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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

As Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, John McIndoe is responsible for IRI’s corporate brand, corporate communications and integrated marketing efforts. He drives the company’s corporate positioning, branding and identity, marketing campaigns, public relations, social media and field marketing programs to ensure strong connections with customers and constituents. He also oversees IRI’s internal communications and industry relations efforts. McIndoe possesses more than 20 years of experience in achieving superior marketing results.

Before joining IRI, McIndoe was with InstallShield Software Corporation, a leading enterprise software firm. Earlier in his career, he led communications and media development for Fargo Electronics, a Minnesota-based developer of specialized computer hardware equipment. Prior to Fargo, he held senior marketing and communications positions in the high-tech agency sector with Ruder Finn, Inc. and Parallax Technology Group, Chicago-based public relations and integrated marketing firms, respectively.

McIndoe earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a concentration in Business and Marketing from Bradley University and is a member of The CMO Club, the Marketing Executive’s Networking Group (MENG), the Business Marketing Association and Executives’ Club of Chicago.

 

Interviewed by Shwetha Mahesh

 


 

/ / How has the product marketing function evolved in your company over the past few years?

 

If I had to pick two words to describe the evolution of product marketing over the past few years, they would be "diversified" and "distracted." Diversified in the sense that the number of tools available to identify, target, impact, track and measure target audiences has grown enormously. Just a couple of examples: 10 years ago, it would have been impossible to identify specific verified purchase behavior of a household, which helps immensely when targeting potentially high-value consumers; 10 years ago, it also would have been impossible to adjust the media, message or other variables of a campaign mid-flight to improve campaign performance, and that's a solution that's readily available today.

I say distracted because whether the target is consumers or business audiences, decision makers receive more marketing messages than ever before. The number batted around states that consumers receive 5,000 ad messages per day. However,  that figure is from 2007. The number is more likely double that today. Simply getting the decision-maker's attention can be a herculean task, much less convincing him or her to click a link, buy a product or take another desired action.

 

/ / How many product launches do you conduct in a year? What are the challenges that you face while designing a product marketing plan?

 

We conduct approximately 10 comprehensive and 20 more minor product launches each year. Each launch includes a unique set of challenges. The three most common are

  • Targeting the correct decision maker: Whether the product is aimed at consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, retailers or media agencies, decision-making has become a much more complex affair as these organizations attempt to maximize ROI from every purchase or subscription. There are often representatives from several different disciplines within the organization involved in a final decision.
  • Identifying the optimal mix of marketing activities to impact and motivate the decision-maker to inquire and enter the sales pipeline: Just as an example, for more senior decision-makers at a retailer, the optimal tools might include direct mail, printed articles in publications and presentations at conferences. For decision-makers at a digital ad agency, the optimal tools might include social posts and online video case studies.
  • Closing the deal: Because multiple disciplines are involved in decision-making and there is little room for experimentation and an increased focus on revenue and market share, finalizing deals has become increasingly difficult and requires a much longer runway.

 

/ / What tools and technologies do you use to run a successful product marketing campaign?

 

This is a somewhat complicated question at IRI because we have clients in multiple industries that often interact with each other and we also take a multi-channel approach. To illustrate this, IRI has a large and very active sales team that is continuously interfacing with CPG, retail and digital media clients and prospects. We also have a team that seeks out and forms partnerships with data, analytics and technology partners. In addition to continuously reaching out to our targets, a digital media agency or technology partner might include IRI in their own outreach to a CPG or retail company.

To offer a sample of the tools we use to run campaigns, we subscribe to Act On for marketing automation and since we market in-flight and post-campaign measurement capabilities, we utilize many of our own tools as well.   

 

/ / What are the different metrics you track for evaluation of product marketing program performance?

 

We target multiple audiences and typically take a multi-channel approach to product marketing, which is why there are a variety of metrics we employ to evaluate performance. Sales lift is the common denominator of all product marketing activities. Other metrics IRI employs focus on percentage adoption among CPG and retailers – for example, 90 of the top 100 retailers by revenue utilize an IRI solution, sales and market share uplift generated by the solution for IRI clients, and market adoption versus similar solutions offered by IRI competitors.

