Carona Mohapatra

VP & Head – Digital Marketing

Janalakshmi Financial Services

What makes a good marketer?

The role of a marketer has changed drastically in the past few years and has become truly multi-faceted. In my view, a good marketer

  • Understands the business, the business environment, and the business disruptors and aligns herself with the business objectives of the organization.
  • Understands the customer & the competition (both direct as well as indirect)
  • Understands how technology impacts business and is a marketing technologist.
  • Focuses on engaging with customers on a medium that works. In my view, good marketers focus on creating custom content based on the media/platform which the customer prefers and not the other way round. While focusing on storytelling is great, this kind of content does not work for all categories of customers. It is important to understand what works and what does not work for your customers.
  • Must possess a good understanding of the agency and tech partner ecosystem that exists. In today’s multi-partner, multi-vendor, multi-agency environment, choosing & managing the right partner/agency for the right projects is crucial.

How does one sustain their brand image?

Sustaining one’s brand image is much harder in today’s world than creating a brand image and the only way it can be done is to ensure that all branding initiatives are focused on creating awareness, familiarity and loyalty leading to customer advocacy. It is important that every marketing organization builds a strong platform and strategy that monitors, protects, and defines its brand. Having said this, a brand that is authentic and relatable, a brand that the consumers can identify with and rely on, always has a better chance to sustain itself.

Where do you think Marketing is headed?

There is no longer any doubt that ‘Customer Experience is set to drive the brands of future’ but what is clear now that with Digital, Automation, Analytics and Research becoming crucial to achieving business objectives, marketing will become more and more integrated with business. In some cases, it will also start calling the shots when it comes to taking decisions regarding products/offerings and even define the future of markets.

Do social media channels really help marketers?

Of course, yes. Be it amplification, customer engagement or customer service or just to get the word out on any special development, social media remains the most popular and the most cost effective means of doing the same.  For certain industries, not being active on social media can be suicidal for brands.

A technology that you foresee as being useful to a marketer of the future?

Both Virtual Reality as well as ‘Augmented Reality’ but my bet is on ‘Virtual Reality’ becoming somewhat mainstream this year, quite similar to how ‘Live Streaming’ came in to focus last year. What will work in favor of ‘Virtual Reality’ is the way it lends itself to most content marketing areas, whether it is virtually experiencing a product offering or treating the users to a fantasy world of the brand.

Profile: Carona Mohapatra a senior marketing & advertising professional with over 15 years of experience in managing key media & technology brands. She has led the digital marketing function at Wipro, overseen IBM India’s Digital & Social initiatives and currently heads Digital Marketing at Janalakshmi Financial Services, India’s largest Urban Microfinance Company that is soon launching itself as a Small Finance Bank. When not online, her offline duties revolve around her kid, books, travel and food.


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