BW Summit: Today, it’s about constantly evolving customer experiences: CVL Srinivas
CVL Srinivas, Country Manager, WPP, in his leadership chat at the BW Businessworld Marketing Whitebook Summit, decoded the drivers of real growth
Truth be said, finding ways in which you can maximise the importance of your brand at the strategic level is something everyone knows is of great significance. The identification of potential growth drivers for a brand is key and yet many brands struggle to ask the right questions while undertaking this task.
CVL Srinivas, Country Manager, WPP, in his leadership chat at the 15th edition of BW Businessworld Marketing Whitebook, decoded these drivers of real growth.
Srinivas highlighted that real here implies growth that is long-term and sustainable. He hinted that incrementalism isn’t working anymore. “The age-old formula of growing one’s business by either taking products into new markets or incrementally adding value to certain products hasn’t really worked out like it worked 20 years ago,” he added.
According to Srinivas, bringing in value-engineering, driving more profit too is not really yielding results as it used to before. What should be the new rule? Srinivas opined that the barriers of entry are disappearing. “There are a lot of new players emerging and defining new categories. The so-called disruptors that came to our industry (digital companies) are themselves getting disrupted. And then there are challenges that stakeholders and employees are raising around transparency of corporate culture,” he explained. However, Srinivas was quick to add that despite the gloom and doom, there is growth to be found.
He observed that the number of CMOs who got reshuffled in 2018 has to be a record-high. “The way the CMO’s role has evolved over the years, many a times we see them over-index their time in developing communications and looking at advertising while actually their role is to grow the business. Some companies change the title from a CMO to CGO thinking that will help as for a CMO growth needs to be on top of the agenda or else their role will get irrelevant,” Srinivas hinted.
WPP recently created a new growth architecture to help clients find their right place in the organisation by setting up the IRG (Institute For Real Growth) and identifying levers of growth in the new world. He said gone are the days when it was merely about market share. “85% of the over-performers expand their market definition and take a broader view rather than just the market share,” Srinivas added.
Deconstructing the next lever he emphasised the importance of the pillar around multiple models. He explained that if an idea doesn’t fit in the ROI model it usually gets rejected. However, according to him, the ones who do well run multiple business models within the organisation. Srinivas also touched upon the importance of evolving experiences. “Today, it’s not just about customer satisfaction but constantly evolving the customer experiences,” he contended.
He went on to add that over-performers rewrite the culture script of their brand, sharing the example of Microsoft and how it has evolved the brand from being a tech one to being a customer-centric one. He explained that leveraging the diversity of leadership and people sitting at the top could also be of essence. Another example he shared was that of Unilever, a brand that has done many acquisitions but decided to retain the founders of the companies leveraging them as change agents within the organisation.
“Companies with open communication across levels have done well,” Srinivas said. He also opened up on why companies must be whole-brained. “It is not just about getting data but about insights, creativity and creatively using the data that you have,” he shared. Moreover, he added that while most under-performers focus on the bottom-line, over-performers are focused on people they serve which helps them stand out.
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