CogMat derives its name from two words, Cogito and Materius, which when put together simply means ’thoughts to matter’.
Mitchelle Carvalho believes that to start a new venture, one need to first ask two important questions: Why should I start? Why I think it will work? It’s important to ask the right questions, everything else just falls in place after that.
With Business Development as her core strength in Software Services, IT recruitment and Internet Marketing, Mitchelle identified the growing need of social and digital media marketing services by brands and thus co-founded CogMat, in 2010. What started out as a small department in an IT company, became a full-fledged digital marketing agency.
Team IncubateIND spoke with Mitchelle and spoke to her about the entrepreneurial journey and the technology intersection with the digital world.
Tell us something about CogMat that we don’t know.
CogMat is a nerd-magnet. Every one of us is a strange trivia buff. If you throw a random question on any subject, chances are someone’s head will pop out from their desks and start rattling facts, myths and origins of said subject. We love pop quizzes, the team enthusiastically organizes one every month and gifts each other chocolates for winning.
How do CogMat differentiate itself from competition?
CogMat has always been about hiring folks from different walks of life. Our written and group tests ensure we manage to hire people with the right language skills, their academic background notwithstanding. So, what CogMat gets at the end of it is an eclectic bunch of people. An ex-stock broker who chose content writing helps us with our Finance brands, an engineering grad helps us with our Tech brands and so on. This itself becomes a differentiating factor because when we pitch to brands who belong to various categories, our ideas come from people who have a fair understanding of the industry and therefore our digital marketing exercise becomes more meaningful and relevant. Our research on a client, its competition and the industry as a whole has also been our biggest strength in accessing the right opportunities for clients thereby helping them with their digital media marketing exercise.
What are the top 3 common mistakes brands are making while they are Digital Marketing themselves?
We’ve seen this often that brands hop on the digital marketing bandwagon as a FOMO (fear of missing out) measure. As much as digital media marketing works for every and I mean EVERY type of brand, understanding “WHERE” in the digital marketing universe needs more education. Just because you’re spending time, money and energy doesn’t mean you have to be present on every platform or social network for your marketing activities. Some platforms work well for certain brands while most don’t. Understanding where your TG spends most of their time and focusing on those platforms will help you get better results than spreading yourself thin everywhere.
Another common mistake is a single minded approach to returns. A common cause for the same is availability of near accurate data. When you spend money on advertising online, you are given an in-depth breakdown of demographics, geographies, interests and such that result in impressions, clicks or even leads for a campaign. Empowered by this data, most brands decide to focus on only lead generation or sales via digital marketing. Such activities have a short span of results and one might see it tapering down with time. Digital media marketing especially social media is about building a connection and this is a continuous process and such a single-minded focus may not be beneficial in the long run.
This third mistake has been committed by both large and small brands. Lack of communication focus. In a bid to be novel and edgy, brands keep changing their style of communication too fast too soon. We see hashtags and taglines change faster than seasons. This process can be detrimental to the brand as audiences identify differently with different tones and emotions.
Why you think hiring an agency still better than hiring an in-house digital marketing expert?
A common misconception in our industry is that digital media marketing is a one-man job. One cannot simply hire “An expert” for all your digital media marketing needs. One requires a team that has a specific skill-set that comes together to work on a brand. Art, copy, research and analysis, technology and media management form some of the crucial aspects of digital media marketing. It takes a team and not a single individual to help you with your marketing exercise.
Another major contributor is attrition. While agencies manage to hire talent continuously, clients sometimes face issues of knowledge transfer while having an in-house expert or team do the job for them. Agencies on the other hand, manage to work with minimum hiccups during transition, if any.
Your 3 Favourite Digital Marketing tool, and why?
Google Analytics – Your brand’s website is a window to everything the world is trying to learn about you. There are plenty of things one can learn about a brand by merely studying the analytics of their website. What kind of audience connects more with your brand, the time they spend on your website, the geographies they come from, the sources they use to land on your website.
Social media admin panels – a brand’s social media properties offer tons of insights into their communication, what works and what doesn’t on their respective social media admin panel pages. One doesn’t need to look far for information.
A good CRM platform – its important for a brand to keep themselves updated on the latest conversations happening around their brand online, espcially real-time. It becomes imperative to invest in a good CRM platform that enables you to get this information in a faster seamless manner to ascertain your next steps in brand management and communication.
3 areas for growth in Digital Marketing right now?
Video content is going to be extremely popular this year. Not just brand collaborations with popular video content generating channels but in-house video content will see a surge too. With data plans becoming cheaper and online video consumption having seen a rise in both urban and rural population in India, creating video content that resonates with your brand will become the need of the hour.
Social media platforms with disappearing content like Instagram stories and Snapchat are currently utilized by certain brands effectively. This will see an upward trend of many more brands adopting content creation and marketing activities on these platforms utilizing these features.
Cross brand collaborations. Currently, we’re seeing a lot of brands engage in one-off Twitter or Facebook banter tagging another brand in their social media content creation exercise. We expect brands to delve deeper into this and work beyond the usual one-off post and create meaningful campaigns together online.
What are your clients asking you for most, why?
Clients generally ask for ROI related goals to be achieved and we work towards activities and campaigns to achieve those through our digital media marketing exercise, tailor-made for each client.
A quote that keeps you going or motivates you through your entrepreneurial journey?
A quote that has kept me going in life in general has been “Honesty is to do the right thing when no one is watching.” This has also been CogMat’s philosophy in general. Clear, honest and meaningful work find takers no matter what the situation.
Any specific advice for the new entrants in this space?
Constant learning and evolving is what will set you apart. Research is paramount for you to figure solutions for yourself or clients. There’s no set formula to get results so flexibility is a trait held most dear in this space.