Aabhinna Suresh Khare, Bajaj Capital, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

    Aabhinna Suresh Khare
Aabhinna Suresh Khare

Silicon Valley techies were featured in a Netflix documentary in mid-2020 to share all things tech in the social world. Called ‘The Social Dilemma’, this show certainly left an impact on the audience with its dig into big tech. Among this audience was a vendor, who was exploring how he should integrate marketing with technology, also known as experimenting with the concept called martech.

“When I was presented with the possibility, it happened with a show on Netflix, ‘The Social Dilemma,’ which really changed the way we push things forward,” said Aabhinna Suresh Khare, chief digital and marketing officer at Bajaj Capital.

In a conversation with ETBrandEquity.com, Khare shared his experiences when he started with a strange concept called ‘martech’ and how things have changed now in terms of implementing martech tools and the resulting results.

Edited excerpts:

1. What was the scenario when martech was just an emerging concept? How did you manage to get out of something as strange as martech, a couple of years ago?

Marketers are dreamers. A couple of years ago, this is all we wanted, for it to exist.

Although we have tried to work out the ‘Marketing Technology’ stack with our IT teams, what really made it possible was the availability of the product teams. The best of tech people think binary, logical, and always trying to solve a problem.

What happens when you don’t have a well-defined problem, but you do have a well-defined need? You tend to argue, and that’s what used to happen. We all dreamed continuously and then argued to make things come true.

With the availability of tools, the right stack selection, and the right set of skilled teammates, today there is no way we can go back and implement the campaign like we did before.

Everyone will tell you that the way to figure this out is to experiment. I think I figured it out through triangulation.

The three sides are: media reports covering emerging trends, the second was connecting with the people leading it through Linkedin, and then experimenting with our set of restrictions.

2. How were these experiments carried out, amid the limitations?

There are two types of sellers, artists and scientists. Every good salesperson has both traits, but one particular trait prevails.

The experiment is part of both, however, one is more qualitative and the other is quantitative. For Martech, he must be good at both, at least decently so. He must know the right time to distribute his content and the ability to be creative enough to create content that customers will engage with.

Take an example of a CRM stack. Being a chief digital officer, one of the big changes we bought at Bajaj Capital was moving away from six different CRM tools. We implement CRM software that helps us move from a multi-platform approach to a single system and provides a single view of the customer.

3. Any challenges you have faced that acted as a trigger to implement the martech tools?

We’ve had millions of customers and with so much going on, customers end up forgetting to renew their premium. It’s not that they don’t want to, it’s just that it’s not in their mind to remember. Calling them through a human approach posed not only an exorbitant cost but also an operational nightmare.

4. And what got you out of this nightmare?

We implemented an AI-enabled voice robot that communicated with customers at relevant intervals.

We made the voice bot use machine learning and improve performance as it happens. We focus on two specific things: first, the voice must not be robotic and second, we must be humble and help customers make the right decision and never interrupt.

The machine learned the response and based on the response, we were able to further drive the conversation with the user and even send them payment links.

We had a staggering 63 percent jump in our lapse policy response that we didn’t even plan for.

5. How would you describe your ‘Martech Journey’ when it comes to choosing the right stack/partner?

The process for selecting the right partner begins with understanding your needs and defining them well. This is the difficult stage and requires one to have the proper framework.

Finding the current journey and knowing where the gaps or overreliance on human interaction are is a good place to start the process.

There are many frameworks available, but if you ask me, the most critical factors that it all comes down to are three. The first is the integration schedule, the second is the implementation cost and resources, and the third is the partner’s ability to implement in a similar industry, which is very positive.

6. What kind of results did you get from the implementation of different martech tools?

First of all, the martech CRM piece has really brought the organization together. There is one source of truth and there are no more documents or debates in the way systems and activities work.

The second is that we have developed the industry’s first EDGE Report that includes all investments in one place. So as a client you can upload your CAMS data and see a detailed view of your investments.

We have integrated this product with the martech stack and for any user who wants to keep upgrading it can connect with us through multiple Whatsapp windows. The activities of the customers are recorded in the system and a particular relationship manager can contact or a person from the call center can really know what the customer really wants.

We’ve seen an increase in customer preference of up to 78 percent since we launched this and we can better target them.

Another great example is the seamless integration of the zoom stack with our CRM stack and enabling full zoom activity with our CRM, which helps us rate the customer as more active, less active during the webinar.

Say, a customer just signs up for our webinar, they get one point, but when the same person joins, another one is added, furthermore, when they ask questions, we add more points, and when they take a survey, we can add more points to your profile. We then implement NLP to understand the chats they make and qualify further.

Once the process is complete, we can see the most engaged and ready to sell to the customer and hand it over to a relationship manager.

Last year we had around four lakh more clients attend our webinars and we were able to successfully qualify 32 percent of them as sales ready.

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In a conversation with ETBrandEquity.com, Singh shared his experiments with martech…

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