Hi, I'm Ruchika Sharma, Customer Marketing Manager at CleverTap, and today
I have with me Namrata Balwani. Thank you Ruchika, it's good to be
here. I'm Namrata Balwani, I'm a Marketing and Customer Experience consultant
based in Dubai. I work with startups and corporates on strategizing their
marketing transformation and analytics requirements. Namrata, how long have
you been in this MarTech industry, and if you can share how and
when this journey started for you? Well, my journey into marketing started
right from the time I graduated from MICA, I consciously went into that
because I love the domain, and through that, it's led me through many
different places, to Dubai. So, during this phase, did you go through any
career transitions? Yeah, I think my career transitions were fairly natural.
I started out in advertising, but very soon I got a chance to
co found a digital agency, and that's how Media2win was born.
It was about a year into Facebook being even existing.
I did that for about 10 years, it was a roller coaster ride, running
a startup is exciting and tough at the same time. I then moved to
Ogilvy, where I got a chance to lead the North office for Ogilvy One
and work on some great global brands. But through that, I got a
chance to come to Dubai, set up the digital marketing transformation customer
analytics practice with the Landmark Group.
And now, in fact, I'm still based in Dubai, but I'm independent and
I work for myself. Wow, that's quite a journey that you have.
Would you like to share any other learnings with us?
Some of the learnings, I think that have always worked for me are, one,
to always push yourself out of your comfort zone, be adaptable,
learn from new experiences. And the second one is, to not be afraid
to take some risks, because when you take risks, you can do things
that you didn't think were possible from you at all. So always be
pushing the boundaries and learning new things. So, Namrata, as we all know,
this MarTech landscape is evolving, new technologies are coming in. How
do you ensure that you stay ahead of the curve? How do you
keep yourself updated? For me the three things that are important are reading,
networking, and implementing. Reading, because there are so many great resources
out there from which you can learn. Whether it's blogs, whether it's videos,
whether it's content put out by other companies, but it's equally important
to network within your community of MarTech people, because the pulse of
the market changes so fast, that if
you're not networking with people, you might miss out on some trends.
And the third is just implementing, implementing because you can evaluate
things, but unless you implement something, you don't know whether it works
for you or not. There are so many tools that allow you to
do free trials, implement, see if it works for your business,
and go from there.
Great. So you mentioned networking, so I'm gonna pick that up,
and I want to understand if mentorship is something that resonates with
you? Yeah, absolutely, mentorship is really, really important. It's important
because anyone who's entering the work force always needs to learn from
peers, from seniors, on how to achieve your best. But I think it's
also important for women simply because there are still very few women in
senior leadership roles, and we should actively mentor the next generation
of women coming in. Mentoring is also a way of giving back to
the industry, and the other way to give back to the industry is
simply to teach, that's something that I do, I teach Digital Marketing at
post graduate programs, and it helps me impart my knowledge to people coming
into the work force today.
So how about your personal mentor, do you have any Superwoman in your
life? I worked with many great inspiring women leaders. I've had bosses
that were inspiring as well, but I think if I was to pick
a Superwoman, I would pick my mother. The reason for that is that
my mother taught me from a very young age, and simply by doing
so many things herself, she taught by example.
That you should never be afraid, that you should always stand up for
yourself, stand for what you believe in, you should be independent,
and you shouldn't be afraid to take some risk.
So I'm gonna end this conversation by asking you if you have any
key takeaways that you would want to share with next generation leaders,
aspiring leaders? Absolutely. The first thing I would like to share is that
marketing is all about customers and people, right? So we need to understand
customer needs before we start on thinking about what technology we want.
It's really about planning the entire customer experience and life cycle,
and then starting to understand what tools you need to achieve that.
The second is that data and analytics is not an outcome,
it is the starting point, so we need to understand which metrics absolutely
drive business growth, and then track those metrics, and understand whether
our campaigns and our solutions deliver those metrics. So, starting from
analysis, right? Yes, absolutely. That's a really cool tip. Any digital
transformation is only successful if there are people who make it happen,
and by people, that means the people in the company. So we need
to think about how do people adapt to this change, do they understand
what technology is being implemented, how do we do change management,
and only then decide that this is the tool that we want.
Thank you so much Namrata for contributing to this initiative and sharing
all these insights with us, it was lovely catching up with you.
Thank you Ruchika, likewise. Thank you.