Jensen D'souza

Marketing Head at eShipz

Jensen D'souza on the Evolution of Marketing

Jensen is a social media genius, a gifted writer, a creative thinker, and a Manchester United fan. He is currently helping companies reach their target audience using the most unique social media platforms to maximize reach and minimize cost. Rishabh Shekhar, Co-Founder and COO at Pepper Content is in conversation with Jensen D’souza, Marketing Head at eShipz where he candidly discusses his view on various aspects of marketing and also speaks about his flair for writing.

1. Please let us know about your marketing journey. 

My marketing escapade has been quite the rollercoaster. I kicked off in the hospitality arena, but the recession sucker-punched my ambitions during 2008-2009. It was more setbacks than victories. But then, a game-changer named Franco Fernandez, a close pal with his HR consulting gig, ushered me into marketing. Drawing on my knack for talking and scribbling, I dove headfirst into the realm of Livya League, and that's where the spark ignited. To fuel this fire, I went for an MBA in marketing, setting the stage for some thrilling collaborations - from launching with Roshan Maheshwari to teaming up with Komal Hiranandani for the offbeat NGO, SaltScout. Along the way, I bumped into influencers like Sunil Shetty and trailblazers like Abhishant Pant, gaining insights aplenty. My journey flowed into the creative sphere, rubbing shoulders with visionaries like Deepak Peter, opening my horizons. Now, I find myself at eShipz, riding the ingenious wave led by Shivdeep, Sashi, and Ajay. What began as a "let's see where this goes" kind of deal, turned into a full-blown love affair with marketing, where I craft success stories every day.

2. Tell us more about your flair for writing. Where and how did it start?

My passion for writing was ignited during my school days, where I actively engaged in dramatics, essays, and church writings. This gift, undoubtedly inherited from my father, led me to explore various avenues. Driven by my natural inclination to connect with people, I embraced hospitality, relishing the opportunity to engage with a diverse range of individuals.

As fate would have it, I transitioned to marketing during the era of 2009, a time when platforms like Facebook and Instagram hadn't yet dominated the scene. Instead, I found myself crafting pamphlets and other written materials. It was through this process that I uncovered my knack for effective communication through words. My writing skills began to flourish, prompting me to delve deeper into this craft. Gradually, I expanded my reach to newspapers, discovering that my ability to articulate my thoughts was even more powerful through writing than speaking.

From those early days of penning pamphlets to my current journey, my proficiency in writing has propelled me forward. Today, it stands as the cornerstone of my career, encapsulating my growth and evolution as a skilled communicator.

3. You started your marketing career in 2008-09, how much has marketing evolved since then?

The scenario has transformed, carrying both positives and negatives. It's a mixed bag. On one side, there's an influx of choices that have led to clutter. In the past, you'd find maybe two or three brands competing with the same product. Now, it's easily 10 of them. As a result, the path a buyer takes has become intricate. Take the example of Rishabh, even for something as simple as coffee, there's a bewildering array of 8, 9, or even 10 brands vying for his attention.

This complexity has made things considerably challenging. However, this challenge goes hand in hand with the need for innovation. Right now, mobile marketing reigns supreme. If you're not engaging in this arena, you're on the path to falling behind. Individuals like you and me spend a significant chunk of our time – I'd estimate around six to seven hours – glued to our mobile devices. Adapting to this trend isn't just a suggestion; it's a necessity for survival. Consider this: nearly a quarter of your day slips away into your mobile device. And chances are, you're shelling out for apps that guarantee an ad-free experience – perhaps you're opting for YouTube Premium or Netflix Premium to steer clear of those unwanted interruptions. Now, how do I connect with you? Traditional TV? That's doubtful. In my case, and perhaps yours too, the TV has given way to laptops and smartphones. In this digital age, billboards lining the streets won't catch your eye, and even the massive ones in places like Mumbai's Reclamation merely shift from movies to products to cars, and more. Movies still captivate, but the real realm is your mobile. Marketing has morphed, leaving behind the pamphlets and banners of yesteryears. It's migrated from ink to the realm of touchscreens. To stay afloat, you must embrace this mobile territory. But here's the crux: How do I break through to your mobile when you're contending with a horde of others clamoring for your attention? This, my friend, is the crux of the challenge.

4. Being a writer, how are you mapping and following the trajectory of AI in content? How does it affect you and how are you coping with it?

