Interview with Shonodeep Modak

CMO, North America at Schneider Electric

Shonodeep Modak Chief Marketing Officer, North America  Schneider-Electric
Video Transcript

hi this is Bob Samuel Steiners pet
connector tech connector is a
marketplace and campaign management
platform professor breeds account based
marketing lead generation solutions
we’ve partnered with the b2b sales and
market exchange to bring you wisdom from
leading account based marketing thought
leaders to that end I’m happy to
introduce you to Shauna deep
MODOK chief marketing officer for North
America edge Neider electric he’s helped
hundred-year-old global b2b and b2c
corporations including Exxon Mobil ge
and now Schneider grow and remain
relevant by fusing spart analytics with
demand creation creativity Shanna deep
it’s a pleasure to speak with you how
are you today
I’m great I’m great just getting back
from vacation so a little rusty but
getting getting up to speed beautiful
tis the season has just several people
I’ve been interviewing that came back
from France and in India what about you
where you coming from kind of all those
places to I was in we were in Germany in
Austria with the family and then before
that it was in India so I try to figure
out what time zone I’m in right now
outstanding kept saying I know how that
is I’m heading to empty actually in
November oh nice pretty good time it’s
under go yeah I hope you had a good time
so tell me about you if you could give
our audience a little bit of your
background where you’ve been and and
kind of your association with ABM or you
know you know b2b marketing in general
yeah I mean I guess I’ve been living in
the b2b world for a very long time and
in my career I’ve worked at now three
companies also all very small startups
the first one is Exxon Mobil and I was
in the downstream side for about eight
years and then shifted into and I did
number different roles sales business
and analytics I did marketing I did
operations and then loved but loved
marketing and then I changed over to GE
and GDG Energy are now it is now the
Jeep our business and
there I did more of marketing throughout
my career and I did marketing and I and
I reached several CMO roles while I was
in GE and then most recently last year I
changed from GE to Schneider Electric
which is a many people may not know that
in North America but internationally
it’s a big global industrial automation
and energy management player and and
I’ve been now which Neider Electric has
the North America CMO for the last year
so so the topics APM I understand you’re
going to be presenting at the b2b SMX
event actually this month coming up in a
couple weeks and Boston so can you share
a bit about your topic and and what
people can expect to when they come to
this yeah absolutely
one of the things I’ve done over the
over the last call it 10 years of my
career is I’ve kind of moved into more
leadership positions and marketing is
with each time I’ve taken over a team or
built a team it’s been some sort of
organizational design change and I’ve
learned a lot through each of those
instances and we’ve done at about four
or five times with larger larger larger
teams and what I’ve realized is that
it’s not about an org chart it’s about
how the organization operates and the
culture of the organization and how you
have to help change that and what you
align people around and so my my title
of my talk is opening up the panel door
because we make the electrical panels as
none of our core products but we’re
doing a lot more than that now in
software but but but I’ve titled it
opening up the panel door rewiring how
your marketing team works and it’s about
really around going beyond the org chart
many people think that that when they
change the org chart things are done and
then things to kind of keep moving along
but I’ve learned that’s not the case and
especially in the b2b world it’s much
harder because you have channels to go
through you have all it unless all that
yeah more of a gray area in terms of how
your your team affects the business and
and how you make a seamless journey for
the customer and so I’ll be talking a
lot about how you pimp the marketing out
we’re going to
out of this traditional mode of or
change and and and you and we make
transportation a cultural event as much
as it is structural and um and I’ll
share some tips and tricks around out of
how to rewire a team with the best
success as I’m sure many people are
constantly doing that or thinking about
doing that as a major event wonderful it
sounds very interesting and always
important so I like your background
especially since you’ve got background
in sales and analytics and operations
it’s got to be able to help you with
understanding how to cooperate and
coordinate with the other groups yeah I
think um you know what I’ve learned is
that it’s not about the the marketing
and being a fantastic marketing team
that’s using all the great shiny things
it’s about how you operationalize those
things into impact and obviously that’s
that sounds like motherhood and apple
pie but the operational aspect of it is
it’s truly important in that you you are
