For our third episode of Marketing Mavericks, a series initiative by Paul Writer that gives an inside look into some of the greatest marketing teams in the field, we interviewed Abhijith Damodar, Global Lead Marketing at Infosys Finacle to find out their team aspirations for 2018.
Read the first and second episode.
1. What is the topmost priority for the marketing team this year?
Within the Infosys Finacle marketing team, I lead the team responsible for field marketing. Our remit involves working closely with regional sales teams with a focus on demand generation, regional brand visibility and positioning and enabling deal pursuit success. Our priority this year is to enhance lead generation outcomes, to make it even more targeted and help support the drive to achieve industry leading growth. Our focus will be on elevating the quality of leads, which the sales team can more readily nurture and take to closure. We will also be focusing on helping drive the success of strategic deal pursuits, with planned marketing interventions to elevate the quality of collateral and experience.
2. How is AI viewed within your organization?
Banking business and technology leaders agree that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is among the key trends that will reshape the industry in 2018. AI driven startup ventures are looking to redefine banking and progressive banks have launched AI based pilots, in various segments such as customer services, fraud management and credit scoring, among others. These ventures and pilots have sprung up because AI powered banking is viable now and it is also seeing acceptance among end consumers. While there are multiple point of views published every day reiterating this belief, there is a need for clear direction to a bank on how they should go about their AI journey. Infosys Finacle has published an actionable point-of-view paper, which is in the public domain, to serve as a practical guide to help banks in their AI adoption journey.
3. What are a few team building initiatives that have worked for you in the past? What do you do for continuous learning for your team?
At Infosys Finacle, we are small and closely knit marketing team, with a flat structure and a culture of high camaraderie. Commitment to transparency, encouragement of healthy feedback and equal access to learning opportunities, along with a regular off-work occasions to bond, has helped in ensure a strong team culture. A proactive attitude is encouraged and aided by a clear understanding of individual roles and solid cross functional collaboration in driving the business forward.
For continuous learning, we have regular sessions to share learnings from key marketing initiatives with the wider team. We have also institutionalized a fortnightly knowledge sharing cadence, where team members are free to share their knowledge (functional, technical or domain based) with the team. These periodic sessions help broaden industry awareness and strengthen knowledge of the sales narrative around our solutions. From the perspective of ensuring business continuity, fellow team members are encouraged to switch roles and independently lead specific initiatives, distinct from their regular roles. For the individual, it widens their experiential horizon and also builds empathy towards the other members of the team through better understanding of their challenges and constraints.
4. How do you use data to make marketing work in your organization?
Data is the cornerstone of our marketing organization and data collection, collation and analysis is an integral and ongoing effort across field marketing planning and activation. All regional field marketing plans are based on grounds up data for each market region and integrally tied to the regional business goals, folding up to the organisation’s overall business goals. These translate into targets taken on by regional field marketing managers, including sales accepted leads, brand visibility and engagement metrics, and the number deals that marketing can influence meaningfully, among others. Data on outcomes is also collected and monitored to better manage effectiveness of the marketing mix elements and cost efficiencies.
5. What was the last campaign you worked on? What were the challenges you faced and how did you overcome it as a team?
A recent campaign we worked on was to enable new market penetration and domination for Infosys Finacle in a large South East Asian country. Due to various positive international developments in 2015, Finacle saw potential to sell its banking solutions in this country. However, key challenges were low perception of Infosys Finacle among banks, well entrenched incumbents and local competition. Besides, there were the usual complexities of a new market, including cultural nuances, local business requirements and dynamic scenarios. Emerging from years of isolation, winning the trust of local banks was another challenge.
In the initial campaign spanning about 18 months, prospects were engaged with multiple webinars, locally relevant thought leadership content, solution related mails, periodic local media placements and large, well attended market engagements events. Signing up of new clients and implementation milestones for clients were celebrated and well publicized locally. The quality of deal pursuit collateral and experience was world class. The key was a joint effort by the marketing team with sales, pre-sales and delivery, ensuring sustained multi-channel marketing interventions, which enabled successful market penetration, resulting in multiple new logo wins in less than 18 months. We have also been able to establish a solid positioning as the leading banking technology transformation partner in the minds of our target customers, the central bank and the local media houses. Marketing interventions continue to support expansion of the wallet share from clients by way of cross sells and openings into new accounts.
Name: Abhijith K Damodar
Designation: Global Lead – Field Marketing
Organization: Infosys Finacle
CMO/Head of Marketing: Puneet Chhahira