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A content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
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.
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.
In a recently published study by Regalix – State of Product Marketing 2017 – it was seen that marketers were more focused on acquiring new customers than engaging and retaining existing ones. The report goes on to say, “Sales and revenue generation continue to be the overarching concern of marketers. As a result, relationship metrics like customer engagement have received less than their share of attention.”
Here, Asoke K. Laha, Founder, President & CEO,InterraIT Inc. and President & Managing Director of InterraIT India, talks about how B2B service providers can engage with their customers for better retention and improved business performance.
InterraIT is the largest privately held offshore consulting company with operations in India. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of IT and IT-enabled services with a distinct focus on providing product engineering services, ERP solutions, web-based custom enterprise applications and mobile application development.
Interviewed by Priyanka Bhattacharya
Marketing is extremely important for B2B companies, just as it is for B2C. Traditional marketing techniques will only get today’s B2B marketer so far. B2B customer relationships are not about one-off transactions but rather are built on long-term relationships nurtured by demonstrating capabilities and showcasing credibility. This is where digital marketing leaves a lasting impact.
Routinely creating industry-relevant content and disseminating it throughout the customer journey at multiple touch points (Search, Social Media, Digital PR and Landing Pages) provide maximum impact for a firm’s digital marketing strategy.
It is crucial that today’s marketers engage prospects and customers by providing them with useful content (case studies, white papers, etc.) that helps customers improve their business performance and positions you as an expert who they can rely upon.
Unfortunately, not all B2B companies tread this path. Many B2B marketing teams focus on customer acquisition and prefer traditional tactics like direct mail and trade shows, instead of engagement through social media and content marketing. This needs to change! If you think that you have an amazing sales and account management team and there’s no need for digital marketing, you’ll realize your mistake sooner or later.
You have to understand that engagement is extremely important. B2B customers are people and have feelings too. They are not rational bots. Even though they are extremely busy, they still want to be engaged, amused and fed with great ideas. Your B2B customers will care more about your products or services, and buy more, if they know more about them. Greater understanding leads to greater confidence in your products or services. This can be achieved by feeding them about your true differentiators, unique business processes and past customer stories throughout the customer journey via mails, social media and digital forums. After-sales service and upgradation help you grow closer to the customer, understand their priorities and provide solutions in subsequent phases of consulting services. This also helps in getting more referral business.
Your customers will become your true evangelists once they have all the facts about how beneficial your brand is. This will make them want to share those facts with others and spread the word.
For B2B companies in general, a strategy for engaging and retaining existing customers is extremely important, since the customer pool is significantly smaller, as compared to B2C companies. Hence, it is relevant to focus on keeping the existing customers happy and retaining them for longer periods.
InterraIT has been able to retain more than 70% of its original customers all over the world. This has been possible because of our proactive customer relationship strategy. For InterraIT, being customer-centric is embedded in our culture. Customer orientation is part of our overall marketing strategy and the company’s messaging.
In an increasingly customer-centric world, the ability to capture and use customer insights to shape your solutions is crucial. We, at InterraIT, utilize technology at several levels to understand customer behavior. We use analytics and big data in this field. We also leverage statistical analysis and insights from market psychology acquired by our team over the decades.
We use advanced marketing automation platforms to understand, manage and measure customer behavior at multiple touch points. This has helped us remarkably improve our lead generation and sales program and maximize the impact of our marketing investments across all channels.
Reporting dashboards, next-best-action analytics and similar solutions have allowed our account managers to compare performance and see what pricing and engagement models are working for other similar clients.
Also, our customer support teams have deployed systems based on artificial intelligence that are capable of capturing and interpreting reams of data to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions.
We have a dedicated AI and analytics team to examine customer issues and priorities. This has added significant value to our customer engagement and relationships.
We have derived a lot of value through analytics. This has led to improved lead generation and lead scoring, higher customer lifetime value through decrease in churn, reduction in dispute occurrences, better cross-selling and upselling, and an improved pricing structure.
AI tools like predictive analytics and chat-bots have helped us provide efficient customer support, and improve customer loyalty and satisfaction. AI tools have been deployed by us to allow marketers to create personalized campaigns, help sales teams to identify customer buying patterns, and analyze and identify the characteristics of past high-value customers.
With the power to measure, analyze and anticipate customer needs and drive revenue, analytics and AI technology cannot be overlooked.
B2C is a more commonly acknowledged ground for loyalty programs but it is increasingly taking hold in the B2B domain. We try to provide hyper-personalized services to our customers in this area and also try to focus on education, awareness and interactive consultancy, so that retaining clients becomes a natural, almost organic process. If you treat your customers like family and take care of them accordingly, it becomes a genuine bond which far exceeds market exchanges and buying needs. We try to become their friends and partners and answer questions and resolve doubts even when no concrete sales are in the foresight.
There are many benefits to implementing a B2B loyalty program, since it helps develop greater insights regarding your customers’ needs and expectations. Loyalty programs also help create brand advocates or evangelists who spread your name online and through word of mouth to their partners and associates. These programs offer businesses like ours an opportunity to enhance engagement with clients and build a stronger relationship with them.
Loyalty programs can be used as an opportunity to sign up clients for newsletters, emails and webinars, giving businesses another reason to engage with their customers.
Apart from our consistent content marketing programs through newsletters, emails and webinars, we at InterraIT have implemented the following methods to increase engagement, loyalty and upselling opportunities.
Customer engagement is about going beyond the customer’s expectations
K V Dipu, President - Head Operations & Customer Service, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company
Feedback from existing customers is an important element
Nikhil Arora, Managing Director and Vice President, GoDaddy India.
It’s practically self-destructive to ignore your existing client base
Sayeed Peerzade, CIO, Reliance BIG Entertainment