Interview Series – Decoding Digital Marketing Careers
Digital marketing has changed business forever with customer expectations also evolving at an incredible rate. We spend 9 hours a day on our phones on different social media sites and get influenced by a large number of organizations that advertise on these platforms. Social media sites are where many of today’s customers devote a great deal of time – some of it also spent communicating about the products and services to buy. It presents a golden opportunity to start a conversation with potential customers, rather than just speaking at them with a marketing campaign. Creating a digital presence and using it to communicate with customers is now crucial to success. But it requires time, commitment, and the expertise of digital marketers. The payoff is having satisfied customers online and evangelizing products and services with their social media circle.
In this interview, Sharanya Venugopal, currently the AVP for Client Servicing at Social Beat, talks about the potential of the digital marketing field and the latest trends.
Sharanya is a Digital Media & Consumer Psychology professional with 6+ years of experience in working with home-grown brands to develop their digital marketing strategy. Intrigued by the mystery of why consumers do what they do, she believes that she is on an expedition to weave tactical stories that resonate most with a brand's audience. Some of her notable clients are Titan Limited, ITC, Tata Global Beverages Limited, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, Sundaram Mutual Fund and Juicy Chemistry.
You’ve been in the digital industry for so many years now, how has your journey been?
Sharanya V: My journey in media and marketing has been an interesting one, loaded with a lot of learning. At every single moment, there is some innovation or product being launched in the hands of the consumer, and as a digital marketer, it is crucial to know how to best use this innovation to effectively converse with the audience. It's important to think on your feet which results in a huge amount of learning.
As a digital marketer, what keeps you inspired & motivated to perform in your best interest?
Sharanya V: What keeps me inspired is innovation and the value that it adds to the art of storytelling. At the end of the day, every brand on digital media is trying to tell a story that resonates with its consumer. Brainstorming and constantly finding new ways to tell the same brand story is all I need to keep myself motivated.
What evolution have you seen in Digital Marketing over the last few years?
Sharanya V: As I mentioned before, this field is constantly evolving. But the last one and half years have really accelerated its growth. Brands that were not too keen on digital marketing have started seeing value in investing in it. This has only happened because consumer behavior was forced to change tremendously in such a short span of time owing to the pandemic.
I also think that digital has evolved from being just a channel to convey your brand's offerings to the audience to a channel where brands have started to understand what customers are searching for and hence how to best engage with them in two-way communication.
Which is that one digital campaign that stands out for you?
Sharanya V: It is quite difficult to choose one, to be honest. I am very intrigued by how the smaller homegrown brands in the country are leveraging all the capabilities of the digital platforms to effectively connect with their consumer. I always look out for the campaigns done by brands like Juicy Chemistry, boAt, Sleepy Owl, and so on. I also think that some smaller brands are doing a great job at keeping inclusivity & consumer sentiments at their core.
If you were asked to list down the three must-know tools for a budding digital marketer, what would they be?
Sharanya V: Google Analytics and Digital Platform Ad dashboards (Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, etc) If one is focused on digital branding and social media then some amount of creative Design Thinking & Storytelling knowledge would help.
According to you, which is the biggest challenge currently being faced in this career profile?
Sharanya V: The downside of thinking on your feet is the last-minute execution, which can make life-work balance a bit stressful.
Lastly, what do you think is the next major trend in Digital Marketing?
Sharanya V: Voice and AI have been the most anticipated areas in the past few years, I am looking forward to seeing how it will scale in the future while adhering to data security policies.