In an environment where competitors are vying for consumer attention, the margin for error is very small.
Who is your biggest professional mentor?
It would be unfair to attribute my growth to one mentor.
If not a brand marketer, what would you be?
I would have explored the possibilities of being a consultant or a research academician in consumer psychology and retail consumer behaviour.
Name a brand (other than your own) you admire. Why?
Nike and Future Brands. Both appeal emotionally and connect with consumers at the grassroot level. They understand their customers and strive to cultivate strong relationships that set a foundation for future brand growth.
CATEGORY What are the big challenges you see coming your way in the next 12 months?
The challenge is in consolidating our portfolios and promoting growth for these different categories. Also, it is important to keep step with a team that is driven.
What’s the biggest change in the way consumers approach your segment today, versus a year back?
Today, our consumers expect us to be more than just a tool for technology; they involve us as an active partner in everything they do. They seek technology to deliver experiences that matter to them.
Which product segment out there impacts trends in your category most? Why?
Our consumers seek an enhanced viewing experience that is akin to the cinematic experience (we launched a technology called ‘Dell Cinema’). Gaming - once considered a pastime - is now perceived as serious work and passion (for this, we’ve got Alienware and Inspiron).
In what way/s does your marketing strategy change from Tier I to Tier II and III markets?
Urban and Tier I markets are already exposed to the use of technology. Tier II, semi-urban and rural areas need more focus on educating children, students and teachers around the utility of PCs. Our marketing initiatives (Dell Aarambh and DigiMoms workshops) are aimed at creating awareness around the use of a PC in one’s daily life.
What’s the toughest part of being a brand marketer?
With extensive use of gadgets, information overload and reduced attention spans of people, marketers have very little space to get their message across. Brands need to think smarter, work harder and be different.
Name the biggest professional hurdle you faced recently. How did you tide over it?
In an environment, where competitors are vying for consumers’ attention, the margin for error is very little. Being persistent in one’s communication and patient while waiting for the results need most attention.
As a marketer, what is your biggest nightmare?
In the digital era, customers are active on various online platforms, on which we facilitate deep conversations with them. So, the accuracy of data is extremely important. Our conversations pave the way for insights on consumer behaviour which in turn, drive marketing output.
ADVERTISING What is your lead medium of communication today? Which medium do you use least?
Our audience is spread out in terms of demographics and the media they consume, so there is no single definitive medium that we can adopt to connect with them. The use of online and digital media is on the rise given its transparent, unbiased nature of engagement.
Are the best creative minds still in advertising?
The nature of work has evolved from being mundane and repetitive to creative and expressive. Creativity is not restricted to any particular field, though we still agree that it was initially in the advertising domain that the conventional ‘creative’ roles existed.
In what way has your relationship with your agency partners - creative and media planning/buying changed of late? What’s the one must-have quality for an agency today?
Our agencies are not an external wing, but an extended arm of our marketing team. We look at ourselves as facilitators who bring together our agency partners right from planning and ideation to execution.
Are you open to paying agencies a pitch fee?
Since creative thinking is not limited to a particular company/individual, we are open to the idea of collaborating with agencies to drive the best results.