Interview with Monil Hathi, VP-Marketing, Orion Systems Integrators

What makes a good marketer?

I would call it someone who is willing to take calculated risks to build a brand. Marketing is both a science and an art, even in the B2B context. Coupled with data-driven insights and a dash of creativity, marketers can do wonders even in boring industries. Marketers who are willing to take these risks to achieve better outcomes would be the ones to differentiate themselves and their work in this ever increasing ‘noisy’ marketing era.

How does one sustain their brand image?

Marketers need to instil brand values and commitment to employees, partners and customers. Each product/service is only as good as it meets or exceed customers’ needs and is still relevant to them.  The product or service should deliver this value to the last mile. For example, even a foot soldier who believes in the brand would be able to communicate their company/product/service value clearly to anyone and also exhibit the same in their behaviour.

Where do you think Marketing is headed?

Marketing would be no longer confined to the marketing department. All of the company should be responsible for engaging with the customer. Be it sales, procurement, operations or even back office. Marketing is increasingly getting pervasive. There needs to be a ‘mind-set’ shift around customer interactions. Marketing or sales would no longer be the departments who own the customer. Marketing must pervade the entire organisation to engage on all the customer interaction touchpoints, be it email, phone, social, in-store or any other channels.

Do social media channels really help marketers?

It really depends. There is much noise on social and all companies are trying to engage customers continuously. The challenge is, there is only so much time for customers to be engaged. Social does help however marketers needs to go beyond traditional promotional campaigns and involve customers in building products and services. Understanding demographics, challenges, likes/dislikes and analytics behind these would help marketers to better target their customers and also build better products. In a nutshell, social media needs to be used as a ‘Listen-Respond-Repeat’ tool.

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

Three primary technologies might change the way we do marketing. Augmented reality may blur the lines between real and virtual worlds leading to hyper-engagement and ‘real-time’ marketing to customers. Hyperlocal brand awareness and loyalty programs could be baked into AR. Virtual reality is another tech that could shape marketing in the near future with virtual advertisements in apps and games. Finally what we now know as ‘word of mouth’ would become ‘word of AI’ in the near future given the interaction with virtual assistants. In fact, AI assistants would be predominantly defining/recommending brands that consumers would want to use.

Profile: Monil (VP-Marketing) heads up the global marketing for Orion Systems Integrators LLC. He is responsible for driving brand growth and visibility of Orion. He has also worked in various capacities at iGATE and HP where he has contributed to growing the business pipeline through strategic marketing programs.

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