Martech 360 Interview With Avadhoot Revankar, Chief Growth Hacker, Product Evangelist & Business Head, Netcore Cloud

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Engaging your target audience on their favorite platform is the surest way to build brand appeal

Could you tell us about your journey in marketing?

I began my professional career in 2010, as an intern at Netcore Cloud, then known as Netcore Solutions. Through this 11-year journey, I have worn several hats in execution, management, and leadership roles at the company. As Chief of Growth & Business Head, I presently oversee the worldwide business for Netcore Cloud’s Customer Engagement and Experience Platform. I also played a role in the three strategic partnerships and acquisitions of Boxx.ai, Hansel.io, and Unbxd, which were critical to Netcore Cloud’s success as a leading SaaS company and a full-stack technology platform for global B2C brands.

As one of the youngest members of the leadership team and boardroom, my age has often been a barrier towards getting people to take me more seriously. I had to work twice as hard to persuade clients and others to overlook my age and believe in what I could achieve for them. Who I am now as a person is a result of my willingness to take risks and overcome challenges to develop both personally and professionally for the business. Today, I mentor more than 100 colleagues and have received 10+ individual honors as well as 20+ team awards, including international ones. I am also a founding member of the global customer engagement and experience platform, which is now utilized by over 5,000 businesses worldwide. By highlighting the value of honesty, diligence, and commitment, I hope to motivate the next generation.

What challenges did the COVID pandemic pose for your team?

The Netcore Cloud team encountered a variety of difficulties. Firstly, the team’s relationship suffered by not physically meeting, which would have helped to foster a feeling of togetherness among the various teams we oversee. Secondly, we faced a setback during COVID to work toward a single goal. The third step involved holding frequent stand-up meetings for all of the teams and organizing fun activities to encourage interaction, even online. Many stand-up meetings that were led by inquiries about one another or sharing information that not everyone knew about one another helped us learn a lot about the team and the individuals on it. People got to know one another better through these internal games. As we were working remotely, COVID provided us with a chance to get to know one another.

Netcore Cloud dealt with this by making sure that, from a cultural perspective, we didn’t interfere with anyone’s daily activities, even if they weren’t present in the office. On a variety of levels, we were quite confident and trusted one another. To ensure that the outcome and effort put forth count rather than your working hours and schedule, clear goals and expectations were established. The staff was given the freedom to technically work from any place they want. Therefore, in terms of the location and working hours, this was irrelevant.

In terms of customers, the travel industry had certain difficulties. We observed people reducing their budgets and spending less. Customers that continue to utilize Netcore Cloud’s platform must continue to pay us each month because of our SaaS business model. Therefore, in certain instances, we reached out to assist some of these businesses in paying less or, in some instances, not paying any money for a few months to give them that breathing room. We were aware of their difficulties in operating their companies during that period, but it was more crucial that they stay with us and continue to receive improved services from us rather than having to discontinue utilizing what they were already using. Additionally, they found that the products they were using aided in the growth and expansion of their business, which made them want to continue using them even if they did not want to pay as much at the moment. In between, there was a lull, but there was a surge in e-commerce grocery since online ordering suddenly began to increase.

What sets Netcore Cloud apart from the competition?

Netcore Cloud, a globally recognized martech SaaS company, differs from the competition in four ways:

  • Our focus is to help brands unify data & create consistent and personalized digital experiences
  • Our conviction in integrating products with a “progency” (product-led agency) model to assure co-ownership of customer KPIs
  • Building innovative products that empower marketers & product managers to experiment with an agile mindset. One of our new products – PX has helped brands like Bjyu’s, Khatabook, Kitabeli, up point increase their retention on the mobile app
  • Netcore Cloud’s AI Engine “Raman” analyzes data and predicts possible future outcomes like churn or next purchase & helps brands take action proactively. Raman also gives insights to brands on why possibly a user uninstalled your app or why your revenue was down last week

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How do you see Marketing Automation evolving over the years to come?

As businesses throughout the world tried to automate & personalize their customer interactions to improve engagement, retention & customer lifetime value we have seen marketing automation develop substantially over time. We see the next growth in this space coming from a strong partnership between human & machine intelligence. We see almost 49% of our 5000+ customers use machine learning in some form while engaging with users. We also strongly believe that brands have moved from simple one-way messages to actually building a conversation over channels like Whatsapp, AMP email, Apple business chat & so on.

What role do you see Mobile Marketing playing, especially in brand growth from a digital marketing perspective?

While mobile marketing has been around for a while, it still offers tremendous scope for marketing innovation. Given that customers around the world rely on their mobile devices for a variety of tasks, before and more extensively since the COVID pandemic, digital marketing (including mobile marketing) has been on the rise. Engaging your target audience on their favorite platform is the surest way to build brand appeal, given that the average daily time spent on mobile devices has gone from 2 to 5 hours. Brands want people to start consuming/using their mobile applications. The thinking process behind this is that the customer’s stickiness and loyalty are higher if he uses the app, and you can provide him a better experience when he uses your app rather than your website. Because nations such as India and other developing markets are mobile-heavy economies, not everyone has access to laptops or computers, but everyone has access to smartphones. That is why being present on the app is vital for some of these brands, and as a result, loyalty is higher.

