No one is born a marketeer, says Falak – you need to learn. And you learn by asking questions, at the start of your career as well as continuously thereafter. Ensuring that you understand customers’ preferences and mentality is a lifelong challenge, which is why brands have to find ways to become relevant and then stay that way.

Talking about Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point and its relevance in marketing today, when social media has made it so much easier to “go viral,” Falak thinks that the real challenge now is to stay viral. Otherwise, everything becomes old news the following day. This is why brands becoming more relevant to their target markets is more important than ever.

Falak’s Shiny New Object is personalisation at a global scale. Concretely, this refers to creating messages that can be relevant to customers around the world, or creating multiple messages for one brand, to ensure local relevance. A recent marketing survey showed that as much as three quarters of consumers don’t actually relate to brand communications anymore – hence why this is an important move to make.

How can brands achieve local relevance? Sometimes, it can be as simple as doing a photo shoot with models from different countries when advertising a hair care brand. This is something that Falak was able to do in her role at Unilever, making each ad look more like their target segment. Other times, it can be much more complex and involve hiring and running teams locally, in each country or region where a brand is trying to develop its message. Going closer to where the consumers are then ensures that whatever that team produces will resonate with them.

You can listen to the podcast here.