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Econsultancy held Customer-Centricity Marketing Roundtables in Mumbai on February 25th, with dozens of client-side marketers attending to discuss the trends, best practices, and issues they are facing.

The roundtables had in-depth discussions on two related topics, Engagement & Measuring ROI and How Technology Can Assist You in Digital Transformation.  

They were moderated by subject matter experts from Econsultancy and our event sponsor Epsilon.

Delegates, however, brought their own experiences, questions, and challenges to the table for open discussion.

Below is a summary of the main talking points during the day about How Technology Can Assist you in Digital Transformation.

You can find the summary on the first topic, Engagement & Measuring ROI here.

Before we start...

Before we start, we'd like to let you know about a couple of things:

  1. Econsultancy will be holding a roundtable in Shanghai on Wednesday, April 27th. Exclusively for client-side marketers, the topic will be "Customer Experience (CX) Management" and it will run from 8:30am - 12:30pm. Client-side marketers in Shanghai can sign up here.
  2. We are also conducting a survey of marketers in Australia and New Zealand about how organisations in the region are approaching customer experience and customer journeys. We are offering a free, advanced copy of the report to those who complete the survey by March 14th, 2016.  Click here to take the survey now!

Both the event and the survey are being conducted with support from our sponsor Epsilon.

And now, what was said about technology's role in digital transformation in Mumbai?

Biggest challenge to digital transformation? Not technology, but mindsets

First off, all of the participants appreciated the need for digital transformation and considered it a must-have for any organization in today’s market.

And most were aware of technology's role in the process. But it was almost universally agreed that the biggest hurdle in enabling digital transformation is changing mindsets within the organization.  

If business-as-usual is fine, then there won't need to be a change and new technology will not help.

So digital transformation is not just a technology problem. The company and in some cases the whole industry 'needs to embrace digital wholeheartedly'.

When asked how to get around this impasse, one participant mentioned a hot startup, Box8.

Box8 is a food delivery startup based in Mumbai with $3m in Silicon Valley funding. It has developed a seamless platform between web and mobile.

The company has experienced 10x growth over the past 15 months and now has 2,000 transactions every day, with over 50% coming through mobile.

Now everyone in the food industry looks at the success of Box8 and sees the need for digital transformation.  

And it's our job as marketers, participants agreed, to identify these examples in the market and use them as a catalyst to start digital transformation within our organization.

So once convinced, how can organizations get started? 

One place to start is Econsultancy's Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide. In it, there is a road map for how organizations who have been successful with digital transformation typically progress.  

They start with a number of dispersed digital efforts and move slowly toward a fully-integrated digital company.

The best way to get started with digital transformation, one participant suggested, was to focus on 'data sourcing and collection'.

For marketing that means:

  • capturing customer trends,
  • analyzing them against the current business model,
  • and developing them into new value propositions.

Then, once you have a good handle on the customer data, look at one customer's view of the processes and identify what can be further customized and personalized.  But first start small and collect the data.

Kotak Mahindra Bank is an example of an institution which was heavily reliant on paper-based record-keeping for running its business.  

After a lot of customer-based research, the bank introduced a digital product line, jifi, and moved 90% of customer transactions to self-service channels including mobile and web banking.

And always remember that technology is only a tool

Everyone agreed that technology is an enabler for a business, but other participants warned that just bringing in technology will not digitally transform the organization.

Instead, marketers must act as change agents and set clear objectives for using new technology platforms.

For example, almost all of the participants used digital media extensively but few had a single digital platform which helped them manage their blogging, Facebook, and other online and offline media.

Marketers should take the lead and organize these efforts, participants agreed. Doing so will not only help them with the brand messaging but it would also help the marketing team launch new digital transformation initiatives in the future.

The session ended with agreement that digital transformation is still 'very nascent' at most of the organisations represented at the rountable, but using technology to help move their organizations forward is on everyone's radar for 2016.

A word of thanks

Econsultancy would like to thank all of the client-side marketers who participated on the day and especially our table moderators:

  • Muthukumar Sudarsanam, Regional Marketing Manager, India, MEA & SEE, Lloyd's Register.
  • Ashish Jain, AVP, Reliance Retail.
  • Umesh Choori, VP Analytics, Reliance Jio.

And our sponsor for the event, Epsilon, along with subject matter expert Jeff Evans, VP of Digital in APAC.

Jeff Rajeck

Published 8 March, 2016 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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