Chai Break with Anupam Bonanthaya, Chief Marketing Officer, Aujas

Anupam Bonanthaya

Chief Marketing Officer

Aujas Information Risk Services

What makes a good marketer?

I believe that marketing is nothing but a “long term” vision on sales. If your customers are B2B, there are two main things that a marketer needs to do.

  1. Branding – Of course branding is important. You need to create a brand image, but it is more important to be consistent in the messaging and promote it to a broad audience using web and social channels. The trick is to keep it simple yet broad enough.
  2. Demand Generation – The more important of the two in today’s business scenario would be the ability to open doors for sales. Though converting to a sale can be a long term process depending on the industry, getting an opportunity to have sales conversation with the right people is the single most important and tangible value that the marketing team can provide to the organization. Because sales are usually focused on their immediate vicinity, whereas marketing can afford to look beyond – both from near and long term perspectives.

A good marketer is someone who knows that both, branding and demand generation are important, and can balance and deploy available resources to deliver tangible results on both fronts.

How does one sustain their brand image?

It is a tough job. As a company, you continuously need to try different things and iterate to make the company grow and explore new revenue streams, and simultaneously make sure that the brand image and message is consistent. With the end consumer, having a consistent message helps stand out and “remain there” in the minds of people in an increasingly cluttered and competitive marketplace.

Where do you think, Marketing is headed?

For starters, inbound marketing is a myth. True, it is on everybody’s wish list to have customers come searching for you, but the reality is always that you need to knock on people’s doors – what we call as “cold calling” in marketing lingo. But most people confuse it with spamming people with unsolicited emails/calls or becoming too “salesy” in desperation to sell.

Something I have seen work very well is a hybrid model – a concoction of digital marketing and inside-sales. Digital or modern marketing in the form of blogs, whitepapers, webinars, insights, etc to help “soak” your targets with your thought leadership and subject matter expertise, in order to get inbound leads known as MQL (marketing qualified leads), and you should complement that with an outbound reach-out program in the form of inside-sales for converting those content-soaked people into SQL (sales qualified leads) – a prospect ready for a sales conversation.

Of-course, you will need to tweak the underlying details multiple times to get it right. Many marketers give up after trying things for a short period and not seeing any wow results. Every time you don’t see the desired big results – it is worth reminding yourself that marketing is a long term vision on sales, and it is about building a funnel with a fat opening, with replicable results. Do not expect dramatic overnight results. Perseverance always pays off in the end, provided you are still on the track.

Do social media channels really help marketers?

Absolutely they do. One of the greatest strengths of social media is the ability to reach those circles beyond your immediate connections – those 2nd, 3rd and nth degree connections outside your immediate physical location.

Content marketing, where valuable content gets liked and shared has the huge potential to boost both branding and lead-gen. The key would be to know the difference between sales material and valuable content, when seen from the eyes of the customer. In my experience, the organic way of doing this has always been more effective than the paid ones. A good content marketing campaign can provide you organic leads and branding that we might fail to replicate in a paid campaign.

A technology that you foresee as being useful to a marketer of the future?

One of the biggest challenges today in marketing is to make everything more personal and more “human like”. The automation tools of the last era have made everything robotic. Most organizations have a lot of data about their customers and prospects. The challenge is to be able to use this data to be able to do a 1:1 marketing with the target audience, which is humanely impossible today, thus ending up with generic campaigns that look more robotic and less human.

This is where Artificial Intelligence and deep learning can make a difference. For example – Imagine being able to transform the cold email to being able to have a personalized email conversation with prospects, and do it at a scale using email bots, untraced by dumb spam filters! It is also good for the recipient because you are doing a smart conversation with the context in mind. This can be applied to everything we do in marketing – the next gen of automation with AI would be fun.

Profile: Anupam Bonanthaya is the Chief Marketing Officer at Aujas Information Risk Services. Passionate about helping companies grow using modern marketing. Anupam has been an IT marketer for 20 years with proven success in:

1. 360 degree experience in modern marketing – from building innovative products/solutions for marketing/sales – to acquiring and managing customers all along the marketing/sales funnel using digital marketing and inside sales.
2. Rich experience in both tech entrepreneurship and corporate leadership.
3. Global leadership experience in managing multi-location and multi-cultural teams across US, Europe, India & Asia.

About the author  ⁄ Maithri H

Paul Writer

Since 2010, we have had the privilege of partnering organizations such as Adobe, Cisco, Hindustan Times, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, SAP and more. Paul Writer engages with B2B clients to help them develop and manage their outreach to a qualified audience. Our approach is to enable consistent engagement with the target audience through multiple connected activities such as tweet chats, webinars, conferences, roundtables, research, advisory boards.

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