Summary : Panel Discussion : “Changing Opportunities and Challenges in Marketing Management”
The discussion was chaired by Prof. Ramesh Tagat, Academic Mentor of ISME. The speakers were senior managers and leaders in the corporate world including Mr. V. Vasantha Kumar, Director-Marketing and Communication, IBM-India and South Asia, Mr. Ranjan Samanta Senior VP Customer Insight from TVS Motors, Mr. Sudhendra Dankanikote, Head- Sales and Marketing, AB Logics, Mr. Prasanth Thaker, Group Manager, EBI, Target India, Mr. Gagan Singla, Chief Marketing Officer, Simplilearn and Mr. L. N. Mishra, Head-Sales & Solutioning, Adaptive Process Consulting.
Mr. Vasantha spoke about how Marketing is getting transformed due to customers’ access to technology, the importance of Moments of Truth in the form of customer experiences, and the phases of Discovery, Exploration and Purchase. He also highlighted the need for the Marketer to connect the various touch points a customer has access to, so as to give him a unified brand experience. He further mentioned about every employee’s importance as a brand’s ambassador in the context of internal marketing.
The second speaker was Mr. Ranjan Samanta. He brought in the concept of RFID, wherein R stood for Relevance, F for First to Scale, I for Integrate and D for Different. He showed two videos to the audience on an event featuring two different TVS products. He explained how their company managed to bring in Relevance, while being Different to the prospect group in one product’s case while not being able to achieve that with the other product.
The third speaker panel speaker Mr. Sudhendra Dankanikote highlighted the importance of finding solutions for customers, and explained what his company had done in a variety of cases involving logistics, pilferage control and in event management situations, using RFID technology. He emphasized the importance of innovation in product usage patterns, even while using standard products.
Mr. Prasanth Thaker felt that, going forward, the field of Marketing holds opportunities for people with a process oriented mind, as much as it does for the creative minded ones. This, he said, comes due to the marriage of analytics with traditional marketing approaches. The challenges, in his opinion, is that marketers today have to offer a Unique Buying Proposition to the customer as compared to the Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
Mr. Gagan Singla highlighted the role played by Analytics in Marketing today and the promise it holds for the future. He focused on the part played by Analytics in bringing forth key customer insights and the power it endows marketers with, to use actual customer bases for test marketing. According to him, Content is proving very essential for engaging the customer.
The last speaker Mr. L. N. Mishra provided several examples to focus on how the internet has enabled many individuals and companies start up at a low cost while being able to reach out to customers across the world. He also alerted us to the fact that for the very same reason, there can be lot of competition. The differentiation, in his words, would come only by innovation and being the First to Scale.