The Vision Board Interview | Mr. Suryadeep Verma | CMO, Comviva Technologies

Mr. Suryadeep Verma

Chief Marketing Officer, Comviva Technologies

Suryadeep Verma, CMO, Comviva Technologies is a Mechanical engineer, and an MBA by education. Suryadeep started his career in the public sector and has been in marketing for almost 15 years in the Technology industry.  

Excerpt From The Vision Board Interview With Mr. Suryadeep Verma.

Why don't we start this Surya with understanding more about your journey so far? And maybe our audience would also want to know more about you as a person?

So, you know, I’m a mechanical engineer, and an MBA in terms of my education background. I have been in the tech industry for over 20 years now. And a lot of my experience has been around Marketing, in particular. I have started my career with a public sector company, this was way back in 98 and then my journey in technology started with IBM, which I kind of join from campus when I passed out from FMSN in 2004, started off with sales, did business development, and have been into marketing for the last close to about 15 years or so. You know, I have at the chance of really looking at the kind of transformation that the marketing function has really gone through over the last decade or so. And it has been really kind of rich experience in terms of what I’ve really learnt and grown as a professional.

How do you feel today when the technology is so advanced and data analytics is also now one of the revelations with the marketers today? How do you see this Moment marketing, or Real-time marketing as we call it?

So, I think it’s a very good question, to begin with.  See, what has really happened Is that with this whole advent of analytics and the capability around data science that has committed. From a marketing standpoint, this whole kind of paradigm of engagement has gone through a major shift. You know, when I kind of started my career, a lot of our focus was largely around Physically events and Content that can be thrown to the customer. But you know, a lot of that paradigm is now kind of changing as you said, in terms of engaging them through the Journey. Real-time Marketing, in particular, is your ability to respond to a customer action in real-time, which really means that, you know, you, you engage the customer right up there when he is doing an action. There is a slight nuance between real-time marketing and moments marketing. A lot of people actually speak that in the same breath but Moment’s marketing is a little different, Moment’s marketing is more aligned to this whole wave of social media and the Instagram age that we live in, where a lot of these brands are trying to plug into and leverage these moments and make them viral. You know, Real-time marketing might happen otherwise as well, Real-time marketing really means that when a customer is looking for something on your website or, or he is, he is going through a certain specific micro-moment, you react to that and maybe trigger a campaign. A Moment marketing might be leveraging that specific moment, you know you can probably leverage an incident that might not be specifically related to your organization, but you know, say, a celebrity incident, and you will try to kind of get plugged into that conversation. So, I think that’s the kind of difference to kind of begin with. What really have has happened on the Moments marketing piece is a little more interesting, with this whole kind of evolution of social marketing, brands are now trying to engage their audience rather than just pushing their content across to them. And in that Journey, they are not trying to look at opportunities where they make the brand visible and get plugged into those current movements. And I think that’s the new wave that we are really seeing where you will tap in some, some really kind of interesting moments, and, and try to position your brand in front of your larger audience.

And that brings us to an interesting observation about content, because ultimately at the back of all this is the content and content can be in different formats, Etc. What are the gaps now that you see in the Content based marketing? So, today's marketing depends a lot of content, whether it's Moment marketing or Real time marketing or Journey based marketing content is the soul of marketing today. Do you see any gaps in this entire spectrum of marketing?

So, I won’t say gaps but again, you know the Content side, what’s really happening is, organizations are trying to democratize the whole content thing. When I say democratize, you know they are trying to drive this whole concept of user-generated content. You know, where? You know, if you look probably a few years back, marketing was the sole custodian of content programs. It still is the sole custodian of most of the programs but what is now happening is they are trying to activate the larger set of audience around themself. It might be employees; it might be your customers. So, I think that piece is getting more and more activated. In terms of challenges. I think having quality content having contextual content has always been a kind of a challenge. You know, particularly in the last two years with covid coming in, most of the organizations have moved from digital-first to digital-only now. And that has really created a whole bunch of Social and Digital focus. Where from a consumption standpoint Know your audience is really getting fatigued with all the content that is really being thrown at them. So, I think the distinction there is, how do you create something which is remarkable, which is differentiated and building that kind of content is pretty much the biggest challenge for marketing organizations today.

We are also perplexed to see that, whether its large organizations or small organizations. In the last few years, there is a lot of dependence on the performance side of the marketing. And even if its content, the metrics that are used to judge the content is normally, let's say, demand generation or not even demand lead generation in a very crude way. How much dependence is good? And what's your take on what's happening right now? And why is it happening?

So, I think Performance Marketing is I think it has come up largely from the context of understanding what kind of value marketing is really adding to the larger organization. You know, with Digital coming in, you know, you have seen a whole bunch of new metrics where marketing organizations and marketing managers are kind of getting judged to. Performance marketing largely came up in terms of looking at initiatives which would be directly driving the cause of business. When I say this, I’m not saying, you know, others they don’t do it but if you look at other KPI’s like around, you know, branding or analyst, you know, the all kind of feed into largely the Performance Marketing now. 

Performance Marketing simply would be the kind of sub function that would interact with your sales teams and add value to them. You know, it might be through leads, It might be through other programs around customers in particular. I think so Is what is really kind of coming up, particularly if the tech side, where organizations are now looking at marketing and say, how do I really look at something where I can see a very direct correlation in terms of what the function is doing and what I'm really getting into.

The second part in terms of over dependency, i think there is a larger Vision then you look at marketing, and, you know, you can easily get lost in some of these conversations where you look at some of these metrics but you know, that becomes so focused that some of your other important metrics that feed into performance and really kind of drive that get compromised. And I think that might get very myopic when you look at a lot of these organizations. So, I think there is a little more holistic perspective that marketing needs to look at and branding say for example, is something that is really essential to kind of will performance market, and you really need to kind of Ensure everything works in synergy.

In fact, let's extend this content part a bit further. A lot of times people say that, Okay, I don't want to mark it on gets a Facebook or on a YouTube. How do you see that YouTube as a platform, is it emerging as a great asset for B2B marketers? Or do you think it's still more a b2c and there is not much scope for B2B marketers on YouTube?

No, obviously there is, i mean, B2B marketing is B2B. Marketers are kind of leveraging YouTube very strongly. I won’t say that, you know, it’s something that is not relevant. Having said that, I mean, what I really kind of a noticing that you know, it becomes a platform where your messaging can get easily diffused. You know, at times, you know, you want to kind of ensure that the kind of audience that you are nurturing, you don’t lose those audience across to social platforms. So, you know, in Social, what really happens is it’s very easy to lose your audience, because there are recommendations that kind of come in from the engine and so on. So, video as a Content obviously is kind of taking off. I think, on the YouTube site, if you, if you are in looking at your top of the funnel kind of activities, you know, I see marketers’ kind of running that campaign, depending upon the kind of industry that is there into. But particularly on the B2B side, if you want to be really focused, I think marketers are trying to keep that keep it as a part of their own kind of own assets, own properties. They are rather kind of creating, you know, microsites and platforms where you know they can hold they can kind of drive the whole kind of audience. But YouTube, obviously is, is the most popular medium when it comes to hosting your videos and kind of syncing them with your website, but it’s the largest storytelling that you need to really kind of drive. And that’s where I have seen organizations looking at their own kind of set of microsites and assets and platforms to kind of drive that.

The Vision Board Interview | Mr. Suryadeep Verma | CMO, Comviva Technologies

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