With a dynamic market scenario and new players entering the classified business, the marketing strategies of the current players see constant changes. As Quikr’s CMO, Vineet Sehgal is responsible for marketing strategy and plans across areas including brand building, performance marketing, partnership and alliances. In a chat with exchange4media, Sehgal shares his insights about Quikr’s strategies and how new competitors are being welcomed in the business.
Give us an insight into the marketing mix at Quikr.
You have the usual suspects like TV, Print, outdoor and radio. Digital plays a big part on the brand side and performance marketing side because we are a digital company. We do a lot of on-ground activities especially in the homes, cars, jobs where we use things like missed call services and we call back. We also do brandings on rickshaws, buses or stations. So, it’s a mix of what a classical FMCG does but of course the digital part of it is very big. Between digital and offline, nearly 15 to 30 percent more spend is on digital.
How is the entire classified market scenario placed right now?
I think this market is booming; if you ask any e-commerce player or digital players, the fact is that classifieds are giving consumers a great level of convenience and choice to reach out to millions of buyers and sellers or dealers and brokers is in itself a testimony to the growth. Consumers are accepting digital as a medium for a lot of categories which otherwise are beyond the reach. Digital is fundamentally creating ease of doing business, it is simplifying things, it is disintermediating things, and it is offering great convenience and spreading distribution far and wide.
What are the challenges that you face in the classified market?
I think the challenges are like for any digital one. You want to grow faster, you want a larger number of people to be on board, and one of the challenges, I think, is the frequency of visits. You sell your car or phone and it’s not as frequent as you do other things. So, I think consumer engagement and involvement are a challenge.
You did ads with AIB. How was it working with them than working with traditional ad agencies?
I think they are two completely different things - AIB has creative people, they have a certain tonality and humour they stand for. I think they strongly have a point of view about the script while they also take feedback from clients. But the big difference is the kind of content we are creating and what is the objective of the content. What we look with the agencies is the classical advertising - the shorter format where the product and the message is the hero. The other one i.e the AIB is more focused on digital; it’s not just 30 seconds...It’s more story-telling, and less about product brand or features. It’s more about how we create an engaging content to which the youth can connect, and at the same time, have relevance with the brand.
We don’t believe in doing digital content just for the sake of it. Because of that there is a far greater level of scrutiny or fuss for TV content as there are just 30 seconds that we have. Secondly, the money we put in media for TV would be multiple times the amount for digital. The objectives are also very different - the objective is run by the business and revenue so you are extremely conscious of what you put.
Amazon has entered the space through Junglee. How challenging is it now with such a competition?
I think this is great stuff. With more players in the market, it will help the market to grow. Quikr is a strong brand. The fact that Amazon has entered the market and for it to believe in an opportunity like this is, in itself, a compliment.
The e-retail space is looking to cut down marketing spends, what is Quikr planning to do?
The core fundamentals of marketing has changed my marketing objective, my TG and what are my communication needs that I have to reach out to. The objectives may have changed now; it’s more about more purchase, more loyalty, more consumer engagement.
What are the cornerstones for Quickr in terms of your marketing strategies?
One example is the events we hold. We launched Quikr homes last year and created a separate vertical out of it. Big campaigns, indoor, outdoor, digital led to recognition not only among consumers but also builders and brokers. The fact that we are sponsoring World Broker Day means the awareness is done. It’s all about engagement.
How do you maintain a balance between new and traditional media? How do you divide the spends between them?
I think it all depends on the marketing strategies we have. I feel events are a part of traditional media, doing local activations and media exposure in outdoors will continue to remain. I think digital share will go up because of measurability, better target and more focused targeting. I feel TV is very important and holds an important place as a traditional media to reach out to audiences. Brands which have created awareness will see a drop in TV spends.