Techमंच: Watch Rahul Gautam of Ford India speak on the role of CMOs in a data-driven industry

Gautam, VP, Marketing, Ford India, discussed the importance of marketing, brand building and its relevance in today’s digital world

by Pallavi Borkar
Published - Jun 29, 2018 8:57 AM Updated: Jun 29, 2018 8:57 AM
At exchange4media Group’s Techमंच Digital Conference 2018, one of the speakers Rahul Gautam - Vice President, Marketing, Ford India shared real-world case studies and experiences. Addressing the session soon after lunch, Gautam managed to keep the audiences intrigued with his insightful take on the role of CMOs in an age of data-driven industry. 
Watch the entire session here: 



His session discussed the importance of marketing, brand building and its relevance in today’s digital world. “The role of a CMO is to look after advertising, sales promotion, brand management and market research. It is their job to champion the customer and the brand, and that’s where the magic happens. Every brand needs to have a purpose and it is the job of a CMO to find that purpose. It essential to remember that CMOs are also a representatives of the customer,” said Gautam.

He explains that in a CMO's job, the conflict takes place between the sales and revenue growth versus the brand building which takes a lot of time and patience. “It is crucial the CMO also takes responsibility and really connects with the internal stakeholders as well and grows his/ her influence in the organisation. The conundrum arises when you have to balance between the rational side and the creative side. There are real pressures and business results need to be delivered. It is the job of the CMO to deliver these results,” says Gautam.

Referring to a book titled, ‘Thinking Fast & Slow' by David Kahneman, Gautam explains how the book on behavioural science elaborates on how the human brain thinks. “The book describes that 95 per cent of the times the human brain takes decision based on their intuition, and 5 per cent based on rationality. The customers too think the same way, they feel first and then justify it later. It is essential that you connect with the customers emotionally and intuitive gets formed based on data. Data is important. The insights we gain through data provides information that makes establishing the emotional connect easier,” he explains. He divides the championing of customers into four parts - consumer insight, courage, conviction and communication.


With the help of case studies, Gautam went on to elaborate on brand transformation and product launches at Ford. “We considered factors such as do consumers know about Ford? Do they consider Ford when purchasing a car? Do they think positively about Ford? What is their shopping and purchase intention? We busted the ‘expensive service’ myth with the help of this data. In our industry, the brand experience resides in the hands of the sales consultant or the service advisor who deals with people where the human contact happens. This is where the brand gets built or destroyed,” he says.

Gautam says that in the internet revolution there is always a challenge in terms of problem of measurability and attribution. “The digital medium too is turning out to be quiet expensive. We need to collect more consumer data. But data too is inundating. We are at a time where the hard work or the crunching part can be taken care by technology, and marketers can be free to think about strategizing and generating love for the brand,” he concluded. For more updates, be socially connected with us on
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