The Future of Marketing Teams: Balancing In-House and Outsourcing
In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, the role of marketing has taken on a new level of complexity. As brands strive to connect with audiences across diverse platforms and navigate the ever-expanding digital frontier, the question arises: What is the future of marketing teams? Is it more efficient to keep all marketing efforts in-house, or does outsourcing offer a strategic advantage?
Join Pawan Rochwani, Ex - Pepper Content, and Prasun Aachharyya, Head of Group Corporate Marketing and Digital Business at Writer Corporation as they discuss the future of marketing teams.
In this insightful conversation, they unravel the secrets behind exceptional content, dissect the choices between in-house teams and outsourcing, peek into the future of marketing teams, and peer into the horizon of technology's influence on content creation and distribution.
Here are some excerpts.
1. Tell us about your journey so far.
My career journey has been quite dynamic and diverse. It all began with a focus on consumer research and advertising, which eventually led me to explore the realm of financial services. I started with Tata AIG Life Insurance and then took part in the launch of Verti General Insurance in India.
This experience was particularly intriguing as it allowed me to delve into both life and general insurance schemes, gaining valuable insights along the way. Later, I transitioned to Distil and General Insurance Bandfogo, where the aim was to establish a more direct approach to insurance products, bypassing intermediaries and emphasizing casualty insurance offerings.
As my career progressed, I decided to shift my focus towards marketing. This led me to my current role at Light Up Operation, where I oversee marketing activities across various sectors such as international mobility, data management, IT, cash management, digital payments, and lifestyle.
The company follows a corporate service model, with the marketing team serving the diverse marketing needs of these business units across different regions like India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
Each step in my journey has provided me with valuable learning experiences, building a solid foundation for my professional growth. Every new role has brought unique challenges and opportunities, contributing to a well-rounded skill set and a holistic perspective on the ever-evolving world of marketing and business.
2. Could you share your insights on the significance of content marketing in the present day?
The significance of content marketing today cannot be overstated. Throughout my career, I've witnessed a significant transformation in the way content plays a crucial role in marketing strategies. Over the past two decades, we've moved from conventional media planning to a digital-first approach, reshaping how we communicate products and services to our target audience.
While the formats of content have evolved, the fundamental essence remains unchanged: effective communication with our consumers and prospects. In essence, content has always been at the core of marketing efforts, acting as a bridge to convey the value of our offerings.
The transition from traditional media to the digital landscape has been a game-changer, opening up new horizons and avenues for content distribution. It's not just about what we say but also how we say it and where we say it in today's dynamic media landscape.
Now, speaking about the importance of brand names and nomenclature, it's fascinating to see how the words we choose to represent our products and services matter significantly. As one of my colleagues pointed out, it's akin to naming a baby – it carries weight and shapes perceptions. The alignment of brand architecture with the final product or service name holds undeniable advantages in convincing both end consumers and prospects. This process is integral to effective brand management and underscores the importance of careful consideration in the realm of branding and marketing strategies.
3. What challenges do marketers face today?
When it comes to the challenges marketers are grappling with today, I'd like to dissect this into two key areas. First, there's the challenge of content creation itself.
Generating fresh, original content consistently is no small feat. It's about conceptualization, bringing ideas to life, and ensuring that the content remains authentic and engaging.
This is especially true in an era where content saturation is a concern.
Standing out requires not just good content, but exceptional content that resonates with your audience.
The second challenge lies in the dissemination of content. Even if you've crafted remarkable content, it won't yield results if it's hidden away on a virtual shelf. Effective distribution is crucial. It's akin to having a fantastic product tucked away in a corner of a store – no one will know about it unless it's showcased prominently. This involves understanding where your audience is and how to reach them. In today's digital world, the competition for attention is fierce, making content dissemination a strategic challenge. Both content creation and distribution pose unique hurdles for content marketers in today's dynamic landscape.
4. What's your perspective on in-house teams versus outsourcing content creation? How do you envision the future of marketing teams?
When it comes to the debate between in-house content teams and outsourcing content creation, it's essential to consider the specific sector and brand context. In the BFSI sector, for instance, the choice varies. Having an in-house content team can be advantageous because they intimately understand the sector, its products, and services. This often translates to higher-quality content. However, it's not without its challenges, particularly if you're dealing with multiple sectors or a highly diversified service model. Maintaining an in-house team that can effectively cater to all content needs can be demanding, both in terms of resources and expertise.
