Hacking Growth for a Boutique Digital Marketing Agency


Windchimes Communications started in 2008 as one of the first social media agencies in India and quickly grew to become a respected boutique agency with an enviable clientele. Stagnated by limited service offerings in social media and ORM, they brought me on board in 2013 to drive their expansion plans to a full-service digital marketing agency.

Transformation to a Digital Marketing Agency

I started with identifying untapped talents within the existing team and discovered that we had in-house expertise for creative services like minimalist posters, doodles, and comic strips. I facilitated training sessions for other team members to upskill in areas like Google Ads and Facebook Ads. For services like website creation, mobile app development, video content creation and digital media buying, I was able to align vendor partnerships.

Upselling new services to our existing social media clients like HUL, ITC and Yes Bank quickly expanded our portfolio, which helped us to attract more clients. All in all, within a couple of months, Windchimes had been transformed into a full-service digital marketing agency.

From a commercials perspective, I proposed campaign-based client onboarding, in addition to the prevalent strategy of long-term contracts with monthly retainer fees. This ensured steady inflow of business on the new services and allowed us to build in-house teams, reducing vendor dependence.

With a 360-degree service offering, we were able to onboard clients like Reliance Energy, National Stock Exchange of India (NSE), Lodha, Mumbai Metro, and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on retainer relationships with a wider scope of work. We also acquired project-based work for multiple services, like content creation for Officer’s Choice, SEO for Aegis and website creation for Ambuja Cement and Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics. We also handled performance marketing for ICICI Prudential AMC and for ecommerce clients like Lotus Herbals and Titan.

Digital advertising and media buying proved to be a massive needle-mover for the topline of the agency, while the creative services ensured better profit margins.

Highlights of Work Done for Clients

In my role as Mumbai Branch Head at Windchimes, I was leading the digital strategy for all clients and new business pitches. The finest work from my tenure is summarised here.

Brands Launched on Digital Media

2013 was a time when certain brands that were popular on non-digital channels were yet to launch their official presence on digital media. I led the digital launch of some of these brands and the campaigns have been detailed in this post.

Beauty Brands of Hindustan Unilever

Windchimes used to work with corporate HUL for online reputation management and had won the social media mandate for some of their beauty brands, including Lakmé Salon, BeBeautiful and Ponds. My best campaigns for these brands are summarised in this post.

Social Media Marketing for ITC Group

Windchimes helped the corporate HR team of ITC with their campus recruitment initiative called ‘ITC Hub n Scope’, a name that symbolised ITC as a ‘hub’ of opportunities with ample ‘scope’ for a long-term career in the company’s diverse portfolio.

We ran employer branding campaigns for the conglomerate on social media, targeting students in top-tier business schools of India. We shared success stories from those who kick-started their ITC journey through campus placements, featured AUTs (Associates Under Training) and engaged students with case study challenges before the campus recruitment drive. We also supported the digital amplification of offline events like ITC Interrobang?!

Additionally, I contributed to promoting stationery products under the Classmate and PaperKraft range with campaigns like Classmate Spellbee, #BeUnique, and product-specific initiatives like #CoverHunt for Colour Crew products. I was briefly involved in social media for ITC Hotels, which was primarily managed by the Delhi branch of Windchimes. Most of my work was related to #WineWednesday with Sonal Holland, India’s only ‘Master of Wine’, who worked as the Divisional Head of Wine and Beverages for ITC Hotels.

Yes Bank and the IPL Campaign

Back in 2013, Yes Bank made substantial investments in brand-strengthening associations with the intent of appealing to young professionals, NRIs and HNIs. This included signing a five-year associate sponsorship deal with IPL, India’s foremost event property, besides other events and movies. Some of my award-winning work done for Yes Bank has been compiled in this post.

CSR Campaign for Officer’s Choice Whisky

Surprising as it may sound, Officer’s Choice (OC) became the largest selling whisky in the world by overtaking Johnnie Walker in 2013. The next year, parent company Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD) wanted to launch the brand on social media and we won the pitch. Since alcohol advertising is not permitted by Indian law, surrogate advertising is common.

The 2013 TVCs of OC advertised music CDs as part of a campaign called ‘Raise Your Voice’ that showcased different scenes where women were being ill-treated and the conflict would simmer down after a responsible onlooker would yell “Oye!”. This soon became a popular sound mnemonic for the brand, and they wanted to build a CSR campaign around this thought.

We created the social media presence for ‘Raise Your Voice’ and started building awareness about injustices and crimes against women in India, urging people to raise their voice to support such victims. The campaign was a series of tactical ideas around the central theme, which manifested as social media content.

We even produced a music video as part of the campaign to resonate better with the youth. The campaign had an impactful reach and helped in improving brand recall for Officer’s Choice.

Lead Generation and App Installs for ICICI Prudential AMC

ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company was not a retainer client at Windchimes, but we did a series of digital advertising campaigns for them, almost making it an ongoing relationship. The project began with lead generation for products like ELSS, Balanced Advantage Fund (BAF) and Focussed Bluechip Fund by advertising on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other ad networks. We also executed a brief campaign to increase the usage of their Right SIP Calculator. We played a key role in the launch campaign of their mobile app, IPru Touch, acquiring the first 100,000 users through digital advertising.

Ecommerce Clients – Lotus Herbals, Titan eStore and Others

During my tenure at Windchimes, we had a sizable portfolio of ecommerce clients, mostly startups and small ecommerce businesses. In 2014, we were entrusted to build the online store for Lotus Herbals, a familiar name in herbal cosmetics at the time. Our involvement extended to providing post-launch digital advertising support, which helped them secure an initial influx of orders. The company has grown well and is still actively selling on lotusherbals.com

We also managed Titan eStore with a mandate to drive online sales through social media. At that time, the entire product portfolio within the Titan umbrella was being sold through titan.co.in itself and this is what the website looked like.

We started with Tanishq, leveraging my prior jewellery ecommerce experience. Our scope of work soon expanded from jewellery to watches and eyewear, allowing us to promote brands like Raga, Sonata, Fastrack and Titan Eye+ to drive online sales through their unified website.

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