VP Global Performance Marketing at Locus
Navigating Content Channels And Go-to-Market Success With Shashwat Ghosh
Content channels play a crucial role in the success of a go-to-market strategy. They serve as the pathways through which a company's message reaches its target audience. Choosing the right content channels ensures that your message is delivered effectively, resonates with your audience, and drives desired actions.
In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, understanding the intricacies of content channels and go-to-market strategies is key to achieving success.
Join us on this as we discuss all this and more with Rishabh Shekhar, COO and Co-Founder of Pepper Content, and Shashwat Ghosh, a seasoned expert with a multifaceted career spanning sales, telecom, IT, and startups.
Through his experiences, we'll delve into the transformation of marketing over the past decade, gain insights into his innovative approach to redefining go-to-market strategies, and explore how companies can effectively navigate the plethora of content channels available today.
Get ready to uncover the strategies that drive engagement, growth, and meaningful connections in the modern marketing world.
Here are some excerpts.
1. Tell us about your journey so far.
I've embarked on a transformative journey through five distinct career pivots, each contributing to my multifaceted experiences. My professional odyssey kicked off as a salesperson, where I engaged in institutional sales and client servicing at Wunderman.
My trajectory then led me into the dynamic realm of telecom marketing, where I contributed my skills to Reliance Communication and Bharti Airtel. During this phase, I was entrusted with the monumental task of managing the rebranding efforts for two prominent entities.
Subsequently, I immersed myself in the IT domain, first focusing on IT hardware marketing at HCL, followed by an exploration of IT services and software. However, my journey took another turn when I ventured into the startup ecosystem, gaining insights from domains such as cybersecurity, fintech, and logistics tech.
Today, as an entrepreneur in the early stages of my venture, I'm dedicated to reinventing go-to-market strategies. Recognizing the evolving landscape, I'm passionate about realigning this critical aspect with the rapid advancements witnessed in content and technology.
My emphasis lies in assisting startup founders, particularly those within the sub $10 million ARR bracket, to navigate the challenges of modern business and revamp their approach through the EPIC model, encompassing ecosystem, product-led growth, community, and inbound/outbound strategies. This journey of mine, which began with sales, has evolved into a dynamic exploration of marketing paradigms and strategies.
2. Could you elaborate on your current focus on redefining go-to-market strategies?
My journey to redefining go-to-market strategies began with a pivotal moment back in April. It was during this time that the seeds of a new idea were planted. I couldn't help but notice that despite changing roles from Reliance to HCL, the essence of our strategies remained the same – hosting events, generating content, and investing in performance marketing. Yet, these activities were often isolated and lacked a clear connection to business impact. This realization prompted me to explore various avenues.
I embarked on a journey through different facets of marketing, each offering unique insights. Initially, I delved into product marketing within Seclor, attempting to uncover its role in the success of startups. Transitioning from there, I shifted my focus to demand generation and content strategies.
Finally, I delved into the realm of performance marketing. Through this journey, I recognized that true success lies in combining these diverse pillars into a unified go-to-market approach. This realization culminated in the development of the EPIC model, wherein ecosystem engagement, product-led growth, community building, and strategic inbound and outbound efforts converge to create a robust and holistic go-to-market strategy.
3. How have you seen marketing evolve over the last decade?
Over the past decade, I've had a front-row seat to the fascinating evolution of marketing strategies. My journey began in the realm of direct marketing, where the challenge was clear – measuring the effectiveness of advertising efforts, particularly in the realms of television and print media.
As David Ogilvie aptly put it, the struggle was determining which half of the advertising investment was yielding results.
However, the landscape started to shift as direct marketing emerged, offering a more tangible way to gauge impact. This was a significant step forward, as it provided the means to measure and assess marketing initiatives with greater accuracy.
Transitioning into larger corporations, I witnessed a shift towards event-led marketing. The emphasis moved from purely measuring impact to creating meaningful experiences for the audience. This marked a pivotal point in the marketing journey.
Fast-forward to today's startup ecosystem, where tools have taken center stage. The advent of innovative technologies has allowed marketers to offload repetitive tasks onto tools, enabling more strategic thinking. This shift not only streamlines processes but also empowers marketers to focus on higher-level strategies and creative endeavors.
This decade-long evolution has underscored the importance of adapting to the times, utilizing technology, and embracing new approaches to achieve marketing success.
4. Given the plethora of content channels, how do you advise companies on deciding which channels to focus on?
Guiding companies through the complex landscape of content channels requires a nuanced perspective, which I'd like to share in two key dimensions.
Embracing the EPIC model, where ecosystem, product-led growth, community, and inbound/outbound strategies converge, serves as a crucial framework for channel selection.
The ecosystem aspect involves engaging with industry authorities, and analysts, and leveraging events, tailoring content to address their specific needs. In the realm of community, platforms like Slack and Discord offer private spaces for interactive discussions, necessitating expert-driven content that answers pertinent questions.
On the other hand, for outbound strategies, delivering content with precise touchpoints becomes paramount for reaching a broader audience and establishing brand recognition.
Inbound channels, such as blogs and websites, must convey specialized insights and solutions tailored to specific concerns.
Meanwhile, the product-led growth aspect emphasizes content that showcases unique product differentiation and addresses emerging categories, transforming companies into thought leaders.
Moreover, the channels selected should align with the company's unique go-to-market strategy. For instance, content tailored to product newsletters can evangelize the distinctiveness of a novel product category, while fostering engagement within a community.
Therefore, the selection process is fundamentally rooted in comprehending the diverse nuances of each channel, their relevance within the GTM framework, and tailoring content to cater to specific audiences and objectives.
5. Scaling content production can be a challenge. Have you encountered any successful examples of companies effectively scaling their content machinery?
Scaling content while maintaining quality requires a careful balance between quantity and impact. SEO-driven content creation can be massified through tools. However, for thought leadership and emotional narratives, massification is difficult.
Striking a balance is crucial. Companies can consider automating content creation for certain aspects, but preserving unique narratives and deep insights is best achieved through a more controlled and quality-driven approach.
6. Do you have a preference for content formats, and do you see specific formats aligning with certain stages of the marketing funnel?
I favor short-form content, around 20 minutes or less, that conveys essential messages effectively. Different content formats serve different funnel stages. For instance, thought leadership pieces like this interview contribute to TOFU (top-of-funnel) engagement.
As the funnel progresses, formats shift to battle cards, ROI-driven content, and eventually product-specific narratives, aligning with MOFU (middle of the funnel) and BOFU (bottom of the funnel) stages.
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