Table of Contents
- What got Nishma to this place?
- So… what about the challenges we’re facing right now?
- How do you keep on the lookout for trends that are going to be relevant?
- How do you prioritise what change to react to?
- It feels like everything is changing. And as much as that is scary, it’s also an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to choose the rules we want to operate by. So… what do we keep from today, and what do we want to change?
- Quickfire round on branding and metrics:
Nishma Robb works as the Marketing Director for Brand and Reputation at Google.
Yeah… not a small role. On a day to day that means Nishma is the guardian of the Google Brand and all it’s products: search, maps… basically whatever you can think of from Google.
The thing that makes Nishma good for this role is that at heart, she is a storyteller. She tells the stories of how the tech Google produces impacts lives and meets culture in the UK.
What got Nishma to this place?
Nishma thinks a lot of her success comes from running counter to many of the traits that would be required of an early stage employer.
She is a curious creative, a day dreamer, a storyteller, and prioritises humanity. Nishma also points to curiosity: the curiosity to really learn and understand something, then decide what to do about it. This curiosity leads to restlessness: an eagerness to do something about it.
So… what about the challenges we’re facing right now?
The challenge isn’t as clear as the pandemic. Back then it was a little more obvious, and everyone had a role. If you worked for the NHS, if you had to stay at home – etc, your role was clear.
Now, it’s more an issue of controlling the control-ables and relook at the behaviours we’re exhibiting right now as people and businesses.
As marketers, it’s about going back to basics. Showing the value we bring and telling the stories of the impact of what we’re having on the business.
How do you keep on the lookout for trends that are going to be relevant?
It’s about approaching things with openness and optimism.
Take NFTs. It could be very easy to say ‘gah, another thing to learn’. But it’s far more exciting to thing ‘yay, another thing to find out about, how genuinely exciting!’
Nishma says that one thing she’s noticed is that a few years ago she noticed marketing was almost in a place of activism: people were fired up about the big topics. Today – she’s noticed a gentler, more mission orientated approach to marketing.
But really the broader point is this: allow yourself to find innocence and joy in the discovery of new things. That’s not a little thing in a world that often feels like it’s telling us to the opposite.
How do you prioritise what change to react to?
It comes down to vision, which sits above strategy. Our curiosity has taken us to a place of understanding the world around us – but the vision dictates whether the change that is happening in the macro environment is one worthy of reacting to in our businesses.
Basically, if it’s in line with the vision you want to create, and you can help – do. If you can’t or it’s not in line with everything else you’re doing – get out the way.
It feels like everything is changing. And as much as that is scary, it’s also an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to choose the rules we want to operate by. So… what do we keep from today, and what do we want to change?
Tech and social media have changed the rules: we just need to accept that. How we listen, learn or explore is now different to how we actually live.
Our choice is now to create principles that work better for us. Principles around respect, behaviour and possibility.
Fundamentally, Nishma had a good rallying cry that we will get through this: it’s how we feel on the other side. If we’re able to reflect on what we’ve done and say ‘yep, we’d go again on that’ – we’ve succeeded.
Quickfire round on branding and metrics:
What would you say is the golden rule for building a brand?
Nish says it’s about the brand values. Brand attributes will change, but who you are, why you do it and what you stand for don’t change. Those are the things that you can lean harder to in volatile times. The second thing is to know what fame or awareness actually brings you. Is it a sale or retained customer? This helps people get on board with brand building.
What KPIs does Nishma work to for brand and reputation?
You have to know how you’re received. But the most important thing is understanding the drivers. For example, if your top line result from brand building is increasing trust – understanding what builds that trust is the stuff you’re going to be measuring. Nish also recommended looking up Avinash Kaushik for further reading on choosing the right insights.
What is one way to take people on the journey of expressing vision and brand, even if they’re more data driven?
Nishma volunteered the idea of speaking about stories that go ‘from’ and ‘to’. Nishma also recommended speaking with confidence about the impact that the change you propose will actually bring, attaching it to the short and the medium term goals of the business.