Interview with Co-founder & CEO, NewsCred – Shafqat Islam



“If you’re not being told “No” or rejected enough times, that probably means you’re not trying or experimenting enough.”

1. Tell us about your role at NewsCred?
I am the CEO and one of the Co-Founders of NewsCred. Most of my time is spent managing the strategic growth of the company, as well as engaging with our customers to determine how our platform can help marketing organizations work better, together — I’m passionate about empowering our customers to create meaningful marketing!

2. What has the “NewsCred journey” looked like?
Over the last few years, enterprise content marketing has rapidly matured. In the early days of NewsCred, it wasn’t even a function within most marketing organizations. It was rare to see anyone with “content marketing” as part of their job titles. But recently, we entered the performance era of content marketing , placing emphasis on content’s ability to drive measurable business results, as opposed to just focusing on page views and engagement. It’s now essential that content is tied to revenue in order for companies to continue to justify spend and allocate resources.

To take it one step further, we now recognize the importance of content for all marketers, not just those with “content” in their title. After all, content is the common fuel for marketing organizations. Whether it be e-books, blog posts, webinars, or social media, an integrated approach to marketing content is becoming a necessity – and our product roadmap reflects that.

3. Is that the vision that you and the NewsCred team are working towards?
Yes. We began to champion the concept of integrated marketing over the course of the past year, believing that marketers will need to deliver a seamless and consistent experience in order to truly stand out. In support of that vision, we pivoted our approach, advocating for the importance of marketing content —not just content marketing.

4. How is technology enabling this?
We’ve set out to build a world-class product that empowers our customers to plan, create, govern, distribute, and measure exceptional content in support of integrated, multichannel marketing campaigns. We’re continuing to add functionality and make improvements to our Content Marketing Platform to make it easier for marketing teams to plan and collaborate together, transforming how they work.

5. How do you differentiate your content marketing platform from other solutions?
The modern marketing organization has various solutions in their tech stack. And this myriad of one-off investments and disparate tools are doing marketers a disservice. We view our CMP as an end-to-end solution for entire marketing orgs — where global teams can come into the platform to execute on their campaigns and supporting content from ideation through to measurement, leveraging features such as strategic campaign briefs, global timeline calendars, centralized work management, and comprehensive performance analytics. These features help to ensure marketing organizations maintain messaging consistency and increase content utilization through better-integrated planning, increased visibility, and seamless repurposing of content.

6. Is content marketing going way, or changing the functions of doing business?
Content marketing isn’t going away. But, content marketing is no longer the work of one person – it takes collaboration within an entire marketing organization. Since multi-channel campaigns are the new norm, there has been a shift from content marketing to an integrated approach to marketing content. Now various parts of the marketing organization need to be involved – from content marketers to demand generation to product marketers, and so on – in order to deliver a consistent, unified message.

7. How can integrated marketing help businesses to grow and increase sales?
I recently saw a statistic that about 50% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. This shows the power of content marketing and the importance that it has in the customer journey. That’s why so many companies have moved to incorporate a content marketing program within their marketing organization – it has a proven impact on business.

8. What has made content marketing one of the most important parts of digital marketing?
We’re constantly bombarded with digital content — whether it be on the computer, tv, or on our phones. And most of us consult the Internet before making a purchase, so it’s essential that content marketing efforts are executed efficiently and effectively in order to stand out, foster connections between brands and consumers, and drive sales.

9. What advice would you like to give to new content marketers?
I would advise new content marketers to focus on how the content they’re producing can be attributed to revenue. It’s important to have analytics that support your content strategy, so you can measure the effectiveness of the content you’re publishing and iterate accordingly. Collaborating cross-functionally with the entire marketing organization is also essential. It helps to ensure consistent messaging across multi-channel campaigns, which translates to a seamless brand experience for customers.

10. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
I’m lucky to work with an incredibly talented and driven team, who support each other through the ups and downs of startup life. NewsCred wouldn’t be what it is today without their hard work and determination.

11. Which book(s) are you reading these days?
Sapiens, by Yuval Harari3

12. What’s one piece of advice or mantra that you always follow, regardless of circumstance?

If you’re not being told “No” or rejected enough times, that probably means you’re not trying or experimenting enough.

Shafqat Islam is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of NewsCred, the world’s leading content marketing and syndication platform.As CEO, Shafqat manages the strategic growth of the company, pioneering a new content ecosystem for brands and publishers.
Since its founding in 2008, NewsCred has grown to a 75+ person team of technologists, journalists and creative content marketers based in New York, London and Dhaka. The company is funded by leading investors including FirstMark Capital, FLOODGATE, and IA Ventures.
Recently, Shafqat led the company's acquisition of Daylife, an early technology innovator in the media space. Prior to NewsCred, Shafqat was a Vice President at Merrill Lynch, running technology teams in NYC and Geneva, Switzerland.

NewsCred, the world's leading enterprise content marketing platform provider, unifies marketing organizations to deliver integrated marketing plans that come to life through a consistent, relevant, and measurable content experience across all channels. Through its complete solution of technology, content, and services, NewsCred helps to maximize marketing ROI for the world's most innovative CMOs and marketing leaders from companies including Barclays, Fidelity, HPE, USAA, and more.
For more information please visit our Website.

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