Content Jam: Data has transformed how we answer marketing questions: M A Parthasarathy

Keynote Speaker M A Parthasarathy, CEO, Mindshare South Asia, delves into data and its impact on content and marketing

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 6, 2019 5:36 PM



At the fourth exchange4media Content Jam held in Mumbai on Wednesday, M A Parthasarathy, CEO, Mindshare South Asia, took the audience on a journey of data-driven content & marketing, and explained the role data plays in answering the what, why, how and when questions. 

Kickstarting the session on a light-hearted, data-related note, Parthasarathy narrated how he had to manoeuvre the flooded roads of Mumbai to reach the event, thus prompting him to think that “the kind of data Google must be using to map out our route must be truly astounding.”

He then dived right into his keynote address that centred around the intricacies of data-driven content and marketing. “Everyone is talking data and everyone is talking data-driven content. I thought let me simplify it to the absolute core of it. Every single task that we perform from a marketing standpoint or content creation is the answer to three questions-- What is it that we are trying to do or what content we are trying to create? How are we trying to do it, and when is the right time to do it and put it out there?”

According to Parthasarathy, data has transformed how we answer marketing questions, but it is not a new phenomenon and has in fact been used even in the Greek, Roman and Indian mythologies. Citing the example of how the Narasimha Avatar of Lord Vishnu cleverly used data to analyse how to destroy demon king Hiranyakasyapa, he made an interesting analogy of the story to present day marketing problems. “This is finding a solution to an extremely intricate challenge or problem by knowledge of data that went behind that. It’s fascinating because this is what we believe in, in terms of leveraging of data.”

However, he explained that marketers, often in their quest to fulfil the how, what and when, tend to overlook the why.

“We are rushing out there to find what piece of content we want to create and how do we go about and create it. But I think what people fail to do is take that one step back and say why are we doing this marketing activity? Why are we trying to create this piece of content? Is it to increase awareness, is it to change perception about my brand, is to create new occasions for consumption of my brand or is it about really rewarding those customers who are loyal to me by giving them a little bit extra? I think data plays a huge part in answering the why part even before you get to the other questions,” he shared.

Data is a buzzword for all modern day marketers. Brand strategies, content, campaigns and marketing activities are centred around it. Parthasarathy believes that the other step back question that needs to be asked is: “Who am I trying to create this piece of content for, do I really know that person, their need, want and behaviour? Again, that’s when data plays a critical role.”

Touching upon the popular marketing trend of moment marketing, he explained how it was no longer the exception but a norm and how brands were trying to leverage every moment in popular culture.

“The question to ask is: Is this actually outcome-oriented marketing or is it ‘chance pe dance’? Does it translate into outcomes? Once again, data comes to the rescue. It’s about trying to identify what are the data signals that are most important for a brand to really align with, and more importantly, do I really know my brand and is this data signal right for my brand to be associated with or is it a data signal I should ignore?”

According to Parthasarthy, technology has transformed the way the four questions of what, why, when and how are now answered. Also, the way one can architect campaigns has evolved over the years with the help of technology.

Signing off the session, he left the audience with this piece of advice, “If you are able to answer the four questions, the end result is customer delight and the ability to serve up diverse personalised and relevant content messaging to consumers which really makes the difference for brands.”

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