In this episode we talk to Manini who discovered her true calling in the world of communications early on and fearlessly carved her own path. With an unwavering passion for the industry, she has left a trail of captivating campaigns and skillfully navigated the ever-changing landscape.
From orchestrating captivating campaigns to skillfully navigating the ever-changing landscape, Manini’s journey has been nothing short of awe-inspiring.
1:27 Manini has had a fascinating journey in the media industry, spanning over six years with a focus on media and advertising. She started her career as a media planner and buyer, handling numbers, figures, and negotiations of media spaces for various brands. As she progressed, she carved a niche for herself in the world of media and transitioned to a specialized role in setting up the sports marketing division.
With sports marketing being prominent in India, especially cricket with IPL and Pro Kabaddi leagues, Manini faced new challenges and a steep learning curve. Nevertheless, she embraced the new role with enthusiasm and found joy in exploring brand associations, such as placing logos on jerseys and organizing photoshoots with players. Her success in securing brand deals and continuous learning motivated her to keep growing and expanding her expertise.
Today, Manini oversees PR and in-house marketing for the agency, marking another milestone in her dynamic career. Throughout her journey, she feels fortunate to have had supportive management and opportunities that enabled her to evolve in various operational aspects of media. Her career path exemplifies adaptability, curiosity, and a passion for exploring diverse facets of the media industry.
3:41Manini has had the opportunity to work on a wide array of media campaigns, spanning across radio, television, and newspapers, as part of her role in a full-service agency. While she doesn’t have a particular favorite campaign, she believes that the most interesting ones have been those in the B2B (business-to-business) sector. Despite being back-breaking work, she finds B2B campaigns to be the most challenging and rewarding.
She recalls one instance where she worked with a German-based brand specializing in outdoor automated electric machinery, including chainsaws and heavy equipment. The challenge was to reach the rural market and farmers who lacked access to sophisticated media channels. For this campaign, she strategized to advertise on regional channels popular among the rural audience and utilized platforms like DD (Doordarshan).
Another memorable campaign was with a steel brand during the pro league. They associated the brand with a team called “Pumeri Paltan,” leveraging the client’s Pune location and the Maharashtra region. The steel brand’s logo was featured on the team’s jersey, and Manini’s team explored additional deliverables, such as placing products at village events, to raise awareness among farmers.
Overall, Manini finds the B2B campaigns the most interesting because they require innovative thinking and demand her team to develop strategies from scratch. Despite their complexities, she cherishes these campaigns for the learning opportunities they offer and the sense of fulfillment when successfully navigating the challenges. Among her many experiences, these B2B campaigns hold a special place as her favorites in the dynamic world of media and advertising.
First Interaction with data
6:40 Manini’s first encounter with data in the media industry was not as sophisticated and defined as it is today. During her time pursuing her master’s in Canada, she became intrigued by programmatic advertising. However, when she entered the professional world, she witnessed a significant transformation where sophisticated data points became indispensable in her work on various media campaigns.
She highlights how digital marketing has become a favorite among brand managers and marketers due to the abundance of data available for meticulous strategizing. With digital marketing, she emphasizes that advertisers have unprecedented control over their campaigns, knowing exactly who sees their ads and how audiences react to them. This level of control ensures efficient budget allocation and targeted advertising.
Reflecting on the past, Manini recalls how traditional media relied on limited data, making it challenging to accurately measure the reach and effectiveness of campaigns. However, with digital marketing, the ability to analyze data before and after campaigns has led to a shift in brands embracing this approach. It empowers them to measure the reach, frequency, and effectiveness of their ads more accurately, providing insights for better decision-making.
Furthermore, she emphasizes how data has revolutionized targeting in digital marketing. Manini cites an example of a protein powder brand, where behaviorally targeting health-conscious and fitness-focused individuals proved to be highly effective. Digital marketing allows precise demographic and behavioral targeting, offering advertisers an edge in connecting with their intended audience.
Overall, Manini’s journey with data in the media industry has evolved from relatively limited insights to a data-driven landscape where digital marketing reigns supreme. The availability of accurate analytics and the ability to measure results have made digital marketing an appealing choice for brands seeking greater control and effectiveness in their advertising efforts.
Important metrics to track
12:06 In her current role overseeing PR and in-house marketing for the agency, the professional emphasizes the importance of monitoring and analyzing various metrics to ensure effective campaign strategies and brand perception. As part of her responsibilities, she closely observes public sentiments and reactions to articles published about the agency, enabling her to gauge the public’s perception accurately.
In this two-way street approach, she not only monitors feedback about the agency but also tracks general opinions about the industry, aiding in shaping the agency’s image effectively. Social media plays a pivotal role in her domain, particularly LinkedIn and Instagram. On LinkedIn, her objective is to generate leads and new business opportunities, while Instagram serves as a platform to showcase the agency’s culture to attract potential employees.
