Satinder Juneja is currently Head-Marketing at LTI (L&T Infotech). He is a senior marketing professional with extensive experience in IT & Telecom industry. Satinder has a solid understanding of B2B Marketing dynamics with exposure to Marketing and Sales Operations, Funnel, and Pipeline. He is part of NASSCOM’s special interest group on Sales & Marketing. He also acts as an advisor to growth-stage companies to build their marketing strategies.
Santosh: How important is it to have an ABM strategy to align Sales and Marketing?
Satinder: A good ABM strategy is vital for a competent Sales and Marketing engine. I used the word engine here because alignment and tuning play a critical part to make sure an engine gives you efficient performance consistently. In the same way, ABM aligns and tunes sales and marketing together to continuously achieve bigger goals of the business.
Santosh: You recently joined LTI, could you describe your current role in the organisation?
Satinder: LTI is a company with a global footprint. My role here is in Corporate Marketing and with primary drivers like brand, content, and digital I will attempt to drive marketing for the organisation. LTI has recently gone through a rebranding exercise for which we have got a great response.
Santosh: What role is ABM playing to help you achieve your key marketing goals?
Satinder: ABM is a vital component of our overall marketing strategy. We do have a well-defined ABM strategy across different components. LTI takes pride in the fact that one out of five customers that we serve is a fortune 500 organisation. When you are working with a customer of that class and calibre, then your engagement automatically takes a different dimension.
I won’t say that we have a totally mature ABM program implemented in the organisation. But we look at ABM with a lot of interest and expect it to help us with key marketing metrics, the way we drive revenue and the way we drive customer centricity.
Approximately 70% of our revenue comes from US market, and that is the reason why our major marketing strategy is focused towards that geography. We also have a strategy planned for markets in Europe and APAC. For each client, we have a different team, agenda, and objective. We take it forward in a specific case to case basis.
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Santosh: Based on your global marketing and sales experience, can you quote an example where ABM has helped you to achieve your target?
Satinder: I cannot take certain names of companies, but I can say that ABM has delivered what it stands for. ABM is a long-term game, and if you practice it for over a period, it changes the conversation from tactical level to more strategic.
In my past organisations, by practicing ABM, we were able to change the way how customer perceived us. From transaction partners, we became more of strategic partners. On the product side we observed that by practicing ABM, we were able to anticipate better certain problem or issues that a customer would face. This helped our customer satisfaction score to improve in a big way.
Santosh: How technology has played its part in your ABM implementation strategy and its measurement?
Satinder: Technology is an enabler and helps you take better decisions. I have used technology across, so it is not just for ABM.
For ABM, social media listening and website analytics are huge input and validators. Then there are technologies which help you with personalization. Digital technology can personalize it to the segment of one or simply monitor it, measure it and have multiple data points to continuously improve your decisions.
So, the beauty of this complete technology landscape to around us is that you are improving while running it. I am a huge fan of calendarized ABM program and technology helps me with mid midcourse corrections and abortions of a particular line of thought, if needed.
Santosh: If you look at Scot Brinker’s technology landscape, there are more than 5k tools available in the market. Do you ever face the challenge of choosing the right tool for your ABM strategy?
Satinder: Frankly speaking, yes. There is a challenge of choosing from the plethora of tools which fits your need. But this is an issue which every marketeer has to deal with.
Basics are not changing, and one of the basics which I always believed in is the clarity of your thought and mind. If you are clear what you want, then it’s easier to choose the right tool which syncs with your strategy.
This was also true even 30-40 years back when marketing technology wasn’t that many. Life was simpler with lesser tools and techniques to work with and you used a degree of variance to come up with a different program. So, if you are clear about what you want and how, then decision to choose a tool becomes much easier, irrespective of the number of choices available for you.
“We still have people who are either technologist or are marketer.”
Santosh: You are also leading the NASSCOM’s initiative for building Marketing Technology community in India and spearheading events in various parts of India. Do you think there is enough talent available in India to execute such technology-based strategies?
Satinder: The talent pool has started to come up, but there is a gap. The technology is becoming an integral part of a marketer’s function. A few years back you had a separate unit for marketing and another for digital marketing. I don’t think there are companies with such difference anymore.
Since technology is part of everybody’s life, it has become mandatory for a marketer to become technology savvy. There are few specialized tools and technique for which you need talent, and I can see the growth of that talent. However, I don’t think it has matured enough. We still have people who are either technologist or are marketer. I am looking for a blend of these two. The challenge here is sometimes I am looking for 40(Technologist):60(Marketer) ratio and sometimes the same ratio changes to 70:30.
It is a kind of dynamic space. Unless the entire marketing fraternity or marketing role holders give themselves into technology and embrace it, this problem will continue. The Easier answer to your questions is that the talent is coming up but not in the quantity and level in which the industry needs it.
“Implementing a nice flashy tool today would give you a bit of high but how does it fit in the overall scheme of things is more important.”
Santosh: You have been mentoring companies on building their marketing strategy. What will be your advice to somebody who is planning to build a marketing team today?
Satinder: I would start with a cliched statement that don’t miss a forest for trees. That means you must look at the larger picture. Implementing a nice flashy tool today would give you a bit of high but how does it fit in the overall scheme of things is more important.
Strategy and execution are two different terms. If you are doing execution that does not means that is the strategy. For e.g., if you are on social media and getting likes doesn’t mean that you have a social media strategy. It is far bigger than getting on to a platform and post regularly.
The third point is customer centricity is still the norm, and the clutter at customer’s end is not going away. So, ability to differentiate yourself will get you the business and the brownie points.
And the last is that a marketer struggles and should continue to struggle is with the ability to connect dots. This helps you to come out with newer perspectives and unique thoughts, which are always valued by customers.
Santosh: What are your expectations from the ABM Best Practices Report: India, 2018?
Satinder: We have never seen a report on ABM coming out of India and I would like to congratulate you on working on it. Secondly, today a marketer knows about ABM and its importance, but can this report give me a peer level evaluation to figure out and compare my initiative with rest of the Industry. Also, I will be very keen to understand the trends before they become a norm. Something that will become important in 4-5 years down the line. Even if I can get 1 or 2 bullet points, then this report will be worth my time.
Santosh: Sure, we will try our best to cover these points and continue our discussion with Industry Expert’s like you to make this an actionable report. Thanks for taking time out for this discussion and sharing your valuable input.
Satinder: It was a pleasure talking to you, look forward to continued discussion.