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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.
Subhendu Pattnaik is Associate Vice President and Head of Global Marketing and Demand Generation at Cigniti Technologies, a global leader in independent quality engineering and software testing services. He oversees marketing for all business units, across geographies and verticals. Cigniti’s vision is to help companies improve the quality of software being delivered worldwide.
Interviewed by Prajwala Hegde
/ / How has ABM evolved in your company over the past few years?
When we started off, about five years ago, we were focused on getting new visitors to our online properties, and building a brand presence through events and analyst relationships. Over time, we realised that pursuing bigger accounts as a strategy needed a lot of attention and effort from our side, on a consistent basis. That’s when we started working on our account-based marketing program. We first identified the companies that we would love to work with and where we felt we could significantly add value through our capabilities and services. Next, we finalized the ABM platform that we wanted to use which included CRM and a lead nurturing funnel. Then we brought in marketing automation, which, coupled with manual intervention helped us to connect with our prospects across various channels. Today, a significant amount of our marketing effort is directed toward this, and we are slowly beginning to see the results of our efforts, although I think it is a little bit too early to comment.
/ / Do you have a separate ABM team? Do they function under the sales or marketing function?
The ABM team is a separate team within the marketing function. However, they closely work with other functions, including sales and solution teams. ABM needs special focus because they help in driving bigger deals and bring in bigger revenues.
/ / How do you select your ABM accounts?
We select our ABM accounts based on inputs from the leadership team, the sales team and the market research team. One key factor in selecting these accounts is the quantum of their investment in previous years in the areas in which we operate.
/ / Do you map the customer journey of your ABM accounts? Have you created individual personas of people within each account?
Yes, we do map the customer journey of all our ABM accounts. We also create personas of the top five decision-makers and influencers, within each account.
/ / Do you provide account specific website experience?
We have done this for quite a few accounts, but it is still a long way to go programmatically. Currently, we are leading people from an account to a specific page or website meant only for them through our email nurturing campaigns.
/ / What are the channels of communication you use in ABM?
The most used channel is email, followed by social media. We also host private events for our ABM accounts. Occasionally, we use offline mailers.
/ / What are the new opportunities that ABM has opened up for your business?
We are seeing greater numbers of RFPs (Request for Proposal) coming our way, and we are increasingly working with larger enterprises. As we speak, we service 49 of the Fortune 500 companies and 71 of the Global 2000 companies. It has put us on a higher revenue trajectory.
/ / What are the challenges you have faced in implementing ABM?
There have been multiple challenges. One such challenge we faced was when we started implementing the technology platform for marketing automation. We realized we needed a different skill set and a different thought process to go with it, and we had to re-skill people and hire professionals with experience in the technology. Another challenge was in envisioning the entire process flow based on the ABM campaign objective and then monitoring it on a regular basis to ensure that the results are in line with our expectations.
/ / Do you think companies are investing enough in ABM?
Probably in bits and pieces; and with new technologies coming in, the diversity in approach toward ABM is getting more pronounced. ABM is important, but how it gets implemented becomes the differentiating factor. You create a plan which covers all angles; you create an email marketing workflow which takes care of all possible opportunities; you draft all the emails and feed them into the system; but if the email gets delivered to the prospect’s spam box, all the effort goes waste. Every aspect is important when we are talking about a chain of events. I believe companies are focusing on ABM seriously now and everyone is trying to tighten all the nuts and bolts as quickly as they can.
/ / Have you implemented AI in your ABM practice?
No, not yet. We are still reading about AI and how it can impact the way we communicate and the way we reach out to prospects. However, we would take a wait and watch approach for the next 3 to 4 quarters, give time for our current processes to stabilize, and then start with AI as the next thing.
/ / How is AI changing the ABM function? How well, in your opinion, are businesses coping with this change?
AI is aiding hyper-targeted marketing. It is bringing in a lot of changes to SEO. Google’s RankBrain AI is making sure that SEO is a level playing field and no invalid backlinks would work for search engine rankings. With AI, there is also an increase in the level of analytics we could do and make meaningful sense out of it.
/ / Have you invested in advanced analytics?
Not yet. But we would love to, in the next two years.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive ABM in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
Analytics and AI will drive ABM. Customer experience will be the central construct which will stay for a long period of time.
ABM is a marathon, not a sprint
Anamika Gupta, Director and Head of Account Based Marketing at Fujitsu America, Inc.
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