreneurs, growing infrastructure, better accessibility, penetration of mobile phones, cost of data and payment processing.

In the coming quarters, we will witness a lot of innovation, growth hacking and new marketing leaders emerging in each of these areas. As a company, we are hugely invested and aggressively working towards capitalizing this opportunity. 

Q. What kind of analytics or social media tools do you use?

We extensively use our own customized tools (both in-house and personalized third party ones) along with Google Analytics to analyze data and customer behavior. 

Like I said initially, each and every customer event needs to be tracked. Using this data and the customer journey funnels, companies would be able to optimize their customer strategy and create engaging relationships with their customers. 

Q. Could you please share in brief a couple of digital marketing campaigns you find different or noteworthy?

1. Amazon #AurDikhao –

Indians love to be spoilt for choice and prefer to check out more options before deciding to buy. Amazon used this concept during IPL 8 to roll out a brilliant digital campaign #AurDikhao, powered by a two-minute film which triggered valuable and viral conversations on social media. 

2. Heineken’s #ShareTheSofa –

Leveraging the rise of the 2nd screen experience, Heineken launched a 90 min real time show during the Champions League – #ShareTheSofa. This show enabled football fans to share their experience with legends of the game like Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Hernan Crespo and Fernando Morientes, without distracting them from the game.

The campaign was a perfect engagement tool with football fans holding on to their tablets during the game. The sheer excitement of sharing a (virtual) sofa with football greats and being able to chat with them in real time was definitely a winner. 

Not only did the show enhance the Champions League experience, it helped trigger valuable conversations both in traditional news media and social media. 

Q. What percentage of your total marketing spends is on digital? And how do you maximise the ROI on your marketing spends?

We spend a substantial percentage of our budget on digital marketing due to the nature of our product and the industry. 

Everything that we do on digital is tracked, measured, analyzed and optimized. Constant optimization of the marketing spends on different sources/channels helps maximize ROI.

Q. As a CMO, what are the main challenges you face, especially in being able to reach out and engage with the millennials?

Communication, value offering and employing the right channel mix is the key to reaching out to any segment including the millennial. Engagement is a different beast altogether as every segment has its own characteristics and needs. Social media is one of the most successful mediums to reach this segment of customers as they have been raised on gadgets & the Internet and are some of the most influential early adopters of new technology. 

Marketing to this media savvy generation requires a fresh approach which involves creating great experiences, offering the ability to customize, being transparent, trendy and authentic and engaging them in activities which are fun, visual, social and viral. Understanding their likes and dislikes, browsing patterns, interests and preferences would help marketers in reaching out and engaging them. Typical questions to investigate are – what do they like – news/ travel/ movies/ technology / videos/ communities? What causes do they support?

Most importantly the buying behavior of this segment is different from the previous generations. These kids buy products that they can tell others about; they buy because of what these purchases say about them, in a way it’s about making a statement.

Q. What advice would you like to share with your peers in the industry?

Today’s reality revolves around connected customers and in this eco system; data is the key to reach the customers. Effective use of technology has helped generate huge amount of data on customers, channels, products, categories and measure ROI on various marketing initiatives. Marketers need to utilize the new information available to optimize processes and maximize efforts to reach and engage the end user effectively and efficiently. 

The rapid evolution of mobile as a preferred access medium has affected all internet businesses, positively I suppose. Look out for the mobile opportunity with respect to your existing businesses.

Being flexible and agile, possessing the ability to unlearn and adapting to emerging opportunities that the market presents is imperative. Last but not the least; innovation is the key to success.

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