Personalisation has become a key differentiator for strong customer relations: Rajat Abbi

As Vice President, Global Marketing - India, Schneider Electric, Rajat Abbi is driving brand, digital and commercial excellence and helping the organisation achieve its growth ambitions. He is also a part of the Schneider Electric Global Marketing International Operations Leadership team, Schneider Electric India Management team and Schneider Electric India Leadership Council.

In conversation with Adgully, Rajat Abbi, Vice President, Global Marketing - India, Schneider Electric, speaks at length about the company’s digital marketing strategy, building strong customer relations, providing customised experience to unique customer segments, and more.

How is Schneider Electric leveraging digital marketing to gain competitive advantage and forge its own position in the B2B market?

The advent of digital marketing has significantly redefined the marketing playbook by enabling brands and customers to form an everlasting bond. This has brought forth the need for customisation of messaging targeting various personas. Schneider Electric has always been at the forefront of using digital tools to make partner/ customer interactions seamless and effective. We use several digital touchpoints to connect and engage with customers. For instance, we have deployed AI to perform customer voice verbatim analytics to draw deep insights on our customers to improve their experience. We use AI and RPA software to automate some very mundane backend tasks and enable customer service executives to attend to more customer centric tasks. We have created digital tools for enhancing revenue opportunities for our partners by identifying and assigning leads and working alongside our partners to convert those leads to tangible revenue from sales. We are currently working on creating an all-encompassing platform that combines all our customer experience tools making it user friendly and seamless.

As marketers, it is also necessary for us to identify and create customer personas relevant to our business and keep them at the epicentre of their marketing communication plan. Aligned with this thought, we have created several consumer and customer personas to provide customised experience to unique customer segments and address the expectations of both B2C and B2B customers. We tailor-make our marketing outreach to fit the needs of our diverse target group through integration of digital technologies. This also helps us gain a better understanding of the customer segment.

What is the importance of marketing and the main message for positioning businesses at large-format industry summits and technical conclaves?

Marketing plays a crucial role in brand positioning and exposure, especially during industry summits and conclaves as it provides an opportunity to showcase our products, services, and expertise in an interactive manner to a highly targeted audience of potential customers, partners, and industry influencers.

We recently showcased our cutting-edge technology and innovation at ELECRAMA 2023. Schneider Electric was the Official Sustainability Partner for Elecrama 2023.

To successfully position our brand, we took a strategic approach and invested in creating compelling and meaningful experiences for attendees. The showstopper at Schneider Electric booth was the Interactive Green Yodha Zone, where people were engaged through gamification with clean energy being generated every time a person jumped on an energy generating tile. This energy was then stored and used for running Luminous batteries that was charging the booth.

Our marketing efforts have a glorious history of embedding sustainability and carbon neutrality into the narrative. During the event, we also encouraged the visitors to use the Carbon Footprint Calculator at our booth to measure their impact on the planet, thereby urging them to reassess their lifestyle. Ultimately, our goal was to create a lasting impression that sets our brand apart and generate interest and engagement long after the event has ended.

How do you choose the appropriate marketing mix for large-format events, which requires data in order to stand out from the competitors?

In the highly competitive world of large-format events, data plays a crucial role in choosing the appropriate marketing mix. With so many events vying for attendees’ attention, organisers need to understand their target audience’s preferences, interests, and behaviours to create an effective marketing strategy. Data can be a major differentiator here as it helps in capturing information about people, such as which channels they use to gather information about events, what types of experiences they are looking for, and how much they are willing to spend.

One can easily gain in-depth insights on their purchasing behaviour, generating actionable insights, formulating strategies, driving revenue, and reducing costs. Thus, we can better tailor our products/ services and improve decision making.

With all the data on their fingertips, marketers today can utilise data to effectively develop campaigns that cater to specific behaviours, wants and needs and provide customers – both old and new – with the right content at the right time via the right channels. To succeed in the fast-paced world of marketing and deliver the highest possible return on investment (ROI), companies need to reset their marketing strategies.

How is Schneider Electric leveraging digital marketing to promote its People, Purpose, and Products while advancing ethical marketing to forge connections with customers?

There’s no denying that digital is the way of the future and B2B marketers must prioritise digital transformation to thrive in today’s market and successfully cater to their target audience. However, one needs to leverage digital marketing strategies that prioritise ethical business practices and sustainability to connect with customers in a more meaningful way, build stronger relationships, and drive business growth.

At Schneider Electric, we put people and purpose at the core of what we do, all our energies are channelled towards building a more sustainable and efficient planet. As an impact company, we are actively raising the bar for ourselves on responsible marketing to accelerate shift towards sustainability. Aligned with this, we launched the Green Yodha campaign with an aim of developing an eco-system of eco-warriors for taking decisive climate action. Since its launch in 2021, the campaign has acted as a key differentiator for our marketing approach as it has allowed us to connect with diverse set of customers and create a sense of urgency to take actions towards climate change.

In its first year, the campaign has successfully reached ~10 million individuals, corporates and government organisations who have taken the pledge to become Green Yodha’s.

What is your vision for 2023? What are the trends that you see dominating this industry in the year ahead?

In 2023, the customer demand and buying behaviour is expected to fluctuate due to geopolitical uncertainties. It is imperative for us to adapt our strategies to engage with our target audience seamlessly, gather customer insights, create customised content and drive higher customer satisfaction.

Today, marketing is a two-way communication process with the audience, and it involves a lot more listening than just communicating. Just as businesses have evolved to be more conscious and purposeful, marketing, too, has evolved to be more customer centric. To succeed in the market, it is becoming increasingly important to analyse customer data and develop customised offerings.

Personalisation has emerged as a key differentiator that will help businesses build stronger relationship with the customers. Furthermore, communicating the actions taken by the organisation around Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) goals is becoming a big differentiator in creating brand pull and loyalty.


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