Any person today has easy access to the internet. And don’t be surprised to know that this number is still increasing. There has been a 5% increase in constant internet usage by adults in the last three years. And with this expanse of the internet, the traditional marketing strategies, offline marketing is slowly losing effect. What is trending is internet marketing. Companies are now investing in digital marketing strategies to increase their customer base and web traffic.
Marketing has always been about connecting with the audience, targeting the audience in a particular manner. This was what stuck in the mind of Mr. Ashraf Kamal, and he started his Inbound Marketing agency, Openthrive. In an interview with Mr. Ashraf Kamal, let’s find out more about Openthrive.
1. What was the idea behind this enterprise? OR What inspired you to start this enterprise? Tell us about its foundation.
Ans. It didn’t happen like I woke up in the morning and said: “Hey, let’s do this”. No, I have been working on this since my college days. I used to sit in my room and learn about internet marketing. I was doing multiple jobs as well in my college days, all online. I worked as a marketer, as well as a marketing consultant in various companies. Openthrive was started in my room itself at that time. Although the idea was not as clear as it is today, it started. Got the domain name, built a website and launched it.
I had a couple of friends who used to contribute to their efforts whenever I asked for any support. If you ask me about the inspiration behind this, I’d say, it was my utter curiosity about how things work on the internet.
2. Taking this enterprise further, was it easy or a catch-22?
Ans. Of course, not easy, and it’s still difficult. I believe, no company runs smoothly as it looks like from outside. You just have to keep going.
3. What does your business offer? What are the services?
Ans. We are an Inbound Marketing Agency. We launched with a series of services, but after the experience of a few years, we’ve narrowed down our services to providing only Inbound Marketing & Growth-Driven Website Design. If fact a marketing-team as a service.
4. What is one thing you do that keeps you a step further?
Ans. I read. I read a lot. I read books, articles, and news. I believe that to find an answer to a difficult situation in business, you must know about history, science, technology, etc. Just learning about business rules will not benefit from a lot of situations.
5. Can you brief us about your education and your professional background?
Ans. Sure, I did my graduation B-Tech in ME, from Sharda University. I worked for 3 companies as a marketing manager before starting Openthrive. So, professionally, I’ve been an internet marketer and consultant. That’s what I’m doing even now.
6. Competition and progress go together. How do you cope with the competition?
Ans. The best way to compete is to address the audience for issues nobody can solve for them. We do our research for how things are going in the market, what’s going out of demand, and coming in demand. Everyone can co-exist, and that’s beautiful.
7. How do you make sure your services are on par?
Ans. Everybody in the team keeps taking some courses online and keeps themselves informed. We keep in touch with our clients at all times, so that we can fulfill their requirements. You can see us as just another marketing company, but you have to try our toast to feel the difference.
8. What strategies are you working on to make the business a step further?
Ans. There’s nothing fixed right now, but we’re looking forward to leveraging inbound marketing and automation even further for our business, beyond just providing good service.
9. What keeps you going? What is the driving force of your enterprise?
Ans. We are honest people, giving service honestly. The positive responses we get from our clients is what keeps us going, and never stopping.
10. Employees are the backbone of any company. How do you maintain a healthy work environment?
Ans. We don’t really have the school kind of strictness in our company. Employees are free to talk, discuss, and present their ideas. I think that freedom is what makes the working environment breathable.
11. How do you deal with your clients? What is your ‘mantra’ for a good client relationship?
Ans. If you do good work, your clients will always be happy. However, the hard truth is that your clients will always ask for more than what you promised, and it’s upon you how you can handle that. The mantra is that you should be honest with your clients. If they demand for something you cannot deliver, just tell them it’s out of your scope. Clients will be unreasonable at times, but they are people too, who are also under some pressure to get something done. So, it’s better if we understand our clients just like people.