Rashi Goel

Founder and CEO at Performonks

Bridging the Gap: Traditional Marketing Principles in the Digital Age With Rashi Goel

In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, where trends come and go at the speed of a click and consumer behaviors shift almost daily, one might wonder if the age-old principles of traditional marketing still hold any relevance. After all, we live in a world where social media influencers can become overnight sensations, and viral content can turn small startups into industry giants in a matter of months. In such a fast-paced digital realm, is there room for the tried-and-true wisdom of traditional marketing?

The answer, as it turns out, is a resounding yes. While the tools and platforms have undergone a profound transformation in the digital age, the core principles that have guided successful marketing for decades continue to play a crucial role. These timeless principles form the bedrock upon which effective digital marketing strategies are built.

Join Prateek Kalra from Pepper Content, and Rashi Goel, Founder And CEO At Performonks as they discuss all this and more.

This insightful conversation explores the challenges faced by content marketers today, the transformative power of AI in the industry, and Rashi's vision of the ideal content creation stack.

Here are some excerpts:

1. Can you tell us about your remarkable journey in marketing and what inspired you to start your own company?

I truly believe I've been incredibly fortunate in my career journey. It all began in sales at L'Oreal, and I've steadily climbed the ladder since then. I've gained invaluable experiences from each of these organizations.

At L'Oreal, I learned the art of building premium brands and creating consumer products with a technology edge. Unilever, in my view, is the epitome of marketing education. The principles I imbibed there still guide me today, and it's fascinating to see that many companies continue to apply Unilever's timeless wisdom from the 2000s.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi, on the other hand, provided me with a deep understanding of the business side of things. Nestle taught me the intricacies of running a successful business operation. Lastly, Amazon is like a vast country where the scale is mind-boggling. There, I learned that in such an expansive environment, you can feel quite small, and achieving a meaningful impact requires being at the top 1 percent of IQ levels.

After nearly a quarter-century in the corporate world, I decided to embark on my entrepreneurial journey. I noticed that while marketing was evolving rapidly, many marketers were not keeping pace. This realization ignited a strong passion within me. I believe I could contribute significantly to the marketing community by bridging the gap between traditional marketing principles and the digital age.

My journey as an entrepreneur began about three years ago, and during this time, I've embraced various digital tools. I've taken on the challenge of building my website, creating newsletters on platforms like MailChimp and Substack, and even using AI tools like Chat GPT to enhance my content creation. You could say I've evolved into a quasi-creator and marketer, and I must say, I'm thoroughly enjoying every moment of this journey.

2. What are some significant challenges faced by content marketers today?

The most significant challenge for content marketers today, and I believe this applies broadly, but especially in the FMCG sector where I've spent a substantial part of my career, is multi-faceted. Firstly, there's a fundamental hurdle in making traditional marketers realize the need to create digital content. It's a mindset shift. I recall a recent conversation with one of my teams where I emphasized the importance of digital content creation.

In the digital landscape, people skip ads, so content that viewers willingly engage with is paramount.

However, some traditional marketers still perceive content creation as something outside their domain, believing they are not publishers. This mindset needs to evolve.

Another significant barrier is the sheer volume of content required in the digital era. We're talking about creating content in various formats, from short six-second videos to 15-second clips, often in multiple languages, and keeping it consistently refreshed. This volume can be overwhelming for marketers who initially thought their role was solely about growing the business, not content creation.

The third challenge is the content itself. Many traditional marketers tend to focus on product-centric content, which often translates into dull, unengaging material.

["Digital content demands a different approach, one that's audience-centric, story-driven, and rooted in cultural insights."]

Unfortunately, there's a lack of clear guidance on creating effective digital content. Without proper guidance, marketers resort to uninspiring, ineffective content that doesn't resonate with their audience.

Lastly, there's the measurement conundrum. Vanity metrics, such as views and likes, are often prioritized without a clear understanding of how these metrics translate into meaningful middle-funnel engagement or contribute to business growth. There's a pressing need for better-defined measurement systems that track and demonstrate how content moves consumers through the marketing funnel. These challenges collectively hinder the success of content marketing efforts today.

3. How do you see AI shaping the world of content marketing?

I've been pondering the role of AI in content marketing quite a bit lately, and while I won't claim to be an expert, I can certainly share what I've gleaned from my own experiences. In my view, AI serves as an invaluable assistant and ideator; in many respects, it surpasses human capabilities.

It excels as a research companion, a proficient creator of initial drafts, and a guide for changing my writing style. With AI, I can instruct it to rewrite an article in a specific voice, but the final touch remains mine, as I refine and tailor it to my preferences. There's an ongoing debate about whether blue-collar or white-collar jobs will be affected first, but at present, AI undeniably aids content marketers and creators by alleviating the daunting challenge of facing a blank page.

4. What is the definition of ideal content from your lens?

Defining ideal content, from my perspective, involves several key considerations. Firstly, it should align with the brand's identity. For example, when I worked with Nestle on their corporate brand, our focus was on providing nutrition guidance to mothers. So, there needs to be a clear editorial filter that ensures the content is in line with the brand's messaging and values.

Secondly, the content must adapt to the ever-changing algorithms of different platforms. Whether it's video, images, text, or other formats, it should be tailored to the platform's requirements to maximize engagement.

["Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, ideal content should genuinely benefit the consumer. In a country like India, where packaged goods have relatively low penetration, educational content becomes crucial."]

However, this doesn't mean it has to be dull; it can take the form of "edutainment." On the other hand, if the brand is in a more playful, youthful category, like Vogue or KitKat, the content should aim to entertain and inspire, possibly involving celebrities or influencers. Ultimately, ideal content should always serve the consumer's needs while adhering to these three guiding principles.

5. What is that ideal stack that you feel you would want to build for yourself one day?

When it comes to building an ideal stack for myself as a content creator, there are a few key aspects I'd love to address. First and foremost, the challenge of interconnectivity among different software tools is quite prominent. I struggle with research and organizing my findings. I find myself using a mix of tools like Notion, and Evernote, and even jotting down ideas on paper. It can become a bit scattered. What I need is a solution that allows me to seamlessly capture and catalog my reading materials and ideas, with the added convenience of having them readily available when I'm creating content.

Secondly, as someone who primarily writes, having a secure repository for all my written work is vital. While Substack serves as one platform, I've taken the extra step of cross-posting my newsletters on my website, performunks.com. This precaution ensures that I don't have to worry about my content disappearing overnight, as platform dynamics can be unpredictable. Moreover, there's the challenge of effectively distributing content across platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. While AI tools exist to repurpose content for multiple channels, I haven't had the chance to explore them yet. Simplifying knowledge management and streamlining content distribution within a single stack is an area that requires significant improvement.

Now, shifting the focus to the brand's perspective, one of the major challenges I've encountered in my previous roles is the need to create high-quality content at scale and speed. For instance, when tasked with developing recipes, we weren't talking about just a few; it was about generating hundreds or even thousands for brands like Nestle. This meant we required a team capable of producing content from scratch, ensuring it met the brand's standards, and posting it promptly. Finding skilled individuals who could create content in multiple languages and do so cost-effectively was often the headline challenge.

Additionally, the industry's inherent unorganization posed another significant hurdle. When you assemble a team and train them according to your brand's guidelines, there's no guarantee they'll remain in place. People change agencies or simply move on. This constant turnover necessitates retraining new team members, incurring the human cost of training, which can be a taxing burden for marketers.

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