Phani Deepak Akella

Head Of Marketing At Indusface

Driving the Future of Marketing with AI and Personalized Content With Phani Deepak Akella

In the fast-paced world of marketing, innovation, and adaptation are paramount to success. As we step into the future, two game-changing elements are poised to redefine the landscape of marketing: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Personalized Content.

The convergence of these powerful forces promises to revolutionize how brands engage with their audiences, drive customer experiences, and deliver remarkable results.

In this blog, we delve into the exciting realm of AI-driven marketing and the art of crafting personalized content. Additionally, we will unravel the significance of content localization, tapping into the heart of diverse audiences with vernacular messaging.

Join us in this insightful conversation, where Phani Deepak Akella, Head Of Marketing At Indusface talks to Madhusha Bhati, Senior Account Executive at Pepper Content about how AI and personalized content are driving the future of marketing to new heights.

Here are some excerpts.

1. Can you tell us about your journey from an engineer to a marketing leader? What inspired you to make this change?

My journey from an engineer to a marketing leader has been a transformative and fulfilling one. I started my career during the recession as an engineer at Infosys, grateful to have a job during challenging times. It was during this period that I had the opportunity to work on a project for Warner Music Group, where I was responsible for creating promotional materials and websites for well-known artists like Bruno Mars. This experience opened my eyes to the world of marketing, igniting a passion for the creative and strategic aspects of the field.

Realizing the immense potential of marketing, I decided to make a career shift. I pursued an MBA to equip myself with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this domain. Following my MBA, I joined smaller startups where I had the chance to experiment with various marketing strategies. Working on social media promotions and sweepstakes campaigns for brands like Jeep and Qatar Airways provided me with invaluable hands-on experience.

My career progressed then progressed to High Radius, a B2B SaaS startup. As one of the founding members of the marketing team, I wore multiple hats and immersed myself in every aspect of marketing, including writing email scripts and creating ad copies. Leading the community initiative was immensely fulfilling as our community grew to over 22,000 members.

Currently, at IndusFizz, I lead marketing efforts in a startup environment focused on Product-Led Growth (PLG). Understanding user behavior and leveraging data to optimize strategies has deepened my understanding of the role of data and AI in modern marketing.

2. How has the marketing approach changed between larger companies like Infosys and smaller startups like High Radius?

The marketing approach between larger companies like Infosys and smaller startups like High Radius varies considerably. In larger companies, such as Infosys, the emphasis is on Account-Based Marketing (ABM), targeting a select subset of accounts, typically Fortune 1000 or Fortune 2000 companies.

The goal is to penetrate and engage these key accounts through personalized marketing strategies tailored to their specific needs. Budgets are allocated to support account managers, presale support, and custom activities, such as events and roundtables, aimed at nurturing relationships with these high-value customers. ABM has long been a prominent strategy in such companies, enabling them to focus on building long-term partnerships with their target accounts.

On the other hand, smaller startups like High Radius adopt a different approach, with a primary focus on logo acquisition. In the early stages of a startup's journey, the priority is to gain traction and establish a strong customer base. Startups often allocate budgets to core product marketing, digital marketing, and content marketing. They leverage digital channels, social media, and content creation to reach a broader audience and generate leads.

Unlike larger companies, startups may not have the resources for elaborate custom activities and events, so they concentrate on maximizing their online presence and engaging with potential customers through digital platforms.

3. How has AI, specifically ChatGPT, impacted your marketing strategies?

AI, particularly ChatGPT, has had a profound impact on our marketing strategies, especially in content creation. By leveraging ChatGPT, we have revolutionized the way we plan and generate content clusters. The tool allows us to extract valuable insights from data obtained through Google Search Console, streamlining our content planning process and ensuring that we deliver highly relevant and personalized content to our audience.

This level of personalization has significantly improved our results, as we can now better understand our audience's needs and preferences, enabling us to engage them more effectively and drive better outcomes in our marketing efforts. ChatGPT has become an invaluable asset in our marketing toolkit, empowering us to create compelling content that resonates with our target audience and drives success in our campaigns.

4. Do you think AI technology like ChatGPT will replace writers?

The question of whether AI technology like ChatGPT will replace writers is a complex one. While AI has undoubtedly revolutionized content creation and can be a valuable tool in the hands of writers, it cannot fully replace the unique abilities and qualities that human writers possess.

AI can assist in generating content, identifying trends, and streamlining processes, but it lacks the depth of human creativity, domain expertise, and the personal touch that writers bring to their work.

5. How has the localization of content in different languages impacted your marketing strategies?

Localization of content in different languages has had a significant impact on our marketing strategies. While my primary focus has been on English content, I fully comprehend the importance of catering to diverse linguistic audiences. The ability to reach out to the masses in their preferred language can make a substantial difference in engagement and audience connection.

Knowing your audience and writing in their language is the single biggest challenge most marketers face.

Understanding regional preferences and cultural nuances is crucial for engaging diverse audiences. Localization enables us to reach a broader audience, increase brand visibility, and improve communication with customers. However, effective localization goes beyond translation; it involves adapting content to suit the cultural context and respecting local sensitivities.

By embracing localization, we can establish a deeper connection with our target market and drive business growth.

6. What according to you makes for a great marketing mix? What is your always go-to marketing strategy?

For a great marketing mix, I always emphasize two key aspects: understanding the domain we are marketing and thinking like our target audience. These elements are fundamental in creating effective marketing strategies that truly resonate with our customers.

The first step to crafting a successful marketing mix is to thoroughly understand the domain we are operating in, including the product or service we are promoting and the market landscape. By gaining deep insights into our domain, we can identify the unique selling points, key value propositions, and competitive advantages that set us apart from the competition.

One of the best practices in marketing is to focus on perceived barriers and understand what makes your buyer successful.

This understanding helps us develop marketing messages that are clear, compelling, and relevant to our target audience.

For example, I've run. Ad campaigns on LinkedIn that where the average CTRs are 0. 4%, we've reached CTRs of three percent. That is the power of knowing your audience. And I'm not talking about small data that we ran for one week or two weeks or something like that. We ran these things for months.

The second aspect is thinking like our target audience. Empathy for our users is a driving force behind our marketing strategies. We need to understand their pain points, challenges, and motivations to create content that addresses their needs and interests. By wearing the heart of our users, we can tailor our messaging and communication to connect with them on a personal level, fostering trust and loyalty.

7. What is the one thing that you keep telling your team about?

To my team, I consistently stress the importance of putting ourselves in the shoes of our customers. I encourage them to think beyond the features and benefits of our product or service and instead focus on how it solves real problems and adds value to our customer's lives.

This approach helps us craft content and marketing campaigns that are customer-centric and truly impactful.

8. What advice do you have for young marketers trying to excel in their careers?

To young marketers looking to excel in their careers, my advice is to prioritize understanding the domain they are marketing. This involves gaining in-depth knowledge about the product or service they are promoting and the broader marketing landscape in which they operate.

While tools and platforms may change over time, owning the domain and developing effective marketing strategies will always be valuable skills. By becoming an expert in their field, young marketers can provide unique insights and add significant value to their teams and organizations.

Furthermore, I encourage young marketers to embrace empathy for their audience. Understanding the pain points, challenges, and motivations of their target customers is essential for creating content that truly resonates. By putting themselves in the shoes of their audience, they can craft messaging and campaigns that address real needs and interests, fostering stronger connections with their customers. Thinking like their audience allows young marketers to tailor their marketing efforts effectively and build trust and loyalty among their target market.

In combination with a deep understanding of the domain, empathy for the audience will set young marketers apart and contribute to their success in the ever-evolving world of marketing.

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