Marketing Maverick: Priya Darshani, Head of Marketing, JAPAC MediaMath #APACLeaders

We interviewed Priya Darshani, Head of Marketing, JAPAC MediaMath for our series on #APACLeaders. Read how Priya thinks AI and data are changing the way we go to market. 

With innovative disruption changing the digital economy, customer expectations are on the rise. What change have you seen in digital marketing strategies to deal with rising customer expectations?

I believe that when marketing is done well, it serves the useful purpose of connecting products and services to the people that need or want them, thus increasing the value exchange between consumers and marketers. Our ability to deliver a compelling consumer experience requires our ability to understand and orchestrate data across marketing channels— there are far more today than a decade ago, and new ones emerging. This is more important than ever as consumers are not just demanding the right message at the right time, but also control over both their data and privacy.

Customers now expect you to know them, and thus we see that the most effective campaigns are those which are built with platform and people front-of-mind.

Also for Marketers themselves, we have seen the shift in focus from pure metrics-based performance towards value driven marketing. Marketers now must weigh into how their efforts are adding value to the business’s bottom line.

How much impact does your social media strategy, and mobile app marketing have on your ROI? What are the online platforms that work well for your organization?

Social media plays an ever-increasing role in brand marketing strategies with networks providing access to highly engaged and precisely targeted audiences. We are in the B2B space so most of our audiences are best engaged on platforms such as LinkedIn.
Mobile marketing can be a pretty broad term, referring to mobile ads, apps, mobile websites–just about any kind of marketing that happens on a mobile device, with the B2B nature of our clients our focus is more on mobile as a channel. With the consumer-centric marketing front, centre and end both channels form an important part of the consumer journey and in the end, it all adds up toward the business ROI.

Influencer marketing, AR/VR, chatbots, hyper-personalized marketing are the growing trends of today. As a modern marketer, what is your view on the use of martech in your marketing strategy?

The best source of data that a company has is that which is generated by its own operation. Such is the case in a bank that has information on all its users, the products they use, the times they go to the branch office when they talk to the call centre or log in to their website.

This information is saved (or should be saved) in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database. This is a martech system, and its most common use at the present time is for sending a direct mail or email to a user. However, marketers can use the knowledge from martech systems to optimize advertising campaigns. Imagine that a supermarket has a campaign of 50 products on offer. Technically, it is possible to know with physical and real-time sales information in the store which of those offers are working the best and then automatically optimize the advertising campaign to give priority to what has the best result.

In what ways do you think AI, data and machine learning are transforming the way we are approaching marketing today?

Digital transformation is now a reality and it centres around data, the problem lies that many marketers are spending too much time trying to manage and corral their customer data- leaving them with less than ideal time and resources to put their findings and insights from that data to work. AI has given us the tools to use our data better.

Looking into the future, artificial intelligence (AI) will be one of the next major technological advances that will impact the consumer experience. With AI, companies can learn from their interactions with customers and use that data to supply consumers with even more relevant advertising. And, unstructured data like mood and weather can be used to add more variables to the bidding process. In addition, AI-driven ad creatives will be the next-generation version of dynamic creative optimization to deliver things like interactive ad units. Using AI to further optimize digital ad spending is the next step marketers are taking to make ads less intrusive and more customer-centric as we head into the next 10 years of programmatic.

How do you describe a modern marketer of today?

Marketing is no longer a single discipline, but multifaceted. Hence the modern day marketer is someone who is always alert to new trends and knows how to use the right mix of strategy and latest tech capabilities to put customers at the heart of their marketing.


Priya Darshani is the Head of Marketing JAPAC at MediaMath and oversees MediaMath’s Marketing strategy for the region. She began her career at MediaMath in 2017, prior to joining MediaMath, Priya was leading the marketing for Rubicon Project a major SSP in the region.

Priya holds a B.E in electronics engineering from NTU and a master’s in business in emerging markets from the University of Edinburgh.


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