What is Your Net Digital Score?

Date:   Wednesday , January 11, 2017

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Blueocean Market Intelligence is a global analytics and insights provider that helps corporations realize a 360 degree view of their customers through data integration and a multi-disciplinary approach that enables sound, data-driven business decision.

Internet usage is on the rise in India. With the Indian government\'s Digital India initiative, the broadband services are set to expand into rural areas. This will increase opportunities for companies to market digitally. Already 87 percent of brands in India are leveraging the digital media and 38 percent are allocating 1/3rd budget to digital marketing.

Digital marketing is becoming the mainstream marketing for most companies, including the startups. It is no more a secondary stream or the aftermath of another marketing event or activity. Today, it is imperative for companies and their CXOs to take a digital-first approach. The good news is startups recognize this and are working toward it. Flipkart is the best example. They leveraged digital marketing to become the e-commerce site in India. In FY15, they generated revenues of Rs 10,245.8 crore.

Flipkart not only created a successful brand through digital marketing but also connected with every stakeholder. They improved the user experience to enable customers to connect and interact with them via different digital media. They listened and responded through these media. Flipkart also used the digital media to connect with their investors, board members, employees, and customer service.

The not so good news is that there is a general tendency among startups to explore different marketing options the minute they receive funding. Digital marketing is not about having a website, a LinkedIn page, and a Twitter account. It is a continued effort that requires uninterrupted engagement with every stakeholder. One should constantly monitor, analyze, measure, reassess, and adapt to the changing needs.

For a startup looking to mark their presence in an overcrowded startup world, taking strategic steps toward digital marketing is vital. The first step to planning the right strategy is to find out where you stand in the digital space. Do you have a website? Are you easily searchable? What do your customers think of you? In short, what is your net digital score? A net digital score includes a brand\'s searchability, online presence, brand perception, and segment-based performance online.

Online searchability: Every search engine whether Google or Bing has an algorithm based on which they rank web pages. How far or close is your brand\'s approximation is to the search query? How do you feature on search?

Digital presence: It is about telling your audience about your business, your products, and services online via different digital platforms such as the website, blog, the mobile Web, and social media channels. Based on what you are demonstrating about your brand and how you are demonstrating, helps build your brand reputation.

Brand perception: How do the customers perceive your brand online? Do they see you as a leader in the space, as the next disruptor, as a steady performer, or a loser with no genuine ideas? Based on a scale of positive to negative sentiments, your brand perception score is calculated. For example, Practo is seen as the site to look for healthcare providers, Flipkart for e-commerce, and Wikipedia for general research. It is also imperative to know how other stakeholders perceive your brand, such as the employees and the investors.

Segment-based performance: Where do you feature in an online search related to the business segment you are in? If one is looking for fitness trackers in India, say on Google, where does Fitbit show up on the search. Say, one is looking for thermometers for babies, what are the top brands on the organic search list and the sponsored search list. What are the type of product these searches throw up and how relevant or useful they are to the viewer? Are these search results also capable of showing context-based results?

A startup with a net digital score ranging from 80-95 points is ideal, and what you should aim for. This is achievable by taking a holistic approach to digital marketing. Once you know your net digital score, create a well-laid content marketing strategy. Taking scientific and measured steps will definitely help improve your brand\'s digital outlook and perception, thereby your business.