Welcome to Big Think, a space where we shine a light on the creative minds behind today’s most influential brands. Our VP of Strategic Growth, Hillary Settle, connects with talented minds from different industries to learn more about their experience in the marketing world.
In our second episode, we sit down with Saranya Senguttuvan, the Regional Head of Digital Marketing at Maersk North America to talk about the ways in which team collaboration can drive career growth and help build credibility within your organization. Keep reading to get some of our key insights from the episode, or watch the full episode here.
When we think of the traditional trajectory in digital marketing, we often imagine starting at the base and climbing upwards. However, Saranya Senguttuvan’s path took an unexpected detour through the world of sales. This detour didn't stray her from marketing but instead enriched her perspective and strategy, enhancing her approach to the digital realm.
To Senguttuvan, marketing's heart and soul lie in relationship-building. In an age where marketers often feel pressed to churn out content, chase impressions, or dive deep into technology's latest offerings, Senguttuvan’s sales experience reminded her of a foundational truth: Whether a campaign reaches a million people or just one, its essence should resonate on a personal level.
Regional Head of Digital Marketing at Maersk North America
During her stint in sales, Senguttuvan took home a crucial lesson: genuine human connection stands paramount. Successful salespeople, she noted, operate on a platform of empathy. They prioritize understanding their customer's desires and needs over hastily pushing a product or service. It's an approach that champions quality over mere numbers or KPIs. This perspective brings clarity to marketing's ultimate goal: making a tangible impact on the bottom line and on revenue.
While many may still see Maersk primarily as an ocean-based provider, Senguttuvan and her team see it differently. They are on a mission to cement Maersk's identity as a global integrator of logistics. This change is not just about a title shift; it's about saturating the market with this renewed vision of what Maersk is and can be.
The transformation Maersk is experiencing wouldn't have been possible without a clear top-down approach. The company understands that to enhance customer experiences, the journey must begin with enriching the employee experience. Senguttuvan stands firm in the belief that employees are an organization's first customers. By catering to them, empowering them, and creating an environment where they thrive, brands can expect employees to become their most fervent ambassadors.
Senguttuvan goes on to say that Maersk’s values are its guiding stars. From emphasizing "constant care" to championing "humbleness" and even celebrating the legacy tied to the name "Maersk," these values are the building blocks of their corporate ethos.
The challenge now? Rolling out the renewed sense of purpose and values to Maersk's 100,000-strong workforce. It’s a monumental task, but one Senguttuvan believes is critical. As digital transformation sweeps organizations globally, Maersk's emphasis on culture and values is setting them on the path to success.
For Senguttuvan, the notion of credibility transcends conventional corporate blueprints. As she ventured deeper into the layers of Maersk, she discovered that authentic credibility wasn’t just the result of strong leadership but the result of collective alignment and action.
Most corporates tend to orbit around the misconception that aligning leadership is the magic potion for credibility. However, Senguttuvan thinks otherwise. She uncovered that true credibility is the art of synchronizing the entire organization, not just its leaders. And the linchpin? A clear, compelling vision that resonates within minutes, paving the way for purposeful action.
Every organization, big or small, has its compass pointing to one true north: the customer. For Senguttuvan, credibility's beacon lies in the understanding that every role—whether in sales, marketing, customer experience, or even finance—contributes to the narrative of the customer.
Senguttuvan believes that data plays a vital role in this credibility. After gathering insights from different departments, it's essential to share these findings with leadership. She also stresses that every organization should have a clear goal, whether it's customer loyalty, retention, or acquisition. It's about understanding this goal, seeing how each department contributes, and working together towards it.
Senguttuvan goes on to say that real conversations and direct dialogue with customers establish credibility.
She recommends being a silent observer on sales calls, noting the friction points, the gaps in collateral, and the areas where the sales team felt unsupported. To her, this is an opportunity for action. Whether it was partnering with the product team to address objections or ensuring that sales had the right tools, Senguttuvan was proactive in bridging the divide.
Perhaps what stands out most to Senguttuvan is her belief in the universality of this method. This isn't a tactic solely for marketers. Customer experience professionals, product team members, and anyone invested in the customer's journey can benefit from this direct engagement. Listening, truly listening, to customer conversations is more than a task—it's a strategy.
Moreover, Senguttuvan's vision extends beyond the walls of the organization. She champions the idea of a collective of successful clients who can offer unparalleled insights. By understanding why these customers choose to align with the business, organizations can refine their approach, making it more customer-centric.
In essence, Saranya Senguttuvan's perspective on marketing isn't just about reaching out; it's about reaching deep. It's a philosophy rooted in direct dialogue, active observation, and actionable insights. In an age of digital noise, Senguttuvan reminds us of the power of genuine connection and the credibility it brings.
To hear more about Saranya Senguttuvan’s experiences in the marketing world or to listen back to our previous episodes, check us out on YouTube and Spotify. If you’re interested in keeping up with the Big Think, head to our site, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.