Interview with Vani Gupta Dandia

1.Which are the best Martech tools that you can suggest for a business?

There are several – too many in fact. But in my view, tools that help acquire a 360-degree view of the customer will be very helpful. Hence CRM software and tools will become increasingly important. Similarly, so for social media marketing tools. But with social media platforms becoming very specifically consumed for different reasons any by different audiences, it will be important to have specialist and more precision tools for targeting and engagement for each of the different platforms. LinkedIn is very different from Instagram for example.

2.What are the metrics/KPI’s that you consider as most important?

In my view, all metrics should sit under three broad heads: First, Right Customer Acquisition. Second, Quality Engagement with the Customer and Third, Consistency and Speed of Service/ solutions Delivery.

3.Why Customer data is Important for personalization in marketing ?

It is not possible to personalize solutions without data about the consumer. From a business lens, everyone will agree that there is a direct link between personalized solutions and increase in revenue. There has been a lot of hype in media lately on the misuse of data.I think there is an evolutionary lens that must be applied when one speaks of data for the purposes of serving personalized solutions.

In advanced markets like the US, personalization is considered more a curse as it is equated to an intrusion of privacy, of private lives being spied on. But in countries like ours, the US sentiment to data and personalization is still a very elitist phenomenon. For the large millions who use mobiles in small towns, being served information or solutions based on their past searches is in fact an absolute delight!

The questions to ask regarding personalization in the Indian context will be

  • Can marketers fuse personalization with solutions offered not just digitally but also via physical stores? (think of the Indian kirana landscape)
  • How will marketers upskill their ability to deliver personalized content and right targeted email / other communication?
  • Can organizations work with data seamlessly across different functions to serve the customer as one entity?

4.Which Marketing technologies works best in customer acquisition and engagement ?

Classical principles of marketing still apply – start with your customer. Do you fully understand your customer? How do they purchase? ‘Customer acquisition’ starts from there. And it is the number one priority for any business – most logical too!

Today almost everybody researches online before buying anything. So tracking social media behaviour and shopping helps to understand interests and past purchases. Creating lookalike audiences is another popularly used mechanism to target the right customer and understand them better. Influencer marketing can also be effectively used to acquire new consumers.

For building deeper engagement with the customer there are several tools like video marketing, content marketing, animated graphics, events and live webinars, serving high-value content that educates or inspires or entertains, interactive solution builders, or real time information and solutions etc.

I know much has been said about the use of vernacular-but it’s so important it’s worth stressing again. Technologies that enable easy translation, better engagement, and serving the right content to regional audiences in vernacular languages via both text and voice will be the most in-demand and will command the highest premium!

5.What type of Martech Strategies will you suggest for a business?

Today there is a such a huge plethora of tools that it is quite possible for a CMO to feel crippled by a data overkill. So, it is imperative to start with the business objectives. Then slowly build a ‘Martech stack’ that can be managed sensibly and comprehensively. Too often there is so much data, that it is possible to take the wrong decisions based on a data bias of one kind.

Hence it is important to craft a strategy that allows for

  • an objective, cross-functional view of the business objectives and priorities
  • comprehensive and skilled management of the tools
  • integration of data from across the organization

I am a firm believer in using the collective power of the organization, cross-functionally, to deliver business objectives. When there is collective buy-in of the org priorities, it is easier to implement change – even when the approving authority remains the CMO.

6.What are the major benefits in adopting martech into businesses?

Martech tools can be used to understand better and impact the entire ‘awareness-intent-desire-purchase-feedback-repurchase’ journey. This means that ‘martech’ tools and technologies will be under leveraged if their use is limited to the marketing folks in the organization. The right use of Martech can make businesses more cost-efficient, speedier, consumer-focussed and effective. Here are some examples:

  1. Know who your customer is, know everything about them!
  2. Build a better relationship with your customer (content marketing, video, podcasts, interactive content, social media etc)
  3. Offer the right customised solutions to your customers
  4. Serve them faster Be found by your customer (SEO)
  5. Be picked by your customer (an efficient website landing page for example helps!)

About the Author :

Vani started as an advertising girl, with accounts like:  Coco-cola, Cosmopolitan and Adidas. She went on to chase different experiences in marketing across Global brands with Henkel, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever and PepsiCo. She has worked with cross cultural teams across Asia and Europe, led innovation for several markets, and held full P&L responsibility. In her last stint at PepsiCo she was the category leader for Indian Snacks. She led the turnaround of a massive $250mn+  brand from double digit negative growth to a double digit positive growth in 2 years.
She won several accolades at PepsiCo including : The ‘India Region Above and Beyond 2014 Chairman’s Award’ from PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi for successfully building a new platform of growth for Pepsi Foods, the ‘Innovation Excellence Award’ and the ‘AMEA PwP Sustained Performance Award’ for Kurkure.Vani has also been listed by ‘Business Today’ as the Hottest Young Executive under 40, in a nationwide survey.

After a long stint in the corporate world of more than 20 years, Vani has started her own venture called CherryPeachPlum Growth Partners.CherryPeachPlum Growth Partners helps young companies achieve their business goals by deploying the right marketing solutions. These are implemented by a  team of experts and agencies that have been curated by Vani herself over the course of her long years in marketing.

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