Branding and Digital Marketing Careers in India: Q&A with Arundhuti Ghosh
Today, the world is drowning with brands. Organizations (big firms and startups) are competing in the age where information is plentiful and digital exchanges are commonplace. Everyone is competing for visibility by using marketing, branding, PR and advertising campaigns to clamor for their target audience’s attention. This has led to a huge demand for talent in the field of branding, marketing, and related areas. Earlier we have dealt with the PR & Communications Careers & Jobs in India & Abroad and PR, Brand Communications & Corporate Marketing Careers. In this post, we will look into the careers in branding and digital marketing verticals through a candid conversation with Arundhuti Ghosh.
Introduction to Branding and Marketing
In a nutshell, branding is who you are; and marketing is how you build awareness. Branding is your strategy, while marketing encompasses your tactical goals.
Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull. Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is the communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.
A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it directly supports whatever sales or marketing activities are in play, but the brand does not explicitly say “buy me.”
Branding is one of the most important aspects of your business. Branding is at the core of your marketing strategy, so branding must come first. Even if you are a startup, it is essential to clearly define who you are as a brand—before you begin to devise your specific marketing methods, tools, strategies, and tactics.
Startups often Ignore Branding
Startups do not have a big marketing budget. So, it’s indeed okay to not spending money too much on ads, PR campaigns, etc. But, at the same time, it’s not okay to ignore it completely.
One of the mistakes startup companies typically make in the early stages of development is overlooking the importance of marketing and branding their company image.
Startup marketing and branding are such integral components of company development because they help a new business establish an individual brand identity. A company’s brand is more than its logo—it is its entire personality. Having brand positioning that achieves everything your business needs it to can be a significant challenge. But developing your marketing so it sets you apart from your competitors will solve a number of your problems.
Related Article: Top 14 Digital Marketing Strategies To Promote Your Start-up
Pursuing a Career in Branding & Digital Marketing
Since it’s a very competitive field, getting into the branding domain is also very competitive. In this article, we speak to Arundhuti Ghosh from BudBee who talks about the ins and outs of the branding and digital marketing field. Arundhuti has worked across different verticals – different fields like Journalism (basic reporting), Public Relations (PR) & Events, Social Media Advertising, and Marketing. Currently, she is into Branding and Digital Marketing (Strategy and Client Servicing).
Branding and Digital Marketing Careers in India
Q&A with Arundhuti Ghosh – The Buzz Creator
1. You are from English & Literature background. What did make you interested in the field of Media, Branding & Communication?
Arundhuti: As a student, my love for literature took me to study English Honours at Calcutta University. To be brutally honest, I hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do with my life as yet.
A year into the course, I wanted to start gaining some sort of experience and spending my free time (which was aplenty) wisely.
After a lot of research and pestering my peers I got to know of the internship program at The Times of India.
Writing had always been a strong point, throughout my life, and I figured a paid gig at TOI would enable me in a lot of new ways. Thus began my journey into the field of Media and Communication.
2. Your brother (Ananda) is from the same domain (and also Founder & CEO at BudBee). Did that influence you to choose the same career path?
Arundhuti: From my perspective, it was not a conscious decision to take the same path, but it is an inside joke wherein Ananda thinks that it was 90% him influencing me towards where I am today. I wouldn’t deny it either since I have always looked up to him and marveled at his work ethic and creativity since a child. No exaggerations here.
3. Are there any pros and cons of having family members in the workplace?
Arundhuti: Working with a family member, especially with someone you have a very Tom & Jerry relationship with, could be tricky. It takes a great deal of balance to maintain the two lives apart. Speaking of discussing work all the time, I have worked at a lot of different places – full time and part-time – and our common practice was to discuss the new things happening on the work front. That has remained.
4. Could you please share your day to day activities (roles and responsibilities) at Budbee?
Digital Marketing & Strategy Responsibilities:
Mapping out marketing strategy for present clients, curate content, design Short and Long campaigns for Social Media platforms, oversee designs for all Digital platforms, brainstorming with the creative team to come up with potential campaign ideas, monitor trends, identify threats and opportunities surrounding the business, run and oversee ad campaigns for social media platforms; design campaigns and budget for the same.
