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Lenovo India CMO: ‘Marketers need to be tuned in to the reshaping realities around them’

By Amit Doshi |

December 20, 2021 | 5 min read

Amit Doshi, chief marketing officer at Lenovo India, shares his learnings from the year and what’s likely to be in store for brands in 2022 and beyond.

What to look out for in 2022

What can marketers look out for in 2022?

Take care of your people and they will take care of your brands

Start by counting the number of people who contribute to the success of your brand and you will surprise yourself. It may run into tens if not hundreds, spanning internal marketing teams, agencies, packaging vendors, event managers, research partners and media. At all times – and certainly in challenging periods – it is important to keep the health and wellbeing of the people above everything else. So before you start the next meeting, invest five minutes of your time in a quick check-in. It’ll go a long way in creating a culture of care and safety, which will eventually augment the commitment towards the brand.

Every brand is a service brand

Every brand must identify that ‘one big service’ they can provide to their customers beyond the core offering. The service could remove friction in the customer decision journey, enhance user experience or enhance lives in a way that’s central to the brand.

As classrooms moved from schools to homes, parents began investing in computers to aid their child’s learning. It was, however, difficult to walk into a store and select the right PC at the height of the pandemic. Instead of advertising our products, Lenovo started a service called PC Pal that simplified the process of selecting the right technology. When you look around, one sees many such examples across the industry.

Keep agility for all times, uncertain or not

The pandemic taught us to embrace a ’volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity’ world and respond to it with agility. The external situation may have eased, but marketing as a discipline must not lose this newfound capability. It can be energizing – if not exhilarating – to maintain a dynamic view of customer habits and needs, and to think of creative ways to address these changes. It is also an opportunity, perhaps, for marketing to claim its rightful seat at the table by bringing in fresh insights and helping the organization build a customer-centric culture.

How you say it is as important as what you say

Brand tone of voice emerged as a leading dimension in the year. It became imperative for brands to be tuned in to customer sentiment and design the message delivery accordingly. On one hand, it is common sense to do so, while on the other, the penalty for brands has escalated significantly due to social media. Brand managers must go back to drawing boards, define their brand’s tone and, most importantly, be prepared for unforeseen situations.

Sometimes, you say it best when you say nothing at all

One of the most respected minds in the world of marketing, Byron Sharp, said in an interview that the best brand response to Covid-19 was to stop advertising. Some brands were too early to jump on to the bandwagon and others experienced the fear of missing out. Marketers must know where the line is for their brands and respect it.

All forms of crises also present opportunities and marketers must be astute to spot them. These opportunities could be in the form of renewing organizations, building fresh capabilities, addressing new customer needs or just plain arbitrage and investment opportunities for the brands long-term. Now, more than ever, marketers need to be tuned in and connected to the reshaping realities around them.

The author is the CMO of Lenovo India.

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