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BW Businessworld

“Creating Consumer Experiences”

The marketing function has been disrupted by the consumer adopting a digital life faster than marketers have learned digital marketing.

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Rashi Goel is among the marketing leaders in India, whose rise at Nestlé is marked with some of the breakthrough work Nestlé brands have done in the year gone, staying in pace with consumer changes. In this confab with BW Businessworld, wearing the dual hat of running a P&L and the marketing portfolio at the company, Goel advises that “sharing learning is the best teacher” in times of extreme changes. Her blog, per- formonks.com, too is about assisting the community including marketers, advertisers, and startups, to a high- performance state. Excerpts:

Digital has disrupted marketing, but would you say this change reflects in the way most brands plan their strategies today?

The marketing function has been disrupted by the consumer adopting a digital life faster than marketers have learned digital marketing. I think there is progress in our marketing programs, and we have embraced digital, but much more still needs to be done. TV enjoys blind trust that ‘if we run a TV campaign’, offtakes for mass brands that are distributed in a million plus outlets, will grow. Until the present digital channels enjoy the same credibility for mass brands, marketers in India will continue to spend on TV first.

We have seen the rise of roles such as Chief Transformation Officer or Chief Experience Officer or even Chief Brand Officer. Do these titles take away from what should be the mandate of a Chief Marketing Officer?

I think titles are signalling devices. The latest spate of new titles like the ones you mentioned are indicating how fast marketing function has not only been disrupted but also is being challenged to become more sophisticated and do more for the company. Marketing, however, is mainly about driving business growth, and that is why it is akin the ‘chief growth officer’. In an omnichannel world, with an overload of content, obviously the world is moving to creating ‘experiences’ for consumers. Transformation, because marketing as we know it needs technology, data and digital embedded within its scope, will entail following consumers into the omnichannel life they are already leading.

In times of accelerated changes in the marketing landscape, how do you personally ensure staying ‘efficient’?

I read a wide variety of books, blogs and the latest thinking on just about everything. I find that I am able to connect the dots across all this well, and I bring these new concepts into work. I learn a lot from my own team and the agency partners, especially on the new digital marketing and technology. Lastly, I find that sharing my learning is the best teacher. So, I author a marketing blog. I find that in writing about marketing, I am able to synthesise my own knowledge.