Abhisek Satapathy is the founder and CEO of CINET IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a Bhubaneswar based Software & Digital Marketing services company. He is a Google Ads certified Professional and Hubspot certified Inbound Marketing specialist. With such an establishment in the buzzing world of the Internet, he has also managed to conduct about 120 awareness programs in rural Odisha on Digital literacy and managed to train over 12000 people along with women & youth on computer skills and soft skills.
It is hard for a mind of worth to not actually engage in great plans. Abhisek got interested in setting up his own company and run his own business at a very tender age. The time seemed right with the uprising of the Internet in our country. Since then, he has been dedicatedly engaged in building his business from scratch, completely bootstrapped without seeking any external funding. Apart from Digital Marketing, he has also entered into ventures in Food-tech and Agriculture sector.
1. What is your background in Marketing, and how did you come to be in the position you are in now?
I started my entrepreneurial as well as marketing career in 2007 when I was in class 11th. I learned web design out of curiosity and later, began designing websites for clients. But then I realized, just developing a website is not enough. We need to market it as well to reach our target customers. So I started learning SEO and started working on freelance projects on Internet Marketing too. I completed my MBA in 2015 and to get some industry exposure, joined a Digital agency in Mumbai. This agency experience in Mumbai was an eye-opener. Although I was already working in the Digital marketing field for so many years and had worked on 150+ projects by then, the agency experience gave me a new perspective. Digital Advertising was intriguing. I was working as Digital Marketing strategist there and got the opportunity to work with brands like Milton, Haldiram’s, Rupa, Cadbury’s, Godrej, etc.
Came back to Bhubaneswar in 2017 and started a Digital agency here. As of today, we have worked on close to 250 website development and digital marketing projects and served 150+ clients from across the globe, offering marketing consulting to 12 retainer clients and helping them grow their business.
2. Which technical skills do you believe are most important in your role?
First of all, let’s not confuse technical skills with stuff like coding, software development, information technology, etc. There is a popular belief that you need to be tech-savvy to do Digital Marketing. But that isn’t true. Digital Marketing is 90% marketing and 10% digital. So, the number one skill required for a digital marketer is a stronghold on marketing concepts and understanding of customer psychology.
3. Which soft skills prove most useful in your role?
Understanding customer’s psychology, pain points, challenges, and motivation. Once you master this art, it’s like having a superpower.
4. Which markets do you operate in?
We are a global agency and serve clients from across the globe. Majority of our customers are from India though. But we have few clients from the United States, Canada & Australia as well.
5.Which Marketing or Business related book would you recommend to a colleague, and why?
It depends on the situation and what exactly the person wants to learn. I am a Booklover, and I read a lot of books. If it is about marketing books, few of the books I would recommend are Expert Secrets by Russel Brunson, Hooked by Nir Eyal, Pre-situation by Robert Cialdini and Cashvertising by Drew Eric Whitman.
6. What can be one of the biggest challenges Marketers face in the industry you operate in?
Acquiring and retaining high paying clients is a significant challenge for most of the agencies like us. Another challenge is matching up the client’s expectations. Sometimes results take time, but clients expect quick results. That’s why I always make the expectations & KPIs clear whenever we onboard a new client. Key is to under promise and over deliver.
7. Describe what a typical day at work looks like for you?
If I have to describe my day in one word, It would be “Hustle.” Apart from the Digital Marketing Company, I also run a couple of other ventures. So, I need to take care of them as well and devote some time to them as well. Typically my work hours start at around 9 AM and goes up to 9 or 10 PM. During this time, I take up classes of my Digital Marketing students, hold Client meetings, Strategic meetings, etc. I usually keep strategy works or tasks that involve deep work or undisturbed attention to late nights.
8. Please share digital marketing tools that help you and your team accomplish your goals every day.
We use a lot of free as well as paid tools to manage and automate our business processes. We use Zoho CRM & few other Zoho suite products for managing the client relationship, sales, billing & accounts, project management, etc.
We use a few Digital marketing tools and marketing automation software as well for handling our own as well as client’s projects. Some of them include Clickfunnels, Getresponse, Facebook Ads Manager, Buffer, Google Analytics, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, Google ads Manager and many more.
9. In your opinion, what are the most valuable skills a marketer in your role can have?
As a marketer, we work closely with our clients to help them grow their business. So understanding the customers of your customer(client) is very important. Once you master this skill, your marketing is sorted.
10. What are your most important KPIs (Key Performance Indicator)?
Getting better ROI(Return on Investment) should be the prime focus of any campaign, and I take this very seriously. I run an ROI driven agency where we aim at generating minimum 10X returns over our customer’s investment in marketing. Recently I have started offering Digital Marketing training as well. But even in the training services, I stuck to this principle, and I can proudly say that we are one of those very few institutes in India that offers 100% ROI guarantee within six months from enrolment over the course fee they are investing.
11. Across the marketing mix, what medium has brought you the best results?
Facebook Ads gives us great results. Facebook Ads combined with proper strategy and funnel can do wonders for your business.
12. Describe one of the most successful projects or campaigns you’ve worked on. Why was it successful?
There are many. But one of them is very close to my heart as that was my first project after I came back from Mumbai in 2017. We did a campaign for Mount Litera Zee School, Bhubaneswar. We generated around 290 leads for them out of which they got 120+ conversions into admission. That is a whopping 40% conversion rate, which is way more than the industry rate. They got revenue of around 1.2 Crore and almost 50x ROI over their marketing spend. We have many more similar case studies in education & Real estate industry as well where we have generated excellent results for our clients.