Analysing Digital Consumer Trends and Brand
Rishin Shah, MSc in Marketing and Creativity Class of 2011,
talks to us about the future of communicating with consumers and
how research is key to selling creativity to established
What is your current position?
Brand Planner, EE.
What was your position before starting at ESCP
Analyst, PA Consulting Group.
Please tell me a bit about your career path since graduating the
MSc in Marketing and Creativity?
The Msc in Marketing and 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
Do you think through the web, we've been able to be more creative
with 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 very 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 you were involved with that you are
particularly proud of?
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 SWOT analysis, we eventually cracked
it! In my opinion, creativity takes a lot of hard work, planning
and careful stakeholder engagement. This award winning 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 and Creativity alumnus
recently said "If you want to be 100% sure, you will be 100%
too late." His point being that agility is key. 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 organisations 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 and 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
FT - for
economic news, it's always good to know what's happening in the
for alternative / societal thought pieces
Channel - for news on the creative industry.
How did the content of the MSc in Marketing and 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 and Creativity course
has fuelled my curiosity and thirst for always learning about new
marketing concepts and trends. There are tonnes 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.
Did Rishin's story make you intrigued to learn more about ESCP Europe and its Marketing and
Creativity programmes? Find out more: