CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Srikant Rajasekharuni – CEO and Co-founder, RMT
1. From game development to advertising and the inspiration behind starting RMT?
Srikant Rajasekharuni, along with co-founders Bhagat Marla, Rohit Tirunellai, and Avani J Marla, established Red Matter Tech (RMT) with a unique vision: to merge creative technology with marketing, thereby fostering growth for small and medium-sized businesses through digital transformation. This vision was influenced heavily by their shared background in the gaming industry.
My own journey in game development started at GameShastra, contributing to some of India’s pioneering PlayStation 2 titles. This experience, coupled with my MBA in Brand Management from MICA, Ahmedabad, set the stage for a transition into advertising. Rohit Tirunellai, starting in QA at EA Games, furthered his skills with an MBA in Marketing from TAPMI, Manipal. Bhagat and Avani, who worked at Purple Talk as a game producer and game developer respectively, brought their technical expertise to the table.
In 2012, our collective efforts led to the successful launch of Dabblr, a student-focused app, laying the groundwork for RMT’s inception in 2015.
Our fascination with user engagement and the joy it brings is a core tenet of our philosophy. We understand that a game, much like a brand, becomes more valuable as people engage with it, forming deeper, more meaningful connections. This understanding, garnered from our gaming background, seamlessly translates to our approach in marketing consultancy. Just as we once focused on making games more engaging, we now apply those principles to make brands more engaging through innovative marketing strategies. This natural progression from gaming to marketing consultancy highlights our commitment to creating immersive, engaging experiences that resonate deeply with audiences.
At RMT, we operate as an insight-driven marketing consultancy with a dedicated team of 85 professionals. Our clientele is diverse, ranging from SMEs and startups to established giants, and we’ve proudly partnered with over 300 brands across various sectors. My entrepreneurial journey reflects a seamless blend of gaming, marketing, and technology expertise.
- How have Srikant’s experiences in both the gaming and advertising industries influenced the approach and vision of RMT?
Our collective background in gaming has played a pivotal role in shaping the approach and vision of Red Matter Technologies (RMT). This shared experience in the gaming industry has imbued us with a deep understanding of user engagement, adaptability, and the importance of crafting experiences that resonate deeply with the audience.
In gaming, the core principle is to center the experience around the player, ensuring that every aspect of the game is engaging, responsive to feedback, and continuously evolving to meet the players’ needs. We’ve applied this player-centric philosophy to our marketing strategies at RMT. Just as a game is designed to keep players deeply engaged and satisfied, we design our marketing strategies with the consumer as the most crucial stakeholder. This approach ensures that our clients, their customers, and our team are always engaged and satisfied.
Our expertise in gaming has taught us the value of feedback-responsive strategies and creating tailored experiences based on consumer wants, demands, or needs. These insights are instrumental in our approach to marketing, where we emphasize consumer satisfaction and engagement.
At RMT, we leverage this gaming-inspired mindset to offer holistic solutions in marketing. Whether serving as an execution partner or collaborating with existing teams, our goal is to provide effective, insight-led strategies. Our focus on adaptability, honed in the gaming world, drives our innovation in marketing. We strive to stay ahead of trends, ensuring that our strategies are not just creative but also highly effective in achieving tangible business outcomes.
In essence, our backgrounds in gaming have not only enhanced our understanding of engagement but also instilled in us the importance of keeping all stakeholders continuously happy and engaged. This philosophy is central to RMT’s identity, making us a unique and dynamic player in the marketing consultancy arena.
- Can you elaborate on the initial focus of RMT and how it evolved into providing end-to-end marketing solutions?
Beginning with a sole focus on digital services, RMT has undergone significant evolution. As our relationships with clients deepened, a clear demand emerged for a more comprehensive suite of solutions. This evolution led to RMT’s transformation into an insight-driven marketing consultancy. Our emphasis shifted towards a profound understanding of data, consumer behavior, and market trends to craft impactful marketing strategies.
In our 8-year journey of having worked with over 300 brands, we have witnessed countless small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an insatiable appetite for growth, yet lacking access to the right marketing consultants to guide them. This realization has prompted a pivotal shift in our mindset and approach. Instead of functioning solely as an agency, we have evolved into a marketing consultancy, dedicated to empowering businesses with tailored strategies and solutions. Our mission is to bridge the gap between their ambitions and the expert marketing guidance necessary for realizing their full potential.
At RMT, we foster creativity, unlocking new possibilities and providing fresh perspectives. By seamlessly integrating brand, creative, and digital communications, we bridge the gap between strategy and execution. Recognizing the aspirations of enterprises to engage with their audiences through digital platforms, often constrained by experience and resources, RMT has become the preferred solution. We offer innovative end-to-end digital strategies to help our clients achieve their goals.
- Share a notable success story that showcases the effectiveness of RMT’s marketing strategy and consultancy services?
One notable success story that highlights the effectiveness of RMT’s marketing strategy and consultancy services is our campaign for The Economic Times during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Economic Times, a stalwart in the print newspaper business, faced significant challenges due to the pandemic. Rumors about the virus spreading through newspapers had led to a disconnect with their readership. To counter this and to embrace the digital medium, we conceptualized and executed the “ET My Moment of Truth” campaign.
