In this Interview, Abhishek talks briefly about his Journey toward Success and much more inspiring advice for those who want to follow his path.
We thank Abhishek for inspiring us with his words of wisdom. We hope you guys enjoy going through his informative answers.
Hello, Abhishek. Welcome to LearnWoo! So, can you please tell us about your journey & experiences so far?
Hello, I am Abhishek Agarwal, CMO of Design’N’Buy and I have been running 3 successful businesses since the year 2008. If I were to summarise my journey in a statement, it would be, “every challenge is just another business opportunity.”
Right from that start, I only had 2 motives; the first was that customers are the best people to understand the market and product demand. Second, nothing is impossible; it is all about finding the right people for the right job. These mottos have helped me reach where I am today.
Talking about my journey, I can say that from an organization that started as a mere software development project back in 2009 to creating Design’N’Buy, an organization that today has 1000+ clients from more than 60+ countries, we have had a successful but roller coaster of a ride to say the least.
In my 13 years as a marketer and an entrepreneur, I have seen many ups and downs professionally. But, in all those years of successes and failures, all those experiences, lessons, and learning from my endeavors have helped me become the person that I am today.
I have read that you worked in many different organizations & positions. So how was your experience with the employees, and how did you handle all the responsibilities?
I have always been a people person and I have grown up reading a lot about aspiring businessmen and their journeys. There is this interesting quote from Andrew Carnegie that says,
“Take away my people, but leave my factories and soon grass will grow on the factory floors. Take away my factories, but leave my people and soon we will have a new and better factory.”
So, with the approach of always stepping into the shoes of other people and understanding why they do what they do, I can safely say that my experience with people and responsibilities has been good.
Tell us more about DesignNBuy INC.
Talking about the inception of Design’N’Buy, it started as a software development assignment for an apparel business. The client required a plug-in that can help their customers customize their t-shirts and our software worked wonders for the client.
With this small win, we proceeded towards developing a printing and packaging solution that can be adopted by Brands and print stores to provide customized products.
Today, Design’N’Buy is a technology solutions provider that enables a printing and packaging business to successfully transform from a conventional brick-and-mortar business to an online print store with complete design automation and product configurator capabilities.
What are the biggest challenges when launching a new marketing initiative? How can they be resolved?
One of the biggest challenges with a new marketing initiative is determining the expected tangible and intangible outcomes from it. Being in a competitive market where an organization has to keep generating content non-stop, creating campaigns that can be cost-effective and yet successful with tangible results such as leads, sales and conversions is a challenging task.
To resolve this uncertainty, we rely on data!
- The first is to do our research and understand the pulse of the market
- The second is finding the perfect balance between promotion and information in all our artwork and content. The goal is to follow the AIDA model.
- Next is to curate the content for the targeted platform
- Last, setting realistic targets and tangible end goals to determine the actual return on investments.
What do you consider the biggest challenges for a CMO these days? How do you work with your executive team to get the most out of the marketing function?
According to me, not just for me but for any marketer currently, the biggest challenge is continuously creating attractive and original content. With the advent of smaller content formats and the increasing popularity of social media platforms and content creation, getting the attention of customers and retaining it has become a challenge.
The answer that we could come up with was simple, create content with a customer-centric approach. If customers decide to endorse our content, success is assured. So, all of us at Design’N’Buy do primary and secondary research to understand the market and create strategies, artwork, and content that are aligned with those expectations.
One other strategy, we have made every person that is associated with Design’N’Buy a marketing representative. Each person is asked to share their journeys, problems, and challenges in their respective roles, and the same information is used to create reliable and relevant marketing campaigns. We also use the same information to create a better product.
What part of your current role do you love and can’t stop doing? And what part do you despise doing?
The part I love, gathering feedback from our customers and hearing reviews about our web-to-print software, culture, and processes. This simple activity gives me an insight into our market, the areas where we can improve, and the areas where we can capitalize and market the best.
The thing I despise the most is dancing to the tunes of algorithms. Social media platforms and search engines have become biased towards a certain type of content and these favors have forced marketers to adapt that format just because we have to please some spiders on the web.
What factors should you consider when evaluating a business deal?
To put it shortly and sweetly, I evaluate a business deal with certain priorities:
- Value it adds to our products, brand, and customers.
- Scalability and relevance of the product
- Monetary returns that can be obtained from the deal
- Increase in leads and demands for the product
How would you handle team disagreements?
We at Design’N’Buy have created an environment where every person is encouraged to speak their mind respectfully. If there are disagreements or discontent amongst the teams, we tend to resolve it with conversation and reasoning. The idea is to listen to all the perspectives and whichever solution receives a majority of the support, we move forward with that.
As a CMO & CO-Founder, you know that things in this field can change unexpectedly. How do you handle quick changes to any project requirements?
Being an organization that takes a customer-centric approach in all our initiatives, we have always managed to bring change in the market rather than making forced moves to align with the market.
Whether it is a marketing campaign or a product development parameter, we have always believed in creating scalable and futuristic solutions. Talking specifically about marketing campaigns, we have always believed in prioritizing the trend with its relevance.
This means that if a trend can contribute to our customers and our brand value, we will put all possible efforts to incorporate that trend into our marketing initiatives. But, if the trend is not relevant to our domain or audience, we tend to focus on paving our path forward.
Given your knowledge and expertise, what strategies and tactics would you implement to help drive revenue?
Creating campaigns around the AIDA model!
AIDA stands for:
- Desire and
So, if the plan is to increase revenue from current customers, the idea would be:
- Make customers aware of recent enhancements and associations
- Create information around updates and future plans
- Introduce a promotional scheme to motivate customers to update their solution
- Communicate with the customers via all possible mediums and prompt them to take action.
Similarly, customer acquisition would be:
- Realizing new markets and creating a presence to generate awareness
- Inform the audience about our past achievements and accolades to generate credibility
- Provide incentives for trusting a new product
- Delivering personalized experiences to help them take a win-win action.
Do you have any hobbies or interests that help you think outside the box?
We always keep our ears open! Whether it is a comment or an email, whether it is an inquiry or a complaint, every action is always led by some motive and if you could find that motive behind the action, you can create a solution to that problem.
What was the path you took to get to where you are today? And do you have any words of advice for those who want to follow a similar one?
It is the most clichéd advice but all it takes are “Patience and Perseverance”. My formula is simple, create solutions around problems that can solve a larger problem and make data-driven decisions instead of relying on speculations because numbers never lie.