Kaushik Ramchandran on Understanding Target Audience and Crafting Marketing Communications
As the Head of Marketing at Nature's Basket Limited, Kaushik Ramchandran understands the importance of understanding the target audience and crafting effective marketing communications.
In a recent interview with Rishabh Shekhar, CEO and Co-Founder of Pepper Content, he emphasized the need for marketers to conduct in-depth research on their audience and understand their behavior, preferences, and pain points. He also stressed the importance of creating personalized and relevant content that resonates with the audience and helps build trust and credibility.
Here are some excerpts:
1. Please tell us about yourself.
I have been in the marketing communications field for 16 years, working for various clients. I started with a print media organization, moved to digital marketing, did an MBA, and started my brand consultancy firm. I have worked for marquee clients like Coromandel, Tata Housing, and Aditya Birla Retail.
Currently, I am heading the entire marketing for Nature's Basket. In my opinion, understanding the target audience is crucial to crafting effective marketing communications.
I think it all starts with the right target group.
2. How, according to you, has content marketing evolved in the last decade or so?
Content marketing has evolved significantly in the last decade or so. It all starts with understanding the right target audience, and once you have a clear understanding of who your customer is, you can craft the marketing and the communication to tailor that. In my opinion, market segmentation, targeting, and positioning are the basics of any marketing strategy, and it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the customers and what they seek. This approach has been prevalent for a long time, but what has changed is the way we communicate with customers.
The advent of digital media has been a game-changer in the world of marketing. With social media platforms and other digital channels, businesses can reach out to their target audience much more effectively than before. The content that is created now is more customer-centric and caters to their specific needs and preferences. The focus has shifted from traditional advertising to content marketing. Businesses are now creating content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to their customers.
Moreover, customers are bombarded with a lot of information, and it's essential to create content that stands out. The use of visuals and videos has become increasingly popular, and businesses are now focusing on creating interactive content that customers can engage with. The emphasis is on creating a seamless experience for customers across all channels, be it social media, email, or websites.
3. As a marketer, do you focus on quantity versus quality?
As a marketer, I always focus on quality over quantity. It all starts with understanding the target audience and crafting marketing communications that appeal to them. I believe in the classic market segmentation, targeting, and positioning approach. Once you have a clear understanding of who your customer is and what they are seeking, you can craft the marketing and communication tailored to their needs.
I always ensure that our brand imagery has a certain tone and voice that appeals to our target audience. Our brand guidelines are well-defined in terms of the colors and imagery we use, such as top-angle shots and only premium, high-quality imagery. I believe that once you have figured out what your brand stands for and who you are appealing to, the communication part is easy to follow up with. In my opinion, focusing on quality over quantity ensures that you reach the right audience with the right message, resulting in better engagement and sales.
Quality does matter more than quantity. If you have the right kind of content, which engages customers, that is worth much more for me than, you know, pushing out 10 articles.
4. With so much experience, how do you decide whether you should focus on demand or the brand?
I believe that understanding the target audience is crucial when deciding whether to focus on demand or brand. To craft effective marketing communications, we need to first segment our market and determine our target audience's mindset and what they're seeking. With this knowledge, we can tailor our communication to suit their preferences and interests.
In my current role at Nature's Basket, we're selling gourmet products to a customer who's internationally well-traveled and has experienced world cuisines. In this case, we use premium and high-quality imagery to showcase our brand as a premium one, with a well-defined brand guideline in terms of colors and imagery. This consistency in our brand image is important in creating an identity that our target audience can relate to.
Regarding the choice between demand and brand, it depends on the situation. If we're in a mature market with established competition, we need to focus on our brand and how it differentiates from competitors. On the other hand, if we're in a new market or launching a new product, we need to focus on demand and creating awareness of our brand. Ultimately, it's a balancing act between the two and understanding which is more important at any given time.
5. What is the approach you take, where marketing is concerned, on adapting to the new trends?
As a marketer, my approach to adapting to new trends always begins with understanding my target audience. It's essential to have a clear understanding of who my customer is and what they're looking for so that I can craft marketing and communication strategies that are tailored to their needs. Once I know who my target audience is, I create a brand image that resonates with them.
As far as adapting to new trends is concerned, I believe that people are still seeking quality content, but the way they consume it has changed. Customers are now exposed to an overwhelming number of messages and content every day, so the challenge is to find the right medium to catch their attention and ensure that our message stands out. To do this, I focus on quality over quantity and aim to create content that engages customers and makes them want to read and consume it. Ultimately, understanding our target audience and crafting marketing communications that speak to their needs is key to success.
6. What is your opinion on AI, and the use of AI in writing and marketing?
Regarding the use of AI in writing and marketing, I think it is a useful tool. It can help automate certain processes, saving time and money. For example, AI can be used to generate content for social media, which can be personalized to a specific target audience. It can also help in identifying potential customers by analyzing their online behavior and preferences.
However, I believe that while AI can help in marketing, it cannot replace human creativity and understanding. AI can only work on the data that is fed into it, but it cannot understand the nuances of human behavior and psychology. Therefore, it is essential to use AI as a tool and not rely on it entirely.
Moreover, in today's world, customers are exposed to thousands of messages and notifications every day. As a marketer, my challenge is to catch the customer's attention and create something that stands out. Quality matters more than quantity as there is already enough messaging out there. My focus is to create content that engages customers and makes them want to read it. This can be achieved by understanding the target audience and crafting personalized marketing communications that resonate with them, which is not possible with AI.
7. What would you advise someone who is just starting in the field of marketing? What are some of your do’s and don’ts?
If you are just starting in marketing, my advice would be to start with understanding your target audience. Knowing who you are trying to reach and appeal to is the foundation of any successful marketing campaign. Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can craft your marketing and communication to tailor to their needs and preferences.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the way people consume content has changed, so it's important to stay up to date on the latest trends and mediums. For example, people used to read magazines and newspapers, but now they consume content online and through mobile apps. As a marketer, it's your job to figure out how to deliver your content in a way that is consumable for today's times.
When it comes to creating content, I believe that quality is more important than quantity. You want to engage your audience with the right kind of content that resonates with them, rather than just pushing out a lot of content that doesn't have any real value.
In terms of what not to do, I would say don't make assumptions about your audience without doing the proper research. Don't try to appeal to everyone, instead focus on your target audience. And don't forget about the importance of branding and consistency in your messaging.
First understand who your customers are, what their mindset is, and what are they seeking. Only then the marketing and communication follow.
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