By Jessie Paul
Belson Coutinho is a highly accomplished digital marketing & eCommerce professional with over 19 years experience out of which sixteen years are in airline management. Belson currently heads the global eBusiness and innovation strategy at Jet Airways and Jet Lite.
As part of our Interview series on the importance of technology for marketers we spoke with Belson Coutinho, Sr General Manager, eCommerce & Innovation at Jet Airways. Read on to get his take on using technology to engage and communicate better with customers.
PW: As a marketer what would you say are your current priorities?
BC: At the forefront, customer engagement and recognition using Analytics, Social Media & Digital Communication is imperative. Fostering a Customer Self Service culture and investing in new and smarter product design is equally important. The end game is to create a digital and technology ecosystem with integration of analytics, social media, self-service, mobile and eCommerce that enhances engagement, recognition and seamless customer experience.
PW: At Jet Airways, how has technology played a role in customer acquisition or retention?
BC: Technology in an integral part of our customer acquisition and retention strategy. Infact what has worked for us is the usage of technology in all our marketing efforts. Apart from aggressively using digital channels viz Search Engine Marketing, Social Media, Re-Marketing and Affiliate marketing, we constantly use evolving technology and new methods of development to engage and communicate with customers.
PW: How has technology played a role in new product development, market expansion or other areas?
BC: At Jet Airways, there is constant focus on evolving technology and our product development is always in sync with emerging trends in the industry. The eBusiness team at Jet Airways which is responsible for digital marketing and technology solutions invests substantial amount of their time to research new trends in technology and marketing and always want to experiment with new technology.
Research and experimenting with new technology is important to create newer customer acquisition and engagement opportunities.
PW: Do you have a separate budget for the IT component of marketing? And how aligned are the marketing and IT functions in the organization?
BC: Yes we do. The eBusiness team at Jet Airways is responsible for digital marketing / social media as well as design and development of technology solutions. This structure ensures that both, marketing efforts and technology usage are completely aligned at all times. Infact brands who do not align their marketing initiatives with technology changes will find it tough to be relevant to their consumer needs.
About Belson Coutinho: With over 16 years of experience in airline business, Belson has managed key roles in loyalty marketing, product development and eCommerce with Innovation being a key driver. Belson has architected and implemented several large global eBusiness strategies leveraging technologies and digital marketing platforms most of which have been industry first in the country. Belson is an active speaker at various Indian and overseas Digital Marketing, Social Media, Distribution and eCommerce events and have spoken at over 20+ summits and conferences across several countries.