Account Management – Servicing Responsibilities:
Maintaining and growing client relationships; managing client expectations, receive client briefing, coordination between Client and Internal Team for jobs in hand, supervise the entire day to day account operations.
5. Currently, you are mostly involved in Strategies within Branding and Social Media Marketing. How has been your experience? What are the Pros and Cons?
Here are the pros: no campaign, no creative, no idea, no execution is the same. No client is the same. You cannot get bored of so much change even if you wanted to. There are newer challenges every Friday night when you’re just about to leave for home or to socialize. This job keeps me on my toes!
Here are the cons: as thrilling as my last sentence may have seemed, it tends to get a bit tiresome. My remedy? A quick trip to somewhere peaceful with family or friends. When I’m broke, I sleep in all day on Sundays.
6. How was the experience during your Masters (Journalism & Mass Communication) degree at Amity University?
Arundhuti: Amity helped me figure out my strengths and weaknesses, as clichéd as it may sound. The course I took up – Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication – was a brilliant one, introducing to a whole new world in media. Hostel life on the other end made me a lot more independent than I could have imagined. It was a wholesome experience.
7. You had done three internships across three different verticals – Journalism (TOI), PR (Launcherz), and Social Media Marketing (FPS). Could you please share your experiences with our readers?
Finding the Internships:
“Success is a self-fulfilling prophecy”, I had read somewhere. Never had the patience or faith to wait for interning opportunities to come to me. Always went out by myself to score them. Apologies for sounding so cocky! Comes with the job most of the time.
Experience as an Intern:
I’ve personally had a mixture of good and sour experiences. The Times of India gave me the best internship experience wherein I got to cover food, music, fashion events which I completely loved. I specifically remember writing an article on NASA – the opportunities and qualifications required for the numerous jobs in there – which was a major hit on the main papers in Kolkata and Odisha. Seeing that by-line on print for a stand-alone offbeat piece was everything I could have asked for as a 20-year-old!
Before joining Fame Per Second as an intern for PR in Social Media, I had also interned for a much larger (in scale and reputation) PR house in Bangalore. Sadly enough, I spent nearly 3 weeks doing and learning zilch. That in itself was another experience I would always remember.
Importance of Internships for Media & Communication Students:
Internships are the best way to test the waters, before diving in head-on. Experiencing smaller levels of success and failures enables one in understanding the playing field. If I were to give a single piece of advice to students – of any stream under the sun – go out and intern. You might not earn much – or at all, like in most of my cases – but you will earn an abundance in the currency of ‘experience’. It IS as clichéd as it sounds, but also a hundred percent the truth.
Related Post: How to Find Internships Abroad as a College Student
8. You chose to start as a full-time employee with FPS as a Social Media Manager. Why did you choose social media marketing over journalism and public relations?
Arundhuti: My entire journey has been full of hard turns. My love for literature took me to English honors; my desire to start doing something meaningful took me to journalism, which in turn made me want to pursue my masters in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Amity University led me to Public Relations – I was determined I was the perfect PR person – which led me to Launcherz PR, which helped me believe I was, after a long while, right in choosing this field of work. After the failed attempt at learning something decent in a big agency, I switched base back to Kolkata and joined Fame Per Second (still a start-up back then) to complete my internship, as well as my thesis paper in ‘Social Media in PR’. Strangely enough, the research process to my thesis presented me with the epiphany: THE FUTURE IS DIGITAL!!!
Here’s future me, looking back at the 23-year-old me, with a smile and a hat tip. Well played, Arundhuti. Apologies again for the cockiness 🙂
Related Article: Digital Marketing Careers and Jobs in India
9. According to you, what are the pros and cons of these 3 domains – Social Media, Public Relations and Journalism? How should students decide which is the best career path for them?
Arundhuti: The pros and cons to all the three are the same, in my perspective.
