Mr. Arvind Saxena, Head of Marketing and Communications, NEC Corporation India
NEC Corporation India is focused on building its product portfolio including contactless technology as the scope and demand are high in sectors including aviation, tourism, public safety, etc. It powered the world’s largest biometric database, commonly known as the Aadhar card.
With 16+ years of experience in the ICT industry, Arvind Saxena heads the marketing and corporate communications at NEC Corporation India. In an exclusive interview with Media Infoline, Arvind talked about many aspects of the industry including the brand-building tools in the era of ‘New Normal’. Let take a look.
Q) How is the post-Covid market for NEC? How has the behavior changed?
NEC India has been driving digital transformation in the country by empowering the Government and businesses with our cutting-edge technological solutions. We take pride in partnering with the Indian Government to derive solutions based on the new and relevant models. Known for bringing solutions that address real-life problems, we came up with solutions to help the Government and the businesses in the new normal.
The smart integrated command control center implemented by NEC India at Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) helps in contact tracing during the lockdown while also enabling local authorities to maintain law and order seamlessly. Additionally, NEC’s Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS) helps keep a tight vigil on human and vehicular movements during the night curfew slabs to ensure citizens’ safety. We continue sporting contactless engagements for the citizens like contactless bus ticketing and paperless boarding at major Indian airports.
Furthermore, we built some immediate solutions such as “Compliance Monitoring Solution for COVID” to enable businesses to navigate the complexity of returning-to-the workplace post-COVID. Apart from this, Compliance Monitoring Solution perfectly weaves in the capability of Intelligent Video Analytics (IVA) and Mi-EYE, the enterprise command center, to build a COVID-safe workplace with features including mask detection, social distancing, and congestion detection. For effective response and management to the COVID pandemic, our Digital Ventilator Inventory Management System ensured timely availability of ventilators to treat COVID patients, thus ensuring easier operational planning for hospitals and citizens’ wellbeing.
NEC has always believed in delivering good quality and durable solutions, for which customers continue to come back to us. Our customers widely admire the quality of solutions we provide out of India for the local market and abroad. Keeping in line with consumer behavior, our solutions aim to deliver impact to the end consumer.
Q) What are the key tools to strengthen brand building in this era of ‘New Normal’?
A digital-first mindset and the need to obsessively follow data to course-correct plans is critical. Implementing tools like automation, analytics, AI, and ML make existing models more efficient as it helps track the consumers’ changing needs.
Apart from these, brands must keep the basics in place, including:
- Lean on brand’s DNA: Encompassing a brand’s values in every communication, strategy, or campaign is the key. Focussing on personalization, building emotional connections with the audience, and showcasing human qualities like compassion make a big difference
- Employee Advocacy: More than anyone else, the workforce must believe in the brand’s purpose. Therefore, focussing on internal communication and telling a brand’s story through its people is of utmost importance
- Focus on Thought Leadership: Thought leadership represents the intersection between brand awareness and lead generation, which helps establish a company and its leaders as trustworthy, authoritative sources
- Customer Retention and ABM: Account-Based Marketing (ABM) has become the need of the hour. With growing competition, the pressure for customer acquisition, retention, and revenue generation is increasing steadily. We need to build tailored solutions for high-value target accounts to drive increased conversions. ABM strategies are cost-effective as they value quality over quantity and only target accounts that are in potential need of a particular product or service.
- Integrated Marketing Approach: Focusing on integrated marketing approach and appropriate use of marketing mix, Analyst Relations, Social Media, Content Marketing, Mobile Marketing-Retargeting, WhatsApp, EDMs, Webinars, etc., goes a long way in delivering impact as your customers are consuming information across platforms.
Q) Tell us about your latest digital-first campaign.
Our recently launched digital-first campaign, ‘NEC Makes It Happen,’ exemplifies our purpose of creating the social values of safety, security, fairness, and efficiency. With an unwavering brief in the robust legacy system, our India team is committed to improving citizens’ lives for the past 70 years. With the timely deployment of tailor-made services and solutions during the pandemic, our vast talent pool of 6000 members across various verticals, including public safety, communications, infrastructure, aviation, logistics, and transportation solutions, contributed significantly to the digital transformation journey to make the world brighter.
We are strongly driven by the trust that our customers bestow in our solutions and capabilities. This latest campaign very well captures our customers’ perception towards us, our brand attributes and showcases the impact of our efforts in the lives of more than a billion Indians.
We believe in the power of genuine storytelling and always try to align our efforts with authenticity.
Q) Do you think creative campaigns play a part in business growth for technology companies?
Definitely! Content underpinned by a true story drives a creative marketing campaign’s success and sets the foundation for all communication efforts that strike a chord with the target audience. Every audience loves a story. So if a brand can define its messaging and visual vocabulary in a way that captures its value proposition and positioning, it works brilliantly.
More and more B2B technology companies are experimenting with creative campaigns. It resonates well with the masses, and the genuine storytelling adds a punch of authenticity to the whole movement. Moreover, adopting a more expressive style in creativity creates greater engagement when the content is uplifting and inspirational.
Q) What are the trends in B2B marketing for enterprises?
Martech transformation is on the rise; therefore, marketing automation, predictive analytics, lead scoring, targeted marketing for customer retention, unique virtual experiences, influencer marketing, AI-powered marketing data, and analytics comprise the critical trends. Given the socio-economic impact, the pandemic has had on consumers, I would suggest brands be mindful of all their communication, so the focus should not be on just using tools but an appropriate amalgamation of tools, trends, and human contact. Striking a good balance between traditional, digital, and other emerging tech solutions is an excellent way to enhance marketing efforts.
Q) What are your future plans and programs?
In the past year, we saw the world adopting what NEC has been practicing as a DNA and as a way of life for 120+ years now, i.e., realizing a sustainable digital society that empowers everybody irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, or ability to experience happiness, fulfillment and more prosperous lives. Staying true to our purpose of “orchestrating a brighter world,” we ensure sticking to our basics: Demonstrating a core purpose; Serving customers in the truest sense of the word, and Keeping our employees first in these times. Our recent successes are a testament to the value our solutions deliver, and we continue to drive impact in people’s lives.
Most of our efforts and campaigns will be concentrated on our purpose, spreading hope, and making people more aware of the development happening in their area for this safety. We are looking at a deeper collaboration between sales & marketing as the fine lines between both the roles have diminished. Moreover, we will focus on customer retention and brand awareness through integrated marketing efforts with content, genuine storytelling, and employee advocacy at the center.