Aradhna Kansal on Navigating the Dynamic World of Marketing and Communications
In the rapidly evolving landscape of marketing and communications, professionals must adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the curve. A keen understanding of content, technology, and audience engagement is essential for driving success in the industry. Combining passion and expertise, marketing leaders play a crucial role in shaping the strategies and narratives that define a company's brand and identity.
In an insightful conversation with Aanchal Khosla, Senior Program Manager at Pepper Content, Aradhna Kansal, Marketing Head at Tech Mahindra Business Process Services, shares her journey from journalism to marketing and the importance of content in the ever-changing world of marketing and communications.
1. How did your marketing journey start?
My marketing journey began with a detour from my passion for writing to pursuing a B.com degree. However, after completing my undergraduate degree, I realized that my desire to write was still strong, so I pursued an MBA in marketing. It was during this time that I discovered my love for journalism and started my career as a trainee journalist at Business World. Unfortunately, due to a medical condition, I had to leave journalism and found my way into the IT field in 2003, where I embraced the opportunity to learn and grow in marketing and content creation.
My seven-year stint at Wipro, where I worked in business marketing, gave me a chance to explore various facets of marketing while continuing to focus on content as a core element. Today, I am the Marketing Head at Tech Mahindra Business Process Services, and my journey of over 20 years has been rewarding and filled with challenges, growth, and continuous learning. My unique perspective, gained from my experience as both a journalist and corporate communication professional, has enabled me to bridge the gap between the two worlds.
The marriage of my passion for writing and my career in marketing and communication has led me to where I am today. Looking back, I am grateful for the unexpected twists and turns that have brought me to this point, and I look forward to seeing where the future takes me. My journey has taught me that with hard work, an open mind, and a willingness to embrace new opportunities, one can find a fulfilling and successful career path.
2. According to you, what are the current problems or challenges in marketing?
In my opinion, the current challenges in marketing, or as I prefer to call them, growth opportunities, revolve around a few key areas. Firstly, there's the problem of plenty. With so much content out there, it's essential to create relevant content that stands out in the crowd. Being crisp, concise, and creative is crucial to engage with the audience amidst this content overload.
Secondly, buyers have become much more intelligent, which means we need to create content that maps to the buyer's journey. We need to evolve as content marketers to ensure we're producing content that's relevant to different stages of the buying process and caters to various stakeholders.
Lastly, there's the challenge of measurability. Marketing has transitioned from being a passive function focused on content creation to a strategic one that drives business value. It's essential to focus on the output and ensure that content is measurable, monetization, and creates a sense of magic for the audience. By attaching a monetary value to our marketing efforts, we can align ourselves with the business and showcase the true value of our work.
So to sum it up, the key challenges in marketing today involve creating relevant content that stands out, adapting to the more intelligent buyers, and ensuring our content is measurable and drives business value.
Content is King, right? I mean today also, if you see, there is no function in marketing which can do without writing. If I talk about online platforms or digitally, you need your social media posts. Even if it's 140 characters, it is still content and to be more precise than ever. So I think it's been a great marriage.
3. What is the impact of technology on marketing?
As a content marketer, I believe that technology is a valuable asset for content creation and marketing. It has played a significant role in transforming the content landscape. From advanced tools like ChatGPT to basic ones like Grammarly, technology has made content creation more efficient and productive. These tools are essential for generating various types of content such as infographics, blogs, and videos.
In addition, technology has enabled us to measure the effectiveness of our content. Tools like HubSpot, Google Analytics, SEMrush, and HootSuite provide end-to-end solutions for content creation, distribution, tracking, and analyzing SEO. These tools help us evaluate our content's performance against competitors, making it easier to adjust our strategies as needed. AI-driven platforms such as Shutterstock and keyword headlines can also help us research trends, identify buyer preferences, and create targeted content for our audience.
Rather than being a threat, technology should be seen as an ally in the content marketing realm. By using the right tools for the right tasks, we can enhance our skills, create better content for our stakeholders, and achieve greater success. It's essential to embrace technology and leverage its potential to the fullest. As AI and technology continue to evolve, we can look forward to more innovations that will transform the content landscape further.
Fire is a good friend and a bad master. I would say the same thing with technology, we need to use it. Well, use it smartly and look at it as a way of enhancing yourself rather than thinking, 'Oh I'll be replaced
4. What would your ideal marketing stack or platform look like?
In my view, an ideal content creation platform should have three critical features. Firstly, it should consolidate various tasks to save time and effort. Instead of using multiple platforms that may be incompatible with each other, a unified platform like WordPress that can perform research, content creation, and other tasks would be beneficial. This would streamline the content creation process and make it more efficient.
Secondly, the platform should support video creation with various format options suitable for different platforms, including short videos for social media and detailed videos for YouTube and websites. Video content has become increasingly essential for marketers to engage with their audiences, and a platform that offers this feature would be highly advantageous.
Lastly, the platform should be budget-friendly and provide the ability to measure the impact of the created content. It should be user-friendly and easily accessible, even for those without a technical background. The platform should be straightforward to use, with a clear purpose and easy-to-understand features. Measuring the impact of the content created is crucial for demonstrating value to stakeholders, making it an essential feature in an ideal platform.
In summary, an ideal content creation platform should consolidate tasks, support video creation, and be budget-friendly, user-friendly, and capable of measuring content impact. Such a platform would simplify the content creation and management process, save time and effort, and provide a cost-effective solution for marketers.
The ideal technology should serve a specific purpose and be easily understood by people even with the basic level of expertise
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