Undoubtedly, AI is the future. It's a move you can't afford to miss, but how you harness its power defines whether it's an ally or a rival. Let's take a product, for instance. With a tool like ChatGPT, you can easily generate functional taglines, but they might not ignite the desire to purchase. On the flip side, when it comes to crafting FAQs, AI can swiftly do the job that would otherwise take human effort. However, where AI falls short is in the realm of creativity. Marketing thrives on fresh, original ideas, and that's an area where the human creative mind shines.

Consider the iconic taglines like "The Taste of India" for Amul. These catchphrases become part of our cultural fabric, leaving a lasting impact that AI couldn't replicate. While AI excels in handling functional aspects and data analysis for segmentation and understanding audience behavior, the fusion of AI and human creativity emerges as the perfect solution. Rather than replacing human ingenuity, AI complements it. The essence lies in marrying AI's capabilities with the distinct flair of the human mind. Thus, AI isn't a threat, but rather an essential tool that can amplify your marketing arsenal, provided you understand how to wield its potential.

5. You worked in an MNC, then got into Fintech, and then into thrift stores. You also worked with Bollywood stars and then got into B2B, right? Can you help us understand how marketing varies from one industry to another? 

Navigating the diverse landscape of target audiences is a dynamic challenge in the realm of marketing. Picture this: CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and VPs – distinct personas with distinct preferences. The CEO isn't scrolling through Instagram reels, nor is the 65-year-old tuning into TikTok videos. Each audience has a universe of its own. To capture their attention, you must decipher their language. The quick and the concise for one, the comprehensive and detailed for another. Amid this complexity, the art lies in crafting a tailored strategy that resonates across the board. Whether it's a young executive swiping through LinkedIn or an industry veteran immersing in a case study, the task is to deliver precisely what they're seeking. And here's the crux – the world of marketing thrives on this challenge. Every industry and every geographic segment presents a puzzle to solve, a unique code to crack. This dynamic, this puzzle, is what injects the pulse of excitement into the field. In a world where a single message must dance across varied minds, the melody of communication finds its rhythm in this very diversity.

6.  How much do you invest in content creation and how calculate the  ROI?

The tools, and licenses, like Canva and Photoshop, occupy 40% of the investment. Now, the next 40% is earmarked for distribution.  Zoho for automation, Google and LinkedIn take their share So, 20% is what's left, dedicated to retargeting the audience. 

Now let's come to the ROI or ROAS, Content is the linchpin, and measuring its ROI involves a balancing act. When it comes to content creation, there's a considerable investment, both in terms of tools and human resources. However, measuring its ROI is intricately tied to the leads it generates. Essentially, it's a straightforward equation – if you spend X, you aim to reap X+1. This equation is particularly relevant when focusing on lead generation. As for the distinction between brand building and lead generation, it's worth noting that brand building isn't necessarily ROI-driven, as it's more about creating brand awareness and recognition. On the other hand, lead generation demands a tangible return on investment. What's fascinating is how the content's impact is cumulative. The better the content, the more leads it draws, resulting in a self-reinforcing loop. Brands with exceptional content indeed tend to achieve better ROI on their lead generation efforts.

Ultimately, content's resonance is what sticks in people's minds. Memorable taglines like "Taste of India" or "Diamonds are a girl's best friend" demonstrate the enduring power of content. It's the bridge that connects brands with their audience, leaving an indelible mark. The effectiveness of content lies in its ability to articulate, create, and captivate – qualities that inevitably lead to revenue growth.

7. What would be your advice for budding marketers?

In the ever-evolving realm of marketing, it's imperative to resist the temptation of hopping from one place to another. An invaluable insight here is to anchor yourself, absorb knowledge, and delve profoundly before embarking on your next move. The true magic often reveals itself when you're fully engrossed and consistently determined. Keep in mind that marketing is no leisurely stroll. While many aspire to thrive, only a select few attain genuine greatness. To position yourself among that elite group, unwavering dedication is an absolute must. The allure of frequent changes has the potential to divert you from the path to success. Cling to your seat and your innovative ideas; brilliance can emerge from the most unexpected sources. Remain present, allow your content to naturally evolve, and grasp its boundless potential. This journey necessitates your resolute commitment and unwavering presence. In the realm of marketing, reliability and patience serve as your steadfast companions on the journey to achieving greatness.

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