Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Best Marketing Tip: “Think about how you’ll make people feel”

By NDA columnist Tom Ollerton, founder, Automated Creative

As the Head of Integrated Marketing Experiences, Africa, at The Coca-Cola Company, Monali Shah works to showcase the best of African culture, while doing justice to the diversity across the continent. With a background as a DJ and entertainment marketer, Monali focuses on experiences and how her work impacts people and addresses human problems. 

Ultimately, the old saying according to which people won’t remember what you told them, but they’ll remember how you made them feel is a great guide for planning and creating marketing content. According to Monali, when you struggle to find out your message, taking a step back and considering the human connection you’re trying to establish is the key to getting it right.

Moreover, brands need to continue to stay relevant in an ever-changing world. To do that, they need to focus specifically on the human beings they’re marketing to and their actual problems. Helping to solve “human problems” is the way to create compelling and useful marketing which ultimately results in people buying your products.

Monali’s focus on empathy combines with her entrepreneurial mindset when it comes to driving results. She credits her experience as a DJ in Kenya, gradually building a fully-fledged entertainment company, with giving her lots of the tools she uses today. She also advises new marketers to embrace continuous learning, academically and as experiences.

Her advice? “Learn about what you’re curious about, regardless of whether it’s within your current role.” When we spoke, Monali had signed up for a FinTech course, given that this is a growing industry in Africa and a trend that was interesting to her. It will very likely teach her useful information she can share with her team at one point. 

Monali’s other best investment – beyond courses that she regularly signs up for – is an exercise bike that makes it easy to work out in between meetings or early in the morning. It’s the ideal complement to busy days, helping her clear her head and improve her focus.   

Find out more about Monali’s top marketing tips, as well as her focus on culture to improve diversity and inclusion in organisations, on the full podcast here:

The Shiny New Object podcast is a production of Automated Creative, an adtech platform that turns brands’ media impressions into marketing intelligence. Find out more at