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Contributors

Writers

Priscilla Thomas

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

Moulishree Srivastava

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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 9560509289

aishani.majumdar@regalix-inc.com

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The author has a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad. He is currently working as a marketing analyst at Forbes Marshall.

The March Madness is over! It is time to reflect on the past and plan for the next year. Where do you see the sales evolving the most? Do you have a digital strategy for sales enablement?

First, where does marketing end and sales begin? This benign question is important to establish the turf and enhance the support for both key functions. As marketing legend, Philip Kotler, wrote in his HBR article1, “Marketing has to generate demand while sales has to supply it.” In other words, marketing focuses on creating avenues for new sales opportunities, and sales has to exploit each such opportunity.

The key ways in which a well-executed digital marketing plan can enable sales are –

 Data -driven insights – When Lego was struggling to survive, they looked at customer data. While going through their online forums, they discovered that there were adult fans who were highly invested and were willing to pay a premium for Lego products. These ‘superfans’ were identified as a new customer segment for Lego offerings. Researchers from MIT Center for Digital Business cite these findings as one of the several examples of how digital capabilities can translate into business opportunities. Their research 2argues that organizations should strive for Digital Dexterity - the ability to rapidly self-organize to deliver new value from digital technologies. Marketers can attempt to have a holistic view of their digital approach to find various ways in which they can collect novel data and use analytics to generate more sales. These can be used to understand customer needs even better and in a more nuanced manner, especially the latent demands.

Content – More than half of the billion dollar worth of the content that is generated annually is not useful3 Digital platforms generate incredible amount of data and traceability. Researchers have found4 that such data can be used to create more personalized and effective content that helps sales personnel in the field. As stated in this research, customers are also evolving from passive consumers of content to co-creators. Such co-created content not only increases its effectiveness, but if harnessed well, can also be a useful tool for sales teams to leverage this as an asset in the field. For example – user generated reviews can be used for achieving higher strike rates; or crowdsourcing of content/ ideas can be used to identify opinion leaders, commonly faced problems and their solutions.

Customer journeys – In digital landscape, customer journeys have evolved differently. The search and consideration phase are dominated by digital exploration by customers. Edelman and his colleagues state5 that customers are no longer looking at the vendor as the sole source of knowledge required for decision making. In such cases, enabling a sales personnel with knowledge can result in higher conversion rates. Another research6 found that use of sales force automation and other tools also increases salesperson product knowledge that can lead to higher sales.

Intelligence – A qualified lead can significantly improve the chances of a sale. Tools such as marketing automation, social CRM, listening to online communities, etc, can help an organization identify such qualified leads, and nurture warm and cold leads to become qualified for sales. Such tools and technologies are often termed as intelligent agent technologies (IATs). V Kumar and his co-authors state in their research7 that such IATs can be leveraged to accelerate the sales process, provide higher transparency, optimize decisions such as pricing and distribution, generate competitor specific information, and improve sales person capabilities.

Digital platforms have made sales process more mobile, effective and intuitive. This inclusion of smart technologies bodes well for sales support mechanisms in any marketing organization. It is important that a holistic view is taken towards technologies and leverage the total potential of digital footprints of both customers as well as sales people. That requires a futuristic view towards marketing initiatives and a close relationship with IT. In fact, some are calling for a requirement of a Chief Marketing Technologist8 to help an organization sail through such tricky waters. Whatever path your organization may choose, next step for sales enablement is learning about customers through what they say and do digitally. Embrace the data!

References

  1. Kotler, Philip, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy. "Ending the war between sales and marketing." Harvard Business Review 84.7/8 (2006): 68.
  2. Kotler, Philip, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy. "Ending the war between sales and marketing." Harvard Business Review 84.7/8 (2006): 68.
  3. https://www.siriusdecisions.com/blog/2014/jan/~/link.aspx?_id=7FAF0B7BC5734EF68F870F2CE4B963B7&_z=z
  4. Karjaluoto, H., Mustonen, N., & Ulkuniemi, P. (2015). The role of digital channels in industrial marketing communications. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 30 (6), 703-710
  5. Kotler, Philip, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy. "Ending the war between sales and marketing." Harvard Business Review 84.7/8 (2006): 68.
  6. Edelman, David C., and Marc Singer. "Competing on customer journeys." Harvard Business Review 93.11 (2015): 88-100.
  7. Mariadoss, Babu John, et al. "Salesperson competitive intelligence and performance: The role of product knowledge and sales force automation usage." Industrial Marketing Management 43.1 (2014): 136-145.
  8. Kumar, V., et al. "Research framework, strategies, and applications of intelligent agent technologies (IATs) in marketing." Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 44.1 (2016): 24-45.
  9. Brinker, Scott, and Laura McLellan. "The rise of the chief marketing technologist." Harvard Business Review 92.7 (2014): 82-85.