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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is 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.
When it comes to ABM, no amount of technological ingenuity can replace good old-fashioned knowledge, experience and intuition. She believes, ABM is a marathon, not a sprint. Anamika Gupta, Director & Head of Account - Based Marketing at Fujitsu America, Inc., has significant expertise – including a previous stint leading ABM for Capgemini America, Inc. – building business in Account - Based Marketing (ABM), Field Marketing and Cross-Geo Marketing. Anamika offers her thoughts about her approach to building strategic partnerships and best practices that drive revenue and build market share, generating game-changing results.
Interviewed by Swastika Singh
/ / How has the ABM function evolved in your company over the past few years?
As we talk about ABM, I think it is important first to define what ABM is in a true sense. ABM has become among the most manipulated terms in marketing today. It’s been abused by marketers, organizations, and vendors alike – all of them looking to win business by misrepresenting, altering and repackaging more traditional marketing capabilities and calling them ABM.
I fought this battle in my career while building an ABM practice for few large corporate organizations. Through these experiences, I learned enough (and still learning) to tackle some common barriers including those I’ve encountered with business line leaders, account owners, so-called ABM service providers and even our very own marketing functions.
So what is ABM? Account Based Marketing is a long-term strategic approach that requires marketing and sales to work as partners to achieve one common goal: open doors and deepen engagements at high-growth accounts. According to ITSMA, only 8% of the market exclusively practices ABM by its true definition.
I always think of ABM as a journey and the key to success is understanding customers and their maturity to imbibe the change, and then take them on the journey. This builds trust and confidence along the way, strengthening relationships and creating conversations needed to WIN BIG together. Remember: every journey and conversation is different, as every account is different. And it doesn’t happen overnight by using a bunch of personalization tools. It takes time, patience and the right investments. That’s ABM– to people by people for people. And at Fujitsu, we believe in that, so when we launched our new ABM program, we started by hand-selecting our top accounts. These accounts not only have the highest potential for growth relative to their propensity to buy but also in terms of the strength of our relationships and the customer lifetime value that we’ve built in a highly dynamic digital era.
/ / Do you have a separate ABM team? Do they function under the sales or marketing function?
Yes. Fujitsu Americas has a separate ABM team. It’s a function of marketing aligned with sales, with both sales and ABM sharing the same goal: client growth.
/ / How do you select your ABM accounts?
Data + Analytics + Experience + Intuition + Fujitsu strategy for growth = Insight.This is our recipe for how we select ABM accounts, in collaboration with sales and business leadership. Fujitsu Americas is on a growth trajectory, and we are committed to making an investment in our hi-growth existing accounts. We've been in the business for more than 80 years, which has afforded us a plethora of information and experience, which we use to support clients and guide them to achieve their ambitions for the future. When combined with our sales and delivery experience, our strategy offers us great insights to understand our clients’ propensity to buy; cost and growth potential; the strength of the existing relationship; cultural fit; geographical alignment; and the client executive’s collaborative intent. This all goes in selecting the right accounts for ABM.
/ / What are the technologies/trends driving ABM today?
I consider technology to be more of an enabler of ABM, while our driver always remains the same – enhancing the customer experience by helping our clients not just sustain but grow their business in this dynamic digital era. So the question is not really about hi-tech, but rather about hi-intelligent/meaningful touch. For example, the application of Artificial Intelligence and other advanced technologies is inevitable and necessary to achieve the potential of Account-Based Marketing. AI needs to be integrated at every layer of our touch with the target account to make ABM successful. But the value must exist alongside good old-fashioned human knowledge, experience and intuition. No amount of technological ingenuity can replace that.
/ / Do you map the customer journey of all your ABM accounts? Have you created individual personas of people within each of your ABM accounts?
Every account is different. Hence, the experience of mapping each journey is different and exhilarating. We are not fully there in terms of pulling individual personas into each account, but we do market to each decision maker, group influencer and noise maker in mini-segments.
/ / Do you provide account specific website experience?
Yes, we call these microsites or landing pages, which are backed by analytics. All microsites are dynamic in nature and are highly relevant and timely, and we bolster these sites with campaigns that drive target clients to content and gated assets we can track, measure and report.
/ / What are the channels of communication you use in ABM? How much weightage is given to mobile & social media?
First, we focus on understanding how our target audience digests its information. It’s a noisy world. A survey of Canadian media consumption by Microsoft concluded that the average attention span has fallen to eight seconds, down from 12 in the year 2000. We now have a shorter attention span than goldfish, the study found. To maximize this precious time, we take a diverse and individualized approach driven by the client’s way of consuming information. The content that grabs their undivided attention and drives them to learn more about us makes it into our marketing kitty - from virtual reality to augmented reality to hi-touch direct mail to targeted digital and social media to email campaigns. It is about being relevant to the right people with the right message through the right channel at the right time. More often, mobile and social media win the battle because of their broad reach, digital format, real-time content optimization, and stickiness with the audience.
/ / What are the new opportunities that ABM has opened up for your business?
ABM has helped our business get a seat at the table as a top-tier player because we have become more relevant, sales-focused and customer-led in our journey of building trust. It has also helped sales and marketing become united and focused on one goal: client growth.
/ / What are the challenges you have faced in implementing ABM?
First and foremost, getting the word out there on what true ABM is extremely important. This helps set the right expectations with the team and ultimately helps achieve the agreed upon goals. The right mix of tools and technologies stack is another key for successfully implementing ABM. Not all tools and technologies are right for all, so choosing them wisely based on the organization’s needs and maturity level with data/analytics/automation/AI is also critical.
/ / Do you think companies are investing enough in ABM?
I believe almost everyone is talking about ABM, but very few have been able to put it to practice. ABM needs commitment and buy-in from leadership and a clear investment plan for it to be successful!
/ / How is AI changing the ABM function? How well, in your opinion, are businesses coping with this change?
AI is helping ABM scale effectively in a true sense. Here’s why: Building and delivering a truly personalized insightful experience for 8-10 accounts is feasible. But as you grow that number to 50 or 100, it’s hard to build relevant messages and campaigns without more in-depth knowledge on the account. No human can cost-effectively do that much research. And that's where AI-supported ABM can deliver the 1:1 experience at scale by converting data into insights and action. Different companies are at different maturity level in their journey to leverage AI.
/ / Have you invested in advanced analytics?
Yes, but we are at an early stage and haven’t fully realized the benefits.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive ABM in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
AI plays a critical role in scaling ABM, and businesses should start evaluating their current and future state now, gain leadership commitment, and secure budget approvals. As part of that exercise, it’s also important to identify gaps and areas for which capabilities can be built in-house, or a partnership needs to be forged with leading vendors that can help realize.
Investing in ABM should be a no-brainer for B2B enterprises
Virender Jeet, SVP, Sales & Marketing/Products, Newgen Software Technologies Limited
Making sales and marketing understand the long-term benefits of ABM is a big challenge
Kesava Reddy, Vice President, Sales at E2E Networks
The right type of events can play an integral role in your ABM plans
Nerissa Traola, Director, Demand Generation, CA Technologies
ABM has created new ways of engagement with clients
Tania Salarvand, Global Head, Marketing, ThoughtWorks
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 a journey of understanding a prospect's business pains and challenges and addressing them
K. P. Unnikrishnan, Senior Director & Head, Marketing, APAC, Palo Alto Networks
ABM will help marketers drive bigger deals and more revenue
Anil Mishra, AVP Strategic Alliances & Marketing at CSS Corp
One-size-fits-all content is not good enough for ABM
Paul McMeekin, Director, Marketing, ACI Worldwide