• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

4 Ways To Make Marketing History

As IT extends itself beyond the exclusive domain of large multinational enterprises into small and medium size businesses, there is a dynamic shift in the way technology is being consumed and therefore the way it is being purchased. Becoming more of a commodity and a standard across enterprises, technology companies will find it harder to differentiate their products and services to compete in an increasingly price sensitive market.

While the broad expectations that enterprises have from their IT infrastructure and processes will remain unchanged, the dependence on IT to deliver faster time to market, more accurate customer insights and drive competitive advantage and business growth will increase.

Tech marketers can watch out for these trends to ensure that they stay relevant to their customer's business needs in the coming future.

Focus on customer benefit than product features: In this highly commoditised market where competition is intense and one product and service not too different from the other, it is difficult not to fall into the trap of price competition, and we all know that no company can survive if it competes on price alone. In 2013, IT companies will focus on building new and innovative products and services that better address the needs of their customers. One of the top trends by IDC for 2013 is datacentre transformation led by cloud; Converged Systems will account for over one third of enterprise cloud deployments by 2016. Customers are changing their infrastructure to virtualized environments and shifting to the Cloud, making security and integration the key challengesof the transition. IT companies will need to innovate and raise the bar for competitors, forcing the market to invest in new customer-centric products and solutions to address these challenges.  Converged Infrastructure helps IT organizations respond to business demands more rapidly, improve data centre efficiency and strengthen IT service quality.

Brands should listen and engage through social media: Brands are likely to invest in more sophisticated media monitoring systems and will integrate their social media monitoring with customer relationship management processes. In 2013, companies will step up from being mere listeners to becoming actively involved and engaged in what their customers and potential customers are saying about them on the internet. Social media platforms should be used to engage customers; develop interest and participation around the company's products and services. Another way to engage with customers is through business platforms like Linkedin. Being engaged with both retail and enterprise customers via these social media platforms will integrate an organisation's service and customer relationship management with these listening tools.
Evidence based marketing: It is not enough anymore to drive campaigns with fancy advertising and eye-catching slogans. Customers are bound to make their decisions based on solid proof instead of taking things at face value. In such a case, customer testimonials become a very important factor to boost any brand. Marketers will have to depend more on customer opinion to drive market perception and goodwill.

Marketing will go local: Channel partnerships will increase in significance as growing markets continue to prosper and develop. How much IT companies succeed in gaining a share of these markets will depend on how effective their channel partnership program is. A good channel partner program will have to be backed by training initiatives and incentives to nurture and nourish partner relationships and stay top of mind at all times.

In future marketers will, as always focus on growing their customer base and market share, it will become imperative that they keep their eyes glued to the credibility and reputation indexes of their brands. Customers today have the power through, social media, to influence the way brands are perceived in the market place, therefore keeping them engaged at all times will become a priority that can no longer be ignored.

Ravi Bharadwaj, Executive Director, Marketing for Dell

Top themes and market attention on: