“We strive to integrate data insights with our creative pursuits”

“We strive to integrate data insights with our creative pursuits”

Burzeen Vakil, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Hat India, on the company’s data-driven strategy to create and develop new markets and engage customers.

Red Hat, a pioneer in providing open source based solutions for the enterprise, is in the process of taking customer experience to the next level. Burzeen Vakil, Chief Marketing Officer, Red Hat India, spoke to us about how the company creates new markets, develops them and engages customers through a data driven strategy that encompasses all channels, including digital.

What is your vision for Red Hat’s marketing and your go-to strategies to support rapid growth?
It is all about being essential and that is our pursuit every day at Red Hat. At Red Hat, our diversity in thought and approach has enabled us to drive growth for the organisation by generating demand as well as enhancing our brand. Today, marketing is a strategic pillar of Red Hat’s overall success as we have invested in tools to derive intelligence that can deliver insights about our ecosystem. We prioritise our go to market models, create markets and unique to our culture strive to humanise our brand. I love to market at the speed of curiosity. We have our stories—and the world has been curious to hear them! And finally we strive to simplify, unify and amplify our message to the world.

What are some of the key areas your team is focussed on and the imperatives you’re driving ahead?
Focus on your team and then get them to focus on the mission. Our charter is multifold. We create markets, develop markets and manage markets through a well thought through, technology-driven integrated marketing plan. We want our marketing insights to be translated into the language of our C-suite peers, and customers, be it financial, strategic, sales focused or talent oriented. We embrace data and intelligence to scale our digital capabilities. Simultaneously, we want to balance the art and science of B2B marketing. We want our ability to integrate our data insights with our creative pursuits to be the key differentiator. We strive to be unique, outcome driven and in pursuit to wow everyone.

How have customer engagement models in the B2B IT space changed over the last few years?
Irrespective of whether you are in the B2B space or B2C space today, customers expect personalised treatment and instant gratification. Essentially, consumers need to be provided services when they want, where they want and through any device they wish to access from. Thus, it becomes critical for companies to ensure that customers enjoy a uniform and tailor-made experience when availing their services—online and offline.

The paradigm shift in digital marketing has given us the ability to connect, curate and customise our engagement with myriad organisations. Companies across sectors such as banking, telecom, healthcare and so forth are now making active efforts so that client management teams have a 360 degree view of the customer to ensure there is a smooth, seamless engagement. Customer experience management in B2B is gradually aligning with that of the B2C space and still has a long way to go.

To what extent has digital marketing matured? Are we still on an evolutionary curve or does it deliver the metrics you are looking for?
Organisations in India are taking a digital-first approach to ensure their customers enjoy a seamless experience across platforms and channels. This essentially means garnering a 360 degree view of the customer’s preferences through predictive as well as real-time analytics—which not only helps them adapt to evolving needs, but also plan ahead and create meaningful, in-the-moment experiences.

While we have seen certain industries such as e-tail, banking, food and beverage and travel in India excel and grow exponentially by leveraging digital platforms, we still have a long way to go. However, one thing is clear. Digital is the future and investments will increase as marketers append intelligence and analytics to their digital investments.

The uptake of mobile and social media has drastically changed content consumption habits. How are you coping with it?
Everyone wants to consume content, when they want, where they want and how they want. The phrase ‘snackable content’ has gained prominence and companies need to factor in the consumer’s demographic when finalising their marketing strategies. While digital platforms have penetrated through the generations, the choice of consumption varies, some like to read and some like to see a video. Our motto is simple—keep it simple and that is what we do with all our communications at Red Hat.