Four Strategies for CMOs to Maximize Marketing ROI in the Post COVID Era

Video Blog (vlog) – Four Strategies for CMOs to Maximize Marketing ROI in the Post COVID Era

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, 86% of CMOs were optimistic about the business climate and 61% were confident that the marketing budget would increase in 2020. However, post the outbreak CMOs all over the globe have hinted that they will make cuts in the marketing budget to stay afloat, namely in TV Advertising (32%), Offline Advertising (32%) and Event Marketing (28%). CMOs are focusing on strategies and tactics to understand the changing consumer behavior and are effectively engaging consumers to drive faster conversions with personalized offers and services. Driving maximum ROI from the marketing spend is crucial for a CMO in this “new normal” as it plays a key role in the revival story of the business.

According to Gartner, Marketers must be proactive and not wait for the external business environment to give the green signal for taking action. With strategic maneuvers guided by the right technology and approach, organizations can not only dodge but successfully outlive this pandemic. The biggest challenge is not only predicting consumer behavior, expectations and needs in these uncertain times but also defining an action plan to enable conversion in a cost-effective manner.

Marketers should follow a well-defined action plan that focuses on the following key aspects:

Use Social Listening to Understand Voice of Customer – In times like these, it’s important that organizations stay tuned to social media to listen to the concerns that customers have regarding the organization’s brand. It’s imperative to monitor discussions pertaining to health and hygiene that maybe relevant to the brand. The organization must be responsible for providing timely, accurate and realistic information about product availability and delivery keeping in mind customer relationship and trust. ITC Infotech enabled Social Listening for the Foods Division of a leading conglomerate through the Marketing Command Center. The solution revolved around continually partnering with various online listening tools by providing brand level data (sentiment, reviews, tags, posts) through web crawling. The MCC with 18+ Dashboards provided an integrated view of online and offline brand performance. It helped identify the key drivers that determine the efficacy of campaigns. Furthermore, it led to an improved understanding of the end-consumers, the key personas and their needs.

Personalize Engagement for Higher Conversion – The pandemic has accelerated the transition to an ‘online’ mode of life. Studies highlight that in the United States there is a 56% increase in online orders from March 22 to April 4 as compared to the previous year. With more than a million consumers scrutinizing organizations’ online presence, it becomes crucial to develop a differentiated and personalized experience. Reports indicate that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that personalizes the shopper experience and 71% of shoppers end up feeling frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal. The key to personalization is Analyzing Data. With a 360-degree view of each customer, organizations can target the right customer segment, design customer journeys, email relevant content and provide value enhancing offers thereby making the experience very rewarding. For a leading Clothing, Footwear and Textiles Retailing Group, ITC Infotech increased the promotion ROI using consumer insights. The collaboration resulted in a Customer Intelligence Platform that helped derive insights from 3.5 million consumers across 703 retail outlets. ITC helped the organization increase revenue by 1.5%, reduce promotion spend by 5% and increase in-store credit utilization by 15%.

Monetize Loyalty for Growth – Organizations with a loyal customer base will time and again find that their customers continue to invest in them and spend even in difficult times. Identifying customer concerns and tailoring offerings around those needs will help build lasting relationships. A Cloud based loyalty solution integrating data from all touchpoints ensures that every interaction turns into a personalized engagement.  A good loyalty solution enables real-time analytics to drive movement down the customer funnel. The key is to design specific digital campaigns targeting the right customers through customer segmentation, propelled by the right product recommendations. For a leading retailer of Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Supplements, ITC Infotech facilitated a pilot program that impacted 10M members leading to 5M activations. The program enabled a ROI of 17%, increased customer retention by 18% and increased sales and margin by 1% and 2% respectively.

Optimize Promotion Effectiveness for Higher ROI – Retail organizations invest up to 25% of their gross sales on marketing activities. With increased competition, limited budgets and narrow timelines, promotion effectiveness and return are more critical than ever. The key to achieving promotion effectiveness is to integrate analytics, processes and organizational capabilities. ITC Infotech helped a leading CPG client in assessing the effectiveness of the Coupon Program across all its brands. The program helped in reducing the entire marketing budget by 35% and the planning process time by 25%. The scientific approach to planning future coupon programs enabled insights on cost, ROI and spend rationalization resulting in reduced coupon spend in ineffective coupon schemes.

ITC infotech’s expertise covers the entire spectrum of Customer Engagement, Personalization, Smart Loyalty Management and Campaign management. The one stop solution on Customer Intelligence enables Intelligent & Automated Personalized Experiences, Conversational AI-based Commerce & Customer Care and Loyalty Engagement & Optimization. The platform enables CMOs to reduce the marketing costs by 5-10% and improve sales by 2-3%. The Customer Intelligence Platform helps in achieving top-line and bottom-line incremental business value through increased credit utilization, customer lifecycle value, and process efficiencies.

Stay tuned to know more about our Customer Intelligence Platform…


Amit Derkar
Offering Leader, Digital Experience

Caleb Shireesh Jacobs
Associate Partner, Digital Experience

Shweta Subbaraman
Lead Consultant, Digital Experience



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