Request for Votes | SXSW Interactive (2016) Panel Picker Session

Happy and proud to share my entry to the SXSW 2016 Interactive Panel Picker on the topic “Did You Say “Content”? That’s Passé. It’s Cont-Art” [Theme: Content and Distribution, Format: Solo]

My CMO (Naveen Rajdev) submission is titled “Transforming 150K people into marketers in 90 days” [Theme: Branding and Marketing, Format: Solo]

As Naveen said “This is an event where noise becomes music, flailing movements become dance & magically your environment turns into a unicorn-haven“. We look forward to your support to help us be part of the magic!  The voting process is open. Please register at the links above and vote for us, so we find a spot on the podium. Thanks in advance for your time and support

For those who don’t know | About SXSW – The South by Southwest®(SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW® is the premier destination for discovery. Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Wipro NewsCred | Marketo | Finextra | Inc42 Business2Community | ProBloggerFamous Bloggers | TheNextWomen | Nasscom | PaulWriter WomensWeb | Sheroes PeopleMattersYoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous | The Change Blog
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian Bloggers,Directory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) ,50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter (2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Round-up of Marketing Automation Tools

I was recently involved in an exercise to evaluate multiple marketing automation tools. As I scanned through the market for solutions, I was impressed by the number of options and capabilities of many of these tools.

But first things first | As a marketer, I believe “marketing automation” is BIG BUSINESS! It is also critical if a marketing team needs to show outcomes and impact beyond vanity metrics.

So what is Marketing Automation? According to Wikipedia, “Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks

Obviously the best way to do marketing automation is through the usage of automation tools. In this post, I am listing some of the marketing automation tools

Eloqua

Marketo

ActOn

Infusionsoft

Hubspot

SilverPop

SimplyCast

Pardot

Unica

What marketing automation tools have you come across? Leave a comment to let me know

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Wipro NewsCred | Marketo | Finextra | Inc42 Business2Community | ProBloggerFamous Bloggers | TheNextWomen | Nasscom | PaulWriter WomensWeb | Sheroes PeopleMattersYoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous | The Change Blog
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian Bloggers,Directory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) ,50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter (2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Essential Skills for the New-Age Marketer

Marketer Skills

According to the 2015 CMO Survey sponsored by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and McKinsey, Inc, marketers are optimistic about the business growth and economic outlook this year, and marketing budgets are expected to grow by ~8.7% in the next 1 year. However according to the 2015 IBM CMO Study, “4 out of 5 CMO’s anticipate a high level of complexity over the next 5 years, but only 50% feel ready to handle it

It is indeed an important, interesting and exciting time in the life of marketing professionals. Marketing is at the hot-seat, invited to the board-room meetings, is increasingly considered a key enabler / driver / catalyst for business growth and profitability and today’s CMO is being viewed as a potential contender for the next-CEO!

However when I look around me, I see a lot of marketers struggling to live up-to the expectations of what marketing should do? A root cause analysis of the big WHY throws up very many answers – from changes in the external world, lack of visionary leadership on how marketing should grow and evolve in today’s VUCA (Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous) world, technology, innovations, explosive growth of digital / social media and distinct multi-generation (Gen X / Y /Z?!) demographics among the consumer base.

However, I also see that there is a “marketing skill-gap“. A lot of so called “new-age marketing professionals” don’t seem to have the required skills to get the job done.

In this post, I’m sharing my views on essential skills of the new-age marketer:

*) Be a Data Scientist / Analyst : Never before has there been so much consumer data generated and available for consumption and analytics. Marketing is no different. So the new age marketer needs to first define what data is to be captured and why?. Then invest in tools / technology to capture that data. Next is to analyze data and draw actionable insights. Lastly, to define the “What next in marketing and in business?” based on data.

*) Understanding human behaviors : The new-age marketer is increasingly being viewed as the owner / custodian of customer experience – for both B2B and B2C businesses. The thing about experiences is that they are always personal, subjective and unique to “you” as an individual / business. Hence, a basic understanding of human behaviors – in terms of motivators, emotions, decision making process, habit formation, determinants to action / inaction, purchase drivers / patterns is key.

