Content without reach is like building cathedrals in the desert:Sandeep Balani,Head of India at Outbrain.#MartechMonday.

Q) What Impact do you think will AI & Machine learning will bring to the Marketing Industry?

AI and machine learning are going to make the overall industry more efficient in terms of the way it operates and help bring a greater scale with clients. We are seeing programmatic being a big trend in the overall growth of the industry, and programmatic does AI, and machine learning techniques to bring results through every platform is structured in a very different way that it operates in.

Q) How important do you think personalisation is in the present marketing scenarios?

Personalisation is very critical for bringing efficiency on overall user journey as we have seen a great impact on many metrics which can improve once we do show relevant content to users. Along with personalisation, we also deeply look at contextual data points to help the user to see relevant content on the right platform.

Q) What do you think would be the future of marketing?

Marketing is already data-driven as advertising has already been automated to an extent but moving forward, we will start seeing a further user of Big Data into how marketers make their decision. Interest-based targeting would become critical to overall advertiser usage of data.

Q) How do you think automation can help the marketing strategy?

Automation can make marketing strategy more efficient by automating mundane work advertisers can focus on bringing more efficiency to spending every dollar. Currently, we do see many leakages on how the overall ecosystem is structured, which I can be greatly affected by automation.

Q) What are the important metrics/KPIs for your business in Marketing?

We look at the final return in terms of dollar conversion for every dollar that we spend on marketing and use tech to measure conversion via our sales funnel.

Q) How do you measure your success? Metrics you track and Goals you set up

It is definitely the final conversion and dollar return that is the right metric for success in marketing. Also, we try and ensure our brand is recognised and present with the right audience who are relevant to our business.

Q) What are data points are valuable to you? And why

We look at many different data points; some of it may be perceptual or feedback-driven.

● No of queries converted.

● No new people meet/networked with.

● Were senior folks in the market talking about it?

Q) What Martech tools do you use in your Marketing Strategy?

We use a wide range of tools from email marketing platforms, to creative platforms. However, the most important tools we use allow us to measure what we do. Data is the key to an informed marketing strategy. 

Q) What marketing channels are must in your marketing strategy

All digital channels of course but also events. Meeting our customers face to face and understanding their goals and challenges allows us to continuously improve and innovate what we do for both publishers and marketers. 

Q) Marketing Channel vs Marketing content, which do you focus more and why?

Content is little value if it is not seen. Hamish Priest when at Unilever, famously said: “Content without reach is like building cathedrals in the desert.” In 2017 it was estimated that 60% to 80% of content never reaches it’s intended audience. I would guess that this number has risen since the huge surge in video content. Creating content that is interesting, relevant and high quality is key to a successful campaign – but choosing the right channels and formats to deliver that content is equally important. Marketers need to invest in both equally. 

Q) How do you keep yourself ahead of the competition?

By constantly listening to our customers and with an idea of persistent innovation. 

About Sandeep Balani

Sandeep Balani is the Head of India for Outbrain, where he is responsible for advancing the market penetration of the entire range of Outbrain’s product portfolio, managing both the Publisher and Advertiser sides of the business.
Prior to taking this position, Balani was Outbrain’s Director of Business Development for Engage in India and focused on securing and strengthening relationships with the region’s most premium publishers. A seasoned digital leader in the publishing and media industry, Balani has more than 16 years’ experience as a senior sales executive, having previously worked at Komli Media for nearly five years. He has been with Outbrain for over four years.

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