Interview with Mohit Hira – CMO- Career Building Solution – NIIT Ltd.
PW: How important do you think technology is for marketers?
MH: Technology for marketers in the current scenario is very important and is likely to play an indispensable role in the coming years.
PW: From a marketing perspective what are the current priorities in your organisation?
MH: As of now we are focused on the following Top 3 priorities at NIIT:
- Customer Data Management & Analytics
- Social Media & Digital Communications
- Revamping online customer engagement
PW: How has technology played a role in new product development, market expansion or other areas?
MH: We have used technology in almost all aspects of our business and especially in product development
Our Global Design & Development Team creates thousands of man hours of content with a team of developers and instructors. These include conventional paper courseware and, more recently, DRM-protected digital content delivered off our pioneering Cloud Campus platform. Technology has also helped us develop the Synchronous Learning Technology platform where we deliver executive management and social media marketing courses across the country from a single studio-centre to multiple cities. This satellite-based connectivity also enables us to develop employability-oriented skills for college students delivered within their classrooms from an expert faculty outside, thus bridging the gap between students and faculty.
As close watchers of technology trends, we also work with global partners (including Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Cisco, Tally, SAP, SAS and Zend) to continuously upgrade our students and train them in the freshest technologies. For our banking courses, we have worked closely with our JV partner, ICICI Bank, as well as several others to design and deliver curriculum that meets their hiring needs.
Finally, analytics help us monitor our web traffic as well as student behaviour offline.
PW: In your organization how has technology played a role in customer acquisition or retention?
MH: As an organisation that delivers IT, BFSI, Management and soft skills training, we have banked on the web and mobile for many years now to acquire and engage with students. Our marketing team has focused on web-driven leads and consistently rolled out campaigns and processes that improve key metrics including the all-critical cost per lead.
Our social media campaign – primarily Facebook – has succeeded in not just growing the fan base but also in making us the most popular education profile page in India (Social Bakers report)
An integrated process helps us connect with young students via the web and mobile while they are still prospecting for courses. Once they are enrolled, a very popular site called niitstudent.com offers them our revolutionary Cloud Campus online at their convenience.
PW: Do you have a separate budget for the IT component of marketing? And how aligned are the marketing and IT functions in the organization?
MH: Yes, a significant share of our budget is technology driven. And yes, both functions work extremely closely.