Visha Kudhail is visual search platform Pinterest’s Director of Business Marketing, EMEA and answers our questions in the latest of Press Gazette’s Marketing Maestro interviews. This series is produced in association with Lead Monitor, New Statesman Media Group’s content-driven marketing arm.
What has been your proudest achievement in your current role?
Offering something different. For some time now we’ve been in a world that has not given us many choices, whether in business or personally in our day to day. Increasingly, people are struggling with mental health issues due to social media, the lack of diversity we see in content is playing a role in the social unrest and bias we see, and businesses are having to make tougher choices when it comes to finding channels which accurately represent their values too. These aren’t just observations, these are facts as told to us through data and research. So at Pinterest, I’ve been proud that the platform is offering something unique to people and businesses, giving them the ability to choose another route. A choice.
At Pinterest we are building something different, a solution to these challenges we have been facing for some time. I am proud of the role that our platform plays in people’s lives and how it is recognised as a place of positivity and safety.
Which media channels do you see as most important and best value when it comes to marketing spend and activity?
Determining the most important media channels starts with customer insight, understanding what they are consuming and where, especially as our attention is everywhere, so assuming a medium-first strategy can set you off on the wrong footing and allow for missed opportunities. It’s not a silo conversation anymore, but instead it’s a ‘what else?’ conversation. Although I believe in the effectiveness of TV, more people are consuming content online than ever before and with better bandwidth on our phones we need to be savvier about digital channels and use them in the right way.
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What is the best way to improve your social media output?
It has to start with creativity! Digital channels, particularly social media, have less time to capture people’s attention due to the nature of doom scrolling and skipping ads. You should tell a story that is engaging to your audience that makes them feel something – whether it’s to laugh, smile or even cry.
Also, it’s so important to know your audience, which really means you need to know your data. Learn what they are looking for, care about and resonate with, so you can think cleverly about your creative and media formats. Last but not least, respect your audience.
Social media is social media for a reason. People want to connect with their friends and family, or read the news; they don’t want to see your ad chasing them around the internet.
What are the key differences between B2C and B2B marketing?
There shouldn’t be a difference between B2C and B2B. Business people are consumers too. Just like B2C, business marketing needs to start with a story to tell, a perception to shift and a product to bring to a market. So the marketing challenges are the same, but the audience in B2B tend to be more known and highly targeted. So we reach trailblazers of our industry and brands across various verticals.
I personally love the challenge of B2B. In some ways, it’s even more challenging because we are talking to people that are like us. Advertisers. They are even harder to sway, even savvier because they know what to look out for in the industry themselves, so your marketing has to deliver on wit, charm and, ultimately, a great idea.
What for you is the key to any successful marketing campaign – what actually makes a ‘good lead’?
It’s about reaching the golden customer. If we can change the minds of a few, the many will follow.
However, the challenge in scaled marketing is that we cannot operate with just a ‘good lead’. Broader perception shifting and education is critical to success in order to get that ‘good lead’ to convert in the first place, and that is only done via telling your story to the many.
How important is technology in modern marketing?
Technology is everything! Everything we touch today is driven by technology and marketing can be even more fun when you experiment with advanced ideas. The immersive qualities of modern technology have also pushed marketing to become more personalised and integrated, which is critical as we need to reach our selected audiences across the different platforms they use.
As marketers, we should see technology as a tool for better communication with consumers. The ability to gather data presents a huge opportunity, but it’s important to have the right marketing intelligence to unify these insights and deliver a solid ROI when using new technology in campaigns.
What are the biggest pain points in a marketing campaign?
Having poor chemistry and overbusy briefings with your agencies. Your agency should be your number one partner in delivering a best-in-class campaign. If you don’t start with clarity and a strong briefing, you only elongate the pain to get to the end goal. It will also have a knock-on effect to the trust you build with them and create unnecessary expenses.
And finally, if you could ask your peers for one piece of advice or help, what would it be?
Tell me about your biggest ‘wins and learns’. The more we can learn from each other and share, the more we can pass on and build better.