We are operating almost 100% on digital mode: Rajashree R, TCS

Rajashree R TCS

In conversation with Social Samosa, Rajashree R, TCS takes us through the tenets of advertising, as TCS transitions to a digital-first entity and amps up its communication for its repositioning as a B2B2C platform.

Rajashree R, CMO, TCS sheds light on the evolving consumer behavior, the role LinkedIn and Instagram played in enabling the brand to interact with relevant stakeholders, and key learnings from her journey.

Edited Excerpts

Please take us through the journey of repositioning TCS from a B2B to a B2B2C player? Where does marketing stand in the scheme of things? 

While we sell our services to other large companies, technology is important to us. There is a strong belief at TCS that whatever we are doing is making a meaningful difference to society. Thus, it’s important for us to focus on technology and how it is making a difference in our lives.

Our primary objective is growth-oriented and transformative. The role of marketing is to drive the growth agenda of the company – from building the brand through top-of-the-funnel activities to working closely with cross-functional teams that include sales, HR accounts teams, and more.

Demand creation is essential to marketing. Since it is a data-driven marketing discipline, marketing plays a crucial role in creating brand awareness, broadening the revenue pipeline, and gauging customer interest which leads to sales. The integration of marketing and sales has become fundamental in influencing the customer journey. It helps us to implement strategies and tactics that will facilitate pipeline opportunities for the development of the business. 

According to Brand Finance Report, the brand value of TCS has witnessed a significant increase. What factors would you attribute the growth to? How did you adapt to the pandemic-induced changes?

The factors considered in Brand Finance Report include:

  • Financial performance of the company
  • Brand salience or brand impact – this is measured through customers, stakeholders, employees, and more. That is largely measured through their observations and research about the brand.
  • Investments in marketing

In the beginning, the client engagement was more in-person/physical which changed during the pandemic, drastically. This included our marketing activations from marathons and customer events. 

Our biggest move was going digital.  Presently, we are operating almost 100% on digital mode.

Even in the last quarter, we largely continued to remain digital. Therefore, our transformation or focus has been to move from the physical model to the digital model in recent times. Further, we all know that digital is not going away any time, soon. We will continue to invest in growing our digital marketing approach, as we move forward.

Also read: We have doubled down our focus on the South & other regional markets: Krishna Raman, Bajaj Electricals

According to you, what are the top 3 things that marketers need to keep in mind, in today’s day and age?

We tend to over-experiment in our processes. It is quite simple – there is a message that you want to communicate for your brand to your stakeholders. Stay true to that message. 

Therefore, I would say keep it simple and stay true to your brand message

How has consumer behavior changed in recent times and how is it contributing to the media mix? Top social media marketing trends that stand out in 2022.

In earlier days, we used to go to the store and browse for the products. Cut to 2022, we first research about the product on Google, Amazon, etc. We might even go to Instagram, Pinterest for discovery and information. Today, customers have various channels to buy the product – from physical stores to social or e-commerce platforms. This showcases how buying behavior has changed with time.

Today, our clients also do a lot of research before making any purchases. Thus, for us, it becomes important to understand both, the role of the changing buying patterns and the channels involved in the purchase journey. Overall, every channel is important to us – from social to dot.com.

Another change that has been transformative is leveraging social media channels to communicate with our employees in these times. This includes both current and future employees. These initiatives have helped us to increase the growth of the channels while building the connect and followers for the brand.

For instance, we have garnered close to 8.5Mn followers on Linkedin from almost 2.5Mn followers in about 18 months’ time. Thus, social media has been quite interesting for us in terms of communication, connection, and growth.  Overall, Linkedin and Instagram have worked well for us.

Amongst the trends, tapping on to moments/occasions has helped us to stay relevant for the target audiences. 

Social media helps us to speak in the language of youth as the average age of our employees is 26.

It is also making TCS more humane and approachable with each passing day.

What are the tools and criteria to gauge the ROI from digital marketing?

TCS essentially focuses on customer engagement, share of voice, brand salience, and pipeline enablement that helps in the growth of the business. 

We initiate digital marketing campaigns that aim to garner significant reach and engagement. As a team, our focus is a lot on the positive comments from our audiences with activations like #TheBigMove, TCS Belief Song, #TCSVaccinationDrive, to name a few. We also have our own Martech stack and work towards managing our own content. 

In terms of ad spends, what does your marketing plan for this quarter look like? 

Advertisement and marketing go hand in hand. It plays a crucial part in marketing, storytelling, brand building, making our vision reach our customers in a creative and data-driven way. Our ad spends will be aligned with our digital team.

This year, we have added important platforms in our investments like London Marathon, Formalized sponsorships, etc.

We will continue to invest in building our brand with our existing strategy.

From retail to IT sector – how has the transition been for you? Top 3 learnings from this journey

I was in marketing before starting in retail. Therefore, it was like coming back home while recalling all the things from the past in my work experience.

For me, the factors that stood out were:

  • The channel explosions and the opportunity that we have as a marketer – the market has grown for the last 10 years with new channels and characteristics of their own. The nuances of the marketing mix help us to explore more about each of the channels, as a brand.
  • Building a strong team to stand out globally, is another learning for me in the last 18 months.
  • Building in house capabilities with a significant volume of content is another focus area.

The good brands are the ones that conjure images for you. This could range from a visual, color, or sound. Our aim is to bring out what is that image for TCS and bring that out through our initiatives.

What are the key factors that have helped in your personal growth as a marketer?

My marketing mantra is keeping it simple and staying focused at this time. It is easier to get distracted owing to so many things happening around us.

I usually think what is the difference that I can make to the life and the job that I am leading, whenever I get up in the morning. Every day is like a cricket match. It is like scoring a century on one day and then starting afresh as you go on to the next match, the other day.

Focus on today and what is it that I can do today, to make a difference in the major facets of life.

What would be your advice to the Freshers in the advertising?

People can learn the marketing attributes. But in today’s world, attitude is very important. Any skills can be learned. But having the right attitude is quite important. We look for people who want to excel and are hungry to do well.

Another skill that is quite underrated is collaboration. 

Our entire education system is based on competition. When you come to the workforce, the skill that you require/need the most is collaboration. Here, you have to think of a holistic success as opposed to just your personal success.

Generally, a positive attitude with a smiling face goes a long way and is something that we look for, as part of our hiring process.