Devika Goyal

Brand Manager at HT Media

Devika Goyal on Staying Ahead in the Evolving Marketing Landscape

In this interview, we go in-depth with Devika Goyal, Brand Manager at HT Media. With over nine years of rich industry experience, spanning sectors from advertising to e-commerce, she takes us through her professional journey with Global firms like McCann Worldgroup, Ogilvy n Mather, Lowe Lintas, Grofers, and Hindustan Times and Grofers, delving into the diversity and evolution of her marketing roles. Devika shares what keeps her enthralled in this rapidly changing marketing landscape, citing consumer psychology as the lifeblood of her craft. This exchange is an illuminating read for anyone interested in marketing and its evolution.

Here are some excerpts.

1. Tell us about your journey in the marketing space.

Absolutely! I've had a diverse journey with over nine years of experience in the marketing field. Initially, I started in advertising, working with top agencies and serving multiple clients across various categories. It was an exciting time, engaging with FMCG, automobiles, and handset brands.

Later, I transitioned into core brand marketing, joining an e-commerce company with a strong focus on MarTech and BTL activities. And now, I am currently working with a more traditional company, where the emphasis lies on brand building.

What I find fascinating about marketing is its dynamic nature. It evolves continuously because consumers and their habits keep changing. Technological advancements and lifestyle shifts significantly impact marketing strategies. This constant evolution is what keeps me passionate and motivated.

Every day in marketing brings new challenges and opportunities. I enjoy exploring different ways to gain insights and understand the consumer's perspective. The ever-changing landscape of marketing keeps me engaged, and I genuinely love what I do.

2. Do you have any personal or professional achievements that you would want to highlight?

I don't want to focus too much on my personal achievements because I believe everyone has accomplished something noteworthy. But let me explain why marketing fascinates me. Understanding consumer psychology is a unique and crucial aspect for marketers like me. It's about grasping how people think, what influences them, and how to tap into their desires to capture their attention and loyalty.

The challenge lies in figuring out how to create impactful interventions that resonate with consumers on a deeper level. It's not just about getting into their minds but also winning a place in their hearts and, in turn, their wallets. This constant pursuit of improvement and the drive to achieve more is what has fueled my passion as a marketer.

In marketing, every day is a learning experience. I continuously evolve and strive to uncover innovative ways to connect with consumers. It's this sense of growth and the desire to make a meaningful impact that keeps me motivated on my journey as a marketer. 

3. Bands today are humanizing to make an impact. What is your expert opinion on that front?

Absolutely, I truly believe that for a brand to thrive in the future, it must be purpose-driven. A clear purpose leads to sustainability, fosters healthy marketing practices, and ultimately enhances customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty.

As a marketer, I consider three crucial parameters. Firstly, being purpose-driven means focusing not just on profitability and earnings, but also on how we achieve them. It's essential to question whether our approach is sustainable and genuinely beneficial for the customers.

Purpose-driven marketing revolves around placing the core values of the business at the heart of all strategies. By doing so, we create a stronger foundation and end up building better and more meaningful connections with our audience. 

A loyalty base and good customers are important and are a very sustainable way for every brand to go about.

4. What would be your ideal marketing stack?

When you open the market stack, you'll find it particularly valuable for performance or digital marketing, as well as for MarTech-driven companies. Personally, I've used Tableau before, and I've even started using chat GPT. However, when it comes to more traditional aspects like insight mining and creativity, I firmly believe that the human touch is irreplaceable.

Insight mining and creativity are inherently human-driven and can't be fully replicated by AI or digital means. What marketing stacks and tools do is enhance our efficiency in analytics, understanding reports, and driving better performance. They streamline processes and provide valuable insights, making our marketing efforts more effective.

Yet, even with these advanced tools, the human element remains crucial in marketing. Creativity plays a significant role in crafting compelling campaigns that truly resonate with consumers. Understanding the depth of our audience requires empathy and intuition, which are uniquely human qualities.

In my experience, traditional marketing and various other offline media activities remain essential in creating a well-rounded marketing strategy. The insights gleaned from tools like Market Stack contribute to optimizing other marketing channels and making them more efficient. 

5. How much of an impact do you think AI would have on marketing?

When it comes to impact, using AI doesn't just make things efficient; it makes a lot of sense. It gives you multiple perspectives and a much better understanding of trends and what's happening around you. In the past, you had to conduct lengthy dipsticks, which took a lot of time. But with AI, you get instant information, making processes much more efficient and streamlined. It's like having a whole new level of insights at your fingertips!

6. Can you highlight some pain areas or challenges you think every marketer faces?

I think there are two problems that every marketer faces.

Firstly, it's quite typical that marketing is viewed as a cross-functional endeavor, aiming to drive impact. However, I firmly believe that having a clear purpose is the key to always making a significant impact. As I mentioned before, marketing plays a vital role in business, triggering purchases and driving revenue. It effectively combines both functional and emotional benefits, creating a perceived value for consumers. Therefore, when the purpose is infused into marketing efforts, the impact becomes evident, despite the challenges some may face in recognizing it.

Another major concern in today's competitive landscape is consumer loyalty. Price slashing and fierce competition make it challenging to maintain consumer loyalty. It's essential to prevent customers from easily switching from one brand to another. Here again, I believe that purpose plays a pivotal role. We can foster consumer loyalty and retention by providing value, emotional benefits, and exceptional products. When consumers connect with a brand's purpose and find value in the overall experience, they are more likely to remain loyal customers.

For the brand and product, one of the challenges is maintaining loyalty in today's time.

7. What do you think is great content? 

I don't have all the answers when it comes to crafting wise and impactful content that resonates with me as a marketer. However, I do recognize the significance of content as a means of connecting with consumers. It's crucial for content not to appear overtly promotional or artificial like an advertisement.

Authenticity is key, and content should feel genuine and relatable to avoid becoming a blind spot for consumers. As a result, content holds a crucial place in the consumer's mind space. The type of content that works best varies from one consumer to another, based on their individual preferences and needs. To effectively engage our target audience, it's essential to tailor different types of content to cater to these diverse segments.

Whatever content you choose to develop should be extremely relatable to the consumer. Relatability is the most important pillar when you go for a content-driven strategy.

8. How does one even decide the right content strategy for their band? 

When it comes to content strategy, the primary focus should revolve around the target audience and the channels they engage with. Understanding consumer segmentation and their preferred platforms for content consumption becomes paramount. For instance, is the audience more inclined towards traditional TV, OTT platforms, or films?

In the digital realm, there are numerous channels to consider—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp, among others. Even within traditional TV, one must account for various segments based on gender, preferences, and interests.

To effectively reach the audience, it is crucial to identify their major consumption channels and then integrate content accordingly. By doing so, we can strategically intervene and engage with the audience through the most relevant platforms. Keeping a close eye on consumer behavior and platform preferences will enable us to tailor our content distribution effectively.

9. Do you have any insights for budding marketers? 

I believe this is something I've personally experienced, and I truly value the importance of understanding your consumer. Effective marketing requires knowing exactly who you're addressing. So, it becomes crucial to comprehend how your product aligns with their needs, problems, or opportunities. There's always a challenge or an opportunity that your product can address.

To make a meaningful impact, it's essential to identify whether your product solves a problem for the consumer or fulfills an existing gap. By understanding both your product and your consumer, you can establish a more empathetic connection. Engaging in one-on-one conversations with consumers through consumer research allows for a deeper understanding, leading to a more insightful marketing strategy. The key lies in knowing your audience inside out to provide them with solutions that can enhance their lives and bring ease.

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