On The Nerve to Lead podcast, your host, Sangheetha Parthasarathy encourages CEOs, Entrepreneurs, deep thinkers, the round-pegs-in-square-holes, change-makers and visionaries to share their stories of power, pleasure and passion.
We cover everything from nervous system regulation, high achievement, trauma healing, parenting, partnership and attachment, intimacy and more. You will also get to learn the stories and knowledge from our expert guests and thought leaders.
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Join us for an exciting episode featuring Sanjeev NC, a marketing genius who skillfully blends humor and relatability, blurring the lines between B2B and B2C marketing. Discover how he conquered the world of SaaS while following his passion, leading to the creation of his startup supermeme.ai.
Ready to unravel the secrets behind our addiction to memes? Delve into the fascinating world of neuroscience with us! Tune in now!
We have created an assessment for "High Functioning Workplace Stress" which you can download and use here: https://www.sangparth.com/ptsd-checklist-pod
Thanks to Sound Creed for the music, you can visit them here https://www.youtube.com/@SoundCreedLLP
To know more about Sanjeev NC visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanjeev-nc/
Welcome to the Nerve to Lead podcast. Here we explore power, pleasure, leadership, identity, belonging, parenting, and couplehood, and explore stories of navigating through life, finding both authenticity and attachment through the common lens of the nervous system. I am your host, Sangheetha Parthasarathy, and I'm so glad you're here.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of Nerve to Lead today. I have a very exciting guest with me Sanjeev. And Sanjeev runs supermeme.ai and more. Sanjiv, tell us a bit more about yourself.
Sanjeev NC: Hi Sangheetha. Thank you so much for having me. yeah, so I am Sanjeev. For now, I'm one of the co-founders at Supermeme.ai we're an AI meme generator. Apart from that, I also post videos on LinkedIn and Twitter, which has kind of grown to become my brand in the last couple of years where I make fun of like SaaS, marketing, office meetings, and things that you see every day. So I just try to take my own spin at it and, and share. so yeah, that's kind of what defines me now.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: Thank you so much for sharing that. And Sanjeev's content brings a smile to me whenever I open LinkedIn I just love it. Tell us a little bit about your journey from employee to entrepreneur.
Sanjeev NC: Sure, sangheetha. So I started working about, like 10 years back. So just graduated from college and like, got placed and like, you don't have a choice in what you do, right? So I started working in customer support and then slowly transitioned, into sales and then into product marketing. And finally as a product manager. So over the past decade, I've kind of had a taste of everything, which I think is really helpful when you're trying to do something on your own because you kind of need to see things from all the sides. And the Supermeme started as a side project about a year, year and a half back. So just not like a classic entrepreneurship story where you drop everything and then like, you know, you go build stuff out of a garage. So there is, there is no story like that. So we started working on it. So three internet strangers I have not met my co-founders in real life. We met each other on LinkedIn and we formed a WhatsApp group, and that's how we operate, till today it's low, low first, it's, low effort, but still high impact. So we started a side project and then we are working on it for a while. And towards the end of last year 2022 decided that I think I want a little bit more flexibility in the way that I work. So I felt okay, so Supermeme is growing and it's some potential here. So let me kind of take some time to focus on it, while I can take up some freelance, some contract to kind of, you know, pay the bills. But this, there seems potential to kind of, you know, go after it. So that's kinda how the journey happened.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: That's amazing. And I love these, non-traditional approaches to entrepreneurship. It feels like the traditional route that we all know is this whole either bootstrap or you run the vc race, and then it's really nice to see like an organic growth. Tell us about humor and this blurring boundaries between B2B and B2C marketing. I think we spoke a little bit about this before the recording as we were getting ready to record, but tell us about this, the blurry boundaries.
Sanjeev NC: Sure. I think that's something that I've observed from the sidelines, right? So I've worked in marketing like I was telling you, but when you, let's say, work in B2B marketing, there is that constraint that you have to operate within, right? Okay. like, I've tried using memes in the past and it was shot down, by the marketing team and the legal team, is, which is interesting, saying that, you know, we might run to copyright. This is like at least six, seven years back. And, over the years, what happened was you saw a lot of innovating marketing on the B2C side, be it Wendys, be it any of the consumer brands, constantly try to kind of get in your face. And humor is a very powerful tool they use. The reason for that is humor sticks, right? Like in imagine scrolling on Instagram, like you see a lot of posts, but then when you see a meme, you take a moment to see what it is, and you take a moment to kind of register, if you find it funny, you might even share it with people. So it has a potential to go viral. And meme is just one example of humor. There are many other, forms of humor and B2C has been doing it for a while now. And B2B is also catching up, which is, which is good for me because that's kind of where my expertise is, and that's what I've been trying to do, where what you consider traditionally boring, what you consider traditionally like as professional, like humor now has a part of play in it. And I think it is a great differentiator because literally when all your competitors are saying the same thing, like, we are efficient, we save time, we save cost, like, you know, we have better UX or whatever, you need a way to stand out. And humor, I think is a great way for people to kind of engage with their audience, where like, you leave something in their mind and the brand recall is better when you lead with humor, because again, humor tends to stick. And when you make people laugh, they tend to remember you much better than like, you know, you just like sending them a marketing email or like a promotional message. So that's kind of, kind of how I feel. But I, I definitely see the lines blurring because at the end of the day, the, the truth is that like, you know, as an old saying that, you know, it's b2c, b2b, at the end of the day, it's H to H, right? Like human to human and at end, you, you're all, all of us are marketing to the same people. Doesn't matter if B2C or b2b. And it's about figuring out what, is the most, uh, engaging way that you can reach out to them and that you can get them remember you and humor. Yeah, I think humor, irrespective of wherever it is used is very effective.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: Yes, yes. Absolutely. Yeah. And at the end, the day people buy from people that's, yeah. One of the first things they teach you in your B2B sales is like, you're still selling to people and Exactly. Unconsciously decisions are made way before your demo, your product demo, it's an emotional decision, right?
Sanjeev NC: And that's what I also used to tell people in my team as well, right? Like, when someone decides to buy your tool, they make up their mind, with the emotional part of the brain, and they back it up with objective reasons, with the logical part of the brain, right? So as long as you hit that emotional cord, they're gonna make that decision by themselves.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: Absolutely.
And now a small break. To talk about more resources, we've created an assessment for high functioning workplace stress, which you can download and use by clicking on the link in this episode. Show notes, and now back to the conversation.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: So when I was diving into neuroscience, it's like, yeah, like all of those decisions, if if there's no safety, if there's no trust, if there's no emotional connect, then, you're not gonna win that game. Or whether it's multimillion dollar deals or selling widgets or whatever the size of the sale is or the products. So thank you for that.Are there any funny anecdotes, tell us about your work. So you are running this AI startup and also, companies can reach out to you to add humor to corporate messaging, I suppose. any funny anecdotes to share?
Sanjeev NC: Yeah, I mean, because I've been using memes, even before they were called memes, right? I think that's it's kind of always stuck to me as a great way to communicate. I mean, like I said, I've been trying to use memes in marketing. I think the first time I really did that probably was a conference, in Scotland. It was an IT conference. And, traditionally the presentations where you see bullet points, you see charts and like, there's this huge screen and I go up there and I press the clicker, and I'm standing there with a huge meme behind me, and like the, the, the audience, they are you know, surprised for a minute, and then they actually laughed. And I think that's kind of when I realized that it is, like that's the, that's not an reaction that they expect from presentation, right? Like, you expect to see nods, maybe a few questions, but then like, you know, you press a clicker and you, you pause for a few seconds and you see laughter. So that is, that is really special. And I think that's kind of when I started using memes and I start doubling down on that. So every presentation that I do, there's at least like, you know, 30 to 40% of is just just memes on the slide. And that's when I realized that it's a really powerful tool to communicate, to your audience. And, so that, that was happening on one side, and then the pandemic hit, and then I started recording videos. So the story of that is I actually wanna do serious videos. So I wanted to do like a productivity video, which is the fad back in 2020. And I recorded like, you know, three ways to be productive, uh, something like that. And I played it back and like, you know, I couldn't watch it. It is so bad, it's so boring. I realized, you know what, no one's gonna watch it while I have all the camera and all everything set up. So why don't I try something crazy? And, like there's a standup comedian, her name is Alexis Gay, and she was doing something similar, she's from the US so I want to emulate some of that. And I did my first, product management video like, you know, What, what can you say in product management meetings. And that's kind of how it started. And all of that was like, you know, I didn't really, and in fact, I didn't post on LinkedIn first, I posted on Twitter and Instagram because I felt, you know what, LinkedIn is professional. You're not supposed to be funny there. They can't, and, and things like that. And someone pushed me to post it on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn has been my most successful platform, and I'm very grateful for the people who engage, who come and like, and share.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: This is very inspiring for me because, I find myself still segregating. Like my whole life was on LinkedIn, when I used to be in the SaaS and strategy consulting world. And then after my doula and my mental health business kicked off, and which is mostly on Instagram this year, I pivoted to using LinkedIn as the main platform. And I find myself segregating. Once we record content, we have conversations with the team, and I'm still a bit like, this is maybe too much, because I work with P T S D and C PTSD and there's some really like, oh, if it's abuse or, there are some kinds of things that I'm still a little bit hesitant to post on LinkedIn. So, I find myself censoring that a lot, but this is very inspiring and it's going to help me be bolder about what you share on.
