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A content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
A freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
A few years back, Santa Clara, California -- headquarters of cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks -- started going after selected companies that matched its ideal customer profile. What began as a tactical approach toward potential clients has now evolved into a full-fledged account-based marketing strategy, which is an integral part of its marketing initiatives. Founded 13 years ago, Palo Alto Networks has emerged as one of the leading global cybersecurity firms, with 50,000 customers in more than 150 countries. It serves over 85 firms of the Fortune 100 and more than 63% of companies in the Global 2000. In an interview with Digital CMO, K. P. Unnikrishnan, Senior Director & Head of Marketing, Asia Pacific & Japan, Palo Alto Networks, talked about how and why the company embraced account-based marketing (ABM) and what has changed since then.
Interviewed by Moulishree Srivastava
/ / How has the ABM function evolved in your company over the past few years?
It started as a tactical approach a few years back. We would identify selected accounts and have sales and marketing teams work together on those accounts. Since then, ABM has evolved into a strategic, integral part of our business growth, and marketing plays a vital role in it.
/ / Do you have a separate ABM team? Do they function under the sales or marketing function?
It is an integral part of the marketing team, and there are people who would focus on ABM accounts, depending on the region and the market.
/ / How do you select your ABM accounts?
We go about it scientifically. We are a data-driven company. We look at the total addressable market, the market potential, cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, and taking all of that into account, we say these are the organizations that we believe can scale up to become large multi-dollar accounts for us. If an organization has an extensive global mobile workforce and there is a large security component to it, we take that into account.
/ / What are the tools you use in ABM?
At a very high level, there are sales and marketing automation tools that we use. Then there are optimization and personalization tools, social media and predictive analytics tools.
/ / Do you map the customer journey of all your ABM accounts? Have you created individual personas of people within each of your ABM accounts?
Absolutely, right from mapping the prospects' pain points to looking at how we can work with them at every stage of the buying-evaluation cycle.
We have a lot of customers who come back and buy more from us. Which means, it is critical, after a deal is won, that we continue to work with the client and understand what their evolving needs are. Customers would want not only to know if we can help them prevent all breaches but also what is coming and what the unknown threats are that they can be potentially vulnerable to.
Today, we have something called Magnifier, which does behavioral analytics. We look at all the trend data that is out there, and we work with customers using behavior modeling to identify potential threats. We do persona mapping as well. ABM is not a tactical tool. It is a journey of understanding a prospect's business pains and challenges and addressing them.
/ / What are the channels of communication you use in ABM?
We use all channels of communications, but we customize it depending on the target audience. And that is why I said, it is programmatic and customizable; because what we do for a CIO or a CSO could be very different from what we do with security specialists. And that, in turn, would be different from what we do for a CFO.
For instance, we are likely to connect some of our customers’ CSOs with our own CIO. He would be the best person to explain to them what we are doing.
/ / What are the new opportunities that ABM has opened up for your business?
For us, business from ABM accounts has substantially gone up. Obviously, there is more to it than that, like how ABM has opened up doors to senior C level executives and enabled us to become partners with the organizations that are looking at cloud transformation. Today, we measure ROI on ABM.
/ / What are the challenges you have faced in implementing ABM?
The first challenge is acceptance from the sales and marketing teams, as they need to work together closely. The second is knowing the right accounts to target. If you choose the wrong accounts for ABM, you will actually be wasting time, money and resources in driving them.
Lastly, I would say, many of these tools, programs and technology have to evolve, and the foundation for this is data ― the right data. So organizations have to ensure that they work with the correct data.
/ / Do you think companies are investing enough in ABM?
It differs. Sales and marketing automation, account-based advertising, targeted advertising, web tools and optimization tools, these things don’t come cheap. But most organizations today understand the value that they would get in terms of these types of investments and are obviously taking small steps toward investing in them.
/ / Have you invested in advanced analytics?
Yes. The way we look at it, these cannot be standalone technologies. It doesn't make sense to have technology x if you do not have technology y. Let's say you have marketing automation, but you don't have predictive analytics. Then what's the point of having automation? Similarly, if you are looking at social media tools and getting data from social, but you have not tied this with AI and predictive analytics, it wouldn’t work.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive ABM in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
Quite a few things. Over the last couple of years, 20-30% of businesses focused on ABM; that number has gone up to 60-70% in the industry today, and that will continue to rise. So that is definitely going to be a key component.
I think the second component would be technologies and tools. These technologies will continue to evolve as they link back to that level of customization and intimacy and account knowledge that is required to feed in and work with relevant marketing data. If I get my data right, I can use predictive analytics tools, which is one of the top five technologies that are being used for ABM.
Businesses should gear up by knowing and understanding what their customers want. That's it. Today, ABM has become more critical because it is really important for businesses to understand what their customers' needs and pain points are. Companies need to realize that ABM is the strategic weapon that they can use to achieve this.
ABM will help you deliver a real-world experience in the digital space
Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head, Marketing, Service Quality, VAS & Innovation, Thomas Cook (India)
AI has huge potential to transform ABM meaningfully
Apurv Bhatnagar, Associate Vice President, Kore.ai
Investing in ABM should be a no-brainer for B2B enterprises
Virender Jeet, SVP, Sales & Marketing/Products, Newgen Software Technologies Limited
I would say ABM is a big cultural shift for companies, and AI is only a small part of that
Todd Berkowitz, Managing Vice President, Tech GTM Marketing, Product & Sales, Gartner Inc.
In ABM, personalization is not an afterthought – it is part of the strategy
Yashdeep Vaishnav, Director, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce
ABM is more cost-effective than traditional marketing
Jennifer Toton, Vice President, Marketing, RollWorks
Companies that have invested time into developing their account strategy are likely to benefit from ABM
Chandra Sekar, Vice President, Marketing, Avi Networks
ABM is akin to fishing with a spear instead of casting a wide net
Sumit Srivastava, Head, Corporate Marketing Analytics & Operations, LexisNexis Risk Solutions
The return on investment of ABM is far more than a generic broad-based marketing approach
Samik Roy, Country Head (Dynamics), Microsoft India