Team Wizikey

Written by Team Wizikey

July 26, 2023

“AI-generated content offers efficiency, but true thought leadership remains rooted in authentic insights and expertise.”-Yash Bhargava from Waterfield Advisors

In this episode, we have Yash Bhargava, who went from doubting marketing’s impact to excelling as the head of Marketing and Communications at Waterfield Advisors. With a journey that began in the digital marketing realm straight out of college, Yash’s unconventional path has led him to embrace the power of both analytics and creativity. He […]

“AI-generated content offers efficiency, but true thought leadership remains rooted in authentic insights and expertise.”-Yash Bhargava from Waterfield Advisors

In this episode, we have Yash Bhargava, who went from doubting marketing’s impact to excelling as the head of Marketing and Communications at Waterfield Advisors. With a journey that began in the digital marketing realm straight out of college, Yash’s unconventional path has led him to embrace the power of both analytics and creativity. He passionately talks about how AI is changing PR and the need to build real connections with journalists for successful PR strategies.

Introduction

Yash, the head of marketing and communications for Waterfield Advisors, shares his unconventional yet successful journey in the field. Straight out of college, he founded a digital marketing company, marking the beginning of his nine to ten-year venture in the industry, initially on the agency side. As he grew, he realized the importance of structure and continuous learning, leading him to transition to the client side. Yash emphasizes how the recent advancements in technology and analytical tools have made it easier for marketers to offer a comprehensive suite of services.

Interestingly, he once believed that marketing might not make a significant impact, particularly in the wealth management industry, which he perceived as more focused on top-of-the-funnel marketing, such as brand awareness and education. However, he came to realize that marketing’s power lies in storytelling and using repetitive techniques at the top of the funnel to progressively narrow down target segments level by level.

At Waterfield Advisors, Yash’s day-to-day activities are diverse, involving tactical work in areas like social media, events, brand awareness, and campaign design. This constant context switching and the opportunity to focus on individual clients and their needs excites him. Yash’s typical day encompasses writing, designing, data analytics, and collaborating with his team to implement valuable insights gained from their experiences.

The power of data driven success

Yash reflects on his early perception of himself as more creative than analytical in his marketing journey. While he appreciated the impact of visually stunning branding and graphics, he soon learned that success in marketing is achieved through a harmonious combination of both analytics and creativity. He expresses frustration with the notion of solely optimizing through data-driven methods, emphasizing the importance of storytelling and creativity in marketing.

Having incorporated data analytics into his approach, Yash highlights the transformative impact it has had on their marketing strategies at Waterfield Advisors. He emphasizes the significance of understanding real audience feedback and behavior through data analysis, particularly with their website’s design and user experience. By leveraging data and heat map tracking, they were able to optimize the website and create a friendlier user journey.

For a smaller marketing team like theirs, data-driven decision-making has become essential. Yash cites the example of using data to prioritize media outreach efforts, selecting the right stories, and nurturing relationships with journalists. With limited resources, they have learned to utilize data effectively to maximize their impact.

Overall, Yash acknowledges that data-driven insights have become an indispensable tool for achieving success in marketing. The fusion of analytics and creativity empowers marketers to make informed decisions, enhance user experiences, and strategically allocate resources for greater impact.

A Campaign where data played a huge role

Yash fondly recalls a significant instance where data played a pivotal role in their marketing success. It was during the opening of an office in Kochi, a tier two city in India. His team encountered various challenges, including limited access to organized data and a language barrier as their clientele predominantly read vernacular news.

To overcome these obstacles, they turned to a media analytics tool that proved to be invaluable. This tool enabled them to focus their efforts effectively in an unfamiliar geography and understand stories written in a different language. By analyzing the impact, reach, and writing style of journalists through the tool, they gained valuable insights into the local market, which otherwise would have been time-consuming and challenging for non-native speakers like them.

The data-driven approach not only helped them navigate the language barrier but also allowed them to identify journalists who wrote compelling stories in the local language. This informed decision-making significantly contributed to the success of their campaign in Kochi.

