Harsh Kedia of Auburn Digital Solutions Highlights the Growing Trend of Brands Realizing the Benefits of Expanding Their Online Footprint
StartupTalky presents Recap’22. This is a series of interviews in which we conduct in-depth discussions with founders & industry leaders to understand their growth in 2022 and their predictions for the future.
The digital marketing business helps companies promote their products or services through various online channels, such as social media, search engines, email, and websites. The goal of a digital marketing business is to increase brand awareness and drive sales through targeted and measurable campaigns.
The CAGR of the digital marketing industry varies depending on the source and the specific sub-segment of the market being analyzed. However, generally, the global digital marketing industry has been growing at a steady pace. It is important to note that the CAGR of digital marketing is expected to grow in the future due to the increasing use of mobile devices and the growing popularity of digital channels for reaching customers.
According to a report by KPMG, the digital advertising market in India has grown to INR 14,000 crore (approximately $2 billion) by the end of 2020, growing at a CAGR of 22.6% between 2016 and 2020.
For this Interview, we invited Mr. Harsh S Kedia, Co-founder of Auburn Digital Solutions, and we talked about the growth, challenges, insights, and future opportunities in the Digital Marketing industry.
StartupTalky: Harsh, what service does your company provide? What was the motivation/vision with which you started?
Harsh Kedia: We help brands build, communicate, and achieve better audience visibility through our services of performance marketing, brand-building strategy, and creative tech and communication solutions. Auburn started with the vision of offering a complete constellation of tech-oriented solutions and today we are the preferred name in offering digital solutions to clients for enhancing their online presence and customer connection. From offering AI-based marketing to brand planning and social media management to Digital PR, we offer a one-stop solution for all your scalability and sustainability needs.
StartupTalky: What new services have been added in the past year? What is/are the USP/s of your service?
Harsh Kedia: In recent times, we have added a host of services to our portfolio, and prominent among these are AI-based marketing, multidimensional video production, and advanced attribution for targeted reach among prospective buyers. In addition, Auburn has also made comprehensive upgrades to its brand-building solutions while optimizing touch points for delivering brands with better reach, targeted advertisements, and superior customer engagement among others.
The aspects of maintaining the uniqueness and offering customized solutions are the things that set us apart from our contemporaries. We are proud of our holistic and all-encompassing nature of services that ensure that brands get a complete solution for all their marketing and brand-building requirements in one place.
StartupTalky: How has the industry you are in changed in recent years and how has your company adapted to these changes?
Harsh Kedia: Although the field of digital marketing has been around for a while, it has only recently started to gain momentum in India. Today brands across industries have begun to realize the tremendous benefits associated with expanding their footprints online. This realization coupled with expanding internet access has revolutionized the digital branding space across the globe.
Looking at today’s scenario, it can be easily concluded that we are at the cusp of digital transformation today and Auburn is fully geared to participate and contribute to this revolution. We have adapted ourselves and aligned our solutions to meet the fast-changing requirements of clients who want to make it big in the digital world. Auburn today offers the most advanced and sophisticated constellation of digital branding services which are helping brands to effectively scale and sustain their digital branding strategy.
StartupTalky: How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in your industry?
Harsh Kedia: At Auburn Digital Solutions, we keep a close tab on the changing trends by maintaining constant touch with each and every stakeholder in the business ecosystem. we interact constantly with our clients and gather feedback from them to make necessary changes in our solutions and services. We also closely monitor the pulse of customers and upcoming shifts in the industry by becoming part of international conferences, seminars, symposiums, and other leading events that happen in the domain of digital marketing and allied fields. In addition, we exchange ideas with creative teams, marketing executives, and advertisement professionals in other industries as it helps us to incorporate novel approaches to our brand-building efforts.
StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check the company’s growth and performance?
Harsh Kedia: Customer satisfaction is a key metric, and we work closely with clients to understand service levels for each account and accordingly make the necessary changes to further, enhance the effectiveness of our solutions. Customer-centric programs that increase retention or advocacy are the second important metric we carefully track to get an accurate idea of how well are our services being received by clients.
Further, the performance of the organization on both top-line and bottom-line
parameters of growth such as sales, revenue, profitability, and margin are being
constantly tracked for evaluating the performance of the company.
StartupTalky: What were the most significant challenges your company faced in the past year and how did you overcome them?
Harsh Kedia: The fast-changing nature of the business environment is the biggest challenge that we continue to face in our industry. Especially, the segment of digital marketing is highly volatile which mandates us to constantly evaluate and upgrade our services and solutions.
