From Internet of Things to the Internet of Me, what according to you is the big thing that will define IT marketing in 2016?

The top priority for IT marketing will be to drive contextual messaging. Are you giving your buyer the information that will help them make a decision? And here is where technology plays a big role.

B2C companies have already adopted personalization of content to create experiences in a big way. Netflix is investing $150 million recommendation systems. Facebook and Google are already using personalization and relevancy algorithm to show you content about areas of your interest.

At its root, IT marketing is also about marketing to the individual – delivering on their choices and preferences. So Account Based Marketing must become Person Based Marketing.

I think aided by technology, there are 3 outcomes IT marketers should focus on:

a.       Understanding buyer preferences – Marketing Automation will be vital to give us increased understanding of buyer preferences and we will see it become a hygiene factor in driving personalized marketing campaigns.

b.      Creating relevant marketing interventions across preferred channels – The decision journey of IT buyers is becoming Omni-channel. Are they able to access your message on a channel of their choice – be it offline or online?

c.       Delivering exceptional experiences – Are your campaigns creating a lasting impression? Is there a wow factor? To be remembered you need to be interesting. IT marketing must leverage technology in innovative ways to generate TOM recall.

It’s also time for IT marketers to cross-pollinate from their B2C colleagues. There is tremendous potential to create B2B experiences leveraging Virtual Reality, Connected Devices, Artificial Intelligence and other technologies. The focus should be on creating a memorable experience for customers at all points of interaction with your content and your brand. It’s a question of understanding the goal of your marketing campaigns and use the right levers to maximize RoI.

Two ways in which the digital lives of people, things and organization is impacting the way companies are marketing to them? 

Technology dependency is blurring the boundaries between physical and digital. It’s become an integral part of how we consume information, make decisions, share opinions, and purchase goods and services. Added to that, in the digital era, the individual has become paramount. So today whether you are a B2B company or a B2C one, it’s all about marketing to the individual.

The two things where I see a shift are:

a.       Selling to engaging

b.      Siloes to Integrated teams

The focus has shifted to creating conversations. It’s not just about how many eyeballs you get but also about how you engage the buyer over a longer period of time. We see more and more organizations focus on creating communities to keep buyers engaged.

Marketing organizations are also getting restructured. The fragmented approach is no longer working. Integrated, connected, digitally empowered teams are becoming a mandate. We are also seeing increasing use of technology within the organization to encourage collaboration and break down the siloes that existed traditionally.

How has sales function transformed in the changing times wrt to changing consumers and organizations?

Sales and marketing are much more integrated. They are working together to build lasting relationships that are engagement driven and not merely transactional. Digital technologies also provide an opportunity for sales teams to get closer to their customers and understand them like never before.

How do you see the role of IT marketer changing in the coming year and what has been the transition that you are already witnessing?

Marketers today already need to understand technology at some levels. This is one thing that will become more pronounced in the coming years. Marketers must become Technology evangelists for the organizations understanding and pioneering new trends to engage buyers. Digital will become a core marketing skill and marketing data scientists will be in big demand.

IT marketers will also need to outline Marketing RoI. The focus will be on becoming Sales Enablers and work hand in hand with the sales and accounts team to build relationships and generate business.

Profile: Poornima Couto is currently the Global Head for Brand at Wipro Limited, a US$ 7.6Bn IT major.

She is also a speaker at Great Indian IT Marketing Summit & Awards 2016.

Wipro Limited is a US$ 7.6Bn IT major. She is responsible for global brand building engagements, corporate brand and sports marketing. In her previous role within Wipro, Poornima has spearheaded brand and marketing communications for the emerging markets where she devised localized value propositions and go-to-market strategies for the regions. Prior to joining Wipro, Poornima was the Head of Marketing at a leading fashion retail group based in the Middle East. She has also spent a major part of her career in the advertising industry where she has been responsible for brand strategy and communication for multiple global brands. Poornima has a keen interest in art history & appreciation, culture mapping and is also an abstract artist herself.



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