involved you know to the to the final
you know little detail because it’s
those little details that can make or
break and make insights that that make
success happen
wonderful well um as I talk to people I
realize how important it is for sales
and marketing in particular to
coordinate around ABM and so have you
had any any ABM projects yeah either any
of these at any of these companies
really ya know starting not so much at
ExxonMobil because I think at that time
it was still very early on in the in the
early 2000s but but at GE we were doing
that quite a bit and mainly in terms of
art in terms of the digital call it web
interaction with our customers that our
customers had with our with our web
presence at Schneider I think we’ve
we’ve have taken a call it a more
sophisticated approach on on ABM with
how we look at at the portfolio of
accounts that are and coverage model of
our foreign sales organizations we have
not we have tried and attempted a few
for nae maeum platforms but i would say
that we are still kind of exploring and
trying to learn which one can really
help us and require the least amount of
effort because it does require a lot of
management so we do take an approach
where we work with different sales
coverage models and then the level of
support is commensurate with that type
of touch point that either our sales
team have or doesn’t have and that’s
kind of how we balance call it the ABM
approach with without with us at
Schneider interesting so and and and are
there efforts more toward bringing in
new new prospects and new customers or
or building and growing existing ones
maybe land and expand that sort of thing
you know that’s something what’s one of
the things actually it’s interesting you
say that that’s one of the pivots we’re
trying to make now because we’ve been
spending so much time on lead generation
of customers that our salespeople
haven’t called on we and of course as a
salesperson many many times especially
in b2b you’re there working day in and
day out trying to close an RFP or
respond to an RFP or some existing piece
of business and and having the time to
go after a new account it’s very it’s a
struggle and so for us what we realized
is that we can help try to expand the
portfolio or the current scope of an
opportunity and so we’re looking kind of
in the middle of the pipeline versus
trying to start at the very very top of
the funnel and try to try to grab more
business with customers that we’ve never
engaged with so we’re trying to now to
look at our existing customer base and
look at the deals that are in play and
see how can we help accelerate the
velocity improve the pipeline or the the
shift call it into other software
services and other things that they may
have not considered and not make sense
so who drives the process is it sales
and marketing or is it a team effort
it’s certainly a team effort on I would
say that you know the overall sales
process is driven through the commercial
operations side but how we see where we
insert ourselves is by engaging you know
different teams that have different
coverage models like let’s say you’re
inside sales team have you know unnamed
or non named Aikau
targets and then you have your your
strategic accounts team that has a total
different level of engagement there’s a
whole spectrum of that and we really
look at at how we support nurturing and
how we engage in target and retarget
customers based on those on those touch
points and and of course obviously where
the ROI where the ROI is on on the
investment that you make so I you know
it’s it’s kind of a mix of different
tactics and different programs that we
we we we approach our customers with
next one so and then once you identify I
guess which which customers or prospects
you want to go after
Hedi know who the decision-makers are at
those companies who is obviously more
than one one better at each company that
you go after we’ve actually done a lot
of work so we’ve one of the things I’ll
talk about in in in my in my
presentation is how important it is to
you know to shift away from being a
product focus to being customer focused
and I think everybody is on that journey
but but just doing that and saying that
is not enough and what we’ve done is
I’ve been able to pilot fund research
within my new team that is focused on
Don’s on understanding the segments and
while we’ve done a lot of good vo C and
call it good segmentation analysis we we
have to now look at what are those we
have to do more of the listing research
that looks at what are those top
what are those top call it topics that
people care about that our customers
care about and there’s those those key
trends and you know I would say are
really important to them and that we can
help used as a way to break through a
lot of the a lot of the call it a lot of
the clutter and noise that they’re that
they are seeing into something that’s
impactful form and so we’ve been funding
a lot of that research at the very
beginning and and now we’re we’re using
that to help develop the right content
materials that that addresses those
needs and those those issues and
