Head of Marketing | 26 Jul 2013
Globally, digital marketing is a key component of mainline advertising. Also, online buying and selling is an established practice. In India, digital marketing is a new trend that has captured the interest of marketers. Once the fraternity has used the medium, there has been a grown awareness of the positives of the medium and hence, more and more people are joining the digital marketing wave. But it will still take at least five more years for the Indian digital marketing space to reach the current global levels.
Arvind RP has over 14 years of marketing and sales experience across fashion retail, consumer goods and automobiles. Before joining Kaya Skin Clinic, he has been associated with companies such as Levi Strauss, Britannia and TVS Motors.
In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Arvind speaks at length about Kaya’s digital strategies, his views on the emerging digital marketing space and more...
Q. What, according to you, are the key things that a brand should keep in mind to build a healthy social conversation?
Three key things are to be taken into consideration:
• Being consumer forward instead of being brand forward - Give customers the communication that they would like to hear and not what you want them to hear
• Ride on topics of high relevance/ high cognizance/ easy interpretation - For our Cind-hair-ella video, we decided to pick up an existing well-known fairytale, and give an interesting yet unexpected twist to the story, and hence, could garner huge interest in such a short time period
• Consumer attention spans are decreasing, so conversations have to be crisper and draw instant traction - A brand story stays in the news feed of the consumer’s account for only two minutes before other updates push it down, so the consumer’s interest has to be captured within that time frame.
Q. What can Indian marketers learn from global digital marketing practices?
Globally, digital marketing is a key component of mainline advertising. Also, online buying and selling is an established practice. In India, digital marketing is a new trend that has captured the interest of marketers. Once the fraternity has used the medium, there has been a grown awareness of the positives of the medium and hence, more and more people are joining the digital marketing wave. But it will still take at least five more years for the Indian digital marketing space to reach the current global levels. The role of smartphones is another learning area for us – globally, smartphone penetration has reached 33 per cent and is expected to reach 50 per cent by 2017. Mobile marketing has, therefore, become an integral part of digital marketing globally already, but in India, the trend is very nascent.
Q. With brands coming on digital what are the trends that will impact consumers’ purchase decision in the days to come?
I see a two-way impact here:
• E-commerce, which is the next step in digital marketing, is going to play a big role and compete for share of wallet with the brick and mortar stores
• Using the digital medium to influence consumer choice at the point of decision-making will become critical, for example, location-based marketing services using smartphones.
Q. Mobile is still not leveraged to its best capabilities by Indian brands. What is your observation on this?
As I said, smartphone penetration in India is still in its early stages, and therefore, in the next five years, one can expect a lot more activity in this space. As for Kaya, we are already very active in this space as well with a customised mobile site, targeted search marketing and offer-based location marketing, where we detect the location of the user and push a Kaya offer for the nearest clinic.
Q. How do you think the Indian digital ecosystem will shape up in the coming years?
I see this space getting increasingly competitive yet innovative. The challenge will be to stand out in the clutter, as it is in the mainline media today, and keep it as much of a value for money proposition as it is in its current state.
Q. It is observed that an Indian marketer is still apprehensive about shelling out money for digital marketing even today. Is it because marketers don’t have confidence on the talent that we have in the digital space?
Looking at the industry trends, any brand that targets a young audience cannot afford to miss out on the digital space. Kaya has seen a huge growth in competitive presence on digital in the last two years, and we see it as a fair indicator of the growing confidence of brands in this medium.
Q. Where does digital fall in the marketing plans of a company like Kaya, which is into beauty products?
Digital forms a very integral part of the Kaya marketing mix. Being a brand that has the upwardly mobile 18-35 year old woman as its primary target audience, digital becomes an imperative choice of media. Also, due to the high measurability and easy to segment-ability of the medium, Kaya has been one of the early entrants into utilising the digital medium effectively for reaching out to new potential customers. We generate a substantial portion of our leads everyday through this medium.
Q. How has Kaya as a brand leveraged the digital media space post it’s re-positioning?
Digital has been a key medium for communicating the brand repositioning. This started with a complete revamp of our website, in partnership with Webchutney. Today, the website receives millions of hits through organic traffic and this itself has been a big step in communicating the new identity to our target base.
Q. As a marketer, what are your expectations from the digital agencies?
Our constant endeavour is to create and propagate brand content that engages the customers, creates interest and drives the brand relevance. This is exactly the expectation that we have aligned our digital agencies on.
Q. How do you see Kaya’s digital spends moving this year – in terms of growth and focus?
Kaya’s digital spends have only continued to increase since the last several years. The medium has given us high returns and hence, we remain committed to investing more in more innovative ways.
Q. How do you see your marketing objectives aligning with what the online medium offers five years down the line?
We see the two moving together in tandem as it is today. The medium is helping us achieve our marketing objectives today, and expect the same to happen five years down the line too.