April 2, 2024 5 minutes read

In this DCC interview, we talk to Engineer-Turned-Marketer Sanjula Miglani where she spills the beans on what it takes to succeed in the fast-paced world of marketing and communications! Learn from her wealth of experience as she dishes out valuable advice for budding marketers. Discover the importance of creativity, the role of data, and how to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape.


Sanjula’s journey began somewhat unexpectedly. Following her family’s advice, she pursued engineering after high school, seeing it as a more manageable path than becoming a doctor. However, it was during her time participating in model United Nations activities that she realized her true passion for making a positive impact on the world’s issues.

Despite studying engineering, Sanjula found herself deeply involved in social causes through the founding of an NGO. She dedicated her time to important issues like sex education and combatting human trafficking, all while technically pursuing her engineering degree.

As she delved deeper into her studies, Sanjula discovered her talent for storytelling and marketing. This realization prompted her to transition into roles that would allow her to utilize these skills effectively. She first gained experience at Pepsico before deciding to pursue an MBA to further develop her expertise in marketing.

Following her MBA, instead of following a traditional corporate path, Sanjula ventured into the startup world. She found success at companies like cashKaro.com and Cars24, where she learned valuable lessons about marketing on a limited budget and the importance of creativity in branding.

Her journey eventually led her to Dineout, where she has been for six years. Even amidst challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanjula has remained dedicated to her work, utilizing her personal experiences and connections to the products she markets to drive success.

First Interaction with data

Sanjula vividly recalls her first encounter with the power of data. While managing an NGO, she faced a challenge with volunteer retention, unaware of the underlying issue. Initially attributing the problem to the nature of volunteerism, she soon realized the true cause lay in the arduous commutes volunteers faced. Analyzing the data revealed that lengthy travel times drained volunteers’ energy, affecting their willingness to participate. This revelation transformed her approach, leading to a restructuring of strategies that significantly improved retention rates.

This experience sparked Sanjula’s appreciation for data-driven decision-making, a mindset further reinforced during her tenure at CashKaro, where she worked closely with a data-oriented founder. Embracing a data-first approach became second nature to her, allowing her to navigate subsequent roles at companies like Dineout and Swiggy with confidence. Regularly analyzing data not only guided her actions but also inspired innovative ideas, shaping her career trajectory and solidifying her reputation as a data-savvy marketer.

Favourite Campaign

Sanjula reflects on two campaigns that hold special significance in her career. Amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 outbreak, she faced a unique challenge shortly after joining Dineout. Determined to prove herself, she brainstormed with the founders and devised a groundbreaking strategy: creating comprehensive reopening guidelines for restaurants. This initiative aimed to support struggling businesses while positioning Dineout as an industry leader. The result was a meticulously crafted white paper that outlined essential protocols for safe dining experiences, which garnered widespread attention from both media outlets and industry professionals. This campaign not only solidified Dineout’s reputation but also showcased Sanjula’s strategic prowess and adaptability during turbulent times.

Furthermore, Sanjula recounts her pivotal role in the “Safe To Eat Out” campaign, which addressed consumer concerns about dining out amidst the pandemic. Recognizing the need to rebuild consumer confidence, she orchestrated a comprehensive marketing campaign that emphasized the safety measures implemented by restaurants. Through a combination of public relations, digital marketing, and integrated communications, Sanjula effectively communicated the message that dining out could be done safely. This campaign not only earned accolades such as the Best Marketer awards from Agency Reporter and BW Excel but also earned Sanjula a nomination for BW Disrupt’s 30 Under 30, highlighting her impact as a marketing innovator and her ability to navigate challenging circumstances with creativity and determination.

Important Metrics

Sanjula delves into the nuanced evaluation of campaign success, emphasizing the distinct metrics for different types of marketing initiatives. In her explanation, she outlines three categories of campaigns: awareness, consideration, and transactional. For awareness campaigns, the primary focus lies on sentiment analysis and positioning analysis, which provide insights into how the brand is perceived by the target audience. Understanding the sentiment surrounding the brand is crucial for shaping future marketing strategies and maintaining a positive brand image.

In consideration campaigns, Sanjula highlights the importance of metrics such as open order per day (OPD), a hypothetical metric used to measure consumer engagement and interest. Additionally, she stresses the significance of qualitative analysis, which involves conducting surveys and focus groups to gather in-depth feedback from consumers. This qualitative approach allows marketers to understand the factors influencing consumer behavior and the effectiveness of the campaign in influencing brand consideration.

Sanjula also emphasizes the necessity of both quantitative and qualitative analyses to obtain a comprehensive understanding of campaign performance. While quantitative metrics provide concrete data on key performance indicators, such as sales numbers, qualitative analysis offers valuable insights into consumer perceptions, preferences, and decision-making processes. By combining both approaches, marketers can accurately assess the impact of their campaigns and make informed decisions for future marketing strategies.

Impact of AI on Communications

Sanjula discusses the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on communication, highlighting both its pros and cons. She emphasizes the importance of data in marketing and acknowledges AI’s role in helping businesses utilize data effectively. AI aids in data structuring and enables even non-data inclined individuals to leverage data for decision-making. Sanjula notes that AI saves time, particularly in tasks like writing press releases, where it significantly reduces the time required for research and drafting. However, she also points out the downside of relying too heavily on AI, such as potentially missing out on important information due to the ease of access to information. She stresses the importance of human intelligence (HI) in operating AI effectively, drawing parallels to the need for balance between AI and HI, akin to the relationship between Dr. Octopus and his AI in Spiderman. While AI can streamline processes and reduce manpower, Sanjula believes that human intelligence remains irreplaceable and that technology has not yet reached a stage where it can fully replace human intellect.

Dream Metric

Sanjula expresses her desire for a dream metric that would enable her to quickly and accurately capture the positioning of a brand. She highlights the challenge marketers face in measuring brand positioning effectively and emphasizes the importance of such a metric in aligning with the intended brand image. Sanjula envisions this dream metric as a powerful tool that could significantly impact her decision-making and ultimately contribute to her success as a marketer. She envisions leveraging this metric to negotiate with companies and demonstrate the effectiveness of positioning campaigns, ultimately leading to more informed and impactful marketing strategies.

My two cents

Sanjula’s advice to the younger generation is straightforward: prioritize authenticity, innovation, and creativity. She stresses the importance of nurturing creative thinking, highlighting that while data and AI can address many challenges, it’s human ingenuity that drives true innovation. Sanjula acknowledges the abundance of tools available today, which can both facilitate and complicate the creative process. Despite the challenges posed by the wealth of existing ideas and campaigns, she encourages individuals to trust their creative instincts and strive for originality in their work. Ultimately, Sanjula believes that creativity is the key to success in fields like communications and marketing, where fresh ideas and unique perspectives can make all the difference.