Q] What are some of the strategic shifts that you have noticed in the marketing and entertainment industry post the pandemic? How has this impacted the role of a CMO in the current environment?
There has been a fundamental shift in the way brands used to engage with customers, the way media is consumed and even brand interface at retail shops has undergone a significant amount of change. The other obvious shift is the drive for digital outreach. Thirdly, consumers now, more than ever before, will want to consume brands which are more purpose-driven. The pandemic puts a lot of pressure on the emotional wellbeing of people and has given them an opportunity to be part of an ecosystem that is helping a larger cause and building trust. And not just look at it from a utilitarian point of view.
- There’s a fundamental shift in the way we are looking at the rules of customer engagement and becoming more driven by data, because you don’t have too much of history in the new scenario. Time available to implement things are shorter which means that cross functional integration is happening fast.
- Secondly, involvement of a CMO and their position on the strategy table has strengthened. Because clearly, brands want to keep their ears to the ground, get advice on what they need to do and what the competition is doing.
- Also, onus on a marketer today is much deeper and wider today. This is probably one of the best moments for the marketers to actually upscale his role and look at not just branding but also channels and go-to market strategy.
We are also looking at a SHRED model:
- This is your target people who want to ‘Seize the moment’ and move ahead. So you would want to identify people who want to move on things quickly, businesses which want to transform quickly and leaders who want to make a big impact in this time of crisis.
- H stands for identifying people who want to build their businesses on Hearing from customers.
- The third piece is work Rejig, as business contours will no longer remain the same. And even after the pandemic, some change will remain constant. And hence one needs to work the Rejig which is R in SHRED.
- E stands for Empathy towards customers. Exhibiting empathy towards customers is difficult with the limitations that companies have.
- And the last aspect is Data. Unfortunately a lot of data in the organisation today is data is pertaining to a different scenario and hence does not hold good anymore. So companies have to use data that has panned out during the pandemic and marry that data with other data to make a judgment.
Q] A few sectors like ed-tech and gaming have grown in a big way during the pandemic. What are some of the surprise sectors that you think have come up during this time?
For us, one of the sectors that really boomed was BFSI -- the speed at which they moved was baffling. Insurance companies moved to make their transactions with customers frictionless as they saw new segments evolving. For example, youth buying insurance much ahead in life, than they would have earlier.
The other sector that that we are seeing a boom in is real estate. On the one hand, commercial real estate is anywhere between flat to declining, but residential real estate is booming. As a fundamental requirement, people are moving to their own home. Also, with WFH concept, there is an opportunity for real estate companies to get homes ready with a WFH paradigm.
The third is auto. With the need to maintain social distancing, people refrain from using mass transportation and prefer to get their own vehicles. We are seeing a fairly good response coming from two-wheeler segment, with larger volume requirements than ever before.
Q] Are data and analytics being understood in the right way by marketers today to generate profit, or are they still a distinct phenomenon?
Data and analytics is mainstream today in terms of the way people make decisions on revenue and profitability. Companies have very sophisticated Date Driven Operating Models (DDOMs) and Adobe is at the forefront of practising DDOM very well over the years. I’m pretty bullish about how it’s going to pick up even more. Also, these real time data and insights are not available just to the marketer but to the entire supply chain at the same time.
Q] One of the benefits of using data is for hyper personalisation of communication. But how does one scale up this hyper personalisation?
There are three steps for hyper personalisation. First is creating content that is specific to a particular audience, personalised. Second part is to take that content to the audience so that it is seamless and accurate. This is where an accurate data platform helps in mapping out the personas and reach the right audience. And the third thing is whether the hypothesis based on which the content was created is coming through, whether the target audience is consuming data or reacting favourably to it and whether I am able to make changes on a real time basis. Hence by iteration of these three steps companies can hyper personalise their content at scale
Sunder Madakshira, Head, Marketing, India Adobe has over 22 years of experience in sales and marketing, and has previously worked with brands such as SAP, Infosys, Wipro, HUL and Visa before the current role at Adobe.
Strategic shifts in marketing:
- Shift in the way brands engage with consumers and how media is being consumed
- Digital outreach
- Consumers preferring purposeful brands
How is the CMO’s role changing today?
- Data driven approach and cross functional integration
- Position of a CMO has strengthened
- To focus not just on the brand but overall channel and go-to market strategies