Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Webex by Cisco discusses the importance of creating inclusive marketing experiences while sharing some thoughts on changing current trends in CMO and B2B marketing:
Welcome to this chat from the MarTech Aruna series, tell us more aboutbe CMOat Webex by Cisco? How does a typical working day go?
I have been CMO of Webex for over three years and it has been a phenomenal experience and journey so far!
This year in particular has probably been the highlight of my career and I’m incredibly proud of what my marketing team has accomplished over the past ten months with the launch of our new brand – the first in our 25 year history. from Webex. This global brand campaign focused on inclusiveness and hybrid work and was rolled out in 23 markets. It was revealed at one of our world class virtual events held in June.
For this campaign, my team has reached a new level of competitive integrity unlike any I have seen in my career. They pushed their limits and dared to experiment and fail smarter. This is why I am lucky and humbled in my daily work as a Marketing Director. I work with fearless people who know how to get results, collaborate, think big and have fun.
On a daily basis, I work with this great team on major campaigns like this in addition to marketing our products, and more.
I cannot stress enough that my job as CMO is truly rewarding and enjoyable thanks to this hard working team. I continue to learn and grow alongside them.
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You recently led the charge in the Webex by Cisco rebranding initiative, tell us what inspired you through this process, some challenges you encountered; What are the main lessons and takeaways that you would share with brand marketers considering a rebranding project?
When the pandemic drastically changed the world of communications and collaboration, my team and I were faced with a difficult situation… Webex, once known as the enterprise product for video conferencing, had lost its momentum and we had had to overcome some perception issues.
To remedy this, the team and I identified three strategies to implement:
First of all, we gave Webex a major facelift … with a new name and logo Webex by Cisco, then run a whole new branding system with the core purpose of inclusiveness. Inclusiveness has been built into everything we have done – our designs, our imagery, our iconography, our photographs and so much more.
Why did we choose inclusiveness? The pandemic has been a great learning curve for us – and people working remotely, we have realized that inclusiveness has become a major concern. We thought it was a unique opportunity to make sure everyone had the same experience no matter when and where they worked. Thus, inclusiveness has become our top priority, and it shows up in all of our rebranding efforts and products.
Second, we rolled out a very successful global on-demand media and branding campaign, “Drive hybrid work”With our client – The Formula 1 McLaren Racing Team.
We put it all together and launched it to the world during our Hybrid Work. Real rendering. Event.
My advice to anyone considering a rebranding project is to adopt a goal. Because a brand with a purpose has something worth fighting for.
How about the importance of planning more “inclusive” campaigns today? How can brand marketers make this part of their default marketing process in a more streamlined way?
As many companies around the world transition to a hybrid work model, we have an unprecedented opportunity as marketers to weave inclusiveness, not only in our campaigns, but in products as well.
The opportunities are unevenly distributed, but not the human potential. Technology has the potential to be the key catalyst for 3 billion digital workers – including 1 billion knowledge workers and 2 billion field workers – who we can help to participate equally in the global economy.
We believe that technology and the way we market it can level the playing field – breaking down barriers of geography, language, personality type, socioeconomic level, to name a few. In our role as a marketer, I think it’s our job to come up with stories that cultivate emotional connections like inclusiveness does. It allows people to identify with and fall in love with your brand… and stay with you for life.
Some thoughts on the the future of B2B marketing?
In the future of B2B, the CMO function will be seen as a “growth partner”, not a marketing cost center. The CMO function will need to have a business result philosophy based on equal parts: focused storytelling and data science. As a result, marketing managers will need to transform and become revenue builders, brand value accelerators and human connection facilitators.
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