1. From` internet of things’ to `internet of me’, how is technology helping you in doing your business better today?

Technology is both a cost of doing business, and an opportunity to do more business. There are many ways in which technology is helping us in doing our business better today, but most fall under a few categories:

1. Reach more potential customers, develop a business relationship with potential customers – For the starters, finding what your consumer/client wants has become easier. Let me give you an example from social selling – How many times has it been that you’ve gone all prepared for a meeting, you’ve thoroughly researched about the company, the company profile and what their strategic priorities are but you only have a very superficial insight into the mind of the CXO level person you are scheduled to meet? Thanks to technology, this has become much easier. Whether its social media or various online communities, you can research this one individual, thoroughly know their interests and identify personal wins even before you meet them and try to create better connect.

2. Streamline operations, reduce costs, improve efficiency, maximize profit, minimize waste, devote talent to core business instead of peripheral non-core activities

3. Provide better service to customers – technologies like CRM help not only resolve customer issues but also create customer delight

4. Support better relationships with key partners – partner relationship management allows companies to create a network competitive advantage

5. Allow customers to better guide the business – technology today allows customers to partner with business to help them become more competitive

2. IT Marketing is changing rapidly, what according to you can organizations do today to equip themselves better to adapt to these changes in shorter timelines?

The key here is Content Marketing. The essential element in today’s rapidly getting commoditized IT marketing world is “being relevant”. Considering that every large IT company has more or less the same offerings, the only thing that makes your company stand out is how you package and articulate your offerings and a very important part of this is content marketing. At the end, it boils out down to “how well will you connect with your customers in a short time by being relevant.” Companies need to have their content marketing plan etched out according to various customer segments and contexts and propagate it in a manner where your brand . Sometimes they don’t have to be perceived solely from a sales point of view, but in the manner of strengthening and deepening the connection. This is something we do at HCL via the various thought leadership platforms we have incubated and built over the years. We focus on showing viewpoints of practicing global thought leaders to enable P2P learning via only sharing company research papers which are often in most cases seen as very thinly veiled company brochures and ignored.

3. What is one thing absolutely critical for the IT marketers who are in business today to be future ready?

It would be treating “Digital Marketing” as a way of life. While we’ve widely accepted that traditional marketing methods have taken a backseat, we’ve still not given digital marketing the credit it deserves. Hyper Personalized Digital Marketing is also the next big thing IT Marketers should look out for. The faster we adapt to this, the sooner we are future ready. And the best thing is that it gives prompt results. For example, Web analytics is just scratching the surface of Digital Marketing, but what IT marketers should do is leverage tools like Bizo to do audience segmentation and leverage tools like Demand Base to find out which account names/clients are coming to your website. The trick is to unlearn and learn all the time while creating a best in class digital marketing reference architecture which meets the needs of a millennial enterprise.

Profile: Apurva Chamaria currently heads global brand and digital marketing for HCL Technologies, a 6 Bn US$ IT major and is responsible for global brand marketing, employer brand, employee and community marketing, thought-leadership marketing and digital marketing. He’s performed various roles @ HCL including being a part of the CEO’s Vineet Nayar’s office and being a Sales Director – Healthcare at HCL America. Prior to taking over as the Sales Director – Healthcare, Apurva was the Global Head of Marketing and Strategy for Enterprise Applications & Enterprise Transformation at HCL leading a geographically distributed team of marketing managers’. He has pharmaceutical industry experience having worked in various sales and marketing positions at Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (now a part of Daichi Sankyo). He’s also a regular speaker at industry and company conferences and teaches a full credit digital marketing course at IIMC and Great Lakes Institute of Management. He’s a columnist for the Pitch magazine. He’s also been a journalist and a client servicing executive at a large advertising agency. In various parts of his career he’s worked in Asia-Pacific, India, Africa and North America. He’s a freelance Sales & Marketing Trainer and also a sought after industry speaker at conferences.

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