Team Wizikey

Written by Team Wizikey

September 29, 2022

Data is oil, Data is gold: Pratik from Cobweb

Pratik was expected to pursue engineering and fulfill the great Indian dream. He did pursue engineering in computer science, but his heart always leaned toward communications. He fought his battles and went on to pursue communications at one of India’s top institutes. Today, he is now driving marketing and communications at Cobweb. 1. Give us […]

Data is oil, Data is gold: Pratik from Cobweb

Pratik was expected to pursue engineering and fulfill the great Indian dream. He did pursue engineering in computer science, but his heart always leaned toward communications. He fought his battles and went on to pursue communications at one of India’s top institutes. Today, he is now driving marketing and communications at Cobweb.

1. Give us a little bit of the backstory about how you came to the field?

Being a proverbial ‘bright’ kid in school, I was always meant to study engineering or medicine as per my parents & peers. I did finish the engineering in computer science before filling in that application to study at one of India’s top communications institutions, Xavier’s. With my engineering background, it was always going to be a challenge to transition into the marketing & communications space. The chance to study at XIC changed it all & gave meaning to my desire of working in the field. Learning from some of the brightest minds in the domain of media, marketing, public relations & communications was an experience like no other. Coupled with my love for data & numbers, the end of my post-graduation was followed by my first stint with a role in the PR & Communications industry.

2. What was your first interaction/experience with data?

Crunching numbers has always been one of my strong suits. Mathematics was my go-to subject during my school/college years. But my ‘Tryst with Data’ happened when I started my role at Text 100 (now Archetype) with TVS Motor Company as my first client. Customers look at ROI when they hire a communications agency & data is critical to determine to back up the work done. Collating data around circulation numbers/viewership of all the client’s media stories is the initial interaction that married my communication work with data analysis.

3. How did you start using data/metrics in delivering your campaigns? Can you share a few anecdotes?

One cannot separate data from their everyday work in Marketing & Communications. Collating and analyzing data started with my work in the agency, but utilizing it happened when I started work on a project for the European Union.

• Social media was an important platform for outreach toward internal & external stakeholders. Utilizing previous engagement & impression data from LinkedIn/Twitter helped in curating content along with graphics for campaigns For my next role, managing brand at Reliance Jio Haptik:

• Metrics & data analysis was the cornerstone in terms of lead generation. Designing website landing pages was based on an analysis of website traffic & customer details (e.g., Geography, gender, device/browser information, etc.)

4. Did you come across any challenges in communications, and did you feel data helped you in any way to solve the problem?

Managing a role in communications without challenges is equivalent to undertaking a task without an end goal. One cannot move ahead if hurdles are not encountered & I faced more than a few over the last 7+ years. From cracking media stories with A-list publications to generating quality leads via a webinar, there were some sleepless nights. Data has been a savior when it comes to getting out of a sticky situations. An example would be understanding why a user drops off from a particular website page. Understanding bounce rate and user touch points across pages helped decipher the cause thus leading to major changes in content, design & user experience on the website.

5. What is the most important metric/data point for you as a comms person?

In the end, we are all trying to reach our ‘Target Audience’. Data that can help focus on their behavior & requirement is vital. When it comes to social media & email marketing, metrics like engagement & click rate make all the difference. In terms of owned media, it comes down to user behavior and demographics.

6. What tools are your best / fav to help you in data insights?

What would we do without tools? I do believe that one needs to have more than a single point of reference when it comes to analyzing data. Google Analytics is the gold standard for insights & if you are using a CRM, then the data derived from there is a viable alternative. Social media analysis is available on given platforms but tools like Hootsuite, and Falcon help you, deep dive, into the vast sea of data.

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

More than evolution, data is bringing a revolution in the marketing & comms industry. The present & future will focus on deriving the best possible outcome from available data. ROI will be determined by campaigns that successfully deploy insights from data.

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

There are two campaigns that come to mind:
• Launching & running a content platform ‘Conversations on AI’. This was more of a project than a campaign as it involved creating content (interviews, podcasts, blogs, live webinars), distributing/promoting the content as well as increasing the subscriber base.
• Conceptualizing a large-scale digital town hall in my current role for the MENA (the Middle East North Africa) region. In partnership with Microsoft, this digital event featured speakers from UAE & Turkey.

9. Is there any metric you wished you had access to?

Umpteen metrics are available to analyze the success/failure of a given task. One thing that is vague is customer or user intent. It is difficult to understand the level of intent your TG has when it comes to accepting your product/service. If only one had access to this intent, life would be a bit more content.

10. Would you like to share your two cents for the budding comms professionals?

• We have heard that – Data is oil, Data is gold. Both gold & oil are exhaustible commodities while data is inexhaustible & infinitely valuable. Communication projects or campaigns must run parallel with the ensuing data

• Never take the creative hat off your head. There may be set methods to accomplish certain tasks, but it is this creativity & attitude that can turn a good campaign into a winner

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