In this instance, data analytics became a powerful ally, guiding them in creating a successful marketing campaign and establishing a strong presence in a new market.

Important metrics to track

Yash emphasizes the importance of tracking metrics that align with the right objectives, rather than using incorrect metrics to justify strategies. He acknowledges the divide in the marketing industry when it comes to focusing on return on investment (ROI) or brand awareness, but he sees value in both approaches depending on the objectives.

For him, the most critical metrics he tracks daily are competition tracking and pipeline monitoring. As an investment advisor firm, they prioritize quality over quantity in media coverage, and thus, tracking their own brand on a daily basis isn’t as relevant. Instead, keeping a close eye on competitors’ activities, initiatives, and hiring helps them stay ahead in the niche industry. Moreover, maintaining a detailed pipeline of potential clients and tracking news about them is essential for tailoring specific campaigns to acquire targeted clients effectively.

Additionally, Yash and his team closely monitor the reach of their authored articles published in tier one publications, as these pieces contribute significantly to their brand’s exposure and reputation.

By focusing on these key metrics, Yash ensures that his marketing efforts remain data-driven, relevant, and targeted, allowing Waterfield Advisors to make informed decisions and achieve success in their niche market.

Impact of AI on PR and Comms field

Yash shares his perspective on the impact of AI in the PR industry, predicting that this new era of AI will lead to the mass manufacture of thought leaders. He envisions a future where AI will enable new writers to emerge and participate in topics that were previously less accessible. While acknowledging the positive impact AI can have, Yash expresses concerns about potential loss of authenticity and true insight in the content generated by AI.

He believes that journalists and news publications will play a crucial role in filtering out AI-generated content from authentic pieces. With the rise of AI tools that can produce content with specific tones and grammar, participation in media stories may become easier and more widespread. Yash emphasizes the responsibility of journalists and publications in distinguishing between authentic thought leadership and AI-generated content. While recognizing the efficiency and value of generative AI tools for producing quick and insightful content, he underscores the importance of preserving the essence of true thought leadership. He envisions the need for advanced tools and technologies that can identify AI signatures in content generation, ensuring transparency and differentiation between AI-generated and authentic contributions.

In conclusion, Yash sees the potential benefits of AI in empowering writers and thought leaders but highlights the necessity of maintaining authenticity and responsible content curation in the face of this new technological frontier in the PR industry.

Magic feature/tool

Looking into the future, Yash envisions a dream metric that could distinguish between content written by actual writers, journalists, or copywriters and content generated by AI, even after being rephrased to sound more human-like. Such a metric, in his view, would be incredibly useful to have. However, his ultimate dream metric is the ability to track the impact of a single article on their lead pipeline. If they could precisely measure how a news article led to potential leads, regardless of whether it was published years ago and no longer tracked through website conversions or traffic, it would be a game-changer. This dream metric would not only demonstrate the true ROI of PR as an activity but also help identify which articles had the most significant impact on their business. Yash believes that having metrics like these would be remarkable for the industry’s understanding of the effectiveness and value of their PR efforts.

My two cents

Yash offers valuable advice to both in-house PR professionals and aspiring PR professionals working in agencies. To in-house PR professionals, he advises against solely relying on their PR agency for media coverage. Instead, he encourages them to build genuine relationships with journalists by reading their stories, providing feedback, and engaging with their work. By doing so, they can have a more hands-on and strategic approach to public relations, independent of their PR agency’s efforts.

For those aspiring to work in PR agencies, Yash emphasizes the importance of truly understanding and living the client’s brand. He believes that the role of a PR professional extends beyond being a messenger, and they should actively collaborate with internal teams, strategize on relevant stories, and engage directly with the client’s senior leadership. By immersing themselves in the client’s industry and company developments, they can proactively anticipate questions and effectively represent their clients to journalists. Overall, Yash’s advice encourages a proactive and involved approach to public relations, emphasizing the significance of authentic relationships and strategic thinking for future PR professionals.

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