In conversation with Mr. Abhishek Mishra, AVP – Content Marketing at Tracxn.
Please tell us a little about your professional & academic background. What responsibilities does your designation entail?
I’m a Content Marketing professional with literature and media education, and a management degree. Having worked with brands like Educomp, MakeMyTrip, TaxiForSure, and Chai Point, I’ve managed/led their Content Marketing initiatives, with a blend of Social Media, Performance Marketing, Brand, and PR.
The roles have broadly been about understanding stakeholders (both internal and external) and identifying the content marketing mix that keeps current users in the fold, and also builds interest among the potential ones. As Associate Vice President of Content at Tracxn, I lead the content generation and marketing initiatives, converting our platform data into interesting and highly relevant stories for our users across the world.
What is the best marketing move you’ve initiated in your career so far?
Back in the days at MakeMyTrip, we had to amp-up the leads and conversions for our Holidays product. It was a two-way problem. The visitors on our blog would come there for inspiration only, and the visitors to our Holidays page would often not inquire or book, owing to lack of inspiration. Here’s what we did:
On blog: We automated a widget which would read the user’s location, and accordingly show our best holiday packages in the sidebar, where one could book or make an inquiry with a few clicks.
On website: If a visitor is exploring the holiday packages of a destination, we will – using an automated script – show the best/latest blog posts of that destination, often written specifically to inspire the visitor.
Result: A terrific increase in conversion (on Holiday page) and inquiries (via blog posts) for our Holiday packages.
(Tracxn’s 1-minute Daily Snapshot videos are an excellent way to summarize the latest happenings)
What, according to you, makes a good marketer?
There’s a lot going on in marketing today. Everyday there’s something knew to know. While a ‘list of all lists’ is impossible, I feel being a capable marketer should include:
Sticking to the basics: Not losing focus of what the customer wants and continuously listening to their demands.
Using data: Data collection, analysis and interpretation is important at every scale or process. While ‘hunch’ based functioning is important for a marketer, data often shows you the pointy pathway you might otherwise miss. Build processes that focus on collection and usage of data.
Unwavering focus on NPS: If your Net Promoter Score is going up, there’s no way you’re doing things wrong. But if you’re celebrating likes/retweets/mentions without monitoring the NPS, you might win the battle, but lose the war. Never lose focus of NPS. Your investors or board won’t.
Stronger Processes: When solving a problem, we need to continuously ask ourselves, how will I do this at a 10X or 100X scale? We sometimes aim for short term fixes to drive results, which is perfectly okay. But the real value is in calibrating processes to move things fast, smoothly and without skewing the dependency on some. From keyword research to competition benchmarking to creating marketing calendars, building a process reduces effort, improves output and helps in scaling up. That’s one of the things consulting firms charge companies millions for.
Name a well marketed product in any industry that caught your attention recently and why? Any favourite marketing campaign which you felt was very well executed?
Yes. I quite like the way fitness and lifestyle player CureFit has expanded the scope of their marketing. Having built several great offerings (The Cult Gym, delicious and healthy food, and DIY meditation videos), the brand is working on the basis of ‘word of mouth’ and simple, honest messaging across all touchpoints. From their in-app notifications to outdoor campaigns, the tonality and visuals are in-sync with the personality of their target audiences; smart, value-based and crisp.
What role, according to you, does marketing play in the success of a product?
Products are generally built to offer value, but often, the same isn’t obviously visible to the people. For a product, marketing brings to table the initial discovery, reiteration and communication. At an early stage, discovery is important. Thousands of apps are struggling for your attention and the limited space on your mobile phone. After that, continual usage or reiteration plays a key role.
Your user acquisition, cohort retention, and re-marketing activities will be in action non-stop, but a late-stage product demands targeted, eloquent and consistent communication across all touchpoints, to give the product a persona and make it a part of our lives. This is where marketing can push the envelope.
What does a day of yours at office look like?
It’s quite an action-packed day. The mornings mostly include daily tasks, co-working sessions with the team, and solo projects. The afternoons are kept aside for hiring and meetings with other stakeholders. Evenings include reviewing the quality of work and discussions on new ideas or better execution of the existing ideas.
Across all projects, the focus remains on improving the quality of the output, keeping scale in consideration, and resorting to immediate course-correction to move things in the right direction. If there’s some free time, it usually goes in specific research or staying updated on what’s new in our industry.
(Another example of some concise and effective marketing done by Tracxn)
Any piece of advice for people looking to opt for a career in marketing?
Marketing is too broad a term. To be a successful marketer, it is good to find your niche. In the formative years of your career, choose to do one thing and do it better than everyone else you know. As you grow, you will learn all the other allied skills and start seeing the bigger picture. At ground level however, stick to the basics, understand all jargon but do not use it unless there’s a pressing need, and stay hungry for knowledge!
A lot of changes take place in the world every week. You can’t choose to read about best marketing practices without being aware of the big events shaping that very world. Lastly, if you think you are getting good at something (writing/ad copies/idea generation), do it more and more till it becomes your muscle memory. This skill or efficiency then shall stay on with you forever.
(Tracxn Reports save a lot of time without losing focus on key points)
Describe working at Tracxn in one sentence.
The work I do is like the best dessert. It is satisfying and gives you a high, but leaves you asking for more.
One gadget you cannot live without?
I’m not a gadget person. I try to detox digitally as much as time or situation permits. You may say, a book is my gadget.
Reading. I’m a bibliophile. Reading takes up more than half of my leisure time. Followed by travelling, riding and making dream itineraries to exotic destinations across the world.
If not in the current profession, you would have been?
Either a teacher (I love interacting with students of all age groups, especially K12), or a full-time traveller living frugally and picking jobs on the road. I know it’s a very tough path, but I’d take it without thinking twice.
Favourite/most relatable movie character and why?
I like Samwise Gamgee or Sam from LoTR. He does what it takes. What we don’t realise is, Sam could’ve existed without Frodo, but Frodo needed Sam to become him. Other character I absolutely love is The Little Prince from the namesake book. I wish I could think and see the world and like he does. Simple, incorruptible, and profound.