*) Be a Storyteller : Nothing tells / sells better than a story. It is for good reason that storytelling has been the most popular communication format with even kids. Even to this day, a (personal) story is better received than a long boring speech. So it is important for any marketer to be able to narrate the brand story via (visual) storytelling

*) Be a Visual Designer : With the meteoric rise in content, we are all bombarded with hundreds of messages on a daily basis. So, how does any marketer capture the eye, mind and imagination of the consumer? Visual communication is possibly a powerful and effective way – Be it with videos, infographics, photos, images,etc. From personal experiences, I can say that “visual design” (or creating a visual piece of content) is a science, skill and art. Fundamental is your ability to visualize and design i.e., see what no one can see, see what does not ‘physically’ exist, and then design it so it appeals to masses. Visual designing is a skill which can be formally learned and also built over time by repeated practice and observation.

*) Understand that “Content is King” : As a marketing practitioner and blogger, I can confidently say that “content is king” in today’s era. Knowing how to craft, curate and convert content is key for any new age marketer. Appreciating the “How-To” create different content formats and hands-on experience in the same makes all the difference. I can vouch for the fact that my blogging journey has significantly enriched my understanding on the entire content life-cycle from strategy, planning, creation, editing, publishing and promotion. When it comes to content life-cycle, hands-on experience makes all the difference

*) Get Hands-on Social Media Experience : As an active social media user, there is one thing I observe – Not everyone understands how to use social media. Especially in the marketing context, the only way to understand the ‘ways of social media’ is to get your hands-dirty. You need to put yourself out there, and continuously experiment, innovate and evolve. No amount of learning or theory or advice helps! As for as social media is concerned, experience is KING!

*) Make the mobile your new best friend: Mobile marketing is undoubtedly the next BIG bet for most businesses / marketers. Understanding how to make mobile marketing work for your business is critical for any marketer

*) Learn to Embrace Marketing tools / technology: As a marketer, I have found that there is a tool / technology solution to make a marketer’s life faster, simpler, better and easy! Check this amazing supergraphic on the marketing technology solutions. The tough part is to be clear on what marketing needs to achieve, and then assess the right marketing tools / technology to aid in your journey. Key in any marketing tool / technology assessment is to have a well defined marketing ROI (Return on Investment) based on tool usage

*) Get Creative : The new age marketer has to be creative in ideation and execution. From marketing campaigns to lead generation to team management to stakeholder management to marketing spend – it is critical for the marketing team to find creative ways to address day-to-day challenges, as well as the bigger road-blocks which come your way!

*) Be a Collaborator : The new age marketing teams are the the overlay of strategy, finance, operations, technology, sales, SME (Subject matter expertise) and innovation. And so collaboration with external / internal teams will be key to survive and succeed.

*) Be an Effective Communicator : Key to success in marketing is communication. As a marketer, I can safely say that what you say is as important as what you don’t say! So effective communication skills – both oral and written, along with a command on language is critical to be able to effectively deliver marketing expectations

*) Invest in Continuous learning : Never before has the world of marketing been so dynamic and fast-paces. There are new buzzwords everyday, new tools every second day, new innovative ways of marketing every third day and new (increasing) consumer expectations which are driving what marketing can / should / need to do. To scale up, it becomes critical for any new age marketer to continuously watch the market trends, and be updated with the latest and greatest.! Investing in formal / informal learning go a long way in how successfully marketing teams can deliver against marketing / business objectives.

That ends my list. What do you think are the essential skills of the new-age marketer? Leave a comment to let me know

First published on LinkedIn

————————————————————————————————————————–

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Wipro NewsCred | Marketo | Finextra | Inc42 Business2Community | ProBloggerFamous Bloggers | TheNextWomen | Nasscom | PaulWriter WomensWeb | Sheroes PeopleMattersYoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous | The Change Blog
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian Bloggers,Directory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) ,50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter (2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

The C Mantra’s for Marketing Success

C is one of my favorite alphabets of the English language. I don’t really know why.. I guess it is somewhat lucky for me. For e.g.: As a student, for any multiple choice question for which I did not know the answer, I’d choose C and it would be right :). So C and me go a long long long way back! I also love marketing, and infographics are my latest muse. So I thought why not do an infographic the C Mantras for Marketing Success!

