[Growth Fit - Episode 7] Featuring Utkarsh Rai
Lead - Product Marketing, Airmeet

It's about being consistent with a framework to solve any business problem.

Highlights from the conversation


Utkarsh, product marketer from Airmeet, joins us for this episode of GrowthFit.


  • Problem-solving framework is the best marketing mantra
  • Know your customers in and out and also their lingo
  • Position yourself as the subject matter expert
  • Creatively challenging times ahead for marketers

The conversation begins with Utkarsh taking us through his transformative journey and how he finally found his footing in marketing.

What kind of marketing philosophy do you follow to keep the spirit up?

Utkarsh: We, at Airmeet, believe in having a young yet mature persona in our brand communication as well as a problem solver for our customers. We maintain a light yet mature and empathetic approach in customer communication while we also imbibe storytelling elements. We want our users to perceive us as companions in achieving their goals.

What is a tool from your tech stack that you highly rely on?

Utkarsh: We do not rely excessively on any marketing tool, we emphasize more on adapting a thinking process or framework that helps us connect with customers. It’s important to strike a common chord with whom you are talking to. Research about who you are talking to, enrich leads, and understand their pain points. I believe marketing is not about knowing tools but knowing how you think about solving a problem.

How do you study user path?

Utkarsh: We research and understand usage, building awareness, and adoption. As I am a product marketer, it’s crucial for me to know usage metrics, pain points in the industry, what their peers/competitors are doing. We try to convince them that if you do these, you will also achieve your goals. Personalization has a great impact. An understanding buyer persona is a key to success in marketing communication.

How do you set up a feedback loop with customers?

Utkarsh: We consider few factors while taking feedback from users

  • What is the amount of effort and time spent by the user in adopting that feature?
  • How is their overall experience in interacting with the platform?
  • What is their probability to recommend Airmeet?

We try to find out what it will take for customers to rate us 11 on a scale of 10?
We discover more pain points and user problems

Now comes the detractors. These are the customers who had a bad experience and will definitely speak badly about your product. We talk to them and try to understand what went wrong and try to fix it, apologize that you would like to prevent it from happening again. Be honest if you don't have the feature, it’s important that we don't hold them with false hopes.

What’s your take on community building?

Utkarsh: Brand is anything and everything your customers perceive about your company. You perceive your brand’s personality in a particular way and if your customers fail to perceive it the same way, then your branding efforts have failed.

Few things I suggest for community building are-

  • Understand where you are creating the community?
  • Where do your customers hang out? Which social media platform?
  • Position yourself as a subject matter expert
  • Be consistent with what you are posting
  • Talk about problems related to your customer’s overall work.

How do you create your customer Persona? How do you position your company for different customers?

Utkarsh: Customer/buyer persona is very crucial and most of our research surrounds this particular aspect. We understand how they are solving problems, we personalize with respect to location and identify which area can be enriched. We run experiments based on the niche of the business for example- Edtech, Saas, etc and their specific set of users. We interview these customers and try to understand their experience on Airmeet.

We try to understand how they think about your product? Whether they think of you as a meet-up or a conference platform or as a platform that has a lot of networking potential and whatever keywords they use to narrate about your product, use those in your company’s communication.

What do you think about the user experience on your website?

Utkarsh: User experience tracking helps to understand many important data clusters like friction points, where your navigation is going wrong. Once you understand these, write a hypothesis and test it out with A/B testing. Apply personalization and go deeper, showcase your personalized offering to that segment ongoingly. There’s no testing vs personalization debate. Both go hand in hand.

What guidelines do you follow for campaigns?

Utkarsh: Having maximum clarity is what matters in campaigns, setting a tracking and measuring loop is important and so to understand what is the value people get from your content.

According to you, what is the biggest challenge for present-day marketers?

Utkarsh: In recent times, we know that the attention span of people is dropping drastically and a recent study says it is dropping further. Additionally, outbound campaign efforts are not effective as people hate anything and everything that is salesy.

To make the problem worse, devices are creating zenmodes. Marketers will have to come up with ideas that work within people’s attention spans. Chances are that people are unsubscribing to a lot of promotional messages. It will be a challenge for marketers to be very creative in not coming out salesy but delivering the message.

What is that one data point that you cannot afford to use?

Utkarsh: For me, it is connecting with the audience. The mantra is to position oneself as a subject matter expert and you will have an audience..

Whom do you look up to when you are in need of advice or in crisis?

Utkarsh: My manager at Airmeet has always been helpful. As a team, we believe in delivering value within the team so that we can win collectively as a team. Besides this, I look up to Dave Gerhardt, Brian Massey, Profit Well, Jason Campbell, Wes Bush, Eric Keeton to get the right insights on conversion optimization.

What is your advice for entry-level marketers?

Utkarsh: They need to understand that marketing as an industry is continuously evolving. Spend time, how you can use a framework as a tool/thinking process. Read about marketing- blogs, podcasts, ebooks. Podcasts- “everyone hates marketers” can be useful. After educating yourself, decide which is that one thing you want to go in-depth.

The talk concluded as Utkarsh emphasizes on the point that marketers are intrinsically problem solvers.

                           “It's about being consistent with a framework to solve any business problem. ”

Contact Utkarsh Rai

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rutkarsh/
Twitter: @rutkarsh
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