1. What are the 3 most important components for your personal and professional success?
I have had the fortune of working with some incredible leaders over the last decade and a half; from the top agency guys to leaders who have literally shaped the CPG and manufacturing industry and now with a number of breakthrough leaders who have and continue to transform a highly regulated industry like healthcare. There has been a number of great lessons that I have learned but the three things that I firmly stand by at all times:
Firstly, it has always been about the human; #humanFirst. The ultimate goal is not technology but getting her the best product/experience at the best price at the best time and at a time and location of her choice. Nothing else matters more.
Secondly, driving top line growth and maximizing lifetime value of a consumer by delivering seamless immersive experiences that change consumer behaviors
Lastly, this quote from Albert Einstein that is my motto as well – “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t know it well enough”. Marketing technology at the convergence of art & science.
2. Name an “inflection point” experience that prepared you for your current position as Head of Digital.
There have been many but each one has pointed toward a single critical aspect in marketing: there is no such thing as digital marketing or traditional marketing, it’s all one. Everything is digital today, and in that sense, all marketing is digital – or call it phygital if we need something to better represent the convergence. And within this notion of “marketing or seamless experiences in a digital world”, the CONSUMER sits at the center and not the channel or technology. That level of consumer obsession both in strategy and execution is the key to success for any brand.
3. You recently started as SVP, Head of Digital at Healthgrades after three years at Kimberly-Clark. How do you know when it’s the right time to make a change?
It’s been a journey for me starting as a technologist at HCL Technologies and then at SapientNitro way back in India in 2001. Ever since then, each experience including the years at Kimberly-Clark have been wonderful and memorable chapters that have taught and helped me to grow by leaps and bounds. For me, it has always been about being challenged all the time and about being in an environment that inspires you to push beyond your limits, taking risks and putting yourself on the line to create experiences that change human lives. I couldn’t have asked for a better industry than healthcare and an organization like Healthgrades that is on its way to transform it, to accomplish those goals.
4. What piece of technology are you looking forward to using or implementing at Healthgrades?
That’s the million dollar question for every organization, isn’t it? But if you get this right, you get a lot right! As a company, we have a very strong alignment at the senior executive level in terms of where we have the right to play and the right to win which ultimately drives what we build, buy or rent.
Being fairly new to the world of healthcare and wellness, I have been extremely surprised to see the current awareness and demand as well as the future opportunity that marketing technology, data and content will bring to the evolution and positive disruption of healthcare. Our CEO at Healthgrades, Roger Holstein, has often said “communication” is the next innovation chapter that will redefine healthcare. For me, that means getting the right content to the right person at the right time at the channel and touch point of their choice to inspire behavioral change and participation. Realizing this simple vision, though, requires a connected “marketing technology” ecosystem that thrives on “data” in order to know and understand her emotional and functional needs and then syndicates the right “content” seamlessly across channels.
The role of marketing technology (which for me includes AdTech as well; I never saw them as isolated) in healthcare will continue to grow across Media, Content, Data and Connectivity (including enterprise). As well as innovative solutions, whether these are Marketing Automation Platforms, Web Experience Management Systems, Social Listening and Consumer Engagement technologies or more advanced Cross Channel Analytics and Attribution models, or DMPs/DSPs/SSPs and Programmatic; it is all happening here. This environment is a dream for a marketing technologist as long as you are able to apply these technologies to consumer behaviors and business needs.
5. Do you have a personal mantra, words of wisdom or favorite inspirational quote?
Besides what I shared as my motto in life earlier in this interview, here is something that I truly believe in and respect in others:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” -Steve Jobs