Mind your Marketing

In a differentiated market, have the ability to be contextual in every region

| Updated on February 20, 2020 Published on February 20, 2020

Amit Sinha Roy, Vice-President Marketing, at Tata Communications Ltd

This week, we are in converation with Amit Sinha Roy, Vice-President Marketing, at Tata Communications Ltd. He is responsible for Tata Communications’ global market insights andsales enablement programmes. Amit has over two decades of experience in marketing , partnerships, and strategic alliance.

What are the key differences when you compare millennials and GenZ with the previous generations when it comes to marketing?

Every generation has its own characteristics in the way they would be open to receiving messages, marketing or otherwise. And in this specific case, two factors are critical. One is the place where they go to for information. Obviously, for a marketing campaign to be successful, one has to be present at those locations, in terms of our messaging, campaigns and the engagement.

The other aspect is what appeals to that generation. There are different things that would appeal to the generation of now and we need to make sure that our messaging and the context that we are providing resonates with that. And in addition, the attention span has been reducing very quickly over the years. So, to be able to say what we need to say in the right place, in the shortest possible time and to catch their attention is what will give the best impact.

What should be done to make sales and marketing efforts effective when it comes to targeting millennials and GenZ?

The best way to connect, sell and market to these generations would be to be present where they consume their information and to be in the format that they would like to look at. For example, video has become one of the mainstays in terms of communicating the value propositions and campaigns. Digital is mainstay for this generation. From that perspective, having the right context, choosing the right medium, being present in terms of allowing them to consume the information the way they would like, would yield the best results in terms of both sales and marketing efforts.


How much is the internet and technological developments helping today’s marketing?

The key technology that has been driving this change has been the internet. With the advent of connectivity across various devices, platforms and geographies, information is now available anywhere, anyplace and on any device.

The other technology that has made this very powerful is the ability to personalise using the information shared by the users. From that perspective, the ability to personalise the value proposition or the context to each specific user as they consume that information has made this even more powerful in terms of providing the right context and relevance at that point in time.

Amit says…
  • One strategic change we plan to execute by 2020

Becoming recognised in the digital transformation services space.

  • My top three marketing mantras

Digital, AI and a Mautic Stack.

  • Three concepts/words I believe define a hot brand

Authentic, reputation and fun

  • A powerful ad campaign I liked

Jaguar Land Rover’s F PACE and E PACE campaigns

Has technology become more important than ideas in today’s context?

Being in the generation of technologies, I am tempted to say better technology. But clearly, it is the idea. It is the context. It is that creative that catches the eye, the attention, and provides the context that is the most important part of any marketing campaign or sales proposition. Technology enables how we can take that message to the end audience, identify the right buyer personas, serve content to that audience and make sure that they will be able to consume it when they want to, where they want to and how they want to. But clearly, the content itself has to be relevant for them to want to engage. And from that perspective, I'd say that the idea is more important than the underlying technology that is used to provide that content.

Why is it that customer experiences are increasingly assuming more significance?

In the connected world, customer experience is shared almost instantaneously across various platforms and technologies. Be it a Tweet or a LinkedIn or Facebook post. This has created an environment where any bad experience would get broadcast immediately to thousands and maybe even more people globally. From that perspective, if we look at customer experience, we will need to make sure that we drive the best possible engagement with the audience and consumers, in order to make sure that we are completely successful in the future. There are ways of measuring this – Net Promoter Score is one such measure that has become a prominent way to ensure that our customers are receiving exactly what we have promised to deliver. From that, we can understand whether our customers would be repeat purchasers, would recommend us to their friends and family and then also continue to be loyal brand ambassadors.

For how long should a brand focus on ensuring that experience meets expectation after selling a product or service to them?

The first step would be to understand the expectations of the consumer or customer. Expectations are there across the entire buyer cycle, starting from the way the customer or consumer would be researching the product, the way they would like to purchase that product or service, how they use that, and then ultimately, if it is appropriate, how they will dispose that. So, across the entire cycle of awareness and purchase, right through the end of the lifecycle of that product, one must understand what the expectations are at each of these stages. There are various tools and technologies and research capabilities that marketers and sellers can use to understand this, to get on top of this and then design a full value chain that would live up to the experience that the customer is seeking.

What makes a brand competitive in today's fast-paced scenario?

To be competitive in today's market, one needs to have differentiation and relevance to the audience. The brand must be able to create a position for itself in the mind and hearts of its consumers, so that they can then drive the value that would ultimately enable them to have a better margin and own the price point that they would like to.

What are the three secrets to successful branding?

The first one is, it has to be authentic. The brand promise and engagement – If that is authentic, it would resonate well with the audience. The second part, it has to be relevant. It has to be contextual to that audience. And the third one is, it has to be differentiated. It cannot just be one among the rest. From that perspective, if we have these three constituents, at a minimum, it will drive a successful brand.

Can a one-size-fits-all approach work in a differentiated market such as India?

I think the answer lies in the question. In a differentiated market, one has to have the ability to be contextual in every region, to every audience and then be able to engage with them in the way they would like to see, keeping in mind the various nuances that are there in each and every geography. But having said that, there could be certain products and services that may not actually adhere to this differentiation or have this requirement. I'm thinking perhaps healthcare, which is universal. From that perspective, there would be and there could be certain products and services that would be more universal. But when we get into specific consumer products or even in a B2B space, there is a differentiation that is required across various regions and one must be looking at that carefully when creating campaigns.

Has localisation of marketing campaigns become more critical over the last decade?

Thinking local is critical to connecting with the customer, their preferences, choices, and interest areas. From that perspective, one has to look at not just the brand, but perhaps in some cases the product itself, which may require modification or changes to suit the needs of the audiences in specific geographies and specific locations. So, whether it is a food product or even an automobile, there are modifications that are required to make these more apt and more suitable for the region and the audience, and that is where the secret lies.

How does your brand approach the southern market when it comes to branding and consumer engagement?

In the B2B category, leaving aside language localisation that may be required in some specific cases, I really don't see a difference in the regions in the way businesses would procure and consume services from other businesses. From a B2B perspective, I would say the messaging, the context remains universal. In some cases, of course, there could be language localisation in that market.

This article is part of a brand initiative by The Hindu BusinessLine to profile marketing professionals from across India.

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Published on February 20, 2020
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