Meet The Marketer: Sahana Jayaraman, Eastwick’s head of digital and content marketing

It’s hard enough crafting the social presence of a single brand, but as the head of Eastwick’s digital and social practice, Sahana Jayaraman’s doing it for multiple companies.

A 12-year veteran of the brand communications industry, Jayaraman joined the Eastwick agency in February of this year, after a two-year stint at Fleishman Hillard. She counts big name brands such as Visa, Kaiser Permanente, Yahoo and Salesforce.com among the companies whose social businesses she’s helped build.

Her work:

Jayaraman says her role as a digital specialist has evolved to where she no longer works on convincing people of the value of social or content marketing. Rather, it’s her job to set up and evaluate those practices at her client companies, making sure they’re delivering the best value. 

Social

Jayaraman’s duties include figuring out the goals a company wants to achieve through its social and content marketing efforts, measuring them, and vetting the tools they use to execute them. She also helps companies set up executive visibility programs, enabling CEOs and industry leaders to have a greater social media presence. While she does work on creative strategies, Jayaraman says a lot of her focus goes into simply making processes more efficient.”I think that baseline emphasis on being authentic and open on social is widely known and accepted, but how do you set it up so that its practical?” says Jayaraman. “You can’t have a CEO tweeting or blogging everyday, so a lot of my job is about making that process more efficient and automated.”

With the evolution of marketing technology, the questions Jayaraman gets asked are very different from what they used to be.

“Last year, I was working more on building organizational structures for social, such as who should be talking to who, and who owns what,” says Jayaraman. “Now it’s much more about how do I automate this, what makes sense to automate, and when should I automate.”

Content

On the content side, Jayaraman works with Eastwick’s editorial team team of writers to craft branded content in a variety of forms, including blog posts, slideshows, or infographics. While Jayaraman acknowledges the lead generating capabilities of content, she says she doesn’t usually create it with that mentality.

“Content is any sort of information you can provide to a customer, prospect or employee that is helpful to them and it serves to create brand trust, awareness and affinity,” says Jayaraman. “It’s not necessarily for generating sales, at least that’s not the way I see it.”

Jayaraman cites the example of one of her clients, a data storage company whose customers are mostly small businesses. Instead of focusing on backups and privacy (the usual topics when it comes to data storage) Jayaraman and her team crafted a content series about growth and access to growth, which would resonate more with small businesses.”It was build around the idea that small businesses struggle to get the access to knowledge, and access to the right technology or partners.” says Jayaraman. “Through its content and events, that client was able to connect them with the best knowledge by bringing the best in class mind share for the topic of growth, building content through a peer to peer network.”


Her tools:

Jayaraman embodies the modern role of marketing technologist, with a large part of her job consisting of assessing and recommending the right marketing software for her client and her team to use. Having sat through countless demos and product pitches, Jayaraman has plenty of tips for marketing software vendors, but she says the most important one is to demonstrate value while being brief and to the point.”If they cant tell me in a clear concise way how they’re different and why I should listen in a phone call, I don’t see why I need to waste an hour of my time in a meeting,” says Jayaraman.

Here are a few of her favorite tools:

Sysomos (for social media listening)

“You need a little bit of training to master Sysomos, but compared to other listening platforms, it’s a lot more what-you-see-is-what-you-get,” says Jayaraman. “It does have some limitations on tracking owned channels and influencers, since the automation is so vast and wide, it’s difficult to drill into details.”

Traackr: (for finding influencers)

“Traackr not only tells me who the influencers are and why they matter, it displays all the info in one place where I can see their entire social footprint.” says Jayaraman. “It’s a great tool to view an person holistically and I love that it also shows inter-connectivity, so you see who’s influencing the influencers.”

Percolate: (for content marketing)

Jayaraman had special praise for Percolate’s customer service, which she says is essential when she’s putting together a proposal for a client. While a lot of vendors prefer to schedule a call to answer specific questions about the product, Jayaraman says she usually wants quick, instant answers. “With Percolate, I can pick up the phone and just call them,” says Jayaraman. “Being available in that moment goes a long way.”

Jayaraman also has a few not-so-favorite tools:

Radian6: (social media listening)

“I used to highly recommend Radian6 a while ago, but now I swear against it,” says Jayaraman. “When Radian6 got acquired by Salesforce, it became too complicated, its usability, and its interface used to be so much easier, but now it’s becoming increasingly difficult.” 

Little Bird (for finding influencers)

“I sat through their demo, but when they pulled up their list of influencers, they were showing all the obvious ones.” says Jayaraman.”But I wanted to see other enthusiasts, people with relevant things to say, who can amplify messages during events, not just the obvious influencers everyone is clamoring for.”

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