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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.
Craig Dekshenieks is the Director of Content and Marketing Operations at Aderant, a global software company. He has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, having worked at an advertising agency, in custom publishing and on the client side. His professional path has given him a unique insight into the evolution of marketing in the digital age and he believes effective communication is the key to so many things in life, both inside and outside of business. Craig holds a BA in Advertising from the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism.
Interviewed by Shwetha Mahesh
/ / How has the content marketing function evolved in your company over the past few years?
Our strategy has always been that we don’t necessarily need more content, we need better content. Therefore, it’s an ongoing process that is never complete. A positive feedback circle has been established between the marketing department and our subject matter experts to ensure we are focusing on the correct points with our content.
/ / What challenges do you face while planning your content marketing strategy?
The challenges usually involve getting people to change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. While it’s important to communicate the features and benefits, we want to get to what drives decision-making. So, we have to continuously remind people to ask themselves why, instead of what and how. As with many other things in our lives, both inside and outside the workplace, changing a mindset can be difficult.
/ / What are the things to be kept in mind before devising a content marketing strategy?
We all know that account-based marketing (ABM) is the buzzword in marketing. But we like to take it a step further. We approach it from an individual-based marketing (IBM) standpoint. Consider that within an account, you have influencers and decision-makers that span a wide range of titles and job functions. For example, if you’re communicating with an IT person, the content should probably be different than if you are communicating with a finance person.
/ / What tools and technologies do you use for content marketing?
For promotional campaigns, we use an automation platform with a social media component built-in, and we use various platforms for webinars, our blog, training, demos, etc. But, ultimately, it’s less about the platforms, because there are so many available, and more about how you use them together to orchestrate the execution of your plans.
/ / What are the different metrics you track to evaluate the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy?
We have a rule that we don’t do anything that can’t be tracked. Through our automation platform, which integrates with our database and web forms, we are able to track much deeper than just opens and clicks. We have found that the volume of our content a prospect has engaged with has a direct correlation to sales conversion. It has played out so many times that now we can predict success with a high degree of certainty.
/ / Does content differ with respect to the channel of distribution? Which channels have you found to be most effective in reaching out to your customers?
Our outbound efforts center on email marketing, which has become much more difficult since the inception of GDPR due to its limitations and global implications. Our inbound successes have come from strategic digital partnerships. Any time you can reach a customer/prospect directly, it’s much more effective than relying on pull-through results.
/ / 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)?
The bulk of our content comes from an in-house team, but we do employ a few contract writers for specific items. We collect and consolidate the different points of view from experts within the company, as well as clients and partners outside the company. Our job is to get as much information out of the subject matter experts and then turn it into content that is digestible for our targets.
/ / Despite having different stakeholders and different content repositories, how do you manage consistency (tone, language, brand voice, messaging, etc.) in your company’s content?
Ideally, it comes down to effective communication among the stakeholders. Simply funneling all content through a single person can be a daunting task and is not a sustainable business practice. Instead, it’s internal communication that brings everyone to the same place so that they’re all speaking the same language – from Marketing to Sales to the Executive team. It sounds easy but it requires constant effort and commitment.
/ / How relevant is content marketing today, especially considering the abundance of content available to consumers?
Again, you don’t necessarily need more content, you need better content. We have developed a taxonomy of content for different stakeholders which utilizes the formats best-suited for consumption. As content marketing continues to evolve, the space gets more crowded and it becomes difficult to stand out. From a B2B perspective, I don’t see this changing for the foreseeable future. It’s important to listen – to your own team and especially to your customers and prospects. You can learn a lot that way and be better prepared for the creation phase. They’ll tell you what they want, if you let them.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive content marketing in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
The latest trends and technologies always feel they have to justify their existence with flashy numbers. These technologies are always saying we’ll reach more people. Technically speaking, yes, we do want to reach “more.” However, it should be about reaching the right people, not simply more people, in the B2B sector. The bells and whistles can be enticing but they can also become obsolete every time Google tweaks their algorithm. As the amount of content continues to increase, inevitably there will be a surge in vendors who can promise impressive metrics. But at the end of the day, it’s the quality and relevance of the content that will win.
Content marketing is all about putting the audience at the center
Monica Norton, Senior Director of Content Marketing, Zendesk
B2B content marketers need to stay relevant
Tricia Morris, Senior Director of Content Marketing and Social Media MicroStrategy