MakeMyTrip has completed a decade of India operations. From being among the first OTA in the world to offer low-cost inventory online, launching the first iPhone travel app in India, to opening up new avenues for Indian travellers and travel-partners alike, MakeMyTrip ushered many first-in-industry offerings. Today, it has a dominant position in the OTA market as a whole, and especially in flights, mobile and hotel-transactions.
In an interview with exchange4media, Saujanya Shrivastava, Chief Marketing Officer-MakeMyTrip.com, says, the customers can look forward to self-customizable holidays, a seamless and delightful mobile-app experience, rich vernacular content, integration with wearable devices, among other things in the coming year. Excerpts:
How has marketing and advertising evolved in the travel e-commerce space over the past decade?
The decade has seen many significant milestones for OTA marketing. Today, travel ecommerce marketing is about partnering the emergent customer at multiple relevant touchpoints in a manner most desired by the customer and about things that matter to her in the context of the category. OTAs in India have in fact been a vanguard of the Digital and Online marketing space. MakeMyTrip occupies a special place in that line-up. Starting with our clutter-breaking viral campaigns with webchutney, to the Beta Mahesh TVC and the massive re-positioning exercise that we undertook earlier this year, we have been at the forefront of mapping out the customer’s evolution and showcasing how the brand can partner their growing travel ambitions.
MakeMyTrip has done some really impressive advertising over the past years, what kind of spends have been planned for the year? Could you share a percentage division of spends in different mediums of advertising?
Our Marketing spends are in-line with what is required to consolidate our leadership position as India’s leading travel services provider. The first half of the year focused on conventional & digital media to establish the new brand identity, while the latter half will be witness to MakeMyTrip providing compelling reasons to customers to undertake leisure travel! This year, we apportioned a substantial A&M budget to back our ambitious business growth plans. Also, we are keen on upping the ante on new age media. We will have a stronger focus on Digital engagement & peer to peer conversations. We are sure that our disruptive creative format combined with some industry first marketing programs will result in clutter-breaking results.
Please share the festive season plans for this year in terms of marketing and advertising?
We have extremely aggressive festive season plans and the same is under development. By virtue of being the market leaders, the onus of category growth and innovation is on us . The thought will be reflected in our offering strategy for the festive season.
What are the key learnings of the past decade?
Customers can be your strongest advocates and active engagement with them via owned and earned media is a key focus area that needs to start early in the brand’s life-cycle.
It is important to reach out to the consumer at various stages of the purchase cycle. At MakeMyTrip, we listen to our consumers at different stages of their interactions with us and pitch the relevant and appropriate products and services.
In a very dynamic category like eCommerce, one needs to push the envelope – the extra effort helps set you apart as a leader. At MakeMyTrip, we have fronted travel innovations like Route Planner, Chartered Holidays, DIY Holidays and Uncancel. The accent on innovation and category creation will drive us into the next phase of hyper growth
What are the top trends in the e-commerce travel space that will shape the industry?
Customers can look forward to:
An ecosystem that has at its core hyper personalization
Seamless and delightful mobile-app experience
Rich vernacular content
On the customer-behavior end, we expect the following to shape some of the industry offerings in the near-term:
Leisure travel a part of lifestyle discourse, no longer about an annual event.
Casualization of travel