Pros: Networking | Cons: if you love the work, it’s tough to come up with one.
Deciding the Right Career Path: This is where I would refer back to my single piece of golden advice: INTERNSHIPS! Unless you try your hand at it, you will never know if it’s a win or a loss. Go out there! Look for what’s best for you. The best thing about getting out there is that it works wonderfully well in terms of career, as well as your love life. Kidding. Maybe. Maybe not. Read more on How to Decide the Right Career Path.
10. You had started your professional career with FPS. Later you worked with Simaaya for a few months and went back to FPS. Could you please explain that phase of your career?
Arundhuti: “Change is the only constant in life” – our boss at Fame Per Second would begin (and at times end) near about every morning meeting with this catchphrase. I believe I took his advice too seriously and wanted some change in my life after working there for 2 years.
Not such a great idea – I thought to myself 2 days later. I missed my old team, the management missed me; don’t get me wrong, my new team at Simaaya was a delight to work with. The upper management? Not so much. Then again, life does not always offer a win-win situation.
3 months down, my ex reporting head called me over, said they had shuffled up a great deal in terms of work and employees, and I was offered a bigger role in the company. I could not see much growth for myself at Simaaya, but the new offer at Fame Per Second was tempting enough to make me switch back.
This time around, I learned a lot more than I could have imagined. I enjoyed the quarter break I got in between – a bit of a confusing phase at first, and then, it couldn’t get clearer. I knew I was born for greater things!
11. In today’s age, digital branding is very critical. With the internet boom, consumers are getting overloaded with content. How should SMEs and Startups (who have limited marketing budget) approach digital branding & communication?
Arundhuti: It is not about spending a great deal of money. The digital game is about spending smartly. Easier said than done, agreed, but this is where a gamut of research and AB testing comes in handy. I for one have always learned on the job. My learning is – know your audience. Who are we catering to? Where are they? Which platform(s) are they on, at what time, what are their likes, what are their dislikes, what are their areas of interest?
To know more, feel free to get in touch with BudBee India!
12. What would be your advice to students (school & college) who want to explore a career in branding and marketing?
Arundhuti: Talk to people around you who have experience in this field. Ask for the different scopes of work. There are so many avenues possible in branding, marketing, and communication! Some need an art background, some require knowledge in software, and some need your wit and humor. Branding and communication have a gamut of areas you could have specialization are – achieved through education, experience, or talent.
13. Could you please share a few tips for job seekers in this competitive field?
Arundhuti: Keep acquiring knowledge. Read up on the internet. Checkout trends. Keep a check on what others in your field of interest are doing. There’s always something new coming up. The world has increased its pace and you gotta keep up! And while you’re at it, try to enjoy it.
The keyword here is: HUSTLE
14. Apart from soft skills, how important are the tech skills for excelling in this domain?
Arundhuti: Very important!
Soft skills take you places. Whereas your tech skills help you remain there.
15. Would you like to share any tips for the folks who are looking for study and job opportunities within branding and marketing abroad?
Arundhuti: It’s brilliant for them to get opportunities abroad, but it is equally important to be of value to your own country and economy. If you get opportunities, take them as learning curves to know new people, different mindsets, different economies and their reactions to communication, but give back to the system that has made you.
16. Indian youths (and parents) are coming out of the traditional mindset of Engineering & Medicine. But, with so many career choices, it’s also confusing for the students (and parents). What would be your advice for them?
Step 1: Get an aptitude test (Readers are welcome to take Stoodnt’s Free Career Guidance Aptitude Test)
Step 2: Get the heart and mind aligned
Step 3: Go for it. HUSTLE!
Finally, here are my two cents:
Take life with a pinch of salt.
And a dash of lime.
Just get your own tequila. Cheers!
Author: Tanmoy Ray
I am a Career Adviser & MS Admission Consultant. Additionally, I also manage online marketing at Stoodnt. I did my Masters from the UK (Aston University) and have worked at the University of Oxford (UK), Utrecht University (Netherlands), University of New South Wales (Australia) and MeetUniversity (India).
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