MarTech interview with Ajay Khanna, Marketing Director at Explorium
Ajay Khanna, Marketing Director at Explorium highlights how B2B marketing will continue to be more data driven, forcing marketers to focus on multiple data signals and data points to ensure better marketing success:
Welcome to this chat from the MarTech Ajay series, tell us about yourself and your marketing journey over the years?
I started out as a mechanical engineer, working in the manufacturing industry, then I got into ERP consulting. Over the years, I have focused on software consulting, R&D, product design, and product management. During this time, I completed my MBA and one of my mentors invited me into a product marketing role that I really enjoyed. From there, marketing became my thing. Since then, I have held various positions in marketing and helped four companies set up their marketing organizations.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech interview with Sara Spivey, CMO at Braze
You recently took on the role of CMO at Explorium, we would like to know more about your role here and what are some of the key marketing aspects that you focus on first to deepen the optimization (like hiring, improvement / improving the martech stack ?!)
Explorium offers a single platform in the data space. It provides an external data platform that automatically discovers thousands of relevant data signals and uses them to improve analysis and machine learning. I have spent my last seven plus years working with data products and have been amazed at what Explorium has developed. So I joined the team to bring this fantastic product to market and help grow and scale the business.
The company was recently named Cool Vendor by Gartner and Next Billion Dollar Startup by Forbes and we want to maintain this growth momentum. The initial marketing initiatives were about building the right team for product marketing, demand generation, digital, content, getting the right processes in place, and building the right technology stack that will help us evolve.
How have you seen B2B / tech digital marketing technologies and digital marketing trends evolving during this time in the industry?
Yes, marketing has evolved a lot since I started in this field. It has become much more focused on data, technology and processes. Having the right tools and processes that can help you quickly test your hypothesis and execute your ideas is essential. Speed is everything, and agility is a must. Especially over the past year, marketers have had to craft new messages and find new ways to connect with their customers. Being responsive in a rapidly changing market was very important. The switch to digital technologies also became critical as events and face-to-face meetings were not possible. We’ve learned new ways to connect and serve our customers over the past year through access to the right data and the right digital technologies.
Can you share your thoughts on the impact today’s business and world dynamics are having on the typical B2B marketing media mix – how are tech marketers changing their approach to media creation?
We need to be data-driven and understand the needs of our customers and their changing buying habits. We have gone from face-to-face to virtual events. From in-person meetings to Zoom calls, then virtual channel fatigue set in. And that’s understandable. In marketing, we need to observe these trends and provide alternative ways for our customers to connect on their terms, using whatever channel they want and when they’re ready. In the data space, technology is changing rapidly and the right content (videos, blogs, e-books) that helps people learn new things, hone their skills has been successful.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Gregory Zakowicz, Content Director, Omnisend
As content marketing gets harder and harder with each brand trying to fight for attention using the same fundamentals i.e. blogging, white papers, case studies: how do you think can marketing teams make the difference to make their brand stand out? Can you talk about some of the most recent out-of-the-box tech marketing campaigns that caught your eye and why?
Content is the basis of marketing. But your message must be clear, differentiated and well articulated. Also, when creating content, don’t just focus on your business, but on the reader’s needs. Are they learning something new? Submit content where it is, eg Medium, Vimeo, YouTube. At Explorium, our efforts have been to create a rich content repository that helps organizations understand the value of alternative data and share best practices for using data outside their walls to make better decisions during the pandemic by using analysis and machine learning. Having a unique angle to solve the immediate problem facing businesses today will help your content stand out.
What immediate thoughts would you like to put forward regarding the future of B2B marketing and of course, martech?
B2B marketing will continue to depend on access to the right data and the most relevant data. Data will not only come from inside your organization, but businesses will also need to access hundreds of external data signals to make better decisions faster than their competitors. The challenge will be how to access this gold mine of external data and how quickly you can correlate and integrate it with your internal data sets to make better decisions about targeting, promotions and spending. Marketing stacks and machine learning algorithms will, if not already, become commodities. Access to a wider set of relevant data sources will determine the winners. They will have the first access to customers, opportunities and will be ahead of the market to see new trends emerge.
Some final thoughts and takeaways?
These are fascinating times for marketers. We have so many exciting tools and technologies at our disposal. Having the right data strategy, the right processes and the right skills to build them are essential to make the most of this digital revolution.
Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Phil Gray, Director of Innovation at Interactions LLC