In our current series of ‘7 questions with’, we present you Devasish Auddy, Head of Marketing (Middle East, North Africa & Turkey) at HMD Global, who says the biggest challenge faced by most brands is how to create a differentiated offering.
#1 What first attracted you to your current role as Head of Marketing – MENAT at HMD Global?
I have been working in the mobile phones industry for almost 12 years and I find it one of the most vibrant and dynamic industries that is always alive and responsive.
I see that marketing plays a huge role in driving this industry forward since it how the consumer’s perception of the brand is formed, how we connect to the consumer and how we position the brand throughout the consumer’s journey down the sales funnel.
This is what attracted me most to the industry.
At the same time, in my current role, I lead the marketing for one of the most dynamic regions, looking after very diverse countries, from Pakistan, Turkey, GCC to Egypt and North Africa.
There are many languages spoken, many different consumer insights, making the region and this industry very vibrant, which is what attracted me most to this role.
#2 What has been the high point of your career?
I have had many high points in my career, as it’s been quite a roller coaster ride so far.
The high points are achieved when we execute a marketing campaign with the proper consumer insight and we see that all the things we targeted or we envisioned as part of the metrics start to be ticked-off one by one.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see consumers fall in love with the campaign that we run, engage with it and talk about it. These are the high points of this career.
#3 What are the biggest challenges facing chief marketing officers in the year 2018?
The challenge that I see is more of an opportunity. Today, we live in an environment that is more connected than ever, there is an information overload and customers are spoiled for choice.
Throughout the day, consumers are exposed to many different brands and many propositions from brands in similar categories.
As marketers, we need to connect with the consumers, entice them with our proposition and ensure that they have gone through the entire purchase funnel, from awareness to consideration to conversion.
The biggest challenge faced by most brands, specifically from our industry, is how we can create a differentiated offering, not only from the product perspective, but also from a marketing perspective, and how well we can offer consumers a connected and unified experience.
#4 What is the first thing you do after waking up in the morning?
I check my smartphone, which is currently the Nokia 8 Sirocco, I check my emails and I see what is my engagement for the rest of the day so I can plan ahead.
#5 If you could restart your career from the beginning, what would you change?
I would not change anything, as I have enjoyed the ride so far.
I love the dynamic industry that I am in, it has made me a lot more agile and adaptable, but also humble at the same time – I learned to appreciate both big and small victories.
#6 What is the one thing you can’t live without?
My Nokia 8 Sirocco because it keeps me connected and is my window to the world.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t connect with people face to face, but when I am not in touch with my friends, family or colleagues in person, my smartphone is the next best thing that I always have handy.
#7 What are your 3 tips for future marketers?
Firstly, you need to continue to improve yourself as an individual. Just as a brand has value, so does an individual, so you need to keep marketing yourself.
Always stay well-read, stay connected and updated with what is happening in your surroundings, because the world around us is changing much faster than we actually think it is.
So it is vital we stay updated and keep ourselves in tune with the new technologies and trends that are surfacing.
Secondly, you really need to know the place you are working in, know your customers, competitors, and your complete environment from a grass root level, not just a helicopter view.
If you don’t know what kind of company you are in, what are your values, what drives your consumers, and most importantly, who your competitors are, it would be very challenging for any marketer to succeed.
Lastly, set goals for yourself, whether short-term or midterm goals. It is very important to have goals and milestones to ensure you reach them.
While you are doing so, you will go through a phase where you have to walk a very tight rope and you will go through ups and downs, but as long as you have your milestones set, no matter what kind of horizon you set for yourself, you will reach them.
And that applies to your professional life, as well as your personal life.