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BW Businessworld

Martech: A CMO’s New Best Friend

Data-led changes that have enabled the likes of AI and IoT are a marketer’s biggest assets in today’s era

Photo Credit : Shutterstock


Digital transformation has shifted the consumer landscape. The approach to media and marketing needs to evolve and be redefined to cater to these complex changes. No more can marketers solely focus on traditional channels, or apply the learnings from them on to digital. They need to understand the intricacies and complexities that digital brings. This fact was underlined by Andrea Bernhardt, Global Media Director, Reckitt Benckiser, who believes that data is a marketer’s asset, and that with the help of data, brands can create smarter and more relevant content.

Speaking about how digital is witnessing aggressive growth and how India is emerging as the promising digital capital of the world, Pankaj Khushani, Head, Media Technology Solutions, SEA, India & Korea, Google, says, “Out of the $670 billion advertising market, $210 billion are already on digital. So, people are increasingly realising the importance of digital and, in India, in the last 18 months, the growth of digital has been phenomenal. For example, there are 30 OTT players in India currently, which is reminiscent of the telco sort of revolution that took place in the country earlier, which totally transformed businesses.”

When it comes to digital, search and social are among popular go-to strategies for marketers. But marketing technology is much more than these channels, and offers many smarter solutions to reach to the consumer. Speaking about the need to build robust platforms beyond the popular search engines and social media channels, Wendy Hogan, Marketing Transformation and Strategy Director, Oracle, states, “What is important is that marketers think of ways to leverage the base that they build. Having a huge fan base on a social networking platform is a good start but the question is: how do you turn that into your database? It can be limiting when you are operating entirely on social platforms as there are enormous opportunities beyond that.”

Underlining the need for the use of marketing technology for the success of a brand in today’s age and times, Meera Iyer, Head, Marketing, Big Basket, comments, “Marketers are using technology to make difficult processes easier and making something repetitive automated. Technology is increasingly coming to play in marketing to drive three things that marketers want to do — scale up, improve ROI and give insights.”

To stay differentiated in today’s digitally connected world, marketers must deliver contextual and insight-driven engagement with customers. Brands that understand this have been able to lift and scale performance marketing outcomes.

Programmatic buying can help marketers to deliver content that is relevant to the consumers. Narayan Murthy, vice president and head of Mobile Business (APMEA), C1X, explained, “Programmatic gives control in media planning, verification and viewability thereby creating a better consumer experience. It is all about right timing and right content to the right consumer.”

With the emergence of Big Data and AI, marketers are able to create seamless brand experiences for their consumers. Highlighting these facts, John Gallagher, IBM Global Head Performance and Programmatic Marketing, says that AI will never be a substitute for human intelligence as far as the use of marketing technology is concerned. “AI augments, in many ways, the human being. It actually frees up the individual to bring their aspects of human intelligence to the benefit of the marketers. As far as India is concerned, it has a technological advantage and increasingly businesses here are adopting the use of AI to better understand their business targets and the trend is going to grow even more in the coming time,” Gallagher added.

Kirk McDonald, President, PubMatic believes that content is no longer the king, and that advertisers need to master the science of relevance as well. Talking about the media in the automated future, he says, “The consumer needs to be fed with information which concerns him. The advertisers and publishers need to change the way they operate their business. Everything has to be restructured. What they talk about, where they talk about it and when do they talk about it, everything has to be based around the consumer’s convenience.”

McDonald says marketers need to look at how tech giants such as Facebook and Google are addressing the needs of a digital consumer. “These companies are really smart. They are creating relevant interaction with the consumer and the ads they create are smarter, he explains. “To make the change, you must restructure the internal functioning of companies. About 85 per cent of every incremental dollar is going to Facebook and Google, this is the most shocking stat that has come out. Now is the time to take action.”

Alokedeep Singh, head (e-commerce), Titan, thinks that MarTech should be an integral part of the business agenda.“MarTech is very important not just from a commerce perspective but for digital transformation to take place in the true sense,” says Singh. “It helps to connect the offline and the online. For any marketer or CMO, MarTech should be an important component of the business agenda.”