A stellar marketing professional, Sapangeet Rajwant leads the Marketing and Digital arm of the Hindi Mass Entertainment of Viacom18. With an experience of over 17 years in the Media and Entertainment industry, Rajwant has been spearheading the Marketing teams at Viacom18 since the last 5 years.
She has been successful in ensuring that COLORS continues to have the highest recall and reach in its genre.
In this StraightTalk with Medianews4u, Sapangeet Rajwant- Head – Marketing, and Digital – Hindi Mass Entertainment & Head of Brand Solutions – Viacom 18 talks about her journey and a lot more.
How has your journey with Viacom18 been so far? What have been some of your learnings at this young and vibrant entertainment company?
If I have to sum up my journey in one word, it would be- extraordinary. I have been lucky to have some exceptional people who have supported me. I was fortunate to have a team that has been one of the most creative and hardworking teams, I’ve had the pleasure of leading. Together we have created award-winning campaigns that have left a mark on people.
My previous organization was my alma mater, where I learnt some of the most important lessons of marketing and at Viacom18 I got a chance to implement it and excel. We at Viacom18 strongly believe in experimenting and innovating when it comes to content, campaigns, and creativity. Failures are truly a lesson for success and while I’ve handled failure too, I’ve only grown with each experience.
How has traditional television marketing evolved over the years and how have you adapted to the changes? And what part of the change did you personally drive in the television industry?
Digitization has been the most significant change when it comes to our industry. With the easy access to internet and millions owning smartphones, it has become very easy to engage with the audiences. Also with artificial intelligence it’s easy to personalize communication to the audiences. It’s become easy to understand behavior of consumption of people and hence messaging can be designed accordingly.
Today, content creators can use tools like social media to connect and engage with the audience. It is not only a direct avenue but is also a very defined source of engagement. The ‘Need of the hour’ messaging is also important while building campaign narratives. Today what is most important is the story telling. Even though tools have changed, the focus is always on the end consumer. What is the story that you are telling the consumer is important.
As far as media consumption is concerned one needs a good balance of traditional and digital media to amplify the campaign and sustain it. Keeping up with the changing times, I have personally had the pleasure of setting up and driving the digital marketing initiatives for the category with award-winning campaigns like Bigg Boss and Luv Kush, wherein we banked on technology to put across our messaging. For brands like Bigg boss we totally relied on social media conversations because that’s where the brand was most thriving. We have been creating many industry firsts with the digital initiatives that we have undertaken for our brand.
With the narrowing marketing budgets, how challenging is it to effectively not only reach out to your target audience but also make them brand advocates?
Creative campaigns will always strike the right chord with the audience. While budgets are of prime importance while designing a hard-hitting, super-engaging campaign, it does not stop us from bringing our idea to life. For example, while we had limited marketing outreach for Choti Sarrdaarni, the show’s lead protagonist Meher became a household name while inspiring many and created brand advocates organically. Similarly for Bigg Boss, the impact of the show created is unmatchable and it was as a result of the content amplified through integrated marketing.
Which were some of the important lessons that you brought from the previous organizations that helped you at Viacom18?
The industry is extremely dynamic, and change is the only constant that keeps marketers like us on our toes. With every move and transition, we must adapt to new practices, technology, platforms and ensure that we don’t miss out on utilizing them to the best of our efforts.
While we know that this season of Bigg Boss was one the most successful seasons ever, what different did your army of champion marketers at COLORS and you do to make sure that the show was always a topic of conversation offline and online for over a 100 days?
We have a very strong digital and CRM team which helped us monitor all the conversations happening on the digital front. We would then find the right context and create content to amplify the engagement. The content of Bigg Boss was strong, and our team only took it to the next level through social media. In the last 3-4 weeks of Bigg Boss, we had 99% SOV in the category on social media and on the day of the finale, out of 28 trends in India, 20 were on Bigg Boss and 4 of our hashtags were trending globally.
Who was your first or most significant mentor or teacher in the professional space? What specifically did you learn that has held you in good stead throughout?
My first significant mentor was Tarun Mehra who taught me the basics of marketing. I came from an events background and he took me under his wings and taught me how to be proficient when it comes to detailing and understanding the consumer in order to craft good campaigns.
Apart from being the young marketing veteran you are…what are some other activities or hobbies that excite you? What are your weekends like?
I am extremely passionate about cooking and I can spend hours searching for a recipe and then preparing it. My children eagerly look forward to weekends when I whip up a large spread for them. It is the best feeling ever, just like tasting the success of a campaign.
If you were not a marketing professional, then who would have you been?
For the love of food, I would be a restaurateur if not a marketing professional.
What is your plan for 2020? What specifically do you want to achieve? Personally, and professionally?
I would like to have a healthier lifestyle and meditate to maintain well-balanced mental and physical health. Professionally, I want to take up more challenging projects and be able to accomplish what my team and I set have out to do while making my brand proud.