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

mktng success

————————————————————————————————————

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Wipro NewsCred | Inc42 Business2Community | ProBloggerFamous Bloggers | TheNextWomen | Nasscom | PaulWriter WomensWeb | Sheroes PeopleMattersYoWoTo |  12Most.com | Parentous | The Change Blog
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in IndiaDirectory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian Bloggers,Directory of Best Indian BlogsAlltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) ,50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter (2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

The Art and Craft of Content

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to address a group of 100+ digital marketers on “The Art and Craft of content”. Personally, I enjoyed delivering the session as it was based on my personal journey and experiences as a “Content Crafter“. I received wonderful feedback for the session!

In this post, I am sharing the key messages that I delivered during the session:

Art and Craft of Content

What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know

——————————————————————————————————————————————

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Top Indian Blogs and Most Widely read Indian Bloggers, Alltop, Directory of Best Indian Blogs]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?

Supergraphic | Marketing Technology Supergraphic

I believe that the time is right and ripe for technology solutions to be used in Marketing. I was in conversation with a senior business leader in a technology firm, and he asked me “What technology solutions can be used for marketing?“. I get to hear this question a lot… So when I came across this fantastic supergraphic on Marketing Technology solutions, I had to upload it on my blog.

All questions are answered below :)

Marketing CHEAT-SHEET | Blue-print from OBJECTIVES to PLAN

New age marketers almost always are under pressure to meet the ever increasing demands of businesses, constantly changing expectations of end-customers, ever evolving innovation and technology; and working in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) work environment. Needless to say, the role of marketing is becoming challenging, complex, exciting and continuously evolving.

While operating in such environments, it is very easy for marketers to lose focus and sight on what is really important. It has happened to me too – Not once, not twice – But very many times. Fortunately for me, I have in place early-warning systems to alert me, and am back on track well in time.

From my experiences, one of the things which I’ve found to be very useful is to define an overall framework to translate marketing objectives into a working plan. But that translation comes with time, with experience, with “know-how” of marketing. And I wish I had such a cheat-sheet with me before. So I thought why not create one as a reference for myself, and also for fellow marketers?

As an individual, I like to simplify things for myself – in my head, in paper and in action. So I asked myself to identify the key marketing objectives, and the below stood out
1) Branding
2) Lead Generation
3) Advocacy
[NOTE: I know we can add many more things to the above list – like customer experience management, ]

Based on above, I’ve created an infographic to provide a cheat-sheet to translate objectives to a marketing plan.

Nischala Marketing Cheatsheet

 

5 Points which impact Marketing Success (or Failure) …

So it is the Annual Appraisal time at work – The time to introspect on the good and not-so-good for the year gone by. Also the time to get feedback on what was good and what was not-so-good; take the lessons and move ahead into a new year.

As a I look back at last year wearing the lens of a marketer, I can say that it has been exciting and excellent. Most importantly, it has been wonderful to see the impact and difference marketing has made on business. As I go down memory lane to see what truly made a difference a few points stand out. In this post, sharing the 5 key points:

Marketing objectives are closely linked to business objectives

The role of marketing has changed significantly over the past few years – especially since the onset of the ‘digital revolution’. From being a supporting enabler for business, marketing is increasingly viewed as the custodian of the customer experience. As a result, success of marketing directly and significantly affects business, and hence it is imperative that marketing objectives are closely linked to business objectives. For e.g.: If a business objective is to be known as a ‘Market Leader in a particular area”, then a possible marketing objective can be to feature in a respected industry / analyst rating report as a Market Leader as an external (analyst / customer / partner) endorsement of a company’s brand is critical to achieve this objective. Or if a business objective is to increase business growth by X%, then a possible marketing objective can be to generate Y leads – where is a multiplier of X based on typical conversion metrics