On the flip side, there's the option of outsourcing content creation. From my experience, I've found that outsourcing can bring a breadth of benefits. It opens the door to a wider variety of content and allows for more experimentation. Moreover, it's often a dependable solution when dealing with multiple sectors or complex content requirements. That said, it's crucial to choose outsourcing partners wisely, ensuring they align with your brand's vision and values.
As for the future of marketing teams, I believe there will be a continued blend of in-house and outsourced talent, with a growing emphasis on flexibility and adaptability to navigate the ever-evolving marketing landscape.
5. How do you see technology shaping content creation and distribution in the coming years?
In terms of technology's role in shaping content creation and distribution, I see it evolving along distinct layers within content. Currently, we observe a strong reliance on AI-based tools and schema-based searches, predominantly in attribute-driven content creation. However, there's less experimentation in benefit-based and value-based content creation.
Looking ahead, I anticipate that as AI and technology continue to advance, they will transcend these layers, resulting in more intelligent content creation.
While I don't foresee groundbreaking technological breakthroughs on the horizon, there's undoubtedly room for further exploration in the realm of content tech, particularly in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of content strategies.
6. Can you share your criteria for categorizing content as exceptional?
When it comes to categorizing content as exceptional, it boils down to that extra spark, that "wow" factor that sets it apart. Good content can be engaging, but great content goes beyond – it's shared and talked about enthusiastically.
I'd also add another layer to this distinction – exceptional content is both informative and entertaining. It leaves a lasting impression, a high memorability quotient, and often falls into the realm of what I'd call "super great" content. It's the kind of content that sticks in your mind and keeps you coming back for more.
7. How would you define an ideal content marketing stack, and what components would it comprise?
When I think about crafting an ideal content marketing stack, it's crucial to break down the process into its core stages: approach, development, learning, and integration. In doing so, I identify three key elements that need careful consideration to enable seamless content creation and sharing. Firstly, there's the aspect of understanding the audience's intent. What drives their search, and is my content effectively addressing those intentions? This calls for the right tools, those that can provide insights into user behavior and preferences.
Secondly, there's the content aggregation piece. In the current landscape where consistent content creation is imperative, it's essential to tap into existing resources. Accessing and repurposing written content and other assets can significantly enhance content strategies. Lastly, the dissemination component is vital. How efficiently can we spread this content so that it reaches the target audience precisely when they're making decisions? An ideal content marketing stack should encompass tools and platforms that empower marketing teams to excel in these three areas, ultimately yielding impressive results.
8. How would you describe the role of content at different stages of the customer journey, from awareness to loyalty?
Throughout the customer journey, content plays a pivotal role at every stage, from creating awareness to fostering loyalty. We often refer to this journey as the "apple skin," comprising four key phases: awareness, acceptance, preference, and loyalty. In the initial phase, content is essential to make your product or service known to the world, raising awareness about its existence. As you progress and establish a presence, the content shifts to drive acceptance, demonstrating why your offering is valuable and should be considered.
Moving further down the journey, content helps shape preferences. It's here that the real competition happens, as customers weigh their options. Finally, even in the loyalty phase, content remains vital. It ensures that customers keep returning, maintaining a strong bond with your brand or service. So, whether it's about building awareness at the top of the funnel, creating preference, or fostering loyalty, content is a versatile tool that significantly influences every aspect of modern marketing.
9. Could you highlight some brands that you believe are excelling in content marketing and provide insights into their strategies?
When it comes to contemporary brands excelling in content marketing, I'm particularly impressed by Prism. They've been doing a commendable job in recent times, especially in terms of repositioning and delivering exceptional content. Siemens also caught my attention a couple of years ago with their initial content pieces, which were outstanding. Similarly, Accenture made a mark with their content strategy a few years back, and it's worth delving into their content to understand their intent and objectives.
I'm always on the lookout for content from brands that have undergone significant changes in their positioning, architecture, or overall marketing strategy, as this often results in richer and more impactful content experiences.
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