challenges that they’re facing thank you
so you make some research so are you are
you literally going out and and calling
your customers and prospects or you
hiren come to do it are you using using
third-party data like Bom Bora know
where we are
well we’re doing primary research so we
have hired partners to help us help us
break through and get get that type of
intelligence and then we’re we’re then
having my channel a segment leaders
going in and and and really try to
interpret what that means in two
campaigns for our next next year and and
how do you know so it sounds so you’re
learning about about the hot spots or
the key topics that you want to be able
to present through the through that
target audience how did he know what
what medium to use how do you know what
channels would yes happen by email or
should you call them right so that’s
actually great so one of the parts of
this research one of the outcomes of the
research or results of the work work
outputs of the research is not only is
really understanding those those trends
and call it challenges but also we’ve
asked we’ve we’ve asked for in each
segment that the top personas to put
together a journey map and if you
familiar with kind of the serious
decisions approach to a b2b journey map
customer persona a journey map it kind
of goes looks at both the digital and
physical touch points digital and human
touch points across the the buying
journey so we we’ve we’ve asked to
create the research to help us fill out
what that map looks like and what are
the most likely call it engagement
mechanisms and at different stages in
the process and it has those for each
each persona so you’ve got an idea of
what to talk about and what means and
maybe the timing and it’s exactly same
whole story I guess you want to want to
build out that’s right that’s right and
and if we want to know if we can build
the journey map and figure out what are
the right tactics and what are the right
and each phase of the decision or the
journey process then we use that we
apply the listing research into one of
those key topics of interests that are
going to be that they’re going to that
they’re going to gravitate towards
interesting you say that you’ve looked
into where you’ve tried out some some
ABM tools or platforms yeah we have we
tried a few in the past both the GE and
it’s nighter and I would say that it
requires generally a lot of a lot of
hand-holding and and call it you know
management and in the very beginning and
I think I think when ends up happening
in our in our industries and our in our
businesses is that you know to have
somebody dedicated on that for such a
long time the ROI is not there versus
say other campaigns that that person
could be deploying on and so I think the
blame is not necessarily the provider I
think it’s the I think it’s on ourselves
to have really invested the time not
only the money about the time to get
these things working yeah that’s what
I’m hearing too is that there’s no
magical is it’s not a matter of going
out and buying the software there’s a
lot of planning and strategizing and a
lot of key things involved so it’s a
process I guess so I wish you well if
you have some favorite technologies to
share feel free otherwise I can I can go
on to another another question or so
yeah no yeah bad sorry no go ahead good
I was gonna say no you can go on I I
don’t have any favourites and and so I I
I’m still I think we still I don’t think
we’ve cracked the nut like you said yeah
I agree in your submission you have a
background in business analytics and I
assume that means includes intelligence
and optimization it does um
you know mainly from call it more of a
product sales standpoint but a lot of my
background I spent on on business
analysis trying to interpret the
financials and how those are impacted by
how our our different businesses did at
ExxonMobil and then and then afterwards
I did a lot on our retail side on retail
analytics and category management so
planning out the store planograms and
what’s the optimal spacing and optimal
product mix based on the demographics of
the store kind of more classical
category management but that’s helped me
be successful I
trying to interpret data and and help
help my teams understand you know how to
how to how to translate data into into
insights mmm makes sense
so you’d mentioned that Schneider in
particular has a big presence in Europe
and and you’re more involved with the
North America so I guess personally
don’t have any constraints regarding
gdpr but does it involve does it affect
your world it doesn’t affect my world
too much other than some of the platform
choices that we make are have to be gdpr
compliant because they are global
platforms so for the most part I don’t I
I have to be familiar with it because
you know we expect something to happen
things to happen in the US at some point
and and again we do have a lot of global
customers that are based in the US that
are are located overseas too so or sorry
global customers headquarter in the US
with the boys are are located
internationally that we we are targeting
so we have to be somewhat familiar with
