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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.
As the Senior Vice President (Sales & Marketing/Products), Virender Jeet manages the overall strategic and operational responsibility for the entire portfolio of offerings at Newgen Software Technologies Limited. He is also responsible for the key functions of product development, global sales and marketing and business-enabling functions. With more than two decades of professional experience, he has been associated with Newgen since 1992. He has helped file more than 35 patents on behalf of Newgen in India and the US, of which five have been granted.
Newgen Software has been listed as a ‘Visionary’ in the ‘Gartner Magic Quadrant for Intelligent Business Process Management Suites 2017’.
Interviewed by Prajwala Hegde
/ / How has the ABM (Account Based Marketing) function evolved in Newgen over the past few years?
We have been the early adopters of ABM in the software product industry. We started ABM in the US banking space, identifying key accounts and the prospects within them and took the initiative across regions. Since then, it has evolved with time, and now we are actively carrying out well-coordinated marketing programs across verticals with a major focus on banking, healthcare, and enterprise in the US. We have also started similar initiatives in India, APAC and MEA regions for banking, insurance, shared services and government verticals. In the B2B marketing realm, a proper ABM strategy is quite effective and more relevant than ever, as it enables organizations to target specific accounts or customers by sending tailored and highly personalized content.
/ / Do you have a separate ABM team? Does it function under the sales or marketing function?
We have a joint program where our marketing, sales and global business development (GBD) teams work in tandem for ABM. While the marketing team focuses on social media and digital campaigns, the sales team is responsible for direct outreach, and the GBD team handles campaigns and outreach, mostly through phone and emails.
/ / How do you select your ABM accounts?
Our ABM target customers are selected based on multiple criteria, such as asset size of the company, number of employees, turnover, annual budgets and initiatives. We analyze their corporate strategy, buying capacity, requirements for digital transformation and other such benchmarks to ascertain that they are viable prospects.
/ / What are the technologies/trends driving ABM today?
One of the most important trends is making every communication device agnostic. For instance, companies are standardizing communication delivery in a resolution or size which can open effortlessly on any device.
Artificial Intelligence is making a significant impact in the way ABM is practiced. It puts more power in organizations' hands, enabling them to precisely identify the accounts they need to pursue. It also helps them understand their ideal customer profile at a micro level.
Another emerging trend is predicting which prospects are most likely to convert. This kind of predictive analytics is only going to pick up pace in the future. Personalization will rule the roost as marketers become mature in trying to create and present relevant content, tailored to suit customer needs. If this is done right, it can not only deepen but also positively fortify the engagement.
/ / Do you provide account-specific website experience?
We provide regional-specific website experience instead of account-specific. This saves us the time and effort to go down to each and every account. To give Latin American customers a good website experience, we have made a website in Spanish.
/ / Do you map the customer journey of all your ABM accounts?
We certainly map the customer journey of all our accounts. We use various marketing automation tools to map each customer so that we can nurture them further.
/ / What are the channels of communication you use in ABM?
We have an omnichannel mode of communication and have a healthy mix of marketing automation tools: e-mail marketing, social media, especially LinkedIn and Google Ads. Besides those, we focus on events and external trade shows in various regions to meet target accounts. Our website is device-agnostic, and the communication which we create for our customers is distributed through all available marketing channels. We do many field marketing activities and participate in external trade shows across regions as well as verticals.
/ / What are the challenges you have faced in implementing ABM?
Acquiring ABM's best practices is not a walk in the park. As easy and straightforward as it may sound, ABM has certain challenges which need to be continuously tackled to get a smooth and transparent process. These may be different for different organizations. For us, it was bringing sales, marketing and GBD teams onto the same platform, and coordinating and channelizing their efforts.
Newgen is present in 60 countries with vertical as well as horizontal products across geographies, so creating personalized content for so many regions is a challenge.
Apart from that, there are a few common challenges which everyone faces, such as knowing where and how to focus on implementing ABM campaigns effectively or ascertaining the buying capacity of each account.
/ / What are the new opportunities that ABM has opened up for your business?
In B2B marketing, ABM is currently one of the hottest trends. We leverage this strategic approach by carrying out focused sales and marketing efforts to help us garner new leads and deepen our engagement with them. Our ABM strategy has facilitated business expansion to newer markets and geographies. We also flip the funnel to change the direction of demand generation, and rather than focusing on multiple leads at a time, we focus on targeted leads, spending our resources on customer acquisition and retention accordingly. All our collaterals and outreach are aligned toward achieving those targets. ABM has enabled us to connect with people who share our vision for digital transformation.
/ / Do you think companies are investing enough in ABM?
As mentioned before, we are the early adopters of ABM as a software product company and have been using it since the very beginning. We have seen this industry moving toward addressing a targeted audience in the past few years. However, it still has a long way to go as many companies are not investing enough in change management, which is essential for ABM. In such cases, not getting the right budget to justify this program might seem to be a hindrance to adopting this strategy. You need to give it time. In most of the instances, not getting the desired results leads people to assume that this strategy doesn’t work. Investing in ABM should be a no-brainer for B2B enterprises. However, one should always remember that even a well-executed ABM strategy takes time to break even.
/ / What are the tools you use in ABM?
We have a combination of a few tools built in-house and some from leading marketing automation vendors.
/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive ABM in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?
Although Account-Based Marketing is not a new topic, it has gained significant traction. Historically, ABM tools were leveraged by larger enterprises, but rapid proliferation of different tools and functionalities have paved the way for even start-ups and small businesses to adopt these tools en masse. Especially in the latter case, where it is important to get the most out of your marketing investment, ABM offers an edge over traditional marketing and sales methods.
The prime driving factor has been and will always be the desire to understand what the prospects are looking for and making it available to them wherever and whenever they want it. For this, businesses would have to invest smartly in going mobile, sensing the context and then pushing relevant content around that. Another factor would be automation. Going ahead, we will see more of automation and AI-led ABM strategies which will enable enterprises to have a more consistent and coordinated engagement with their accounts.
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
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 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 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