Interviews

You Need Clutter Breaking Content To Get Your Consumers To Stop Scrolling. – Prachi Karan, Isobar

Agency Reporter got an opportunity to interact with a highly creative, motivated and ambitious individual, Prachi Karan.
Having been awarded India’s Top Digital Planner, she is currently serving as the Senior Director – Media at Isobar 

It’s been quite a journey for you growing up from a Marketing Executive at Everest Corporation to now the Senior Director at Isobar. Can you tell us about a few hits and few misses in your career so far?

It has been an interesting journey. I started my digital career as a planner & because digital was very small then I bought media too and did everything right from execution to reporting to billing. Then I went to lead small sized teams and accounts and moved my way up. Today I head the media business for the west for Isobar where we manage some of the most esteemed clients.

I have had success, yes, but with each success, there has been even more challenges and failures that I have encountered along the way. My aim, through all of that, has always been to learn from these experiences and use that to better my craft. I am very grateful for all the hits and all the misses because it shaped me to be a professional, I always wanted to be.

Throughout my career so far, whenever I encountered big mountain-sized challenges, I instinctively knew that I must find my boots and hike.  
And absolutely love it.  

What is your immediate priority as a Senior Director and how do you want to reshape your department’s ecosystem at Isobar?

My Team – My Clients – My Partners and in that exact order.
If you pick any great organisation, you would always see that they have a very rich culture and culture comes from people.
If the people are happy, they have more focus & energy and as a leader, you want to nurture that and work together with them to collectively come up with best in class outputs. That automatically drives great work for the clients, because you are delivering on your KPI each time and they are happy. Which in turn means you have much more opportunities to give to your partners. It’s an entire ecosystem. 
After all, culture is strong when people work together with each other and not against.

A major focus of a lot of brands is shifting towards content these days. Content is increasingly getting a larger share of digital spends. In your opinion, is there too much dependence on content & native or contextual advertising and does it really ffulfill a marketer’s end objective?

I think it’s a question of finding the right marketing channels best suited for the category and the brand. If the content is a natural fit for you because you have consumer data and insights to back that up, then you should use it. However, doing content marketing just because everyone else is doing is not the right way to approach any plan.
What we also need to understand is that each element in an advertising plan has a role to play and has a contribution towards a consumer’s path to purchase/conversion. Therefore it is extremely important for marketers today to measure that and measure it correctly, so you are able to fairly attribute success to the deserving mediums and content would be one of them.

Another thing we need to be extremely mindful of is that currently there is a lot of clutter because everyone is doing content, so as a consumer a lot of spaces are turning into blind spots. You need clutter breaking content to get your consumers to stop scrolling.

A lot of big publishers are just boosting Facebook posts and running Google ads to achieve the impressions/views target allocated to them without even caring about selecting the right TG when running these ads. Does this bother you? How do you make sure the brand gets what it seeks from these campaigns.

Yes, it bothers all of us – marketers and advertisers because it is an absolute wastage of money. It is also quite sad because this would hurt the publishers even more in the long run. Today, thanks to the technology, tracking and measurement have become very advanced and that helps us monitor KPI’s in real time. Hence any such deviation is now being detected faster than it used to before.  As a planner when you know that something is not working as per the strategy, you have the power to pause or stop it and redistribute the balance to channels that are actually providing you the required business results.

The share of Influencer Marketing budget has increased multifold in past one year but its still at a very nascent stage and measuring RoI, choosing the right set of influencers, content control etc. are some of the major problems faced by Agencies or Brands. In what way have you been addressing these problems and make sure that you are working with a right set of partners?

A lot of times the expectations from influencer marketing campaigns are not very clearly defined and that is the start to a lot of problems. We need to define the KPI and know what is the action that we are expecting our consumers to take, post they are exposed to an influencer post or story. How is that action attributing to the success of your brand or business? If we don’t define them before we begin, we would never be able to answer the question of ROI.
Before planning any influencer marketing campaign, there are 2 very key questions we need to answer.
The first question is – ‘Who is my audience?’ That question leads you to their choices & behaviour and you can then map those attributes to your brand and to the influencers to get the right match.
The second question is – ‘Why should they care?’ Why should your audience care about your brand and the influencer coming together? Is there a value that is being derived for the consumer?

What project would you consider to be the most significant contributor to the success of your career? If given an opportunity would you do anything differently this time?

Leading the Mondelez digital business was of course one of the most challenging phases of my career. I enjoyed it thoroughly and the learnings from that have been immense. But little did I know it was just a start and then I stepped into the role of leading the media business at Isobar – West. The thrill of business is an adrenaline rush because there is a lot of chaos you need to find peace in, you need to develop and enhance the ability to manage people, your clients, your partners and deliver. I am extremely grateful for every part of the experience and I would not change a thing because it has made me who I am today.

Top 3 trends brands that have dominated the digital marketing in 2018?

1- Data and its creative application.
2- Voice because it’s already changing the consumer pattern and behaviour.
3- Extension of Digital beyond just laptops, mobile and tablets. This means a lot of integration with Physical and Digital = PHYGITAL.