“If you get confused after 12th in India, do engineering.
If you’re still confused, step into an IT services company like Infosys.
If you’re still confused, get an MBA.
And if you’re still confused, get into marketing. “
This is like Siddharth Sharma, Marketing Director at Verloop.io, describes his career and his foray into marketing. Although he makes it all sound very random, his roles in companies like Manipal, Clevertap and now at B2B company Verloop.ai show that there may have been more hits than failures. Ultimately, he’s a marketer because he’s passionate about marketing. His engineering background inspires him to think about how to program marketing.
Content Marketing Lead from Pepper Content, Natasha Puri, met with Siddharth for an informal tête-à-tête about the changing role of content in marketing in her series Top of the funnel: Where content conversations begin.
Check out the video here
Content is the heartbeat of marketing
Marketing, B2B or B2C is about making sure that you as a brand are able to engage with your customers in a non-intrusive way. “For Verloop, if you’re a CTO looking for conversational AI software, I want us to take care of you … but not if you are thinking of shoes. So the context is very important. ”
If you want to stick to this definition, content becomes a very integral or central part of marketing. Siddharth believes that content can steer the marketing effort in the right direction.
“Content is the heartbeat of the marketing function. It’s not part of your strategy, it’s the core of it, ”he says.
The content trap
Some of the biggest challenges in content marketing are hiring people as it is still not clear who the right person is for the job. Can writers be trained as marketers, or can marketers be turned into storytellers? Finding the right person to do both of these tasks is a challenge.
Unfortunately, many startup founders do not understand marketing themselves today. “They believe marketing is an auto-correct filter on an image and all it takes is a click of a button,” he says. Senior professionals need better training to find the right people and accelerate the right marketing strategies.
Sticky articles like “Build a Billion Dollar Pipeline in Zero Dollars” don’t help. In some ways, such content (and there is a lot of it on the internet) also acts as the main obstacle to implementing marketing. “So content can be both a blessing and a curse in some ways,” he adds.
“We released an e-commerce customer support benchmarking report that was very well received. The report was published on Product Hunt. Because it was data that no one else really had access to, provided in a simple and actionable way, it brought real added value to our customers. In fact, it was exciting that it answered questions we had about the industry, ”says Siddharth.
The report analyzed 1.8 million inquiries from over 35 brands in the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines). The following topics were covered:
- A shift in customer support from manual to automated
- The current state of e-commerce customer support
- Reporting methodology
- Industry benchmarks
- Future of customer support automation
- How Verloop.io can help
Verloop.io generated many leads as a result of the report and also acted as a prime example of thought leadership for the company.
Siddharth also reveals that the Verloop.io podcast generated 500 downloads in just six episodes.
“When marketing is a boat, content is the control. Wherever you decide to control your content, marketing will follow, ”says Siddharth.