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BW Businessworld

“Meet New People Often”

The ecosystem evolution, that now includes agencies, content creators, influencers, plat- forms and more, along with the advent of digital, has made it an imperative for a marketer to understand, adopt and partner with varied partners, tech tools and processes.

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Seen among the thinking minds that have always looked to break a routine to carve a new path, Akash Deep Batra, the Head of Marketing (Consumer Banking) at DBS Bank, is among the top marketers that reiterate the importance to stay rooted. In this confab with BW Businessworld, Batra discussed the evolution of a marketer’s role and some advice to stay on top.

Excerpts:

The year 2020 changed the marketing world as we know it. What specifically stood out for you in the year?

There have been all too many assertions in the marketing world that everything has changed, and all the old beliefs and ways of working are increasingly becoming irrelevant. While I completely accept that it is critical to identify, adjust and even anticipate meaningful changes around us, I strongly believe that adapting and not abandoning timeless marketing fundamentals in a period of rapid change and high uncertainty are the most important skill set of marketers in today’s digitally supercharged and VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world. My lesson from all this was “Keep Calm and Carry on”.

How would you describe the evolution of the role of marketing?

The role of a marketer has definitely evolved over last decade. The ecosystem evolution, that now includes agencies, content creators, influencers, plat- forms and more, along with the advent of digital, has made it an imperative for a marketer to understand, adopt and partner with varied partners, tech tools and processes. Digital and data-led marketing adoption varies significantly across industry verticals. Two large challenges ahead are the complexity in the ecosystem and the cost of technology and data orchestration. There has been extraordinary pressure on marketers to accelerate the adoption of digital, but the onus of simplifying and driving cost efficiencies is jointly on the marketers and the ecosystem players.

What are some steps you take to stay ‘efficient’?

There is no doubt that it is tough to stay updated. I try to maintain a cadence of doing a deep dive on a new concept or technology and meet one new prospective partner every two weeks. This helps me form an opinion about the subject and in some cases, discover new solutions that we wouldn’t have considered in the usual scheme of things.

What are some of the new marketing terms we are likely to hear more in the year ahead?

As marketers, we do a re- ally good job with coining buzzwords. Sometimes just packaging an existing prevalent concept with a fancy new term. While we are at it, the word that I will like to bring forth, with the hope that it catches on, is ‘Intelligent Marketing’, which is real time, data and artificial intelligence driven and hyper-personalised.