CIO vs the CMO … is there a 'vs' or an 'and'? - Gulshan Verma from Times Internet Limited

Gulshan Verma is the Chief Revenue Officer at Times Internet Limited, India’s largest Internet Network. With over 15 years of experience in the digital media industry, Gulshan has enjoyed successful stints as the General Manager SEA & India, Outbrain, Chief Revenue Officer, Komli Media, Director of Sales Strategy for Yahoo! India, and Director of Product Marketing for Yahoo! Search Marketing in the United States. Phew!

5 questions on the road ahead for digital transformation…

1. CIO vs the CMO? Who has more clout with the CEO and why?

It is all about turning new technologies into profits and growth.

For that both the functions of IT and marketing have to be in-sync with each other’s work. Both the CMO & CIO are brought on the hook for turning every decision undertaken into a deep growth curve. They need to constantly work in tandem to compete with growing worldwide volume of data.

CIO, these days is far from a back-office function. The CMOs are treating CIOs as a strategic partner who is crucial to developing and executing marketing strategy.

2. Marketing is not just tools, what do you contribute great marketing to?

1. Marketing defines your product and service.

You may be selling web-based software tools but you need to understand why your clients are buying them. Is it increased productivity, improved efficiency or the cost savings?

Great marketing solves all of these.

2. Finding a niche.

Extensive research to understand which is the market segment that is not currently being served or is not being served well. The A niche strategy allows the marketer to focus the company’s marketing efforts and dominate the market, even if you are a small player.

3. Great marketing builds the credibility for your company.

Marketers tap on the potential customer to build the trust that you will deliver what you say you will.

3. What will be the most important aspect of digital transformation for brands and enterprises for the next twelve to twenty-four months?

Acting as a catalyst the digital customer experience is a substantial investment in the age of digital transformation. Digital leaders have started to recognize that existing business models, systems and processes are ill-equipped to respond without big changes and that digital transformation is inevitable. A few important aspects that brands need to look upon:

  • Vision: Digital transformation is a movement that has been growing and expanding, but still is far from being a formal priority by most businesses. This requires those leading to get a digital transformation program in motion to make the business case.
  • Digital Customer Experience: Once armed with information, digital transformation takes shape by specifically aligning people, processes, and technologies against goals and milestones to map a new and effective journey for digital customers.
  • The Digitally focused innovation team: Organizations should form special teams to bring people together to start talking and put change into motion.

4. What’s next in data-driven marketing?

Following are my predictions which may be set the evolution for data driven marketing:

1. A unified platform that redefines the “Data Architecture”

Technologies and techniques for “converging,” are becoming much more commonplace.

2. Streaming analytics will be new “look-out for” an upgrade

An upgrade in combining traditional analytics techniques with a high-performance technical architecture will help connecting the wide ecosystem of devices.

3. Availability of the data that could be easily understood.

Access to both the algorithms and results remains out of reach for most marketing professionals.

4. Bringing back the Metadata and master data-management.

Higher-level organizational data oversight, at the CIO and data-steward levels, will ensure that as we accelerate our data-driven marketing trains, we won’t careen off the tracks.

5. Internet of Things is here.

Think about the marketing progression, from direct-marketing databases, to offline customer databases, to online customer databases, to online customer behavioral databases

5. 1 reason not to miss your session at Click Asia Summit 2016

My session at Click Asia Summit 2016 is all about “What’s streaming got to do with transformation?” where I will look at this particular digital evolution from a new angle and also share my insights from our own streaming platforms at Times Internet such as and more.

A session with a lot of interesting and insightful takeaways!

Gulshan Verma is a speaker at Click Asia Summit 2016, the Largest Digital Transformation and Marketing Event in Asia (April 21-22, Taj lands End, Mumbai)

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