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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Tricia Morris is the Senior Director of Content Marketing and Social Media at MicroStrategy where she is responsible for strategy, thought leadership, influencer marketing and content creation for demand generation. Before joining MicroStrategy, she held senior product marketing positions at Microsoft where her content focus was on customer experience and digital transformation. Tricia holds a Bachelor of Science in News-Editorial Journalism from West Virginia University and has been recognized as an ICMI Top 50 Thought Leader and Top Customer Service Thought Leader. She is also in the list of 20 Customer Service Influencers You Must Follow and has a blog that is among the 20 Best Customer Experience Blogs You Must Follow.
Interviewed by Shwetha Mahesh
/ / How has the content marketing function evolved in your company over the past few years?
As with many enterprise B2B brands, our company has evolved its content marketing function and strategy over the last few years. We’ve shifted from primarily product and sales-heavy content to working to become a trusted resource for content that helps people do their jobs, get buy-in for forward-thinking initiatives, stay on top of trends and accelerate their digital transformation. Some key goals in our evolution over the past few years have been to
/ / What challenges do you face while planning your content marketing strategy?
As in most – and more traditional – B2B organizations, getting buy-in for new types of content marketing can be a challenge. You need to do your research and have the business justification ready on why you believe a new (and less traditional) investment will work.
Another challenge is maintaining alignment with the product and what the sales team needs. You want top-of-the-funnel content that is compelling and that brings a lot of readers, engagement, sharing and downloads, but at the end of the day, it needs to hit home for your brand and your product – and drive pipeline.
I’d say one more challenge that most B2B content marketing executives face is planning with limited resources and teams in mind. You really need to be thoughtful about the balance between what you want to do and what you can do (especially if you have a small budget, and/or small team or no team, and/or limited design assistance to produce a variety of assets). Having a strategy that involves doing a lot can sometimes produce less than doing a little. Impactful content demands time, thoughtfulness and focus.
/ / What are the things to be kept in mind before devising a content marketing strategy?
Seven key things to keep in mind before devising a content marketing strategy (and not necessarily in this order) are
/ / What tools and technologies do you use for content marketing?
Some of the common tools and technologies most B2B content marketers use are content management systems (CMS) solutions, social media and social sharing/listening/amplification tools, content curation and recommendation solutions, customer-journey mapping solutions, marketing insights solutions, and of course, analytics tools.
/ / What are the different metrics you track to evaluate the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy?
Common metrics that all content marketers should be paying attention to are
/ / Does content differ with respect to the channel of distribution?
Absolutely. Content differs with respect to the channel. Content marketers should always be thinking about tone, format, length of content, imagery, engagement and other factors depending on the channel they’re sharing on.
/ / Which channels have you found to be most effective in reaching out to your customers?
For B2B content marketing, and for our organization specifically (which focuses primarily on enterprise customers, data and analytics as its subject matter), we’ve found the most effective channels for content engagement to be LinkedIn and Twitter. Twitter, especially, can be extremely powerful if you can engage influencers and become an influencer yourself, in addition to focusing on the hashtags your audience uses to follow, read and share content.
/ / Do you think it is better to have an in-house content marketing team or to outsource such services (including ideation, content creation and marketing)?
My personal thought, depending on the quality and passion of your team, is that it’s better to have an in-house content marketing team because they understand the product, the people and the subject matter better, and can more easily collaborate across teams to develop ideas and compelling content. For design though, I’ve found that it’s been better to outsource this as agencies or contractors are usually better equipped and more likely to deliver in the timeframe you’ve requested, and they are usually better at taking a single piece of content and creating multiple formats (videos, infographics, interactive landing pages, decks, etc.) without too many inputs or most of the pre-work being done by the content creator.
/ / Despite having different stakeholders and different content repositories, how do you manage consistency (tone, language, brand voice, messaging, etc.) in your company’s content?
This is a challenge for every organization, especially larger ones. Throughout my career, I’ve relied on a partnership with corporate marketing to develop and provide very specific and descriptive branding guidelines to include logo use, colors, voice, tone, etc., and product marketing to develop and provide a very specific messaging and positioning framework. From there, you have to help educate internal and external stakeholders on the importance of maintaining this consistency – and help serve as an enforcer.
/ / How relevant is content marketing today, especially considering the abundance of content available to consumers?
Although content marketing is getting long in the tooth as a marketing tactic, it’s never been more relevant. The thing is, you can’t just create content for content’s sake now and call creation and publishing a success. Your audience doesn’t want to be pummeled with content. There’s too much of it already. And they don’t usually want a sales or advertising message, especially not right at first (which a lot of brands still put out there). It’s like going on a first date and giving the person a framed picture of yourself as soon as they answer the door. Nobody wants that.
But people are craving compelling, authentic, insightful and emotional content. They want content that helps them learn and do their jobs better. That’s what makes content marketing still relevant and cuts through the noise. My personal goal as a B2B content creator is never to put something behind a gate that I wouldn’t give my own contact information for.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive content marketing in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
Some trends that I’m particularly interested in are influencer marketing as part of content marketing, and the use of machine learning/AI to recommend and predict what content your audience wants, when they want it, where they want it and how they want it.
Modern marketing organizations (and even those that are behind) should gear up for this by truly thinking of content marketing as a major and potentially impactful/game-changing investment for their brand. Every brand is becoming a publisher. The difference in the future will be knowledge, quality, speed and an audience that wants to engage with you.