To measure the effectiveness of social media efforts, she analyzes various metrics such as post engagement, identifying the type of content that resonates most with the audience. By studying trending topics and industry news, she curates timely and relevant content to maintain the agency’s competitive edge.
The metrics she tracks include the type of followers the agency attracts, which helps her understand the efficacy of her LinkedIn strategy. Additionally, she utilizes tools like Wizikey to monitor media coverage and assess the agency’s share of voice compared to competitors. Media monitoring holds significance in understanding the agency’s public perception and campaign performance.
Her focus on click-through rates (CTR) stands out as her favorite metric, particularly for brand awareness campaigns. CTR helps her assess how well the ad resonates with the audience and whether adjustments are necessary in targeting or creative aspects. This metric serves as a valuable indicator of campaign success and guides her in making data-driven decisions.
Throughout her career, she remains dedicated to analyzing data and utilizing it to optimize marketing efforts effectively. Her commitment to tracking relevant metrics ensures that campaigns deliver desired results and enables her to adapt strategies for better outcomes.
17:24 In her role, Manini spends a considerable amount of time planning media campaigns for various brands, often dealing with similar target audiences in the FMCG sector. She envisions a magical tool that could streamline the campaign planning process and provide precise and data-driven recommendations. This tool would allow her to input campaign details, such as budget and objectives, and instantly receive a segregated media plan tailored to the brand’s needs.
Her ideal tool would not only suggest appropriate media channels like television, newspapers, and hoardings but also offer valuable insights about their locations. For instance, it could identify the best locations for hoardings based on traffic data, enabling her to make informed decisions without the need for extensive manual work and vendor communications.
This magical tool would leverage machine learning techniques to learn from past data and predict the most effective strategies for each campaign. By automating much of the planning process, it would free up human resources to focus on refining and fine-tuning the campaign, adding a human touch to the data-driven decisions.
In essence, Manini’s magic wand would create an advanced tool that integrates data analytics, machine learning, and precise targeting capabilities. With such a tool at her disposal, she envisions a more efficient and effective media planning process, allowing her to harness the power of data and technology to deliver impactful campaigns for her clients.
Impact of AI in PR industry
19:38 Manini envisions a significant shift in the PR industry as AI continues to shape its landscape. AI-powered chatbots are already being embraced by many PR agencies to automate tasks such as media monitoring and social media engagement. Additionally, AI’s capabilities extend to generating automated reports and insights, relieving PR professionals of the arduous research work that comes with managing multiple clients.
She believes that with AI efficiently collating data and handling automated tasks, PR professionals can focus on higher-level strategies and decision-making processes. The integration of AI in media monitoring allows professionals to gain valuable insights into the industry landscape, journalist interests, and publication trends. This information empowers them to refine their PR strategies and tailor their communications effectively.
She further adds that understanding the target audience’s sentiments and perceptions is crucial in PR and overall marketing communications. AI comes to the rescue in this area as well, making it easier for professionals to gauge public sentiments on social media and other platforms. This process, which would otherwise be humanly impossible to handle alongside other responsibilities, becomes quick, efficient, and more manageable with AI’s assistance.
Ultimately, AI’s impact on the PR industry streamlines workflows, speeds up implementation, and reduces the manual workload. By leveraging AI’s capabilities, PR professionals can gain quick access to relevant data, identify areas for improvement, and make timely adjustments, ultimately enhancing their ability to deliver effective PR campaigns.
My two cents
21:38 Manini offers valuable advice to the younger generation entering the world of communications. One significant observation she makes is that the future generation tends to be self-assured and less inclined to seek or take advice. While acknowledging their independence, she stresses the importance of ethics and honesty in their work. Emphasizing the need to be genuine and perform ethically, she explains that even if they secure a job using shortcuts, they will eventually have to prove their worth through genuine effort and performance.
Another essential piece of advice she offers is understanding the balance between leveraging automated tools and personal involvement in tasks. Encouraging them to evaluate which tasks require human input and which can be efficiently handled by AI or automated systems, she highlights the significance of striking the right balance between technology and human touch.
Manini also encourages the younger generation to remain confident while recognizing the value of learning from experienced professionals. She urges them not to let overconfidence hinder effective collaboration with their colleagues and emphasizes the importance of absorbing knowledge from seasoned industry experts. In her view, there is a wealth of practical learning that can only be gained through real-world experience, underscoring the importance of on-the-job training in an agency environment.
In her parting advice, she stresses the continuous learning journey and the significance of practical experience, encouraging aspiring communication professionals to be open to learning from their colleagues and industry mentors. By combining confidence with a receptive attitude, ethics with genuine effort, and embracing both the human and technological aspects of the industry, the younger generation can build a successful and rewarding career in communications.