Di-Mentions : Women-headed Startup Disrupting the Idea of Digital Marketing and Design Agency
The Global Digital Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 20% in the next 5 years to reach approximately $5.4 billion by 2020.
Di-Mentions is a full service digital marketing and design agency founded in mid 2014 by Anoushka Adya. It serves as a one stop solution for everything related to advertising
The company caters services like social media marketing, Web designing, online advertising, application development, SEO and Analytics and mobile marketing.
The organization is an all women-headed organization, they believe in having women at the center of decision making. The startup currently have five women from backgrounds like mainstream marketing, TV journalism and designing, who are van guarding the agency and its advancement into the next league.
Currently the startup is working in a predetermined manner :-
• Strategy that translates our brands’ vision into reality
• Design that is visually stunning and evocative
• Analytics that back up our campaigns with actionable insights and high performing data
Chitrakshi Suneja Interacts With Anoushka Adya, Founder, Di-Mentions and Spoke To Her
I had a cushy job with Web Liquid Group in London, UK and with my next appraisal around the horizon, when I decided to give it all up, pack my bags, leave my comfort zone and come back to ground zero.
I realized that the only way I can express and ideate what I feel is if I start up on my own. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and do something bigger, something that would push my boundaries. I have always believed in being an independent woman, and for me it was either "now" or "never". I also strongly believe in the adage that it is better to have done and failed, than never have tried. So I came and tried my hardest. Now when I look back and think that's where the entrepreneurial bug caught me and you just know that you are not in the right place at the right time and that you want to do things that are bigger and you want to be able to create something and express yourself the way you want to.
This did come as a bit of a shock to my well-meaning friends, colleagues and family who were thinking in my best interest and advising me to hold onto the career I had build in London, but I have always believed in trying and then failing rather than not trying at all. People around me thought I was foolish to leave a high-paying and stable job and a very promising career in London and give it all up to come back to India to start-up. However, I was determined and passionate about my plan and this lead to Di-Mentions being born.
Being a self-funded company, we already have a strong foothold in the Indian market. Today we are a 25 member team servicing more than 25 clients across various sectors in India.
We have top brands that we have delivered successful campaigns and we shall continue to work with the same zeal and passion so that clients keep coming back to us.
We also have a unique strategy that translates our brands’ vision into reality. We have a dynamic team who is creative and adept at thinking out of the box and bringing fresh ideas to the table every time.
We lay a strong focus on design that is visually stunning and evocative for every brand that we work on.
Last, but not the least, Analytics backs up our campaigns with actionable insights and high performing media.
These three factors have been the key to success and truly make us stand out from the rest of the players in the market.
We are a bootstrap, self-funded start-up. I worked hard in my struggling days and saved every bit of my earnings to put the foundation of Di-Mentions once I was back in India. Also, we are very confident of our financial growth this year and hence we do not find any need to depend on outside funding. We have already clocked in a turnover of 4 Cr in the second year.
As our tagline says “Think Different”, we do believe in it and implement this in all the work that we do. We are trying to bring in a huge change in the space the digital marketing companies work by taking initiatives like educating the clients, having a team which thinks out of the box and continuously mentoring them with the ongoing fads and new developments in the digital marketing space.
Another aspect that makes us stand apart (as mentioned above) from other companies is our focus on Strategy, Design and Analytics and a lot of startups in India are far behind when it comes to analytics and design.
An aspect that also differentiates us among other start-ups in the Digital media space is that we have our focus equally implemented on social responsibility too and bringing about a change in society.
Being good at digital marketing and spreading the word and awareness for our clients campaigns, we want to use this vehicle and medium to reach out to the the larger society, to women who can openly discuss their problems with us. We want to ensure that we become a helping hand to women and come up with solutions to cater to the problem. Lajja was founded on 16th December, 2014 on the second anniversary of the Nirbhaya/Damini Gang rape case (Black Day).
The latest project that we have undertaken for Lajja is the "Mansplaining Sexism Project". It revolves around women sharing everyday experiences of gender imbalance in a funny, dark and humorous manner. The experiences might be serious or minor, or outrageous but the idea is to talk about it and give women a platform to come out in the open and discuss their issues.
We are a self-funded startup and are very content with our compact size We are not chasing any investors and are not eyeing to get funded as of now because our dream is singularly ours and we want to shape our dream strictly on our own terms.. We have a turnover of around 2-3 Crores annually and I think that's a job well done for a bootstrap company. We put in portions of what we make and grow at the pace our bottom line allows - a simple principle we follow to make our base and foundation stronger. There is absolutely no hurry to skip the rungs of the ladder as we are getting there at our own pace.
Our Intellectual Property (IP), Lajja Diaries is a platform we began to give voice to those women who'd borne the brunt of a cruelly patriarchal culture. We intent to sustain it as a good cause and aren't looking to monetize it because that will bastardise our cause. That space is sacred to us and we'll try our best to make a difference, however small it is.
