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“Marketers Must Embrace Technology”

Marketers need to embrace digital and technology and make it part of their lives – professionally and personally. Till they do that, they will be unable to brace for the coming days, where the ecosystem dramatically shifts, advises top marketer Anil Viswanathan, the Senior Director for Marketing (Chocolates), Insights & Analytics at Mondelez India.

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What do you consider as your greatest learning in a fast changing marketing world?

My biggest learning in the recent years has been that the way brands need to talk to consumers has changed dramati- cally. From one-to-many, one-way communication, brands now need to evolve to a one-to-one, two-way engagement with con- sumers. Gone are the days where we created brand messages and put it out there for all consum- ers to see. There is much more to do now, and so many more opportunities to engage and influence consumers.

Many argue that mar- keters do not com- pletely understand or utilize the potential of digital, data and similar technological progress. What is your opinion on this?

It always helps to keep the consumer at the heart of everything we do. Once we know what the consumer is doing, and what he or she is looking for, the choic- es for marketers become clearer. All data points towards consumers spend- ing more time on digital, between sev- eral screens whether it is laptops or mobiles. They are engaged, consum- ing more content, sharing their views openly and seeking to converse with the brands and people they love. It will be inconsequential for us marketers to not be present where the consumer is. We need to embrace digital and make it part of our media mix, and then find our ways to explore its efficacy.

What are some of the ways you en- sure you stay at pace with techno- logical or other changes?

By staying connected with the industry and our agency ecosystem to know the emerging trends and technological ad- vancements. Specifically, in digital, it is about also immersing in the medium and being a part of the evolution of the medium. The more we connect with di- verse people, the more we learn about what is changing around us.

One of the concerns often raised around marketers is that the lifespan of a marketing head in a company has been shortening. Do you think this continues to be a concern?

Not at all. Just like any other function or leader, a well-performing marketer is likely to complete a rea- sonable tenure depending on the industry and the leader- ship level. A high churn just reflects how there is transformation happen- ing in the function and organizations are re- sponding to it faster than its people.