HiveMinds Digital: transforming the marketing world through data, analytics and technology
In such a hyper-consumerist culture, marketing remains one of the essential features for a firm to sustain and grab market share. Marketing is something that no organization can survive without. Be it a firm that targets a niche audience or the ones targeting a broader segment. With the digital revolution coming into the picture in a massive way in the recent decade, the marketing industry saw its vertiginous rise and the arrival of new marketing firms equipped with updated modern technology that have thrown open new avenues for brands to reach their target audience.
Bangalore based HiveMinds, a niche digital marketing agency, is one such firm that found its genesis in 2010 as the brainchild of seasoned entrepreneur and marketer Jyothirmayee JT who specializes in strategic planning, start-ups and web analytics. With over a decade of experience as an entrepreneur, Jyothirmayee has helped build and overseen multiple products and enabled businesses perfect their road from zero to one. She has been a key marketing strategist with leading Indian start-ups like Zoomcar, BigBasket, Curefit, Teabox and similar businesses alike. HiveMinds became a growth partner to early Indian start-ups like BigBasket, Verse-DailyHunt, Mobikwik, Simplilearn, RedBus and more which eventually became prominent industry players. Today, HiveMinds is a pioneer in the industry for Search Marketing – SEO and Performance Marketing, and a data and technology-driven, growth focused firm. They work with start-ups as an extension of their marketing team while directly interacting with founders and assist them in the acquisition and chasing of aggressive growth targets.
Here are the edited excerpts from the conversation between our editorial team and Jyothirmayee JT, the Founder, and CEO. She gained considerable experience in the digital and tech industries prior to founding HiveMinds.
Views on the market, services offered and uniqueness
We are a full-service digital agency, now a part of the media giant Madison World offering integration of offline and online marketing for the brands we work with. We conceptualize strategies that can take a brand off-the-ground, grow and establish- be it digital PR, social media, search, media buying, website & app development, content marketing, community building, customer data analytics. Our strong emphasis remains on media buying for performance and branding and content production for social media and content. Our approach of starting from the final outcome that the brand would want and the marketing and branding efforts along with the possession of a very passionate and involved team makes us stand apart from others. We have built transparency and trust as a culture across the company to ensure the best outcome for our customers – media selection, or in result tracking or even billing. There was a phase when consumers got wooed because of price differentiation and showmanship. In the long run, everyone expects returns and simple, successful engagement that stands out from their competition. The clients could still remain doubtful if they hadn't heard of the brand, but in our industry, word spreads easily especially Word-of-mouth publicity by our partners, and the credibility of our work goes far in assuring the necessary trust.
The challenges faced
We are a rapidly growing agency and still the new kid on the block as far as CPG brands go. We have doubled our media spends compared to last year. I believe putting reach, visibility, and affiliation with the larger brands is the key challenge. The industry gets dictated on publisher relations and trading agreements, bringing a slight disadvantage sometimes as we are not a global entity.
The definition of customer, clientele and long-term relationship with the clients
For us, a customer is more than just a brand. A business with a vision, purpose and annual goals are the milestones. We associated ourselves with around 40 different clients spanning across e-commerce, healthcare, real-estate, BFSI, and few CPG companies. To maintain a long-term relationship, trust, and reliable delivery and personalized mode of engagement is critical. We look at clients in three buckets: early-stage firms still exploring, scale focused funded start-ups and finally the established large businesses. We have formulated teams that excel at aggressive growth or strategy and planning as per the phase of the business.
Bursting the Myth of Sisyphus
We made heavy investments in quality hiring standards and culture of the company, augmenting it with constant training and people engagement driven activities. As a fast-growing team, we have many leaders, and some of our senior talents are under 25, and have grown by handling large scale projects within the agency, and this is something we are proud of.
The single largest achievement would be to start out as a single woman founder, establish HiveMinds as the go-to-agency for all start-ups and then building a great team enabling us to be in the top few agencies in India for digital marketing. We also take pride in having played a critical role in the success of many start-ups in India.
Our senior team includes Vishnupriya Velmurugan (VP Operations), Abhishek Upadhya (VP Digital Strategy & Innovation & Delivery Unit Head), Venugopal H. G. (VP Training & Delivery Unit Head), Ashwini K Poovaiah (Delivery Unit Head – Social Media, Creative & Content), Vinod Monubol (B2B Delivery Unit Head), Sajeesh R (Delivery Unit Head), Akash Gahalaut (VP Sales), Fathima Banu (HR Head).
How do you learn in your life and what is your biggest dream?
My learning curve largely depends on traveling and reading. The reading aspect has morphed to audible books and videos which are quicker to consume. I try to observe and learn from the founders and business leaders of the market.
What was your journey like to get where you are?
For a person from technology background to establish in media is no easy feat. I think it meant a laser-sharp focus on the quality of delivery & constant growth to surpass any network-based influence.
What was the most difficult lesson you have learned as an entrepreneur?
For a small entity – speed is everything. On growing, if you have built a business in an industry where you have established deep roots, then there is a huge undue advantage which is otherwise difficult to match by others.
A piece of advice for the budding entrepreneurs
Advertising and Marketing are one of the most dynamic industries comprising of the disruptive digital and MarTech related transformations. These equations shifted the focus towards innovation driven by people and culture within the organizations. My advice would be to focus on key partners for the business – publishers and also build a terrific team and empower them as per the requirements.
The Road Ahead
In the future, we want to work with at least 5-6 large brands bringing out our expertise of working with digital first companies. We plan to be among the top agencies worldwide for Digital and have started exploring GCC & SEA for now, while we keep innovating in the space and lead digital marketing. We plan to move actively towards integrated delivery across the digital and offline world. We are currently formulating a unified media plan with a strong emphasis on effectiveness as compared to efficiency. We are pursuing a large trend in advertising built on CDP with our large customers, and this would be big in the future.