Sandeep Goel, Marketing Lead – India, Ciena Communications India
Marketing, at its core, is about building relationships between a company and its customers. Marketing creates and communicates a brand identity that connects with customers. Regis McKenna has said Marketing is everything and you cannot sell unless you communicate your story properly to influence customer perceptions.
A solid brand identity should align to a company’s long-term vision and take the company, its products, and its customers to new heights. As the strategic execution of the brand, marketing strategies must continuously evolve to meet changing customer expectations, technology direction, and adapt to competitors. With the Indian economy growing, there is a clear opportunity for Ciena to increase our visibility and expand our market share. This requires us to focus on three key areas:
- Brand awareness. Building brand awareness is essential in building brand equity. Communication of a consistent message establishes trust and brand recall. The product quality and feature set will not matter unless the customer sees value and recognizes your brand. This means being top of mind for a customer when they are facing a problem or looking for a solution. This is also the goal of our competitors, and thus a continuous effort to demonstrate the customer related value of Ciena’s thought leadership, innovation, and success is required.
- Content marketing. Content helps convey your message to your audience but reach and relevance are key to successful content. You can create a lot of good content about your products and solutions but that has no meaning unless it reaches the right audience. Today, channels such as social media, paid media, earned media, email, direct mail, webinars, and events can help reach customers. However, to be effective we must select the right channels by focusing on where our customers go for their information and insights. Achieving the right reach is only one part of the equation. The type and relevance of the content is also critical. Content such as blogs, whitepapers, newsletters, videos, and infographics need to be aligned and relevant to customer interests and where they are in the buying cycle. Infographics, for example, are an easy way to display key information, interesting data, and statistics that educate customers and create mindshare for Ciena. This simple but effective content often gets shared far and wide, making Infographics a great tool for building your brand and showing thought leadership. A brand which takes content marketing seriously is uniquely positioned to serve its customers well.
- Account-based marketing. Marketing to a specific account requires that we truly get to know the marketing impacts and challenges of the people in that account to help us better understand how Ciena can help solve problems and enable success. The Indian telecom market is one of both vendors and operators. Customer behavior changes quickly due to new technology requirements and competitive activity. Companies need to adapt quickly to the changing environment to meet their customer challenges and ultimately serve customers better. Ciena strives to personalize our value to customers by understanding their environment and highlighting how we can solve their business challenges efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. We believe that this approach is a key tactic to drive a deeper, more enriched relationship in strategic accounts.
As modern marketing evolves and audience requirements change, it is critical that you embrace and implement marketing strategies and tactics that can adapt to meet the long-term vision of your company.
All of us want to stay on top of our game. It is not the biggest or the strongest who win in tomorrow’s world – it is those who are quickest to adapt. Adapt to new ideas! Adapt to new customer expectations! Adapt to changes in the competitive landscape! Survival of the fittest means survival of the most adaptive.