As it is always announced and pronounced – “then came the wave and swept everything away off its feet….” Quite right so, and why not. Every new revolution, every new idea, every new strategy, every new innovation brings with itself this phrase. Equally delighted are we, when we wait for the unseen to unfold and then we rush at the first opportunity to equip our respective business with the new order of strategic weapons and defences.

On one side, the unfolding brings in a completely new frontier of opportunities and ideas and on the other side, it opens up avenues for innumerable consultants, advisors and companies offering services. The world sees a silver lining in earning opportunities as well as demands. We have all witnessed the same with digital marketing. The word spelt magic for businesses around the world and did so for service providers as well. Businesses saw new strategies being developed overnight and new approaches unfolding. Benefits were beyond comprehension and a new world of business operation beheld itself.

In this thriving existence there were born questions that gaped wide at our faces but the glitter of the application thawed its presence. On one side, digital marketing dictated definite increase in sales but what were the tangible differences. What was the accountability to revenue and why were earnings dependent on application and not throughput. These questions crept in but the glory of the results put them at bay. When on one side there were multiple options where businesses would pay per click or pay per view but what really mattered was how much revenue the clicks or views generated.

In my observation and through conversations had with our clients, a fact was gradually surfacing – is digital marketing becoming the “mythical saviour”? As is the rule of our operations, we split the thread to its micro form and in this we realized, that business looked up to this amazing tool but never demanded of it. I will unambiguously put forth the fact that digital marketing is the best thing to happen to marketing and advertisement but with its advent, businesses never grew their demands to challenge the deliveries.

I have observed organizations, allocate and re-allocate their budgets but would never co-relate their revenue not create demands to singularly make the deliverables answerable. Perhaps the withdrawal to venture into new domains of knowledge or perhaps and most importantly, the service providers version to showcase the design of the delivery as the effect it has on the businesses presence and not what tangible revenue the presence earns.

Splitting the Thread™ Approach

At Nistula, we adopted an approach in line with our operational principles where we would split the thread to its microform and find out the truth of impact as well as the justification of application.

When we received inquiries of digital marketing, we realized the tremendous earning potential where going by the general market expectations, we needed to deliver excellence in application and results. But on pondering what are we applying and why are we applying, the immediate answer that came up was all the businesses were trying were to increase their revenues but in turn they were concentrating on aspects of leads, converting leads and making their presence felt. Our R&D team swept into action, and soon we had our own analysis, where we realized that the gap between actual revenue earnings and the possibilities were enough to be taken seriously. We decided to mould our approach in those lines and started analysing the causes responsible for those gaps.

Without much effort our approach yielded results and we realized that as per normal expectations, figuring in the first page of a search engine and generation of leads from a particular avenue of marketing was all that a business was looking at. The revenue arising thereof, or if I may re-phrase it, the extra revenue arising thereof was satisfying the extra budget allocated. We offered to charge on revenue generated and stick to a fixed fee on application. This made heads turn. Now businesses saw a completely different aspect of accountability.

Our approach involved analysing the management approach, back office work force, existing marketing infrastructure, the existing SOP, the field staff, existing digital infrastructure and complete deep dive into the revenue matrix related to the budget allocation for marketing activities.

We started with in-house surveys and questionnaires to understand the entire work force including the senior management and owners. We looked at the existing markets and their compatibility to the existing marketing strategies of the business in question. Our complete research and deep dive gave us startling information where we realized that a lot of things were not fitting in the jigsaw puzzle and how easily they could be addressed. Suddenly the ratio between the budget allocated and possible revenue spelt a completely different story.

I will strongly infer that we took it as our responsibility and our accountability to our clients to visualize this approach and we also realized that our earnings potential were enormous since now we were talking revenue.

Over the last 22 years of my experience at various levels of businesses and being present on both sides of the table, I have gathered that being a service provider entails for a lot of responsibility but it always comes with a choice. The choice is how much accountable we can be and how much true we are in apprising our clients of their business set up. Notwithstanding the fact that area of accountability is directly proportional to the area of influence, if the businesses bare themselves the responsibility to deliver with accountability increases multi folds and  also creates excellent environments for a long standing business relationship.  A boon for the business world that comes to open new frontiers do not gradually become a mythical saviour thus rendering the global business as an arena of extremely high ethics, principles and deliverances.

Subhopati Sanyal (COO – The Nistula Group)

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