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Contributors

Writers

Susan Joseph

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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 Ghosh

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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 Thomas

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Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.

Moulishree Srivastava

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Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.

Avanish Tiwary

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Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.

Priyanka Bhatacharya

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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. 

S.Sahu

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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 Hegde

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Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others. 

Rajesh Nanarpuzha

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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.

Designer

Priyokumar Singh Naorem

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He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.

Artists

Dyuti Mittal

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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.

Sumakshi Singh

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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.

Parul Gupta

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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

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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

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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

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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 Jolad

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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.

Chandrashekhar Thakur

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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

Nimish Vohra

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Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.

Enquiry

+91 9632549324

shwetha.mahesh@regalix-inc.com

Know when a new article is published


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.

Most B2B firms are continuously navigating a tightrope – balancing their product-centric ambitions and their service aspirations. This is because, for many product-centric businesses in the B2B space, a logical next step is always to develop complementary service offerings. This is especially pertinent as a service addition to a B2B product is considered an effective means of improving product differentiation in the marketplace (Raddats & Easingwood, 2010).

However, a service addition to an existing B2B product raises its own challenges. One such challenge relates to how customers assess the intangible benefits from a service addition. Raddats and Burton (2011) mention that it is the intangible benefits of a B2B offering, including improved ease of operations, better skill levels, and better working conditions which are the most difficult for customers to assess. ‘Product marketing’ in a B2B environment, therefore, must involve additional interventions beyond service additions. One such avenue for product marketing in B2B settings, that is less understood, is the use of social media. As Michaelidou, Siamagka, and Christodoulides (2011) mention, the contribution of social media in achieving brand objectives in B2B settings is unclear due to a paucity of systematic research. However, this is changing and academic research on social media in B2B settings is gathering steam. In this article, I look at academic research to suggest potential social media interventions for effective product marketing in B2B environments.

 

Using social media effectively

Cawsey and Rowley (2016) classify B2B organizations into social businesses, social media users, and social experimenters, based on their maturity in social media usage. On one end of the spectrum are social businesses, marked by their ability to fully integrate social media usage across their business and marketing strategies. On the other end are social experimenters, who are exploring the benefits of social media in their organizations. As a first step, it is imperative that a baselining exercise be done at the organizational level to ascertain where the organization currently is, on this spectrum. This is particularly important as social media strategies need to be developed keeping in mind the organizational buying context (Swani, Brown, & Milne, 2014). It is also important to note that B2B organizations’ use of social media has been found to be acquisition oriented, rather than relationship oriented (Iankova et al., 2018). The implication is that B2B organizations are wary of the risks of social media use in maintaining customer relationships. To

harness the power of social media in B2B product marketing, it is important that social media usage be embraced. Given this, Swani, Brown, and Milne (2014), and Swani et al. (2017) offer three general directions for the effective use of social media for product marketing in the B2B space

  • Use a combination of emotional and functional appeals – Viewer engagement is higher for social media messages which combine emotional and functional appeals. Particularly for pre-existing customers, emotional appeals tend to be more effective.
  • Use corporate branding more than product branding – Swani et al. (2017) mention that social media messages which incorporate the corporate brand name meaningfully are liked better by viewers. A possible reason could be customer interest in associating with prominent corporate brands.
  • Provide information search cues but avoid hard-sell – Swani et al. (2017) find that viewer comments tend to be higher for information heavy posts that focus on technical specifications and product information. However, social media messages which tend to sell B2B products aggressively are greeted with suspicion.

 

CMO implications

Research on the use of social media for product marketing in B2B settings is still in its infancy. However, some clear directions have begun to emerge. As a first step, it is important for the CMO to baseline the organization’s existing social media usage for product marketing. Any further changes should be cognizant of the organization’s unique buying context. Finally, there should be a clear acknowledgment that viewer reactions to social media messaging varies between B2B and B2C contexts. An effective social media intervention in B2B settings could turn into a competitive advantage for CMOs who are willing to embrace the challenge.

References

  1. Cawsey, T., & Rowley, J. (2016). Social media brand building strategies in B2B companies. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 34(6), 754-776.
  2. Cawsey, T., & Rowley, J. (2016). Social media brand building strategies in B2B companies. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 34(6), 754-776.
  3. Iankova, S., Davies, I., Archer-Brown, C., Marder, B., & Yau, A. (2018). A comparison of social media marketing between B2B, B2C and mixed business models. Industrial Marketing Management.
  4. Michaelidou, N., Siamagka, N. T., & Christodoulides, G. (2011). Usage, barriers and measurement of social media marketing: An exploratory investigation of small and medium B2B brands. Industrial marketing management, 40(7), 1153-1159.
  5. Raddats, C., & Burton, J. (2011). Strategy and structure configurations for services within product-centric businesses. Journal of Service Management, 22 (4), 522-539.
  6. Raddats, C., & Easingwood, C. (2010). Services growth options for B2B product-centric businesses. Industrial Marketing Management, 39 (8), 1334-1345.
  7. Swani, K., Brown, B. P., & Milne, G. R. (2014). Should tweets differ for B2B and B2C? An analysis of Fortune 500 companies' Twitter communications. Industrial marketing management, 43 (5), 873-881.
  8. Swani, K., Milne, G. R., Brown, B. P., Assaf, A. G., & Donthu, N. (2017). What messages to post? Evaluating the popularity of social media communications in business versus consumer markets. Industrial Marketing Management, 62, 77-87.