Marketing has well defined “measurable” objectives

Again marketing teams have always known to focus / report the ‘soft / qualitative’ aspects, and hence marketers are increasingly under pressure to demonstrate the marketing impact. The most effective way to showcase any impact is through metrics. The only pre-requisite to capture and report metrics is to know what to measure and how to measure. For this, it is critical to have a sign-off with business on what “measurable” objectives are to be worked on. For e.g: If one of the focus areas for business is to create a compelling content strategy to demonstrate thought leadership for external branding and customer lead generation, then a measurable objective could be to publish 1 content piece a month on the company blog. This becomes easy to track, measure and report every month as opposed to an objective which states “Create content to reflect thought leadership”. Defining measurable objectives at the start of the year helps set expectations among all stakeholders, and provides a direction for marketing to focus their efforts.

Regular Monitoring, Tracking and Reporting “marketing outcomes”

Again, while defining ‘marketing objectives’ is the first step – continuous monitoring, tracking and reporting the marketing outcomes on a regular basis is key. Leveraging the power of tools and technology to capture key marketing metrics and sharing these metrics with key business / leadership stakeholders on an ongoing basis is critical for long term success of marketing initiatives.

Being able to show the co-relation between “marketing outcomes and business impact”

Again, this is one area where most marketers and businesses struggle with. How to show the co-relation between “marketing outcomes and business impact”? For e.g: Let us assume a B2B company hosted an online event – like a webinar or a virtual round table. The event was outstanding with an attendance of 500+ audience. Now most marketers are always asked “OK Great. But so what?”. In general, online / offline events are great opportunities to identify prospects and convert them to potential leads through focused lead nurturing initiatives. However, such initiatives need time and effort. And time is money – so it becomes important to track both. It is exactly for answering the marketing ROI questions that marketing technology in the form of automation solutions plays a key role.

Marketing sits on the table with Business, Technology, Finance and Operations

Last but not the least – Marketing has to be in-sync with business, technology, finance and operations. Marketing has to be part of the discussions, has to be in-tune with key data and has to be a key participant in decision making. For this, a shared vision and goals along with an environment which fosters communication and collaboration with the customer at the center of the universe is key for marketing and business success.

That’s my view. What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know..

A version of this post was first published on LinkedIn Pulse

———————————————————————————-

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World Columnist / Byline in : Economic Times | Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes India | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Top Marketing Blogs in India, Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]


Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Infographic | Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – What to use for social promotions and Why?

As a marketer and social media manager, one is always looking for determining the right social channel for different social campaigns.

The dilemma many times is –
LinkedIn? FaceBook? Twitter?
Paid? Free?

The below infographic was a treasured catch and answered almost all my questions.

Social Media Advertising Cheat Sheet[Src: Newscred ]

——————————————————————————————————————————————

Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in | “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in | “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in | “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”

Infographic | Total Social Network users in 2015 (Millions)

I always wonder how the growth of social network users will be in 2015. What will be their demographics and which social channels they will adopt?

Below infographic is an excellent compilation which highlights interesting perspectives:

[Src: Adweek ]

—————————————————————————————————————————————
Connect with me on Nischala’s Social World
Columnist : Huffingtonpost | Business2Community | WomensWeb | Sheroes | PeopleMatters | YoWoTo | 12Most.com | Parentous
Blog : Nischala’s Space, Thoughts, Expressions [Featured in Directory of Best Indian Blogs, Alltop]
Twitter : @nimu9 [Featured among Sheroes Must Follow Indian Women on Twitter (2014) , 50 Indian Women to follow on Twitter(2012)]

Interviews and Media Mentions
Newspaper Interview | Twittering Heights (Deccan Chronicle, 2015)
Quoted in | “Open Letter to Women looking for job
Quoted in | “The Best Advice you’ll receive as young women starting your careers
Interview | My blogging journey – How it came to be?
Interview | A wise Blogger
Interview | Secrets to Successful Blogging
Quoted in | “Are entrepreneurs born or made?”