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Marketers spend money but don’t know its impact, this is what we aim to solve: DCMN’s Bindu Balakrishnan

In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, Bindu Balakrishnan, Country Head, India, DCMN talks about the organization’s vision for 2022. She also discussed the experience of marketing for new-age brands

Bindu Balakrishnan

DCMN, the Germany-based organisation that entered India in 2016, is further scaling its operations and strategizing for the Indian market. The company describes itself as a ‘growth marketing partner for digital businesses and startups’. They usually work with new-age start-ups who are looking to grow further and want to reach a larger audience. However, they also find solutions for traditional brands that want to go down the digital route.

Speaking to BestMediaInfo.com, Bindu Balakrishnan, Country Head, India, DCMN, said the kind of knowledge DCMN has about digital brands is enormous because of the background of the people working there. About the challenges in the Indian market, she explained that often brands invest in offline verticals but are unable to measure their returns on the same.

“We don't see ourselves as an agency. We call ourselves partners. We believe that we are partners with the brands that we work with. We stand eye to eye and shoulder to shoulder with them, helping them from where they are, to grow to where they want to go. That is our vision,” Balakrishnan said.

“At a global level we work very strongly with digital media but in India, we've always had more focus on offline because that is where our strengths are. Our USP is that we track offline. Offline is a big cash box in India, you spend on OOH, Radio or TV but you really cannot measure its returns. So, marketers spend the money but they don’t know the impact of that money. DCMN has its own proprietary tracking tools with which we measure the impact of the campaign in terms of the client visits, orders, registration, etc. So that's what we do and this has been our strength and how we position ourselves in India,” she added.

How do they do it?

Their ROI measuring tool, DC Analytics, measures the direct response to every single spot on air on TV. Direct response, in terms of website visits, installs, and then further into the conversion funnel like conversions, sales, orders etc.

Balakrishnan further stated they give their clients a tracking pixel, which they need to integrate on their homepage onto the landing pages. The tool is then able to measure the responses landing on the page. The tool can further delve into the conversion funnel, depending upon what is it that the client wants to track.  

She further explained that for Indian start-ups, initially, the communications are handled by in-house teams who could be very digital-minded. However, as start-ups continue to grow due to funding, they would want to invest in mediums other than digital. “At a certain point, they will want to grow and get into TV and other places but the marketing team is still very much digital-minded, thinking ROI-driven measurability, etc.  TV also has bigger budgets compared to digital, but also at the same time, the in-house teams of the startups cannot track it and this brings in a lot of uncertainty. This is the uncertainty we take away,” she said.

“Being a very data-driven company, we believe with our mindset and vision digital brands are where we get the most value,” added Balakrishnan.

Future plans and expectations

According to Balakrishnan, 2019, 2020, and 2021 have been good years, and they expect this growth to continue in 2022 as well. She also said that startups and unicorns have been getting continuous funding in India. She sees these new-age brands growing further and expanding their ad spending rapidly.

“We have expanded our teams and plan on expanding it more to be able to help more and more brands. The apps that have worked for us have also grown and their needs are different today.  We want to be there for them, to give them a very holistic service. With that in mind, we want to invest in new verticals. One of the important verticals for us is market research and insights. We also want them to be able to test the creatives, and take data-driven decisions on how to optimize them,” Balakrishnan said.

She further stated that the gap for India, when it comes to GDP vs ad spending is shrinking as there has been a paradigm shift in brands that are coming up as big advertisers. “You see any medium, like radio, print, TV, you would see that five years ago mostly traditional brands used to advertise there. Today, you see the more prolific advertisers are digital brands,” she said.

To cater to the demand, they are also looking to offer 360-degree holistic solutions for the clients.

Speaking about their journey so far, Balakrishnan stated when they entered in the market in 2016 nobody knew them, and they were pitted against established players, like dentsu and Starcom, who had  been here for a long time. “For us, it was difficult, because how do you break into a market where there are strong incumbents, and nobody knows you? But I think two things we had a clear vision on, one that we will be digital and second that we are very data-driven.”

So far, they have partnered with 400 digital brands that are doing business through apps or websites.


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