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Wednesday 18 May 2016

Career Spotlight: MSc in Marketing & Creativity Alumnus, Rishin Shah

Analysing Digital Consumer Trends and Brand Positioning:

Rishin Shah, MSc in Marketing & Creativity Class of 2011, talks to us about the future of communicating with consumers and how research is key to selling creativity to established brands.

What is your current position?

Brand Planner, EE

What was your position before starting at ESCP Europe?

Analyst, PA Consulting Group

Please tell me a bit about your career path since graduating the MSc in Marketing & Creativity

The MSc in Marketing & Creativity gave me a bridge into the creative industry, which quickly landed me a role at Landor, a fast-paced branding agency from where my career thrived. I've since moved into strategic and commercial marketing roles. Now I'm back in the world of branding in the technology sector, working as a Brand Planner at EE, the UK's largest mobile network.

What drives you at work?

Being able to inspire the business to continually innovate and adapt.

Do you think that, through the web, we've been able to be more creative in how we communicate with consumers? What do you think is the future of communicating with consumers?

We are absolutely more creative. We now live in a world of super-focused creativity, where we know exactly who the customer is and what they're thinking of buying. This type of insight allows us to develop extremely targeted types of creative responses.

For example, in today's online world it's easy to tell if a consumer is thinking about buying a new mobile, and beyond that, we can often tell exactly what type of handset they're after. That knowledge allows us to push super targeted adverts that zoom in on particular issues in a creative way. For example, at EE, we could use that type of data to tell us whether to display a price-focused ad or feature led banner ad instead.

Social media has also had a huge impact where advertising is no longer a one way street. Tesco Mobile are exceptional at generating Twitter conversations with customers and even other brands.

In the future, advertising is set to become even more targeted, personalised and natural. Consumers will start seeing adverts they 'expect' to see.

Is there a campaign in which you were involved that you are particularly proud of?

Yes - the award-winning M&S Schwopping Campaign. Whilst at Landor, my task was to think of a way to reinvigorate M&S's sustainability initiative, Plan A. Through a series of brainstorms, CxO level client workshops and SWAT analysis, we eventually cracked it! In my opinion, creativity takes a lot of hard work, planning and careful stakeholder engagement. This campaign for M&S was the result of three months of work.

So do you think coming up with a winning idea always needs to be backed up by stats and figures? One of our MSc in Marketing & Creativity graduates recently said: "If you want to be 100% sure, you will be 100% too late." At what point do you think you should just trust your instincts?

Those are very wise words. You can be 100% sure that you'll never be 100% sure!

If you're an entrepreneur, it's really important to trust your instincts; you won't have enough time or resource to apply the rigour you'd normally like.

However, working in a large complex organisation requires a different approach. The hardest part of creativity is selling in the idea and getting other stakeholders to accept and embrace the risk. Numbers, facts and analyses are good ways of selling in ideas and breeding confidence.

What's the most useful piece of advice you've received when it comes to your career?

Don't try to turn your weaknesses into your strengths. Focus on building on your strengths whilst making sure that your weaknesses don't hold you back.

What advice would you give to yourself just after graduating from the MSc in Marketing & Creativity?

Follow your passion and everything else will fall into place. Internships are hard work but if you put in the hard work and you quickly show everyone how ambitious and determined you are, you'll put yourself in a good place.

Whom do you consider to be your influencers? What websites/blogs do you regularly check?

Marketing Week / Mark Ritson - for thought provoking views
FT - for economic news, it's always good to know what's happening in the world
Vice - for alternative / societal thought pieces
Brand Channel - for news on the creative industry.

How did the content of the MSc in Marketing & Creativity help you in your career?

Most crucially, it gave me the confidence to land my internship position at Landor. The course helped me speak articulately about marketing and branding in the interview.

In the longer term, the MSc in Marketing & Creativity course has fuelled my curiosity and thirst for always learning about new marketing concepts and trends. There are tons of things that I learnt on the course that were ahead of its time. Some of the concepts I learnt about back in 2010 are only just starting to take off, e.g. augmented reality.

If Rishin's career sounds like where you see yourself, check out ESCP Europe and its Marketing & Creativity programmes:




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