At Verloop.ai, all roads lead to content
“If you’re confused after 12th in India, you do engineering.
If you’re still confused you get into an IT services company like Infosys.
If you’re still confused you do an MBA.
And if you’re still confused, you get into marketing.”
This is how Siddharth Sharma, Verloop.io’s Head of Marketing, describes his career and foray into marketing. While he may make it sound all very accidental, his roles across companies like Manipal, Clevertap, and now B2B enterprise company Verloop.ai, show that there might have been more hits than misses. At the end of the day, he says, he is a marketer because he is passionate about marketing. His background as an engineer inspires him to think about how he can ‘program marketing’.
Pepper Content’s Content Marketing Lead, Natasha Puri, caught up with Siddharth for an informal tête-à-tête around the changing role of content in marketing in their series Top of the Funnel: Where content conversations begin.
Watch the video here
Content is the heartbeat of marketing
Marketing, B2B or B2C, is all about ensuring that, as a brand, you are able to connect with your customer in a non-intrusive way. “So for Verloop, if you’re a CTO looking for a conversation AI software, I want us to be on top of your mind … but not when you’re thinking of say, shoes. So context matters a lot.”
If one is to go by this definition, content becomes a very integral or core part of marketing. Siddharth believes that content has the power to steer marketing efforts in the right direction.
“Content is the heartbeat of the marketing function. It not part of your strategy, but the core of it,” he says.
The content trap
Some of the biggest challenges when it comes to content marketing are hiring as senior leaders are still unclear about who is the right person for the job. Can writers be trained as marketers or can marketers be transformed into storytellers? Finding the right person to get both these jobs done is a challenge.
Unfortunately, today, a lot of startup founders themselves don’t understand marketing. “They feel that marketing is an autocorrect filter on an image and all it takes is a click of a button,” he says. Professionals in senior positions must educate themselves better to find the right people and accelerate the right kind of marketing strategies.
Tacky articles like “Build a billion-dollar pipeline in zero dollars” don’t help. In a way, content like that (and there’s a lot of it on the internet), also acts as a major hindrance to the implementation of marketing. “So content can be a boon as well as a curse, in a way,” he adds.
“We released customer support benchmarking report for ecommerce and this was received very well. The report was released on Product Hunt and since this was data that no one else really has access to, delivered in a simple and actionable way, it added real value to our customers. In fact, what was exciting was that it answered questions we had about the industry,” Siddharth says.
The report analysed 1.8 million queries from over 35 brands across the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and The Philippines). It covered the following topics:
- A shift in customer support from manual to automated
- The current state of ecommerce customer support
- Report methodology
- Industry benchmarks
- Future of customer support automation
- How Verloop.io can help
Verloop.io generated a lot of leads because of the report and moreover, it acted as a prime example of thought leadership for the organisation.
Siddharth also reveals that the Verloop.io podcast generated 500 downloads in just six episodes.
“If marketing is a boat then content is the steering. Wherever you choose to steer your content, marketing will follow,” Siddharth signs off.