Ad land’s Young Guns: Vidur Kaul, iProspect India
As Senior Account Manager at iProspect India, Vidur Kaul strategises and oversees marketing efforts for various clients. He is a proven performance marketing specialist with strong product knowledge and experience in advanced omni-channel marketing strategies and attribution based marketing efforts, yet he is creative first in his approach and believes it to be the single most important variable in a campaign’s success.
Always looking to innovate and test out multiple creative variations targeted to the right audiences, to deliver the highest levels of performance efficiency for his clients. He has worked with multiple clients such as Max Life Insurance, VLCC, EMC, and Indigo Airlines, among others.
What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Vidur Kaul in his own words...
How did you get into the role you are serving?
I started my career with a well-established digital marketing training company, Digital Vidya, where I initially did an internship and got a basic level understanding of various marketing channels, social media marketing strategies, etc. That’s when I decided to walk into the digital marketing world and my first job was in a company called Pensa Media, which had more than 30,000 SMB clients for whom I worked on managing more than 10,000 SEM / Search campaigns single-handedly!
I wanted to move on from the SMB market, which came with its own set of challenges and cracked an interview at iProspect, India’s leading digital performance agency. While I had initially interviewed for an operations role (since I had a hardcore operations background), it was the senior leadership team at iProspect India who suggested that I move to a client facing role which would offer more width in terms of managing several verticals within digital today, be it SEO, Programmatic, Analytics, Social, Search, etc. I would like to believe I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and have enjoyed being able to offer a 360 degree directional advice to my clients.
What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
My operations background has given me strong product knowledge and the current role I serve in has helped me build my strategic, creative and sales skills. The job demands a 360 approach, which I work on improving every day.
One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
One innovation that has won us a lot of awards has been a creative we did we for Max Life Insurance. We had analysed data and derived the key drop off points of a user’s journey while buying insurance online. Users would drop off after seeing their quote and there was no immediate intent to buy, though users were close to or thinking about buying. We produced a dynamic creative wherein users could see their quote without even coming to the website, only users with real intent click on the creative, others simply saw their quote and did not end up clicking, thus saving vital CPC money, which helped us lower our overall cost of acquisition and helped call center efficiencies which is also a cost saving for clients. Those who did not click, were still cookied and retargeted to programmatically to serve ads when they were interested in buying.
While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
Who is the audience being targeted, with what context are you reaching out to the audiences, platforms you use, etc. It is different each time. You have to know your audience extremely well, I believe in keeping it simple, yet drive the point.
Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Gary Vaynerchuk! Everyone must look him up. He runs a digital media agency in the United States. I came across one of his books a few years back, called ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook’, which explains how social media strategy needs to be approached, it made more sense than anything I had ever come across before, was completely opposite the normal social media ‘gyaan’ that you hear every day and actually gave us good results in some of our campaigns when we took cues from the overall strategy that he proposes.
He also taught me not to overcomplicate things, to keep things simple by applying common sense and basic logic, and of course, to give a 110% in everything that you do – a perfect recipe for success according to me.
What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
- Have a big breakfast! My day does not start without my daily dose of eggs, bacon and milk! It gives me energy throughout the day.
- Catch up on news, it gives great creative opportunity too!
- Take an update from my team first thing after I arrive to work
- I try to read 2-3 articles related to digital marketing almost every day. The digital landscape is changing extremely fast, and this helps prepare for the long term and remain ahead of competition.
- Spend time with family in the evenings. This is the best stress buster, especially when you have a dog who doesn’t leave your sight once you’re home!
Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Yes, 100%. I think advertising is here to say; just the mediums of advertising will change, with VR, AR and more engaging mediums taking over. We as advertising professionals will always have to adapt to new technologies and platforms in order to stay on top. There is the question of AI and machine learning eventually taking over at least the digital landscape, with programmatic technology becoming increasingly popular. However, there will always be a requirement of monitoring this, apart from the obvious creative and engagement aspect, which would always need a human element in order to be successful in the long run.
What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Like anything else – hard work, and a lot of it. You need to be open to experimentation, try different things because not all ideas will be a success, expect failures and learn from them.
What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Be ready to learn, be pro-active in your approach, and be confident enough to pitch an idea as good ones can come from anywhere. You need to be quick on your feet and be ready to solve any sort of problem. Most importantly, have fun and take pride in what you do!
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I don’t really believe in thinking like that because 5 years earlier, I could not have seen myself where I am today – not just professionally, but also personally. However, to answer the question, I think I would be in the marketing world itself, whether it be on the technology side, agency side or client side.
Is there any agency/ organization that you would like to work with in the future?
I’m really learning a lot and enjoying at my current stint with iProspect India. I really cannot picture myself working anywhere else and I’m here to stay for the foreseeable future. In fact, I would invite all advertising professionals who want to work in a dynamic and forward-looking digital agency to join us.