Priyam Jha

Head of Marketing at Firework India

Content, Tech, and Strategy: The Marketing Evolution With Priyam Jha

In recent times, the interplay of content, technology, and strategy has undergone a profound transformation within the realm of marketing. Content creation is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach; it's about crafting personalized, hyper-relevant content that resonates deeply with audiences. Technology, particularly AI, has revolutionized how marketers analyze data, predict trends, and automate processes, giving rise to unprecedented insights and efficiency.

As for strategy, it has shifted from being a supportive function to the driving force behind revenue generation. Marketers now harness the power of data-backed insights to create agile strategies that navigate the evolving landscape, shaping brands and customer experiences like never before.

Join Madhusha Bhati, Ex-Senior Account Executive at Pepper Content, and Priyam Jha, Head Of Marketing At Firework India as they discuss all this and more.

Here are some excerpts.

1. Tell us about your journey so far.

My journey in the field of marketing has been quite an intriguing one, spanning about eight years so far. It began with an exciting opportunity as a management trainee at NPR Foods, an FMCG brand. Here, I delved into the world of sales, interacting with retailers and understanding the market dynamics. Despite a promising start, an unfortunate injury led me to transition into the world of software at Zepo, an early-stage startup. This experience introduced me to the role of a full-stack marketer, where I was engaged in multiple aspects of marketing and was part of a dynamic team wearing various hats.

From Zepo, I progressed to WebEngage, a well-established marketing automation company, where I got a firsthand experience of content marketing's true essence. Through blogs, case studies, and customer engagement, I immersed myself in the world of content creation and started to grasp its potential for brand building. As I evolved, I also took on the challenge of developing the brand marketing function for the company. This role exposed me to the idea that brand marketing, even in the B2B space, is crucial to creating a strong identity that resonates with customers on a personal level.

The journey continued to my current role at Firework, a video commerce platform. The concept of democratizing video content for digital consumer businesses intrigued me. Joining Firework, I was tasked with scaling the global content marketing function from scratch. Now, I lead marketing for Firework India, taking on the challenge of driving the brand's presence and impact in a novel category. It's been an exciting and evolving journey, full of learning experiences that have shaped my perspective and approach to the marketing landscape.

2. What are the key elements in this process, especially in the B2B space?

When it comes to the B2B space, I believe that the foundation lies in having a crystal-clear understanding of the brand's positioning and its value proposition. This might seem more aligned with B2C practices, but it's equally crucial for software companies to pinpoint the key problems they solve for their customers. By extracting insights from significant use cases and challenges, we can establish a strong and relatable positioning that resonates with the target audience.

Clarity on what the brand stands for is essential for building relevance and connection.

In this process, it's vital to stay focused and not try to be everywhere at once. Brands must define a clear path and a distinct identity. This is what truly defines a brand's essence and is the guiding light for everything that follows. Ultimately, this clarity forms the core of effective brand building in the B2B space, facilitating better communication and resonance with the audience.

3. The marketing landscape is rapidly evolving. How do you see marketing's role change?

The evolution of marketing is happening at an astonishing pace. It's incredible to see the creative ways marketers are tackling challenges and discovering new use cases. What's becoming increasingly evident is the transformation of traditional marketing roles, which are now converging and focusing more on driving revenue. In the B2B space, this shift is particularly pronounced.

Marketing teams are taking on greater responsibility for identifying and generating business opportunities for brands.

One of the most significant changes is that marketing is no longer seen solely as a cost center to be controlled in terms of budget and output. Instead, marketing is stepping into a leadership role, driving strategy at the forefront of business decisions.

The focus has shifted towards identifying market avenues, seizing substantial market shares, and strategically choosing the channels that will propel business growth.

This evolution has transitioned marketing from a sales-oriented function to a vital player in steering the company's direction and revenue generation, truly making it a pivotal force in shaping strategy.

4. How do you balance content marketing and performance marketing?

Finding the right balance between content marketing and performance marketing is a strategic challenge that I tackle by simplifying the process. For me, it's about understanding the symbiotic relationship between these two approaches.

Effective performance marketing relies heavily on the quality of content. The advertisements you create are ultimately influenced by the content you've built.

In today's landscape, brands are leveraging insights to craft highly personalized campaigns. Content plays a vital role in influencing the success of performance marketing efforts.

Determining the expected outcome of this partnership can sometimes feel like a cliffhanger. It requires a keen eye for identifying what's working and what's not. There's a clear distinction between successful campaigns and those that miss the mark. Content and performance marketing, when done right, should align with your brand's positioning and connect with your audience's pain points. This connection creates a winning formula that drives great performance campaigns.

Simplification is key, but it's important to separate the distinct agendas of content marketing and brand building. High-quality content helps build a strong content brand with a unique identity and valuable opinions. This strategy, over time, guarantees awareness and recognition. To generate demand across the funnel, content marketing must be consistent and targeted at multiple levels. This process takes time and effort, as building a community and fostering connections requires continuous engagement and persistence.

5. With the advent of generative AI, how do you envision the future of content marketing?

The impact of AI on marketing is undeniable and it's a topic that's discussed extensively in the industry. AI has already brought significant changes to marketing practices and its influence will only grow. As marketers, we must adapt to effectively use these technologies and stay ahead of the curve. While there are plenty of threads and discussions about AI's role in marketing on platforms like LinkedIn, it's clear that AI is here to stay and will continue to shape the landscape.

In my view, AI will transform the role of marketers into curators and trainers of AI systems.

Many routine tasks that used to demand human intervention are now automated through AI. Marketers will focus on training AI systems to address more complex challenges.

This shift makes having a strong brand identity even more essential, particularly in the realm of generative content. As AI-generated content becomes more prevalent, the authenticity and human touch in the content will become differentiators. Brands that can maintain a unique voice and offer genuine human perspectives will stand out in an environment flooded with AI content.

6. What according to you is a great piece of content?

Creating great content is a multifaceted process that varies based on factors like industry and audience. For me, the foundation of great content lies in understanding the target audience thoroughly. Knowing your customer, their challenges, preferences, and aspirations is key. This understanding becomes the guiding force behind the content strategy.

Content that resonates emotionally and prompts thought is a hallmark of excellence.

I aim for content that expands on existing ideas in the reader's mind, fostering a sense of self-discovery and realization. The goal is to present concepts that align with their thoughts and push them slightly forward, rather than leading them down a convoluted path.

In today's landscape, where attention spans are shorter, content needs to be engaging and easily digestible. Striking a balance between entertainment and informative value is crucial. This holds true for both B2B and B2C contexts. Short and impactful content, possibly in video format, tends to capture attention effectively. Ultimately, content that triggers self-reflection and connects with the audience's needs and interests is what I consider to be great content.

7. What advice do you have for budding marketers just starting out?

When it comes to budding marketers just starting out, I would advise them to find joy in the process. The journey of breaking down complex problems, extracting insights from data, and running impactful campaigns is where real learning happens. Taking a step back and appreciating the individual steps along the way can provide valuable insights for future endeavors.

Furthermore, with the increasing influence of AI and technology in marketing, upskilling is crucial. Embracing and learning to work with AI solutions will give marketers a competitive edge. In a rapidly changing landscape, being adaptable and knowledgeable about new tools and technologies is a definite advantage.

Lastly, a strong focus on revenue-oriented strategies and frugality is essential. Learning how to achieve more with limited resources and having a clear understanding of how marketing efforts impact business outcomes can set budding marketers apart.

In an era where efficiency and resourcefulness are highly valued, taking ownership of company revenue and being able to optimize results will be key to success.

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