Gamification is an e-commerce component that promotes audience engagement and assists businesses in driving sales. Gamification on most platforms is enjoyable and interactive, and it encourages you to continue the ‘journey’ that finally leads to a purchase. Leveraging gamification necessitates that businesses have a defined plan for what they want to achieve, such as a clear campaign aim that encourages users to perform a certain activity.

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Gamification is a part of Pinduoduo’s (the largest Chinese agricultural-focused technology platform) strategy for attracting users to their platform. It focuses on discovering and exploring the app by providing a personalized perspective. There is no clear search bar, only attractive components and offers that entice you to interact with the app. Orchard, an in-app game that engages customers as they shop, is a popular game on Pinduoduo. Users may plant virtual fruit trees in exchange for a free box of fruit, which has become a popular feature. Over 11 million daily active users (DAU) check in to water their plants in the game. Not only is Duo Duo Orchard an excellent avenue for motivating customers to explore and buy, but it also lets users connect and experience the excitement of shopping with friends. This game was launched in 2018, and approximately two million new virtual trees have been planted every day since the first month.

The top 3 marketing events that you have attended in the last decade and what made them so memorable?

While I have attended many events in the past, and there is something to be learned from each one, there are two that stand out in my mind. The US Gartner Marketing Symposium, as it covers MarTech exclusively and attracts some of the world’s best B2B and B2C marketers. The event provides insights into technology advancements in both B2B and B2C marketing and helps identify trends as they emerge in the marketplace.

The Netcore Cloud Martech Mashup is another event I enjoy attending. The virtual event connects the best minds in the industry, hosting growth, product, and marketing chiefs from the world’s leading brands worldwide. Sessions cover a wide range of topics from shifting consumer trends to the booming startup ecosystem and the growth of Indian unicorns. During the last event, bestselling author Nir Eyal conducted an enlightening session on ‘How to build habit-forming mobile apps’.

What are the key ingredients that make a successful marketer?

One is to be data-driven, which means having access to data—having access to the appropriate data, identifying the proper matrix, and monitoring them on a week-by-week and month-by-month basis. Making judgments based on this information is highly important. Example: There are several matrices to attempt for a mobile app brand to see the users who are active on a daily, monthly, and other matrix basis. Brands can say that many of them were growing for a variety of reasons.  They can be pleased that their daily matrix is increasing every day, but that growth could result from spending money on advertisements, which attracts new users and increases the number of active users. What’s more crucial is to identify the factors that are causing an increase in active users and keeping them on the app. Using analytics on platforms like Netcore Cloud and then making sure to emphasize those factors to the subsequent group of visitors to the platform is what goes beyond the statistics readily available and comprehends the science of what is occurring.

The second is adopting tools and platforms to give you the agility to experiment without dependency across teams. An experience platform, for instance, effectively enables product managers to test out new features of the app immediately without having to wait for developers to finish their work. a product experience platform enables or offers the product manager the power to execute such tests without relying on the tech person because developers won’t always have time for all the experiments a product manager would like to do. Everyone should work to increase their level of agility in whatever they are doing. For example, in Canva, where the marketing team does not have to rely on the design team to make sure to use tools to increase team agility as much as possible.

In general, keeping your eyes and ears open to newer developments taking place around the globe Sometimes, we tend to think that only this much is feasible and that this is all we know, but this may not always be the case. For this reason, attending conferences outside of your region can help you better understand what’s going on around the world. You should also make sure you’re constantly learning new information and attempting to put that into practice. For instance, with B2C pre-tools, where the individual is not required to be present during the call. Because it can be created before and the consumer can acquire whatever they want, the user ultimately receives the demo in a personalized way. We learned about these topics via conversations, online communities, and events we had attended. Therefore, continually attempting to disrupt processes or things that are not settled and adapting to newer technologies will help build a successful marketer.

Could you name one other marketer that you would like to see featured here?

Nitish Bugalia, Chief Operations Officer of Myteam11 is someone whom I’d like to see featured here. As a staunch practitioner of agile principles and people leadership, he has been known for his unique ability to strike balance between technical and business requirements to drive large-scale projects from idea to market collaborating with cross-functional teams. I am certain he will add immense value to your readers.

Your top pick for a marketing/sales book that everyone should read?

The book titled, “Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0: Turning Your Business Into an Enduring Great Company” written by Jim Collins is a must-read for marketing professionals.

Any advice you would like to give to budding marketers?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to approach the job with the proper mindset. Do what you love while also loving what you do. This desire is what will propel you forward. Pessimism or a lack of interest will impede your growth as well as that of the people you are collaborating with. Second, maintain developing your communication skills because they are essential in today’s world regardless of the field you want to enter.

Thirdly, make sure you work for a great leader in addition to joining the correct firm. Having a lousy employer, in the beginning, may frequently lead to people feeling extremely demotivated or losing all of their confidence. To make sure the person you are working with is trying to help your success as much as you are, feel free to ask lots of questions during your interview.

Fourth, don’t panic or become disheartened by little setbacks. The most successful people have frequently experienced several failures. So, if you’re disciplined and true, you’ll succeed, if not now, then tomorrow. Finally, with so many youngsters suffering from worry and mental stress, I believe they must learn to balance things from the start. Maintaining a proper work-life balance is critical to flourishing rather than merely surviving. Make it a habit, no matter how difficult the day, to spend some time doing what you enjoy.

Thanks Avdhoot!

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