“There has been tremendous innovation in the space to keep up with marketer’s requirement of reaching out to the digital and fickle minded customer in an environment that is becoming extremely cluttered and competitive for brands.”
Tell us about your role at Netcore and how you got here?
I started my journey at Netcore Solutions as a Software Programmer 20 years ago. Before I took on the reins of the CEO in 2015 I had worked across departments, donning different roles and participating in several milestones we achieved over the years as Netcore grew from a start-up to a global martech company. Like in any start-up, you’re involved in different parts of the business and that I feel has really helped me lead the team as a CEO. The past two decades have been an exciting journey where we’ve really evolved and become competent with the dynamics of an increasingly digital age. As pioneers of e-mail marketing, we had a vision and understanding very early on that all things in business would adopt new age technologies. At Netcore we are confident that with our current product stack of tech platforms and focus on innovation for our customers we will be a leader in the martech space in the coming years.
What’s the most fascinating aspect of working with Netcore?
Life at Netcore is not just about marching forward in the martech space. One gets to experience the agility of a fast growing marketing technology organization, with a meritocracy-based culture that enables every team member to fast-track their careers. We strive to create for our employees an environment which offers professional and intellectual challenges, encourages innovation and creativity that renders effective teamwork. Netcore strongly believes in creating a friendly work environment for which they ensure that the staff employees are content and have a great work-life balance.
How is the martech industry different from when you first started?
With a change in time, the roles of the marketers have also evolved. Along with their traditional practice of overseeing the content, design and the creatives, they also own the revenue link targets. This has led them to focus on increasing customer conversion/acquisition rates and ensuring that they gain loyalty from customers. Over the years we’ve witnessed the way the marketing function has really evolved to bag a critical role in business decisions. This has been largely due to their openness to adopting technology to their processes, so from the traditional methods of martech like messaging, email and voice to today’s highly complex platforms and new age tech like AI, ML etc. There has been tremendous innovation in the space to keep up with marketer’s requirement of reaching out to the digital and fickle minded customer in an environment that is becoming extremely cluttered and competitive for brands.
In 2017, Netcore conducted a survey on the state of Marketing automation in India and discovered that India ranked 3rd in terms of marketing automation solution (MAS) providers after USA & UK. The report also revealed that more than 50% of Indian marketers have either implemented or were evaluating the benefits of deploying MAS to their campaigns. Addressing the modern market’s dilemma of data quality and readiness, Netcore Analytics & Data integration services was launched which provided a unified view of consumers across profile, behavioral and transactional data. The report also found that the biggest barrier to adopting marketing technology was the lack of internal skills and expertise. To address this, Netcore offers marketing technology consulting services to educate marketers about MAS.
Given the changing dynamic of marketing analytics and customer insights, where do you see Netcore fitting in the ecosystem? How do you differentiate Netcore from the competition?
Back in time when the technology space was shaped differently, Netcore was mastering their flagship Email and SMS platforms. But what we also had was a vision, a vision of Martech. Today, we live in a hyper-connected world that is changing pace constantly with a constant stream of innovations and an ever-growing consumer awareness fuelled by the adoption of technology. Netcore offers AI-Powered Cross-Channel Marketing Automation & Analytics Suite which enables time optimization, frequency optimization, content optimization, churn optimization and smart segmentation, to increase customer engagement by 10-20% on an average. Netcore also offers actionable analytics which lets Marketers action the insights derived from analytics and send campaigns to those specific users.
How does Netcore build an actionable customer interaction and communication model?
Marketers today often face operational challenges while acting upon the insight gained from different analytic tools. Netcore Smartech actionable analytics powered by AI helps marketers gain insights through analytics dashboards and empowers them to take action within the same platform. In addition to our robust delivery infrastructure across various channels, we have recently added a comprehensive dashboard to Smartech. Tools such as Actionable Funnel analytics, RFM (Recency, Frequency and Monetary) models, Acquisition Cohorts, Analytics insights for web and mobile, channel trends such as email, web and app push notifications, analytics for web messages have enabled brands across sectors witness significant change in their numbers. With Netcore Smartech anything you can analyse you can also take an action upon, thus making life easy for marketers.
What tools would Netcore recommend to CEOs and CMOs as a Sales Hack in 2018?
Sales Tools: Linkedin Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, Rivalry
Elaborate on your best digital transformation campaign. How did you measure the performance among your audience?
We’ve been able to craft personalized campaigns for brands across sectors, ensuring astounding results. Our platforms based on AI/ML technologies have played a critical role in empowering the marketer to achieve their goals as well as deliver on ROI.
GoAir observed an increase in drop-outs on their flight-booking platform. An auditing exercise showed that overall customer engagement was low which reflected in customers not completing their booking journey on the platform. Emails and conversations from the brands to customers was very generic and didn’t encourage further engagement. GoAir reached out to Netcore with a clear objective to deliver a personalized experience to their customer. Netcore’s customer engagement strategy involved a three-pronged method. The first was extensive web tracking using cross-channel marketing automation platform, which helped in fetching the user specific data like the ‘from’ and ‘to’ destination, type of journey, date of journey, dropout stage, etc. in real time. The second was an automation based on trigged email that was sent to a user who had visited stage 3 (as identified) of the booking journey but did not end up booking a ticket. Personalization using a CTA link was the past peg that assisted the booking process by pre-filling details based on past activity, saving customers’ time and encouraging them to complete the booking.
Within a span of 3 months, GoAir’s ROI increased 8x with the implementation of trigger-based email automation.
What book are you currently reading?
Measure What Matters — OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth, by John Doerr and High Growth Handbook: Scaling startups from 10 to 10,000 people – Elad Gil
One piece of advice you always follow irrespective of circumstances
I’ve always believed in Mr. Richard Branson’s philosophy- “The best way of learning about anything is by doing.” Never say no to any kind of work, you never know where life takes you. If you restrict yourself to a certain profile, you restrict your growth personally and career wise too. Doing multiple tasks builds you as a manager from the grassroots. If your roots go deep and wide, you can’t be uprooted.