We have also witnessed the advent of a large number of digital advertising agencies, leading to more intensified competition in the segment. Further, we operate in a very dynamic industry, so training new hires and subsequently keeping them on board is among the prominent challenges faced by
us in the past. Although it has been ingrained in us to always be on the lookout for
new trends, we are inevitably going to miss a few, as indicated, due to the dynamic
nature of the work we do.
StartupTalky: Good service is something everyone is talking about in the service industry. How do you ensure that your clients are happy?
Harsh Kedia: We at Auburn have cultivated a culture of customer-centricity in our functional procedures and operational mechanisms. We exercise the highest level of transparency and work ethics in our business which has helped us to deliver excellent services to our clients. In fact, we have gone to the extent of classifying the job descriptions for various roles in our company in terms of the needs and demands of the customers. Further, we never shirk from making investments in upgrading our services and this has helped us to remain ahead of the learning curve and deliver industry-leading solutions to our clients.
StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack which you pulled off.
Harsh Kedia: Auburn offers a host of strategies and brand-building solutions for companies to achieve their desired goals and performance in digital marketing and branding requirements. We have excelled in conceptualizing the fundamental aspects of strategic marketing for our clients that include segmentation, targeting, and positioning.
On the tactical side of the marketing sphere, we offer holistic solutions
for generating leads, updating social media strategy, creating digital advertisements, and optimizing web pages to garner better visibility and audience interaction. In terms of pulling off a growth hack, we have managed to grow a discount brokerage firm into one of India’s largest stock brokers and have reduced their acquisition costs drastically.
StartupTalky: Foreign clients—this is what most service-based companies are looking for. What has been your experience?
Harsh Kedia: We are fast expanding our global footprints as more prospective clients from countries all across the world are approaching us for digital marketing solutions. We have already expanded our customer base in Canada, the US, and the Middle East, and in the coming years, we expect to cover more countries for achieving high growth in business and profitability. Our experience of working with overseas clients has been fantastic and we would like to further up the momentum of acquiring more foreign clients in the coming years.
StartupTalky: What are the essential tools and software you use to run your business smoothly?
Harsh Kedia: Integration of Technology has always remained one of the priority areas of our business. We have successfully integrated new-age solutions such as AI, ML, and automation into our services and continue to experiment with advanced innovations for delivering the best solutions to prospective clients. Our team makes extensive use of Similarweb Pro and for managing media buying and reporting, we use DV360 and Data Studio among others. Moz, Screaming frog, Radian 6, and Simplify 360 for ORM are other tools that are used by us to deliver digital marketing solutions to our clients.
StartupTalky: What opportunities do you see for future growth in your industry in India and the world? What kind of difference in market behavior have you seen between India and the world?
Harsh Kedia: The Digital Revolution is upon us and it has undoubtedly opened new avenues of opportunities for all stakeholders in the business ecosystem. We are witnessing a surge in demand for digital advertisements, brand building, and global marketing outreach campaigns. The influence of digital is also becoming very much apparent in the penetration of OTT, social-media influence, and the rise of virtual worlds in the form of metaverse platforms. To help clients make the most of these opportunities, we have aligned our solutions and upgraded our strategies with new-age innovations and creative technology.
StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year and how will these inform your future plans and strategies?
Harsh Kedia: The market dynamics are changing continuously and hence, our team continues to remain focused on changing references of prospective clients. We have very well recognized that in this fast-changing business world, we have to remain agile, nimble, and focused to deliver the highest standards of customer satisfaction. We cannot solely rely on AI and ML as the importance of human touch and service orientation is equally important to achieve the best of both worlds.
StartupTalky: How do you plan to expand the Customers, service offering, and team base in the future?
Harsh Kedia: We are aggressively working towards providing a digital transformation experience to our clients. We are investing a significant amount of money in technology and strive to build one of the largest digital marketing agencies in India with a significant global presence. The efforts are on to further develop and expand our existing portfolio of services so that the company comes across as a holistic and one-stop solution for all needs related to digital marketing and brand-building exercises in the world of marketing.
Harsh Kedia: Instead of waiting for an opportunity to knock on your door, keep knocking on the doors of opportunities. It’s India Inc. time, thus we should work incredibly hard to achieve a massive global scale like what the US and UK witnessed in the past. Our country is going to be the next growth engine for the global economy and digital transformation is going to play a crucial role in multiplying prosperity across the globe.
We thank Mr. Harsh Kedia for spending his valuable time and sharing his learnings with all of us.