While other arms of marketing will exist, digital is ubiquitous: Sunder Madakshira, Head of Marketing, Adobe India

Madakshira has been studying marketing for about two decades and talks about his transition from various Indian industry giants to Adobe’s marketing strategy and the move from ‘Creative cloud’ to ‘Experience Cloud’

e4m by Akshata R Murthy
Published: Aug 4, 2017 8:09 AM  | 4 min read

Sunder Madakshira, Head of Marketing at Adobe India, talks about the way digital marketing might take a leap in the near future and says that other channels of marketing will exist but he still cannot predict the shape, form or quantum of it. Excerpts:

You’ve been with a lot of big companies like Hindustan Unilever, Wipro, Infosys, SAP, Edgeverve, Hexaware and now Adobe. What was the transition like when you moved from those companies to Adobe?

The common thread binding all is that I’ve largely been in their sales and marketing teams. The last 17-18 years, I have been with marketing as a subject. That focus a marketer needs for what his customers need to have, how do they want it, what would be an attractive price for them to buy it and very importantly how do you connect with them at an emotional level, has remained the same. My basic premise has been that whatever you do, you are ultimately dealing with human beings. I don’t think things have changed to that fundamental extent. But last three months with Adobe have been fantastic for many reasons. This is a very fast paced company.

Adobe is a company focused on Digital Transformation. What is your marketing strategy for this?

Adobe was into ‘Creative cloud’ and now we are moving into ‘Experience cloud.’ I think the Indian market is absolutely ready for this offering. It’s been ready for about five years. We’ve got some of the best customers to work with. The strategy going forward is clearly to penetrate deeper into the market with our offerings. We see the customers wanting the solutions now more than ever because companies want to give a more seamless experience. I think India is ready in terms of the mobile and internet penetration to be absorbing these products now. India is more of a ‘mobile’ country. Mobile penetration is really high in this country, which is a fairly unique situation. Our strategy is, really, to go with the complete suite of our creative and digital marketing solutions and be able to help our customers. Target the customers and their consumers so well that there is no wastage of advertising money that they have to spend.

Secondly, get highly personalized content delivered to them in a highly customized manner.   

The third very important thing is, they must be able to track, measure and analyze how effective their messaging to their consumers has been. This is exactly the suite that we want to progress further in. We already have a very good clientele. We want to build on that.

Who, according to you, is your competitor? Given the fact that you provide a comprehensive package of end to end solutions.

If you just look at it as a comprehensive portfolio, there is no other company which has got this. We don’t have any direct competition.

With technology invading every sector possible, where do you see digital marketing five years down the line?

To me, I think digital marketing is absolutely there to stay. We’ve just got started. There’s a lot more adoption that’s still to be done in the Indian market.

Digital marketing, I believe, will become highly personalized. I think they will be focussing on how do you provide that unique experience to each customer. We want to be able to virtually read the mind of the customer. From an insight perspective, we’re still scratching the surface today. There’ll be a lot more ability to assimilate the inputs that are coming in from varied sources.

Digital marketing was more about being able to crunch data and give you some information. I think that information will now transcend into insights. And that insight will give you lot of intelligence in your system. I think that’s the leap that we’re going to make.

Does that mean that as digital marketing grows, the other parts of marketing will slowly fade away?

Digital marketing has become a very prominent channel for marketing and digital channels will be there in all arms of marketing. So there’s no question of saying that, “That part of the company wants to do digital marketing.” Today, even a print ad will have an element of digital. There’s something called ‘through-the-line advertising’ where you’re actually selling the product on another platform but this marketing channel will take you there. For example, an e-commerce company might give a print ad for a product available online. When I say that digital marketing is ubiquitous, it’s true. Other channels will exist but very difficult to predict in what form, shape and quantum. 

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