Mayur Gupta Mayur Gupta is the Global Head of Marketing Technology & Innovation at Kimberly-Clark, the Fortune 200 company that provides personal care, consumer tissue, and health care products around the world. He is a globally recognized thought leader in digital innovation, marketing technology, and omni-channel consumer experience management.
Question 1: How do you define ‘digital strategy’?
“I actually don’t believe in the concept of ‘digital strategy’. Brands need one integrated marketing strategy that engages and inspires the consumer who is living in a massively digital world, it cannot be fragmented by digital or analog. It is all about enabling that connected, seamless and frictionless consumer experience at the end of the day that adds value to the consumer and solves her needs and desires, that’s the ultimate strategy that will help marketers build legendary brands as well as drive category growth and sales. We are going through a rapid transformation in how brands market in this digital world which is controlled and centered around the consumer, forcing brands and strategies to become ‘consumer centric’ rather than ‘channel centric’ which is how they have traditionally been. The consumer obsessed mindset is obvious and easy to talk about but extremely challenging to execute because we are operating within an extremely fragmented ecosystem. The only way to accomplish personalized, contextual and responsive consumer experiences is by driving convergence across key organizational functions, data and technology as well as marketing skills.”
Question 2: What are the most significant digital trends that will define 2014?
“1. From Multi Channel to Omni Channel — Moving from channel obsession to customer obsession, enabling a seamless and frictionless experience with data across touch points and channels as the lynchpin
2. From Big Data to Big Testing — Bursting the big data bubble; driving a strong push towards big or ‘bigger’ testing and learning; adopting agile marketing methodologies
3. CPG & Retail Innovation – Tremendous innovation across the retail and CPG world in response to the pace at which consumer is moving with full control and power; conscious investment in innovation through the start up community and internal labs
4. Predictive Commerce & One Click Life Time Purchase — Going beyond just personalization or mCommerce; using consumer data across channels to predict needs even before the consumer knows they need it and enabling one click life time purchase for repeatable products.”
Question 3: What kind of mobile device(s) do you have, and what are your three favorite apps?
“I have been an iPhone user for many years but I have this constant urge to disrupt my traditional thinking and give Samsung/Android a shot but I haven’t crossed that bridge yet. My favorite apps are always utility apps that I need in my daily life from banking and public transportation to managing my social life.”
Question 4: What do you think of the emergence of the Chief Digital Officer role?
“My point of view on the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) may not be too encouraging. Even though the title sounds and feels great, I think it’s a step in the wrong direction if it’s a long term strategy for an organization, especially if the CDO role sits outside the world of the Chief Marketing Officer. As marketers, we continue to fragment and break down marketing either by channel or by digital versus analog; having someone outside of the overall marketing organization to run digital is almost an oxymoron as it ends up creating even bigger silos in an attempt to fill the digital gap. Having said that, if the CDO role is part of a CMO’s short term strategy until you reach a point of maturity where digital is no longer a separate ‘thing’. Needless to say, I don’t see the CDO role outside of the marketing or a CMO’s organization, that’s a non starter for me.”
Question 5: What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?
“Disrupt your skills. The only component of the marketing ecosystem that hasn’t gone through disruption is the ‘marketer’ himself, and that has to change. The DNA of the modern marketer, often referred to as the ‘Unicorn’, is no longer the T-shaped professional but someone who converges the traditional silos of creative, strategy, data, analytics, research, technology and other areas. For us as marketers to be successful in this disruptive digital world, we need to evolve our skills and continue to learn and grow as the world around us continues to evolve.”