#MarketerLeads Talk with Sumedha Chatterjee, Head- Marketing, British Medical Journal

.In this #Marketerleads Talk episode, we have Sumedha Chatterjee, Head – Marketing, British Medical Journal, one of the world’s oldest general medical journals. At BMJ, she manages product marketing, market development, events, social & brand management for the B2B & B2C audience segments for the South Asian markets. She is an avid reader and social media enthusiast and shares her experiences on all things marketing in this interview with us.

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  • Marketing is more of art and creativity. What is Sumedha Chatterjee’s style of Marketing?

Sumedha Chatterjee: My style of marketing is art + science. Art can get you visual attention, the share of voice, the share of wallet, but science will tell you the why/what/where/when/how. Both are unique and complementary and that is why the best marketers are nearly always a right brain / left brain straddle. You need to appreciate creativity as much data, you are as much art as math. You are as much logic as intuition. And that is my brand of marketing.

  • Marketing is also becoming tech-savvy, from hoardings to influencing, It has taken many shapes now, What is your take on this digital transformation, Are you using some tech to gauge performances. 

Sumedha Chatterjee: Businesses need to anticipate and adapt to change on an ongoing basis – and the marketing function plays a critical role in this trajectory. The velocity of change has accelerated severely in the past 6 months.

Digital will continue to transform experiences. The world will move not only towards newer platforms, but latent transition from pure-play traditional marketing to its new digital avatar. For example, digital customer interactions might become mainstream. We might move from digital-first to digital-only presence.


Having said that, traditional media will not disappear but it will certainly evolve. Influencer marketing, content marketing are already mainstream – they will move into their next iteration.

As marketers, we are constantly thinking of a horizon period when certain technologies might receive universal adoption – that is why marketers need to focus on market education now.

  • Covid 19 has brought everything online, what are your thoughts on creating online image for brands?

Sumedha Chatterjee: For anyone – organizations/individuals – who thought of digital as a supplemental presence, the past 6 months have proved to be an eye-opener. For those brands that already had a strong digital-first presence online, they were able to monetize and create additional revenue streams via engagement. Any function/task that was delivered face to face, either 100% or partially, had to think of digital intervention. That is when those folks who were able to rise and pivot, had early wins. Those market behaviors then became the norm and saw further adoption, driving, and shaping user behavior.

  • How does content help in driving high impact results to a marketing campaign?

Sumedha Chatterjee: There is a reason why content marketing figures on every list of top skills, top marketing investments, top marketing goals. There is a reason why it is set to be an industry worth USD $400+ Billion by 2021.

Brands should not depend too much on paid strategies / ads. This strategy will prove to be counterproductive. Ads are easy – they give you a momentary high. They are supposed to do that – you paid for it in the first place.

Try content. It’s harder, yes. But definitely more rewarding. You own it, it’s a perpetual asset and you can repurpose it, monetize it, and remonetize it. Not something that you can do with ads.

This whole debate about own / paid media, has people vigorously defending their side of the fence. But if recent developments are anything to go by, it about time you reduce your dependence on third party media. Create content so awesome that people will think “This is so good that I would have willingly paid for this”. You should unlock latent value through email, blogs, and of course social media.

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  • Creating campaigns is easier said than done. What is your take on it and How one should prepare effective brand campaigns ?

Sumedha Chatterjee: Everything in marketing – and in business generally – should begin with the why. The key to executing a successful brand campaign is starting with why. There are a lot of mediocre campaigns in marketing – and sloppily executed brand campaigns contribute to this. 

A stellar marketing campaign always keep the customer at the center of everything – not the product, not its latest feature, not the celebrity you hired as a brand ambassador. If you lose sight of your customer, the rest is peripheral.

Marketing as an art can get you visual attention, the share of voice, the share of wallet, but science will tell you the why/what/where/when/how – Sumedha Chatterjee

  • What would be your advice to youth just starting their career especially in COVID 19 TIMES?

Sumedha Chatterjee: My advice to young marketing professionals who are just commencing their career paths is to grab this opportunity. This is an inflexion point with very steep learning curves. You have the ability to chart out a completely bold and new career path for yourself. Don’t be hesitant and don’t look for external validation. Be confident and assured of your skills – use this opportunity to learn new skills, keep your ear to the ground and demonstrate results.

  • The Marketing Soul is trying to build the community of passionate marketers to learn|network|grow? Your Comments on the initiative, please?

Sumedha Chatterjee: I am delighted to learn about this initiative. We as marketers need to do a better job of communicating and helping each other, especially, young professionals just joining the industry. If they have access to mentorship and advice, we shall be stronger as a community.


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Fire Side: Answer in 1 word

  • Your Favorite Book: The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Your Favorite Destination: Cairns, Australia
  • Your ME Time: Reading books
  • Your Happy Moment: Spending time with my daughter
  • Who Am I: Marketer + Mom

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