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Written by Team Wizikey

May 13, 2022

Data-driven storytelling is more credible: Vandana from OkCredit

In this episode, we spoke to Vandana Vats from OkCredit, discussing her passion for data-driven storytelling.

Data-driven storytelling is more credible: Vandana from OkCredit

With so many brands fighting for attention, you need data-driven communications to set yourself apart from the competition. To put your brand on the road to success, it is important to develop a communications strategy that uses data to differentiate yourself from your competitors. In this episode of Data Champions in Communications, we have Vandana Vats, Senior Manager- Content and Communications from OkCredit.

1. How did you land in comms?

I was a journalist for 13 years, telling stories of corporates, startups, and tech CEOs at publications such as Business Standard, The Week, and The Ken. I wanted to apply my storytelling skills to help startups shape narratives and that’s how I landed at OkCredit.

Technology has always fascinated me. It’s an area I have deeply reported on as a journalist in several publications and I wanted to utilize this knowledge to build something meaningful. While journalism gave me a spectrum of experiences across beats, my communication experience has helped me dive deeper into a particular sector.

2. When was your first interaction with data?

Having been a journalist, I have been surrounded by data. As a financial markets correspondent in the early part of my career, I was required to regularly decode the data put out by regulators. Over the years, I have learned that data-driven storytelling is more credible and sharp than anecdotal pieces. As a communicator, I have found it to be all the more effective.

Today, data is at the center of communication design—be it a particular type of content tailored to audiences or assessing the efficacy of new media channels such as podcasts and newsletters. It’s hard to build the right channel in the absence of data. One of its biggest advantages is that it brings a lot more clarity to a founder’s mind on PR as a tool for outreach.

3. How did you start using data in delivering your campaigns? 

I started by primarily using data to gather insights on the impact we were creating through our PR campaigns. Data-driven results with tangible benefits are valued by the founders and it then becomes easier to align them to future campaigns. Earned media growth may not be directly proportional to organic growth but data can tell the story of the organic reach of the brand. I have also used data to analyze trends in the industry which have helped me in strategizing for future PR campaigns. 

4. Did you come across any challenges in communications where data helped?

Data plugged the gap in our PR efforts, wherein we were not looking at certain publications, making us blind to those audiences. It also aided us in determining our regional PR strategy, guiding us in choosing specific markets to focus on.

5. What is the most important metric for you?

While impressions, brand mentions, and traffic are important, what we truly care for is audience engagement that goes beyond impressions and tells how our TG is perceiving a piece of particular news or article. What also matters a lot to us is the quality of publications, which helps us in reaching out to the right set of stakeholders.

6. What tools are your favorite to get data insights?

We use multiple tools for different objectives. Meltwater is a good one for getting audience insights and competitor tracking.

7. How do you see data in comms and marketing evolve in the coming days?

Data has been and will continue to be very important for communications, not just for brand building but from a strategic perspective too. Companies are increasingly focussing a lot on tangibles and with data, it’s easier to show the proof of the pudding. Data-driven insights will shape the future of communications, which will veer more towards a targeted approach.

8. Which is the favorite campaign that you were part of?

We did a number of campaigns last year. Among those, the two that are really close to my heart are- (a)  #Outoftheshadows – Our women’s day campaign that urged women to come out of the shadows of the men folk.

(b) #PaasHaiToKhaasHai- A campaign that talked about the importance of neighborhood stores and shopping local.

9. What is your two cents for the budding comms professionals? 

Firstly, as a communications professional, it’s important to never underestimate the power of great content. Good content can make even adversaries sit up and take notice. Today, a lot of attention goes into creating interesting social content but I feel articles and interviews that convey a solid message can be as powerful. Second, one needs to be always updated with happenings in relevant sectors as well as the media landscape. Third and the most important is, understanding your target audience before designing any communication campaign.

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