Prasun Kumar on the evolution of content marketing
The evolution of content marketing showcases its adaptability and responsiveness to changing consumer preferences and technological advancements. From traditional media to digital platforms, from promotional messages to customer-centric storytelling, content marketing has emerged as a powerful strategy for brands to connect with their target audience and build meaningful relationships in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
In this insightful conversation, Prasun Kumar, Chief Marketing Officer at Justdial India talks about the evolution of content marketing. Let's drive in!
1. Give us some insight into your experience and how it went. How your journey was?
The journey has, to put it mildly, been extremely exciting. In my nearly two decades of working in various marketing-related activities, three distinct industries—advertising, telecom, and the internet—are where I experimented, learned the ropes, and all the techniques, and, you know, developed something.
The last 7-8 years have been entirely spent online, and prices are not actually that expensive. If you're wondering why, it's probably because this has been a very emerging field that has given marketers like myself lots of opportunities to experiment with different marketing variables and elements and produce valuable products for customers.
Overall, a really interesting adventure As you are aware, I have launched brands over the past 20 years. I've changed my mind on a few, you know, penny brands. I have also worked on some really powerful brands. I've been a part of the startup community. I have worked at very, very large multinational corporations. Consequently, we evaluated every professional meal we could provide you.
It has been quite enlightening. One thing that a significant amount of education and marketing teaches you is to always have your feet firmly planted. CMOS or marketers may have the impression of soaring high. But rest assured, they do it while keeping their feet firmly planted on the ground. And marketing is something that can, you know, go as near to the moment of truth as is humanly feasible, correct?
And engaging with customers, thinking about customers constantly, thinking about issues and difficulties to solve—all of this keeps you on your toes while at the same time making your job fascinating. In my professional life, there has never been a day when there wasn't a problem to handle or anything new to do. Consequently, in that sense, a very meaningful and gratifying profession.
2. The industries and stages of the firms you have worked at have therefore varied. What has become your sweet spot? Where do you, as a marketer, thrive?
You are quite skilled at employing creativity to solve difficulties. You also are familiar with all other methods. Others, who are data experts and particularly skilled at analytics, can conclude a variety of data sets and come up with solutions to issues. I frequently found myself in the center of things.
I was skilled at the data analytics and analytical element of it because of my background, but I also always had a creative side to me. The trip has consequently been even more rewarding as a result of the several projects I've had in the past since I've always been there, you know, doing both kinds of things in a manner.
It demanded strong analytical skills and the use of those skills to generate solutions, including my present work. However, I have also taken on tasks that required me to use my creative thinking faculties and produce, you know, some very idea-based campaigns to, you know, bring about change. So certainly, there have been many encounters after the disaster.
3. When did you first understand what content marketing was? And how do you think content marketing has changed over the past 10 to 15 years?
The word "content marketing" has been a very good thing, if you ask me. However, it has always been there subconsciously. You know, when I first started in advertising, for instance, all we were doing was creating content for the businesses we were supporting at the time.
Even if the structure and the final product could have been slightly different, the substance was what mattered in the end, right? So, since the very beginning of my work, content has been a crucial element of who I am. But yeah, to address your question precisely, I would say the previous ten to fourteen years, particularly around 2013, when a lot of you know dot com growth and Internet explosion started happening.
We anticipated a lot of proposals that would be based online or on the Internet. You may use a platform to schedule medical appointments, food deliveries, or any other type of business, depending on what industry you're looking at. At that point, the realization and the phrase "content marketing" both emerged.
“That content has the potential to both differentiate and spur development. I believe that over the last seven to eight years, businesses have advanced to the point where I don't believe any company can survive without having a well-thought-out content strategy.”
4. Nowadays, marketing is more about telling a story. It can lead to advertising or vice versa. As we all know, advertising is more aggressive marketing-based selling. And now?
First off, I believe that marketing has always involved narrative. And, as you correctly noted, one manifestation of that was advertising. One particular type of method, one method of telling the tale.
But bringing the fundamental idea behind a product to customers has always been the goal of marketing, right? Thus, storytellers have always been required in marketing. So I don't suppose that storytelling ever went out of style, am I right? It has altered its avatars over time. You know, back in the 1980s and 1990s, advertising served as the main vehicle for communicating your message.
Because it was also a time when TVs and other forms of media were becoming more prevalent, there was a high level of media consumption during this period, and there was also a novelty component involved. As a result, many businesses were able to leverage these new platforms to convey their stories and establish themselves as household names. One example is the widespread use of advertising as a key strategy for corporate expansion in India.
I'll use the example of a specified format or a certain predefined way. Today, you must convey tales to a variety of customer cohorts in a variety of media and methods. No single kind of storytelling can satisfy all possible customer cohorts.
Therefore, a brand must do it almost entirely nowadays, whether it be through social media storytelling or above-the-line advertising or PR campaigns or through blogs, or any other venue that you look at. You can't have just one format or one way to tell a narrative in any of those various domains, including social media itself if you think about it.
5. How can you raise the content and incorporate that into communication?
OK, let's start where your company concept has been approved. Marketing strategy is derived from company strategy, and planning is where it all begins. How will you implement that plan? Say, for instance, that we now have a business strategy for Justice. My thoughts are directed or somewhat guided by the company plan.
It's crucial to give things a focus since, as a marketer, I can think of a hundred different things. By doing so, you can get results. So I use my business strategy to choose my emphasis. What should I pay attention to? When I have made my discovery is when I begin to consider a fine. What must be done if that is to be supplied?
The entire strategic process begins there, continues as you think it through, and culminates in a campaign or other type of marketing plan for just dial. To be more specific, we are the largest hyperlocal search platform in the nation, and each of the more than 100 categories we deal with has its subtleties.
6. What is one thing you would advise them to avoid doing in the beginning? So that they may achieve success, you know?
First of all, there are no quick cuts in marketing. As a rookie marketer, you could be tempted to locate and employ several shortcuts, but remember that no shortcut can ever produce a long-term benefit.
Second, understand that failure is necessary. Not everything you attempt will be successful. Therefore, you must learn to accept failure gracefully, improve as a result, and strive to avoid repeating it. And you are aware of greater and larger things that you can do. Third, a lot of labor goes into the marketing industry's glitz.
So I notice a lot of young people who are turned off by advertising campaigns and want to work in brand marketing. They think about the archives and the world's courtiers and say things like, "I need to do another Marlborough," "I need to do another," and so on. You must realize that outstanding work seldom occurs by accident. Always go extremely well.
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