Head eCommerce Product & Marketing - Appliances
Samsung India

Sharad Jain is a strategic executive leader with a comprehensive background in online, ecommerce, digital, product and marketing management. As Head eCommerce: Product and Marketing – Appliances, at Samsung India, Jain is currently spearheading the evolution of digital and e-commerce channels, specializing in pioneering innovative sellout programs, digital marketing, UI/UX, customer engagement, and loyalty metrics. He has experience across diverse industries, including consumer durables, and with a successful track record at market leaders like Samsung India, Philips Lighting, Asian Paints, AzoNoble Paints, and Nerolac Paints.


CMO COUNCIL: What market shifts and trends are impacting customers and competitive dynamics in your industry?

JAIN: The digital market is undergoing rapid and dynamic shifts, with customers actively exploring omni-channels and encountering brands across diverse touchpoints. Staying ahead of this evolving landscape poses the challenge of creating timely triggers for brands and products. The rapid shift towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) holds the promise of transforming the market by addressing real-time latent needs. The anticipation is centered around AI's ability to analyze live customer behaviour and customize offerings, content, and recommendations accordingly. The implementation of AI-enabled sharp targeting, customized to distinct cohorts, is expected to significantly improve the efficacy of advertising investment.


CMO COUNCIL: Which digital marketing innovations are most enabling your go-to-market process, customer value creation and campaign effectiveness?

JAIN: First and foremost is Programmatic Advertising. The future of programmatic advertising extends beyond mere precision; it revolves around unlocking contextual relevance. Rather than merely reacting to clicks and views, ads will intuitively adapt to live situational cues. This transformative shift is led by AI's interpretation of user behavior, presenting a game-changing approach that aligns advertising with the unspoken interests of the audience.

Another critical dimension to explore is Advocacy and Testimony Marketing, an area that remains unspoken and relatively less explored. In the online landscape, customers are consistently seeking advocacy and drawing insights from past usage behaviors. As marketers, it is imperative to delve into this realm and strategize on how to leverage it effectively to simplify the customer's purchasing journey.

Lastly, the ever-evolving landscape of UI/UX takes center stage. The focus is on creating a customer experience that facilitates quicker decision-making. Emerging trends in this domain include interactive experiences, conversational marketing, and video experiences. Constant evaluation and adaptation of UI/UX strategies are essential to stay at the forefront of providing a seamless and efficient customer experience. The future of programmatic advertising is not just about precision; it's about unlocking contextual relevance like never before.


CMO COUNCIL: What challenges do you face in the coming year and how do you expect to adapt and change?

JAIN: The primary challenge in digital marketing is selecting the right media mix. While digital assets and customer touchpoints are on the rise, measuring the efficacy of each asset poses a significant hurdle. Creating digital entry points requires time and effort, yet there are limited ways to assess the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and effectiveness of these assets. Many marketers focus on the subjective relevance of digital marketing, but it's essential to analyze efficacy based on data points rather than relying on a single perspective. Often, the most popular digital assets, like Video ads, prove to be the least efficient, with lower viewability rates compared to formats like GIFs. Similarly, influencer marketing lacks a real-time definition of efficacy, relying on basic metrics like reach and engagement rates, which can be superficial.


CMO COUNCIL: What has been your biggest accomplishment in the last 12 months?

JAIN: Deciphering digital marketing involves shifting towards data-based analysis, moving away from subjective opinions based on personal views. My straightforward approach revolves around the mantra of 'Less English, more Math,' emphasizing a reliance on concrete data for informed decision-making. In addition, innovation is key to reaching customers in the most cost-effective ways. The competitive landscape is highly dynamic and responsive, demanding a continuous quest for inventive methods to differentiate and stay ahead of the curve. This proactive approach is essential for achieving sustainable growth in the ever-evolving market.


CMO COUNCIL: What past experiences have best prepared you for your marketing leadership role?

JAIN: My background as a strategic executive leader across diverse industries, with expertise in e-commerce, digital, product and marketing management. I’m currently spearheading the evolution of digital and e-commerce channels, specializing in pioneering innovative sellout programs, digital marketing, UI/UX, customer engagement, and loyalty metrics, to deliver transformative leadership in the dynamic digital landscape.


CMO COUNCIL: How do you describe your leadership style?

JAIN: My leadership style is that of transformational leadership, inspiring and motivating team members for maximum potential and surpassing expectations. It includes encouraging creativity, innovation, and instilling a sense of purpose. One should motivate a team to question the status quo, embrace change, contributing to overall organizational success and growth.

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