Interview with Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder & CMO at Hellotravel.com
Gaurav Gupta is a Co-founder & CMO Hellotravel.com. Mature brain in a young body. A Technopreneur. Loves number crunching before taking business decisions to achieve results. An Internet marketer who knows “Content is king, but distribution is GOD”.
Your Journey as a Marketing Professional.
I’m an Electrical Engineer who quit my MNC job to pursue my passion – Internet Marketing It’s been 12years since I started my journey as an SEO professional in a startup at half the salary. I have worked on almost every kind of paid marketing on the internet to generate leads, get direct sales, brand awareness for the companies. I don’t have any professional degree in marketing and always learned everything by Googling. I have worked with a startup, mid-sized companies in the internet domain and consulted a good number of startups on marketing at 0 prices. I have got my best learning from – Indiamart.com which is India’s top B2B site. Currently heading marketing at Hellotravel.com. I truly believe that “Content is King, But Distribution is God”. In my marketing journey, my beloved partners were always- Google Adwords, Google Analytics. I just can’t live without them.
What are the primary marketing channels you have worked on? What will be your advice to young marketers on each of these channels?
Primary Marketing Channels – Google, Facebook, Bing, UC, Email, Affiliate, Content Marketing.
Advice – My advice to young marketers would be – Don’t be fooled if you have Detailed knowledge of a marketing tool, because it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Real marketer’s strength is understanding his audience’s persona and creating the right creative which will impact him. You should always be on top of your numbers. And always remember that people take time to buy something – so always follow an organized plan. I follow the AIDA principle in all of my campaigns.
A – Attention
I – Interest
D – Desire
A – Action
A Marketer has to use both sides of his brains to be successful – Left one to do all the calculations of all important metrics and to optimize a campaign; Right one to create the best ad-copies for the audience. Don’t be dependent only on your designer.
My favorite Channels are – Content Marketing, Google Search Ads (Pull is always good than Push).
What are some of the important marketing software that you have used and found to be really useful for your company?
I’ve always used the stock versions of the marketing tools like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, UC Ads, Sendgrid, etc. I have also used one cross-marketing automation tool – Smartech provided by Netcore to effectively target my TG. I believe such tools are the future of marketing where marketers can create journeys at their end and A/B test them without the help of developers. It saves both cost and time of the company.
Which companies, according to you, are your competitors. How do you differentiate against these?
Our direct competitors are Traveltriangle.com, Holidayiq.com. Our main differentiators from our competitors are our belief in automation. To drive a similar scale of the business our competitors have 10 times more workforce. We did it by using AI/ML to automate every redundant task for which humans are required. This way we used our savings on content generation and distribution.
Your 2 line advice to people entering in the marketing domain.
As mentioned before, don’t enter the marketing domain because you know how to run a marketing tool and know how to track it. Marketers are those who understand his TG and provides the best solution to their pain points via his campaign.
Make sure your number crunching is very strong and your creative-IQ is high. Secondly, never hesitate in doing any work – be it banner creation, copyrighting, making a report or any related activity. Every stalwart which I know of has started from scratch and did everything on his own. Lastly, experiment, experiment, experiment!