The core idea of the campaign was based on the insight that everyone experienced the pandemic differently, encountering unique realizations, or “moments of truth.” These ranged from personal growth and career changes to shifts in relationships and the development of new hobbies. Our objective was to capture these diverse experiences from ET’s readers and compile them into an anthology, preserving these learnings for future generations.
We developed an interactive and engaging landing page where users could contribute their pandemic learnings under predefined categories like personal growth, career, relationships, hobbies, and more. To amplify this initiative, we deployed a strategic social media marketing campaign, focusing on The Economic Times’ existing network of followers, readers, and past subscribers. We employed sophisticated retargeting tactics to re-engage individuals who had previously interacted with ET’s content, whether through social media engagements, website visits, or past subscriptions. This targeted approach ensured that we reached an audience already familiar with and interested in The Economic Times, thereby fostering a higher level of engagement. By reconnecting with these previously engaged individuals, we not only provided a meaningful platform for expression but also reinforced ET’s connection with its readership, rekindling relationships on a more personal and emotional level during a critical time.
The campaign was incredibly successful, garnering over 1500 thoughtful and deep entries. The best entries, selected by the ET editorial team, were compiled into an e-book, creating a lasting testament to the resilience and adaptability of individuals during the pandemic. The campaign achieved over 3 million impressions with a minimal promotion budget, showcasing the power of insightful, empathetic marketing in engaging audiences and strengthening brand connections in challenging times.
- Can you provide insights into RMT’s growth metrics, such as the number of clients, revenue growth, or market presence?
Over the past eight years, RMT has experienced significant growth, transitioning from a digital solutions provider to a holistic end-to-end marketing consultancy. This expansion into diverse areas such as market research, branding, marketing strategy, and content production has significantly contributed to our growth trajectory.
Throughout this period, we have engaged with over 300 brands across various industries, with notable projects in media and entertainment, real estate, education, healthcare, and FMCG. Our understanding of startup challenges has also been crucial, enabling us to assist many startups in scaling their operations.
Our client base is remarkably diverse, encompassing international, national, and regional brands. A pivotal factor in our business development and reach expansion has been our alumni network from esteemed business schools such as MICA, Ahmedabad, and TAPMI, Manipal. This network has been instrumental in generating business inquiries and enhancing our ability to cater to a wide range of clients across different geographies and sizes.
We strongly advocate a ROI-based approach, which has been highly effective, particularly in the last two years. We have successfully generated over 300,000 quality leads and contributed approximately Rs.400 crores in revenue for our clients. These achievements reflect not only our proficiency in lead generation and revenue enhancement but also our commitment to delivering substantial and tangible business outcomes through strategic and insightful marketing solutions.
- How does RMT stay at the forefront of industry trends and ensure the continuous learning and development of its team?
At RMT, our commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends and ensuring the continuous learning and development of our team is multifaceted. We foster an interdisciplinary understanding of marketing, believing that a broad knowledge base is key to becoming proficient consultants. This approach means that our marketers are well-versed in design and technology, our developers have a grasp of lead generation, and our communications experts are adept at market research and insight mining. This continuous cross-disciplinary growth ensures that all team members evolve into more holistic consultants.
In addition to fostering interdisciplinary skills, we prioritize bringing in fresh talent. This influx of young professionals keeps us connected with younger audiences and current trends, ensuring that our strategies remain relevant and effective.
Innovation, a core tenet inherited from our gaming roots, drives us to continually explore the latest trends, technologies, and methodologies. This pursuit of innovation is more than just a philosophy; it is an operational mandate that keeps us and our clients ahead of the curve. By constantly embracing new ideas and technologies, we ensure that our solutions are not only current but also predictive of future market shifts.
This blend of interdisciplinary understanding, continuous learning, infusion of fresh perspectives, and an unwavering commitment to innovation forms the cornerstone of our approach. It enables RMT to maintain its position as a leader in the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of marketing consultancy.
- How does RMT envision adapting to emerging trends in the marketing landscape in the coming years?
At RMT, our core philosophy revolves around innovation, which is fundamental in guiding us to adapt to emerging trends in the marketing landscape. Our pursuit of innovation invariably leads us to explore the latest trends and technologies, ensuring that we are always at the forefront of the industry.
The current generation of consumers is highly discerning and demands novel, engaging experiences. They are quick to shift brand loyalties away from anything that appears outdated or behind the times. Recognizing this, we understand that the coming years are set to be particularly thrilling, especially given the unprecedented advancements in emerging technologies.
We have proactively explored and embraced cutting-edge trends like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Web 3.0. Our approach goes beyond utilizing these technologies for marketing campaigns and strategies; we also integrate them into our operational processes. With AI rapidly changing the marketing landscape, we anticipate a plethora of new possibilities, challenges, and myriad opportunities.
This exciting phase of technological evolution keeps us at RMT invigorated and poised for action. We are constantly exploring how these advancements can be leveraged not just for creating innovative marketing strategies but also for enhancing our operational efficiencies. This continuous exploration and adaptation ensure that we remain relevant and effective in a rapidly changing market.
Looking ahead, we are prepared to embrace the dynamic nature of marketing technologies and trends. Our team is always ready to learn, adapt, and implement new strategies that will keep our clients ahead of the curve. This agility and willingness to innovate are what make RMT a vibrant and forward-thinking player in the marketing consultancy arena.