Sanjeev NC: I'm glad, like, like we said, it's all X to X so I think that's, it was a very, very late learning for me that at the end of day it's people everywhere. So if it's gonna resonate in one platform, chances are it might resonate in the other platforms too.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: Exactly. Exactly. Yep, yep. and I think as you were talking about memes, one thing that struck me was it makes sense because when we are reading a lot of text, then we use one part of the brain, but when we are looking at an image, then the visual processing works differently, right? Therefore, it could be one of the reasons why, there is the emotion factor that is closely associated with the meme, therefore it promotes recall. Therefore, it creates a deeper, neural imprint possibly. And that is fascinating, I'm going to go geek out on that after the call.
Sanjeev NC: Also And I'm gonna take, once the videos out, I'm gonna take that snippet, I'm gonna share it on LinkedIn saying like, there is science behind memes, and here's proof.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: Oh, yes, yes, yes. I'm, that's, yeah, I'm literally gonna do this after the call. I'll share with you what I find, but thank you. So how can people reach you? How can people work with you? tell us more, how can people connect with You?
Sanjeev NC: Sure, Sangheetha. I'm active on Twitter and LinkedIn. I have been trying to stay off Instagram because it kind of eats into my productivity. So I've uninstalled the app, but Twitter and LinkedIn are the easiest way to reach me. So I am currently freelancing as a business humor consultants. So what that means is I help companies infuse humor in their marketing, be through memes, be through the kind of videos that I do, or generally, let's say if you are gonna go up on stage and do a presentation, I can help kind of add some humor into it, given that I've been doing it for a while. And if you want to use supermeme.ai and if you have any questions around it, always up for a, a chat, always up for a question. LinkedIn, Twitter is the best. And, and my email also. So I'm at email@example.com.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: Love it. Thank you so very much. And thank you for sharing all of this work with us. And if you haven't watched Sanjeev's content, just go on LinkedIn. It's hilarious. thank you Sanjeev, and see you soon.
Sanjeev NC: Thank you, Sangheetha. I learned a lot from this conversation too.
Sangheetha Parthasarathy: Thank you.
A little bit of neuroscience behind why memes can be more effective than, for example, plain text based content is because, in our brain we have language processing areas, the Broca's area and the Wernicke's area, and they're responsible for language comprehension, speech production, the syntax, et cetera. However, memes which do employ humor, irony, sarcasm in terms of, captions or written text, heavily rely on the visual content which engages the brain. And the brain's image processing centers. So the Occipital lobe, these areas of the brain process visual information, they're responsible for interpreting patterns, shapes, colors, simple memes, clear images, short captions are more likely to be processed really quickly by the brain because on an average visual processing is much quicker than language processing. This is because the visual system is really fast and efficient way, and the brain has evolved to prioritize visual input over other forms of sensory input. So when we encounter visual information, the brain can process it really quickly and in parallel, and it can detect patterns, shapes, colors, movements in like millisecond. But language processing requires more cognitive resources. That is the higher order brain functioning, which means it is a more complicated, process. So decoding, symbols, assigning meaning syntax, grammar, all of that. So it makes sense why memes are super effective. So that's one.
I also wanted to touch on why humor is super effective, whether you're selling or teaching or engaging, as opposed to, anything else. From a neurobiological perspective, the humor and, and laughter is complex. It involves neuro circuitry and physiological processes. But what happens in our brains is that we have three parts or pathways in our brain, and we need all of them to work together in tandem for optimal functioning. The first of which is the ventral vagal complex, also called the social engagement system, or the social connection system, which involves the sensory processing through the five senses. And you wanna think of it as like the shock absorber in a car. You know, as you're trying through bumpy roads, a good amount of vagal tone is necessary for regulation and homeostasis, whether it's metabolism, immunity, emotional regulation, and feeling of safety. Therefore, if I don't feel safe, then I am not, trusting the content or I'm not engaging with the content because then my different systems are up. So what humor does is it triggers this ventral vagal circuitry, which is involved with social engagement and regulation. So when we feel calm and connected, then we feel safe, and then our higher order functions have a chance to come in to either learn or engage with the content. But also when we encounter something funny, brain releases dopamine, which reinforces this behavior of seeking out more humor. Therefore humor is a really good way, to engage in anything. Therefore, use the fun means can actually be a great way to put your point across, whether it's, you know, you trying to communicate a message or sell software.
Thank you for joining me today on Nerve to Lead Podcast. The music you hear in this podcast was created by Sound Creed. You can find the link in the description. Thank you to Vaishnavi in team Sangparth for producing and editing this podcast. Did this episode resonate with you? If it did, please share it with your friends, family, co coworkers, or clients. We would also love to hear from you. Drop us a note on www.sangparth.com
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