 

/ / Which digital content assets have you found to be most effective in your product marketing program?

 

We target multiple audiences, so we need to create a wide range of digital content assets, with the objective of ensuring at least one type of asset positively impacts each audience. Three of the assets that have gained traction with the widest range of our targets are

  • New Product Pacesetters: This annual report highlights the food and beverage, and non-food and beverage products that have recorded the highest first-year sales. It also dissects the trends that have fueled the success of these products. The report has gained such a following among our clients, partners and the media that its publication has become an industry-wide event.
  • Points of View: These are periodic white papers on a wide range of topics related to CPG, retail and digital media. The topics vary widely and address hot-button issues as identified by our clients. Recent reports have focused on in-flight campaign optimization, address retail out-of-stock issues, and mergers and acquisitions opportunities brands and retailers can adopt to shore up weaknesses in a particular category or niche, enter a new category or niche, or build on an existing strength.  
  • Analytics Edge: This is a highly targeted publication produced by our strategic analytics team and targeted at senior analytics professionals working at IRI’s CPG and retail clients. It highlights key trends, new approaches and related content designed to demonstrate our advanced expertise in complex analytics.

 

/ / Which online channels have you found to be most effective in meeting your product marketing goals? Which are your top three social media platforms for a product launch?

 

The three channels IRI focuses on are LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook. LinkedIn enables us to highlight the breadth and depth of our management team and thought leaders through posts, longer-form articles and links to other IRI content. We have strategically and dramatically increased our use of video, both to highlight our management and thought leaders, but also the effectiveness and features of our solutions. We utilize Facebook to support product announcements, and also to provide commentary on industry activity and trends and highlight IRI thought leaders as speakers at conferences. We have a slightly different but complementary strategy for each channel that together, we believe, provides a fully developed picture of IRI's strategy, market and product leadership, and results.

 

/ / Can you give an example of the most exciting product marketing campaign run by your company?

 

About 18 months ago, IRI launched its Personalization Suite, a series of solutions to radically transform how CPG and retail companies interact with current and targeted shoppers. None of our competitors had or has a suite of solutions as effective and feature rich as IRI's. Given the importance of this launch, we secured a generous budget, significant lead time for planning, mindshare of the thought leaders behind the product and extraordinary commitment from the sales team. The IRI marketing team made the most of these resources and launched a complex, multi-channel effort that integrated print and digital advertising, email marketing, media and industry analyst coverage, social media, video, content development and more. The campaign as a whole surpassed success metrics in terms of sales and each individual component topped the metrics we put in place.

 

/ / What are the three product marketing tips you would want to share with our readers?

 

First, if you divide any product marketing campaign, whether it's email marketing, advertising, social media or something else into five elements – planning, targeting, execution, measurement and optimization – it's critical to get all five elements exactly right. A weakness in any one element will negatively impact the others. Don't skimp on targeting, for example, or you may wind up promoting dog food to people who don't own dogs.

Next, take risks. The vast majority of CPG products, for example, are line extensions – XYZ product, "now with lemon scent." While the success rates for true new products is low (but greater than the 10% typically discussed in the media), that one home run can put an emerging company on the map or revive an organization that might be struggling.

Finally, the most successful campaigns and product launches I’ve ever worked on have always utilized every part of the company; from C-level execs to interns. Having full cooperation from every employee in every department – whether you think they are relevant or not (they all are!) – can mean the difference between success and failure.

 

/ / What are the trends/technologies that you think will drive product marketing in the future? How should businesses gear up for this?

 

Just to name three, the advent of 5G will dramatically increase the viability of mobile marketing and give marketing teams and their agencies the ability to develop creatives as effective as that created for larger screens. Within the next five years, mobile devices will also have screens significantly larger than current models, enabled through the use of folding or rolling technology that is under development. Lastly, analytics tools will enable truly personalized targeting, helping to create true 1:1 engagement between a brand or retailer and the consumer, or between an organization and its business customers.