Carlota Pico recently interviewed Kavitha Das, global social media manager at BBC StoryWorks, the branded content studio of BBC Global News. In their conversation, Kavitha shared the story of her transformation from a PR manager in Mumbai to a marketing manager in London. She also talked about the lessons we stand to learn from the coronavirus crisis, the importance of A/B testing and how she overcomes creative blocks in her day-to-day work.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Skills like data analytics or how to use certain tools can be taught. Personal qualities like fearlessness, the ability to work with others and the relentless pursuit of success are character traits that are difficult to teach, and should be prioritized in hiring.
  • A rapidly changing world has taught us to build dynamic solutions that are meant to adapt—not to last—and this lesson has only become more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The way a piece of content is presented may resonate with one person but not another, even if they have the same interests. This is why it’s so important to conduct A/B testing for your campaigns to find the most effective way to reach your audience.
  • One way to overcome a creative block is to stimulate the left side of the brain by working on a logical problem, while giving a rest to the right side. Another way is to start conversations with the people around you, giving you new ideas and inspiration to spark your creativity.
  • The marketing industry is incredibly fast paced, and those working in it have to be consistently up to date with the latest developments in order to work effectively.

Content has to be straightforward. You get five seconds to catch a viewer’s attention, and then you have it for around a minute—so you have to make that minute count.

Rapid-fire recs

What’s your source of inspiration?

I have different sources of inspiration for different aspects of my life. I think my parents and husband really inspire me to be patient, while also being relentless in everything I do. They taught me to never give up and to face challenges head on.

Another person who inspires me is Serena Williams. Just seeing her determination to get back on the court after dealing with serious health issues makes my problems seem small and insignificant.

A book, hashtag or social media account that you like?

My favorite social media account at the moment is @nasahubble. It’s an Instagram account that posts the incredible photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. There’s one of the Orion Nebula, the Northern Lights… It’s just awe-inspiring.

I’ve also had a lot of time to read in lockdown. I recommend “The Silent Patient,” which is a psychological thriller, and “Meditations,” which is a concise version of the teachings of Marcus Aurelius—it really helps you get perspective to cope with the current situation.

What’s your favorite app at the moment and why?

I’m really intrigued by Instagram Reels and how it’s going to fare in the coming months. It’s like the new TikTok within the Instagram app, so it will be interesting to see what kind of content is created on it.

I also really like this app called Wordscapes, which is a game where you have to make words from a list of letters they give you. It’s really engaging and it keeps your mind active.

Connect with Kavitha and Carlota on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Rishabh Agrawal, a freelance content creator based in Madrid.

For more insights into the role of a global social media manager:

Make room for growth – Santiago Garcia Solimei, global social media director at Meliá

Harness the power of social media – Ishani Bechoo, global social media manager at Arup

More than just memes – Caridad González, global social media manager

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.