Digital Marketing Strategist – Maneesha
Meet McKinley’s newest Featured Interim Marketing ManagerSM (IMMSM), Maneesha. She is a digital marketing strategist with over 11 years of experience working in the business and consumer markets and with global companies. Maneesha is currently on a McKinley client project as a Digital Marketing Project Coordinator. We recently sat down with her to learn more about her experience working with social media.
You started your career as a Data Analyst. What led you to pursuing a position in marketing? What led you to consulting work?
I guess I saw the potential impact of “Big Data” before it became the hot topic it is today while studying economics in my undergraduate years. While the effects of supply and demand were powerful ways to understand how markets moved, predictive modeling and creating market demand was how I moved from the theoretical world of economics into the practical realm of demand generation and digital marketing.
I wanted to see how data patterns could be applied to create demand for products and services. After getting an MBA in High Tech Marketing from American University, I became a strategic consultant helping non-profits and associations understand how to derive value from the Web. In an area like Washington, D.C., consulting is almost a way of life, and there are so many different organizations and businesses who are in need of specialized expertise that isn’t available through traditional corporate career paths.
As a digital marketer, what is your favorite social media platform?
I personally like the Facebook/Twitter combo, because it forces marketers to pay attention to messaging and audience. I find that if we rely on only one platform, we tend to get lazy in how we create content – posting the same message on Facebook and Twitter is a big no no, but a lot of people go for it because the alternative feels “too complicated”. The reality is that marketing takes time, but doing it well makes the difference between people who like your page versus real engagement.
I like Facebook because the “fish” are already there and all I have to do is figure out what appeals to them and how to engage. I like Twitter because of its potential reach within the social sphere and how personal and one-on-one you can get with people. I like the combination since it gives marketers the opportunity to build engagement and extend reach by using very different content creation strategies.
What are underlying issues that prevent social media programs from gaining influence within a company?
Sadly there are so many. It really comes down to being unable to accept that content is still “king”, even while social media is about the conversation. Instead of focusing on content strategy and who the audience is, companies often stumble over technology details and lack a consistent plan of action. Like any other type of digital medium, sticking to a consistent plan and exercising discipline in approach is where many companies fail to make any effective progress when it comes to social media. Social media isn’t a fad or the silver bullet to solve problems, like everything else, it takes time, planning and knowing your target market to deliver real results.
What marketing technology/platform should a company budget for in 2014?
I would say the big one is a marketing automation solution such as Eloqua, Hubspot or Silverpop – anything that allows marketers to set up trigger based email campaigns to be responsive to the types of communications going out and being received.
What advice do you have for companies that work with marketing consultants?
Trust in their experiences, they have been exposed to many different scenarios that provide a wealth of information and expertise. And don’t be scared at their pace, marketing consultants have been trained to move fast to take advantage of opportune timing and make the most of it.
What is your favorite aspect of being a consultant?
The variety of projects, the range of work, and the people you end up meeting – they all make for some great stories too!