Surfing for Gold: Marketers Ride the E-commerce Wave

As per the latest Nomura’s India Internet Report, the Indian e-commerce sector is projected to grow at an explosive rate from $10 billion in 2014 to over $40 billion in the next five years. This incredible run, which commenced (in an uncertain way) a few years back, has completely transformed the landscape for anyone who is directly or indirectly related to this industry. For marketing professionals, this booming sector has provided a dream opportunity to contribute towards building businesses grounds up, accelerate growth and create brands that can aspire to sustain in the business for years to come.

Considering the prospects presented by the sector for marketing professionals, it may not be entirely wrong to claim that e-commerce now is the new sunrise sector for marketers in India!

With money to spend, prospects for marketers appear bright

Whether it’s prime-time TV spots, websites, social media, mobile, print or display medium, one would customarily notice e-commerce player’s presence. On an average, e-commerce firms spend around 5% to 15% of their annual revenues on marketing and advertising. Amazon is reported to spend around 3.5%; while Flipkart and many other leading Indian players are seemingly spending more than 15% to maintain a competitive edge in the market.

As per a recent article published by VCcircle, e-commerce companies in India are one of the biggest ad-spenders across all media channels to fuel their brand building and customer acquisition needs. See stats below of the top five e-commerce advertising spenders.

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With the industry revenue projected to surpass $10 billion during 2014. The estimated spend on marketing would easily top $800 million largely led by spend from e-commerce leaders such as Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Olx, Quikr, Jabong, Myntra  and bunch of other heavyweights in the respective territories.

Are you skilled enough to be hired? 

The drive to outshine the competition has resulted in increased demand for skilled marketing professionals to execute strategic and tactical plans for traditional marketing as well as digital and social media marketing activities. Lets look at some of the hot skill areas.

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Mobile marketing experts 

In the digital marketing space, one particular skill area which is seeing massive demand is mobile marketing. With 25% – 30% of e-commerce traffic coming from mobile, this niche area would see greater demand for mobile marketing professionals. The industry would look to hire professionals with deep expertise in mobile app marketing, geo-targeting, mobile advertisements, mobile ad buying and selling, mobile video marketing and mobile messaging skills.

Some of the Indian e-commerce firms have already started betting big on mobile marketing. For instance, Myntra is reported  to have set aside approx. $9.5 million towards mobile marketing during 2014-15.

Media and Ad professionals 

Third party vendors such as ad agencies, production houses, digital marketing agencies, affiliate marketing agencies and market research firms are also seeing surge in demand for their services. This is generating greater demand and opportunity for specialized creative marketing professionals in the respective areas.

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Since TV and print is the most effective medium to reach the mass audience, Indian e-commerce firm’s are actively partnering with the leading ad agencies for creative support. For example, Flipkart has partnered with Happy Creative Services for their TV commercials and online campaigns. Myntra has engaged Ogilvy India Worldwide to handle its private label branding and Lowe Lintas to handle the brand Myntra advertising.

Some of the leading media and ad partners of Indian e-commerce firms include. Flipkart.com (Happy Creative Services, Lowe Lintas and partners, OLX (Lowe Lintas and partners, Saatchi & Saatchi), Snapdeal.com (DraftfcbUlka, K-Factor), Myntra.com (White Canvas Communications, Ogilvy, Lowe Lintas and partners), Ebay.in (Law & Kenneth, RMG Connect), Quikr (Scarecrow Communications), Jabong.com (DraftfcbUlka), Policybazaar.com (DDB Mudra)

Social Media Marketing experts 

Industry players very well recognize that they have to target customers where they meet “social media platforms”. Therefore, e-commerce players are heavily investing and recruiting social media marketing professionals especially those having experience in e-commerce domain.

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They are aggressively hiring professionals who can create visually appealing content, improve customer’s social media experience, build communities, build loyalty, run campaigns efficiently, increase referrals and much more to help them generate revenue through the social media as they would like from their websites.

Hot recruitment destination

The Indian e-commerce story took an astonishingly positive turn in the past 24 – 36 months. A career in e-commerce which was not a smart or so to say “a safe” career choice (a while back) is now the hottest career destination for both experienced and fresh marketing professionals.

With long term growth prospects of the industry looking bright; Indian e-commerce sector is giving the traditionally favorite sectors such as IT, banking, consulting and FMCG a run for their money to hire and retain top talents by providing incredible opportunity to learn, exercise creativity and fast-track growth prospects.

For marketers, big brands such as Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal and over 200 other e-commerce start-ups are proving a huge variety of career choice in the entire length and breadth of marketing. This includes strategy, branding, communications, digital, mobile, social media, affiliate marketing, content marketing, analytics, customer experience management, vendor management et al to name a few role across all experience levels.

This is just the beginning… 

As the Indian e-commerce brands ride the tidal wave of growth; marketing professionals can feel happy of the show they have put so far.

Can e-commerce be a spring-board for the new generation of marketing professionals to experiment on their ingenuity and persuasiveness to build multi-billion dollar brands? Well, we will have our answers not too far from now…

I hope you liked what you just read! I look forward to your comments and feedback on this blog. If you like this post, please share with your friends. If you like to get in touch, email me at gnpati@gmail.com. 

Image by snmbala

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