Mere preparation didn’t help Rand Fishkin start Moz, the famed digital marketing SaaS company. At some point of time, he had to look beyond the blueprints created, and step out into the market. In the corporate world with changing market dynamics, shifting customer preferences and a vibrant competitive landscape, you can never be fully prepared.
That is why you have to start sometime. Start small and dream small at the start. That’s because it can be well-intentioned to dream big, and lose focus on the couple of key clients you have right now. Think outside the box, but inside as well. Don’t lose the fundamentals. That’s true entrepreneurship 1.0. Here’s where DigiBook comes in. We are couple of marketing nerds with some experience between us, and although there are a plethora of agencies out there filling market gaps that others couldn’t, our learnings and analysis of the market have brought us to join forces for a unified vision. And we couldn’t be more excited at the future we want to create for our prospects, and how marketing should be accessible to increasing sets of businesses across the country.
The journey has just begun, and yes, it is worth a thousand destinations. This is a brief callout to the amazing agencies out there who are killing it in driving enormous ROI for their marquee clients. In fact, let me be frank here: Budding entrepreneurs like us are standing on their shoulders, because of the tremendous exposure and skillsets we have developed from them for years. But we know that success stories are not confined to the top tier and metro cities of India. Those cities have frankly become red oceans, to quote from the Harvard Business Review, where RFP’s can see companies being pitched by a dozen agencies, despite the budgets being nominal.
While red oceans usually result in the most powerful and capable dominating the space if you look at the long tail view of things, we do not see another ‘me-too’ entering such a market. ‘Me-too’ because although you might be a differentiator, the overall gamut of services offered are much identical to services being offered by other players in the industry, albeit with some strategic or boutique offerings that appease clients.
Flipkart saw a huge spike in new business interest from Tier II cities and beyond. This is on the entrepreneurial spike, both from new ventures and from existing, offline retailers who were more than happy to expand their market horizons beyond their physical network reach. On the user side, India’s internet user base stands at 40 crores, with a majority of users being added from rural India. Various studies have estimated India’s middle-class population to be around 40 crores, with 10crores from Tier 1 and 2 cities.
A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group showed with enormous migration to ‘cities’, new cities and towns are springing up, and 47 croreswill reside in some form of a city by 2025. What’s more, the population in Tier 2 – 4 cities will grow 4.5x by 2025, while their spending on FMCG will touch around Rs. 10,400 crores the same year.
What do a sudden flood of all these numbers mean? On both the supply and the demand of the market, the growth is coming from the hinterlands. There’s no doubt about it. Reduced internet costs through better accessibility, like a mobile-first strategy that is being absorbed by the rural population (computing now skips the desktop stage), reduced smartphone costs, and easier regulations helping telecom providers provide services at throwaway prices. The launch of BHIM, UPI and even mobile wallets like Paytmhave created opportunity where for example, you don’t necessarily need a linked bank account to transact money. That has thrown the gates of commerce and business wide open. This is where we come in, to facilitate the promotion of your business to cut through the noise, and reach your target customers.
The Blue Ocean Strategy
This market has relatively been untouched, and is the blue, pristine ocean that is filled with opportunity for the digital marketing industry. A recent report by a leading media investment group says there was expected to be a 51% increasing in digital marketing, for the Tier II and III cities. We believe that with the regional background and the close connect we have on the evolution of regional markets, user’s changing behaviors, and increasing interest towards a more digitized world, we bring the best of both worlds, including the mature market skillsets and exposure we have been fortunate with.
DigiBook comes from the term ‘playbook’ or ‘rulebook’ that we intend to create for these new markets, and reverse engineer those learnings for the urban market, helping symbiotic value creation for both kinds of markets, eventually helping us gain expertise as we break down our services based on the type and geographic regions we will operate in.
Finally, this is not a cost arbitrage play we are engaging in, to provide economical, less value services for the budgets that will not match up to our metro-tier plans we intend to roll out as well. Our commitment is to deliver comprehensive marketing deliverables that you will see released on our website soon, and match them with any offering by our peers to their clients in high tier markets.
Regardless of where you operate out of, we can provide competitive services and help you reach your business goals faster, in this rapidly successful digital age we all live in.
For most e-tailers, 50% of their revenues is already coming from tier-II and tier-III cities.
Various studies have pegged the size of the Indian middle class between 350–400 million people, out of which approximately 100 million people live in tier-II and -III cities like Lucknow, Jaipur, Ludhiana and Gurgaon. According to one of these studies, the highest demand for online retail comes from approximately 4,000-5,000 towns and cities in India, but there is no significant presence of physical retail in almost 95% of these locations due to high real estate costs, which limit organised retail from expanding.