it right and then with California and
with with Massachusetts threatening I
think it’s just a matter of time before
it it’s going to be a worldwide thing so
might as well get into the habit now
yeah absolutely
so so what do you see as far as the the
future so you’ve been had some really
good companies what are you seeing
happening as far as ABM and targeting
and intelligence and and even the
privacy laws and everything how do you
see this this technology going in a year
from now and five years from now yeah I
see I see there being a confluence of
you know in the b2b world there is a lot
of called third-party data on on
projects like upcoming projects that are
available and I see more and more ABM
call it a confluence of ABM where it
comes to really understanding what those
customer projects that are upcoming so
when they when you when you do have that
call it customization or bespoke sort of
experience that a customer has to your
website you’ve already you’ve used that
project intelligence to kind of make it
relatable to the projects that
have already because that’s what they’re
searching for so they’re searching you
know in our case here we could have an
engineering firm looking at a a new
hospital for example and and and they
are looking at what’s the next building
management systems that they should be
incorporating or are there some power
distribution systems that should they
should be looking at and and we
technically have that ability to know
that because we have we have subscribes
your project intelligence databases that
should be able to tell us that um and
and so that’s that’s one of the big kind
of transformations I I can see happening
you know whether or not we do it or
service provider does it and then I
think the other thing is also on the
services side you know once once our
equipment is installed once we’ve sold a
product I think a VM has the ability
also helped us help that customer also
understand when they come back to visit
that we’ve already an understood what
product they have and that when they
come back in it’s not just them having
to login they actually we’ve not already
a made that experience customized to
what products they purchase um but not
evening them meeting they even login and
and having that kind of seamless
experience on saying okay you’ve had
your product for three years you should
be looking at these various types of
service service solutions or maybe
you’ve had your product for twenty years
did you know that we had an upgrade for
you you know based on the fact that we
know that had customers all it you know
DNA that were past relationship that
we’ve had with them so you’re using
third party date or this is the future I
guess but using third party data to know
what they’re using and using your first
party data to know what they’re using
and that’s right and plan so that to
help them along with their journey
that’s right rather than just being
content I think we can we can really be
more proactive and looking at project
intelligence and service state install
based intelligence that you know
internal data that we have to help
really shape a more customized
experience of not letting it just have
to be only content so are you using such
data providers currently like HD data
where you can understand that the
current technology install um we have
not found anyone yet that has been able
to tell us where our products are
you know we you know I think every one
of our s and our competitors are
struggling with really understanding you
know beyond the last call at five years
where where was our circuit breaker
installed 20 years ago that those
records are maintained on paper and
because we have the channels we don’t
really get to see where a lot of this
ends up and so we haven’t found anyone
that’s been able to kind of map out our
install base very easily Wow it’s not
never collected anywhere yeah I
understand that actually we can talk
offline maybe I might be able to have
some ideas for you know great looked at
here I think that but a great concept I
mean and and also likewise for where
your competitors are guess right for
takeout campaign yeah yeah absolutely
yeah wonderful so I look forward to
seeing you in Boston is there any other
words of wisdom you have to share for
for audience um I would just say you
know I think when we’re – all together I
look forward to meeting all of you and I
hope that you know I can I can glean a
few bits of useful call it takeaways
that I can I can I can bring back into
my organization because I know b2b
companies are running at different
speeds um you know I’d like to believe
that we’re we’re in the in the fastest
year but I know there are others and i
and i’m and i would i’m humbled to hear
what what others have to share yeah the
the event should be excellent for
networking with others other marketers
who like you said everybody’s got some
something we can learn from everybody so
I look forward to some of the shared
learning out there
wonderful well thanks for the
opportunity to talk with you and chat
with you Bob I really appreciate it
yes and if it’s a pleasure and I look
for this thing is saying take her thank