Alok Saraogi

SVP & Head of Marketing at TVS Automobile Solutions

The "Digital Disruption: The Role of Marketers in Revolutionizing Entertainment and Cinema"

In this interview, Alok Saraogi, a seasoned marketing professional, talks about his career journey and how he has worked in different industries to develop P&L for several private label businesses. He also shares his experience with content marketing and how it has evolved over the years, becoming an important aspect of marketing for most businesses. Alok discusses the importance of maintaining a consistent brand identity across different channels while being distinctive enough to satisfy the target audience. He also talks about the challenges of content overload and how businesses must develop strategies to communicate their message effectively in a way that resonates with their target audience.

1. Tell us about your journey till now. 

I've been a working professional for a very long time. I made the decision early in my career to choose breadth over depth and avoid becoming a 20-year insurance person. I have therefore pushed Master to define the New South every few years. My career began with advertising. I worked as the head of planning for a few WPP companies as I finished my advertising career. Then I handled the Stern customer in the manner that any self-respecting advertising professional would. I was fortunate to start Jet Airways' foreign operations early in my career.

I, therefore, assisted in expanding the brand's reach throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, and the US before leaving Future Group to oversee the P&L for several private label businesses. So I created a portfolio of 405 hundred crore rupees for them. Then I entered B2B marketing, relocated to Chennai, went into commercial vehicles, and then—something I had never done before—moved into the automobile industry. I did it for a few years with success before moving to Singapore and Amazon to develop P&L for them.

I participated actively in the content space as I was the chief marketing officer at TVS Auto Services while we were creating, publishing, and distributing content as the largest audiobook player in the world, audible. If you will, we are developing a startup in the high-velocity automobile sector within an established corporation. We are developing the biggest aftermarket multibrand in India.

Service area to the right. Therefore, one-stop shopping for all of your two-wheeler and four-wheeler maintenance, repair, and servicing requirements. To establish a very high velocity, high stakes, high scale firm, we are organizing the disorderly and making the unseen apparent. That's it, in a nutshell.

2. You are aware that P&L and marketing are changing, even if marketing already has a feeling of P&L, but what will happen when the P&L position is compared to the marketing function?

Although it hasn't changed, it has nonetheless changed. The accountability is higher. There is a stronger feeling of measurably accountable responsibility.

What you do as a marketing or marketing communications professional has a high effect from the perspective of the customer but may not be as high an impact from the perspective of the business. This responsibility is then reported to the board. I believe that's a crucial distinction. As a panel lead, you are also aware that you and your teams are now actively working for the goals of the company as a whole rather than simply the functional area in which you are employed. Therefore, in my opinion, those are important adjustments.

3. We're talking about content marketing, which is the proverbial "elephant in the room," right over your journey. When did you first hear the phrase "content marketing" in its current form and how would you rate your entire experience with content?

So, I'm not sure what content marketing is, but content entered my life approximately five years ago when I first joined Audible. And according to how we now interpret material, I believe that has a similar shelf life. In the previous five to eight years, it became a widely used word.

Therefore, I believe that all CMOS contents are getting more and more significant. Additionally, it is coming up in discussions with CEOs. consumer engagement and consumer attention are now of the utmost importance, but CEOs have a different perspective and may not always utilize the terms content or content marketing. I've had the good fortune to view content through both perspectives: first, as someone who was producing and distributing material and developing a P&L around it, and second as a marketer tackling a different set of issues.

Using content to interest readers and draw attention back to the company's operations. I have examined the material from both angles and while it is just around five years old, it is still vital to what we do now. 

Not all businesses, B2CB2B and industry, will have the same perspective on content.

4. Do you have any ideas on where this is headed in terms of whether or not there is material overload and how this will change the Internet for the better or the users' habits for consuming content in the long run?

In all fairness, the internet cannot be solely blamed on the industry. Nevertheless, we are unconcerned about taking the blame and instead focus on creating content that fits our company's specific context, as previously discussed. Every company needs to do the same.

We recognize the importance of having a consistent brand narrative and identity across all channels. We are actively exploring ways to achieve this goal. However, we also understand the need to be distinctive on various platforms to cater to their unique audiences. For instance, we cannot use LinkedIn in the same way as we use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or our TV and mobility platforms.

We strive to strike a balance between being intriguing, and relevant, and catering to the interests of our audience. Our ultimate objective is to communicate comparable ideas across all platforms in a way that resonates with our target audience. If we cannot achieve this balance, we may choose to opt out of using a specific platform or opportunity altogether.

5. How do you decide between paid and organic content?

As a company amid the construction and growth phases, we have no choice but to utilize paid investments to acquire clients. However, we recognize that as we continue to develop, it becomes increasingly important to reduce risk and shift our focus toward organic advertising. By investing in strategies to increase organic traffic, we have already taken steps to mitigate risk and build a stronger foundation for long-term success.

When evaluating the success of our efforts, we prioritize metrics related to reputation over income. This is because my performance has a direct impact on our revenue, and building a positive reputation is crucial for future growth. While our approach may not result in immediate gains, we view organic and content marketing as critical components in establishing a strong reputation and building an organic income funnel over time.

6. What is your opinion on the AI wave?

It's incredible what's happening right now in the world of self-serve solutions. I strongly believe that this will empower client teams to accomplish their tasks more independently, without relying on others. This movement is wonderful because it allows us to insource some of the business-as-usual content that was previously outsourced. As a result, we can now write high-quality content requirements for our partners, which will ultimately benefit us and our audience.

However, while the current self-serve solutions are impressive, they still lack customization and personalization. The content generated by these solutions often feels repetitive and indistinguishable because they are all powered by the same algorithm. I'm hopeful that as time goes on, the technology will become more complex and produce unique results each time we attempt to create content on the same topic. Overall, this is the most exciting development in the AI-driven arena, and I look forward to seeing how it evolves.

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Global Marketing Leaders 2023 by Pepper Content is an exclusive curation of the brightest minds who have revolutionized the world of marketing. These visionaries have pushed the boundaries, disrupted the status quo, and transformed the way we approach content and marketing. Check out the full exhibit to be informed and inspired by the insights shared by these trailblazers.