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Interview with Shreya Krishnan, Head Marketing, Communications and CSR, First Advantage India

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Shreya KrishnanShreya Krishnan is currently Head Marketing, Communications and CSR for First Advantage India and handle Advertising, Branding, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Communications, Corporate Communications, PR, Events, Digital and Social Media, Market Research and Lead Generation. With over 10 years of experience, I worked and consulted with corporate groups and start-ups like CoreObjects, Wooqer, Collabera, JGI, Creative Geeks, Write Impressions, Toozio Technologies Pvt Ltd.

First Advantage is the global leader in background screening services. The screening industry in India is still in its nascent stage and as market leaders in this niche industry, we were the pioneers in leveraging the power of digital marketing and evolving strategies to augment our vision of creating a “security conscious society.”Right from the beginning, our idea was to create content that helps us engage our audience and leave lasting impressions rather than just focus on generating leads.

Customized and innovative Digital marketing campaigns such as the “Do It Right” campaign has enabled us to reach out to the different demographics on the internet, to identify and connect with the pulse of the millennials which is key to the sustenance and growth of FADV’s brand identity. 

According to you, what are the advantages of conventional marketing over Digital Marketing? Do you think that Digital Marketing is a threat to the future of conventional marketing?

Shreya Krishnan:According to me conventional and digital marketing needs to be viewed in entirely different context and not on a comparative scale purely for the purpose of an academic weighing exercise as there is no clear demarcation. The essence of marketing is to be able to tell a story convincingly and the medium or means you adopt to achieve this end is dependent on the perceived audience, the product/service/cause we seek to promote, the industry segment to be catered to etc. Sometimes conventional marketing works, sometimes digital does better and more often than not an integrated approach serves best.

I don’t see Digital Marketing as a threat to conventional marketing. Essentially the nature of the story that needs to be told determines the medium of its expression. There are always different market segments and a spectrum of audience to reach out to which requires synergy of marketing mediums and ways of storytelling.

Share about your 3 favorite Digital Marketing case studies. What did you like most about them?

Shreya Krishnan:

  • The Ford Figo Campaign – What drives you – The conversations were great, the brand made the experience of the car interview beautiful…
  • Lifebuoy at KumbhMela – Simple, strong messaging, delivered on rotis served at the mela – Kya appne aapka haath dhoya? 
  • Coca-Cola – Open Happiness – The messaging was well articulated across all media
  • Google Series – India and Pakistan connect, Google Photos 
According to you, what are the top 3 mistakes committed by organizations today in leveraging Digital Marketing?

Shreya Krishnan:

  1. Organizations adopt an approach much like a monologue where there is only one way communication happening. They set up social media pages, twitter handles and post what they think is interesting and unique without reading the pulse of the audience. The human element of storytelling is lost in this approach.
  2. There is a notion that aggressive digital marketing is a quick fix and an assured means of lead generation. While digital marketing serves to promote lead gen, it needs to be supplemented by smart PR and other strategies.
  3. The amount of time and resources organizations spend to make a viral campaign is ridiculous. You can’t cook up a viral campaign. It’s an outcome of smart marketing and appropriate positioning. Viral campaigns don’t exist. Campaigns become viral.

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Between Agency and In-house, which approach would you recommend for maximum value of Digital Marketing? Why?

Shreya Krishnan: In my experience, engaging an agency that is in sync with the organization’s ethos yields the best results as this helps ideate campaigns that are aligned with the corporate’s strategy while staying relevant with market reality. The potential for flow of creativity and innovative ideas is greater considering the scale and reach of the agency which has expertise in dealing with multiple market segments and industries.

However in the start-up world, housing a team internally seems to work wonders!

Why do you think it’s important for entrepreneurs, marketing professionals and students to learn Digital Marketing today?

Shreya Krishnan:

  • For Entrepreneurs: There is an entire wave of action and activity happening on the internet. The space is abuzz all the time and everyday a large demographic is being introduced to the digital space thus expanding the potential market base. Entrepreneurs can leverage digital marketing to identity their market segment and engage that particular segment with curated content that is relevant and creative.
  • For Professionals: Much like ‘brand identity’, a professional is also associated with an individual identity in the digital space. This helps create a brand for the individual and thus establish credibility and thought leadership in one’s domain. In this networked world, it is all about connections and what better medium to ensure visibility and relevance than digital marketing.
    1. For Students: Digital marketing for students is primarily a platform for learning. Students can experiment and test waters for themselves before entering the professional environment. The learning that comes from experimenting cannot be discounted considering that no one knows the recipe for success in the space

    What is your advice for newbies, who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing industry?

    Shreya Krishnan:

    Digital Marketing is not just about creating social media pages, maintaining twitter handles and promoting content through campaigns. There must be application of mind to analyze the market and draw inferences before ideating for a campaign. There is no under valuing experimenting and exposure. The most important aspect that newbies tend to fumble on is the timing of campaigns. However rocking the campaigns may be, it should be launched at the appropriate time to gain maximum visibility, exposure and returns.

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    How do you stay updated on the latest trends in Digital Marketing? Which are the Digital Marketing resources (i.e. blogs/websites/apps) you visit regularly?

    Shreya Krishnan:Subscriptions to major publications and social media platforms help this cause. Also interaction with my peers and the knowledge sharing and learning that result therein is invaluable. I’m also part of the steering committee for the NASSCOM Mar Comm group, so we have a lot of knowledge sharing that happens as a part of this too…

    Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Digital Marketing.

    Shreya Krishnan:

    • I’m going to start with Siddharth Hegde, who is the founder of Ethinos, the digital marketing firm we work with, I find his insights supremely valuable and he is tuned into the space so well it is always great to pick his brains.
    • In today’s world anyone and everyone can teach you about digital – what to do and more importantly what not to do. I have a whole range of people I follow from politicians to fashion bloggers and there’s so much you can learn and unlearn…
    • Even following classical advertising people is a good idea as they are the guru’s when it comes to telling great stories…

    Also here’s a quick guide list of people to follow from an academic interest perspective.

    1. http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2015/03/18/top-10-online-marketing-experts-to-follow-in-2015/#6eaf1536862e
    2. http://digitaldeepak.com/the-top-10-digital-marketing-experts-in-india/
    How do you see Digital Media evolving in future? What are the top 3 trends do you foresee for 2016?

    Shreya Krishnan:

    1. Access of the consumer to the brand is going to increase tenfold. Therefore digital media being responsive and human centric in its approach seems to be the way forward. There is also a larger shift towards mobile…
    2. Now brands are looking at powerful storytelling to convey messages.
    3. Video led communications are now leading the way.
    Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya?

    Shreya Krishnan:

    It is really great to see the quality of the content at Digital Vidya. Curation at Digital Vidya is one of the best in the industry.I enjoy following the stories that you tell…

    Are you inspired by the opportunity of Digital Marketing? Start your journey by attending our upcoming orientation session on Digital Marketing for Career & Business Growth. It’s online and Free :).

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  • There is 1 comment


    • 11 months ago

      Jasleen Kaur   /   Reply

      Thanks Shreya for your contribution to our community through this interview. Really happy to know your feedback about the work we are doing in spreading digital (marketing) vidya :).

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