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How regional marketers must evolve to stay relevant

How regional marketers must evolve to stay relevant

Marketing has to remain dynamic and adapt to the changing needs of the customers, opines Sunita Hadani, managing director of the Hadani Group of Companies

Traditionally, marketing budgets are among the first to be axed in times of crisis. Have you noticed the same during this pandemic?
With the pause on face-to-face events, marketing departments quickly transformed themselves to newer ways of operation. As a result, we experienced a surge in digital marketing with 360-degree marketing tactics implemented including social media, video, content marketing, google ad words, and search engine marketing.

We have also witnessed a major shift to virtual events, lead generation programmes, account-based marketing and PR.

Has the crisis also led to a change in the way organisations are looking at marketing?
The pandemic has changed the way that organisations look at marketing, because it has fundamentally shifted priorities across the board. From messaging to format, marketing efforts have to adapt in-step with the needs and concerns of customers. Organisations that ignore this global shift and use this crisis as an opportunity for a hard-sell will inevitably come off as “tone-deaf” and risk alienating potential clients. We are helping our customers establish themselves as thought-leaders in their industries through strong content marketing that creates differentiation, elevates their brand value and establishes long-term market leadership.

Considering the current sensitivities, what are the do’s and don’ts when advertising in this situation?
First and foremost, organisations must not look at this crisis as a sales opportunity.

If customers feel that they are being taken advantage of, the damage to an organisation’s brand could be irreparable. Goals need to shift from sales to genuine support. This is a moment for empathy, not pure financial gain. These difficult times are a perfect moment to offer limited free trials, consultations, and thought-leadership content that addresses the myriad business concerns that have come from the Covid-19 crisis.

Moving away from the crisis, platforms for marketing have exploded with the rise of social media. So how can brands ensure they have a good mix?
The opportunities provided by social media are immense. We are living in a time where customers are online a lot more, consuming all kinds of information and becoming more knowledgeable. Social media provides a fantastic model for the quick deployment of campaigns that can be optimised in real time for faster results.

Every platform offers unique value propositions, and depending upon the objectives that customers need to achieve, one can leverage the relevant platform. For example, LinkedIn is very B2B centric and can be targeted for lead generation, lead conversion/progression and brand awareness. Twitter is great for building conversations, engagement and conversion. The approach needs to be customised as per the requirement and need.

A big focus for you has been tech marketing. How has that the segment evolved?
Marketing tends to keep pace with the associated industries and as tech evolves at the speed of light, tech marketing has transformed in a similar pattern. We have observed that marketing organisations are starting to rely on data insights to build their strategies. We are working with our clients on mining and analysing data to build robust and agile marketing plans that speak to what their customers actually need, not just what new technology is on offer.

Lastly, what are your plans going ahead? How do you hope to thrive in the ‘new normal’?
We have been very fortunate to survive the current market realities. We achieved this by transforming ourselves to offer relevant services and we will continue to thrive by building the right skills and teams. We have been blessed to have great customers and employees. Our motto has always been to go the extra mile for our customers – beyond the signed contract – and we plan to continue providing that value and care.

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