As I spent the initial years of my career working in London and UK, the work method that is followed in those countries is quite different as compared to India. Shifting base to India and starting up a digital media company was not easy. I wanted to start this company on my own funds and hence managing the finance in the early stages was a struggle.
Once we got on to work for clients, I realized the difference in the working culture of India compared to other foreign countries. It was a bit of a shock to realize that not everyone had an in-depth knowledge of the digital platforms. In fact, the most part of my time was consumed in client education before we could build on a campaign strategy.
Challenges in the hindsight were:
Monetary issues: We were a boot-strap company and since I have always believed in being independent, I wanted it to be self-funded, so we grew at the rate that our clients grew. Initially, it was a one man army, but today we are a full-fledged team who has different roles and responsibilities.
The first big break: These four words are the most difficult challenge to overcome, getting your first big client and convincing them to put their trust in you is a difficult task which took us about 7-9 months to achieve and this is a challenge we face on a day to day basis too.
Client Education: Since I came from an international background and knowledge of digital media, it was shocking to realize the dearth in knowledge in the Indian market about digital platforms. In fact I invested a sufficient amount of time to make sure that all our clients were completely educated in this field.
Expansion: Winning mandates was tough in itself but as we started doing well on that front, I realized that I will need more hands on board with me. As our business grew, we added more departments as well. To serve our clients better, we got into design, and then Media planning and buying. Now we have separate departments for Client Servicing, Strategy, copywriting, Media Planning and Buying, Design, Finance and HR. Hiring the right team to work was of utmost importance and a tough challenge to overcome especially at the pace we were bagging new business.
Image Bias: The digital agency and in general the ad agency world is extremely young and the median age is 25-27. However, starting out as young as I did, it was a bit of a barrier to be taken seriously initially also there are not many women involved in Tech start-ups, which also posed as a challenge. However, once I started networking and building relations, the ice broke and they accepted me a young woman entrepreneur in the digital turf.
We have built our credibility through great work because "content is king" and word of mouth publicity.
We have been recommended by a lot of people within the industry and that's how we have marketed ourselves.
The rest, we are just about starting to talk about ourselves because we have been too immersed in our work and making a mark with that so far.
We have done extraordinary work for all our clients. However, few which we would like to mention are as follows:
Essel Group- One of our most prolific clients, we have the mandate to manage the social presence of all their amusement properties – Esselworld, Water Kingdom and Downtown Essel World. In the last one year, we have conducted over ten campaigns for them and each campaign has been extremely successful, winning us an award from Pan India Paryatan Pvt.Ltd. We have managed to connect with our audience at a personal level to implement the best social media strategy for them which in turn gave them the desired visibility. We have hit a milestone of more than 26 lakhs followers for Essel World and 21 lakhs for Water Kingdom organically. Our social media posts have engagement rates of over 500 interactions on an average per post.
Amazon - Amongst our most competitive bids, we won the mandate for a Print Campaign for Amazon India. Our innovative advertisements made Amazon synonymous with Business in the minds of the retailers who were on the fence of moving online. Amazon your Business – the line and the design was enough for a small agency to beat the giants for the assignment.
Tata Docomo Wi-Fi Wizard - For Tata Docomo Wi-Fi, we steered the pilot of their public wi-fi service in malls, cafes and airports across India. After this successful campaign, we are now launching their Wi-Fi Wizard App pan India.
Market Size & Opportunity
The Global Digital Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 20% in the next 5 years to reach approximately $5.4 billion by 2020. With the addition of video to Facebook profile pictures, 3D video in timelines, Periscope, Blab, and Facebook Live, mobile video will continue to be a focus point for social media marketing. Though it might sound an outdated fad, getting personal is going to be big in 2016. The brands that work on deeply connecting and giving personalized information and content to readers and clients are going to win the market.
This year is pegged at 27.0% growth in Digital Ad Spending and that will bring the digital component to 14.2% of the total ad spending in India. All business houses, weather big or small, famous or not so famous are investing a fair share of their revenue to build their presence in the digital market space. It is the need of the hour that every corporate as well as creative house is increasing their focus on reaching out to their audiences through digital media. This is because it is a platform which holds its grip right on the pulse of the consumer, is trackable and offers far greater ROI than any traditional form of advertising. Hence, the marketing budget split is changing.
Also the Web is clearly the only game in town. Figures show that more than 50% of the Indian consumer is present online. The quickest and easiest way to reach out to this huge market is through paid search marketing, for example, advertising on Google AdWords or through other search engines.
Analytics is the major aspect we should focus on if we want to survive long term efficiently. Brands need to use analytics efficiently and should be successful in transforming those analytics into prosecutable vision. The use of analytics is poised to increase in a country like ours.
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