Jagdish Upadhyay is a product marketing and growth specialist who has developed his expertise for over 20 years. He has held many leadership positions at top companies where his analytic approach to product marketing has helped achieve rapid growth.
Jagdish answered some questions below.
Can you tell us a bit about your background in marketing and how you developed your current expertise?
To put it briefly – I am an engineer by qualification and a marketer by choice. It’s been a fantastic ride. Starting my career at Bosch as a Product Lead broadened my perspective to appreciate technology and experience as core to solving problems reliably.
With a career spanning over two decades, I have held many leadership positions at Bosch, Siemens, Embitel, Accenture LLP, Hitachi Vantara, and Jifflenow. At Hitachi, as the Global Director of Product Marketing, I led the Gartner Industrial IoT Platform Magic Quadrant taskforce, which achieved the top 2 positions within a year of commercial launch.
In my present position at Jifflenow, I lead Product Marketing and Growth. I define product positioning, messaging, and marketing strategies. I also lead the demand generation efforts with full-funnel programs.
What are some of your preferred marketing and analytics tools?
I love the fact that the marketing technology space is flooded with innovative tools. It’s no longer a blind and one-way engagement. There are so many tools to help us with automation, tests, and measurement, allowing the creation of a cohesive stack that works seamlessly, without manual interventions.
We currently use HubSpot for Inbound marketing and have a few other tools to interact with. A typical stack would require analytics feed from website traffic, reverse IP lookup for personalization, account-based marketing tools, lead conversion, exit intents, content hub, landing pages, live chat, search engine optimization tools, webinars, meeting scheduling, and so on.
These leads then are fed to the sales engagement platforms while ensuring the salesforce or other CRMs are up to date and reflect the current state of the pipeline and revenue. It’s critical for marketers to decide on the stack and stick to it. There are many competitive tools with slight variations or experience. The advice will be not to go bottom-up but think about the end state and KPIs, which are essential to measure marketing program success and then evaluate what’s needed in the process.
How do you guarantee rapid growth through your marketing techniques?
It is important to note that growth is a mindset, but the product, marketing, sales, and packaging are all preconditions to success. Any team’s focus should not merely be on one factor but should span over all these aspects to create a company-wide consensus around a mission or a vision.
The concept of “new customers = profit = growth” is still useful, at least in part. Attracting new customers is essential for business development. However, the key is to know how to use marketing in conjunction with other resources to create growth.
As such, the growth strategy should be based around data-driven marketing that increases short and long-term sales, enhancing customer value and purchases from existing customers. The goal is to increase sales quickly while still affecting the entire buyer journey. Therefore, the strategy put in place should be a modulated process, scaling designed and tested experiments to fit the business/clients/customer’s needs for long-term pipeline and revenue goals.
How do you leverage AI to improve marketing initiatives?
I believe in a strategy that consists of testing, failing or succeeding fast, and moving forward. Products with AI help you do the experiments quicker and better. Indeed, before we began using AI in the marketing industry, we ran very inefficient campaigns without knowing how the audience was consuming or receiving our messages and content.
Today, thanks to AI’s intelligence, we have models to see how the content will be positioned in search engine rankings, how many impressions and clicks it will get, what our budget should be, and how we should bid to drive conversions. We can also use automation to navigate context-specific emails, notifications, and alerts, allowing us to engage with website visitors even when the office lights are off. This allows us to personalize the users’ experience at scale, which would never have been possible without this technology.
I believe AI to be essential in improving marketing initiatives. There is simply no better way to measure what does and doesn’t work on such a scale.
What do you think makes a good product?
The product should, first and foremost, solve a customer’s problem or satisfy a need. And customers should be willing to pay for it, eventually. The second aspect of the product should be frictionless and cater to “try and buy” scenarios.
A classic example is Zoom: their video conferencing is free for everyone to use – up to 40 minutes. This freemium model, coupled with word-of-mouth, is really what has been powering their customer acquisition. Very recently, I read that they have crossed 300 million meeting participants daily. This is a remarkable journey for product-led growth. Zoom’s success, combined with the IPOs and the continued success of other companies such as Datalog, Atlassian, Shopify, and Twilio, Slack, clarifies that products that enable product-led growth are a way to go.
What’s your leadership style?
I believe in player-coach style at the workplace. It brings an excellent balance to the team and encourages dialogue and flow of ideas. As a coach, I help others see their potential and what they can achieve. People are capable of more than they may realize at times, and it is essential to acknowledge the talent they have. In modern-day marketing, it’s important to understand the data and details to ask the right questions and validate the hypothesis. I also try to keep strategic priorities ahead of workplace dynamics.
Thank you, Jagdish, for your time!
You can follow up and connect with Jagdish Upadhyay via LinkedIn here.