• As the chief data & marketing technology officer at IPG Mediabrands, Arun Kumar speaks to a lot of marketers who talk about how the customer is king and how they strive for customer centricity, but the reality is that marketers haven’t built their infrastructure around real people.

    “The consumer is not a cookie, is not a device ID. The consumer is a person,” says Kumar. “One minute she is looking at content on an iPad and the next she’s going and shopping in a physical location. And if you look at the way that we’ve constructed all our silos and our operations, we have created all these delineations which prevent us from treating that consumer in a seamless fashion.”

    And that’s what clients want to talk to him about: how people-based marketing can change everything else in their organization to put the customer at the center.

    “It is very very rare in anybody’s life time where you get this window of opportunity to truly change the business that you’re in,” says Kumar.

    Watch our interview or read the transcript below to learn more on customer centricity and putting people back into the middle of your marketing structure.

    I am Arun Kumar and I work at IPG Mediabrands where I am the Chief Data & Marketing Technology Officer. IPG or the Interpublic Group is an advertising holding company. We have creative agencies, digital agencies, and media agencies.

    What we’re all trying to do for our clients is effectively simplify the data ecosystem—get to a place where a lot of the promises that have been made by advertising of the last 100 years actually becomes reality. Various organizations are at different stages in the journey towards people-based marketing.

    We all talk about how the customer is king and the customer needs to be at the heart of everything, but the reality is, the way we’ve structured the marketing and advertising ecosystems is not built around the consumer. The consumer has a seamless experience between the online and the offline world. The consumer is not a cookie, is not a device ID. The consumer is a person. One minute she is looking at content on an iPad and the next she’s going and shopping in a physical location.

    And if you look at the way that we’ve constructed all our silos and our operations, we have created all these delineations which prevent us from treating that consumer in a seamless fashion. And increasingly, when I sit and have conversations with clients, that’s what they want to talk about, which is how does people-based marketing change everything else in my organization and what should I be doing in my organization so that I make people-based marketing a success.

    It is very very rare in anybody’s life time where you get this window opportunity to truly change the business that you’re in. We are at an inflection point. The inflection point is that we’re finally going to be able to do some of the things that we’ve been talking about for years—about understanding the customer as people, about being able to drive the right kinds of messages to them, about being able to optimize in real time, about being able to make sure that we know that for every message that we put in market, what is the business outcome. And that’s what motivates me to do this every day.

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