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Flashback 2014: This time for the Smartphone Generation!

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Flashback 2014: This time for the Smartphone Generation!

Consumers today have access to shopping, movies, banking, and much more at the tip of their finger. With the rise of budget smartphones in 2014, an average Indian spends close to 170 minutes on his phone and India is expected to double its base of smartphone and mobile internet users by 2015. Many brands have explored this medium with the launch of apps that connect with their consumers while some have taken a step further and launched a radio channel to woo the rural consumer base.

Digital has redefined marketing; today reaching out to the right audience at the right time and place with the right message has become an increasing possibility. Marketing metrics are seeing newer elements like engagement ratio, CPC, SEO and impressions to judge the efficacy of their communication strategy.

Content has undergone a radical change in the last year. Now that consumers have the ability to tune-in and tune-out of advertising-driven messages, especially on their smartphones where a lot of content is consumed, brands have refreshed their content strategy. The era of ‘interrupting the programme’ with ad messages has disappeared; today, brands are actually co-creating programmes, where the product or service integrates seamlessly into the storytelling.  Inspiring, humorous, amazing videos that build emotional connect with consumers is being widely used. While content is the king for traditional as well as digital media, the new media is more flexible and economical.

Digital has been a buzzword of 2014, and we’ve seen a surge in integrated campaigns. Consistent communication across platforms including digital, on-ground, ATL and mobile to maximise reach and build an emotional connect has led to greater visibility for brands. Especially, as the industry witnessed a slow down last year, many brands took an integrated approach to drive demand and induce trials.

We feel the consumers are more receptive to experimenting with newer products today, if the brands hit the right chord with their communication. Even brand loyalists don’t mind trying new products. Brands have tapped into this opportunity through innovative attempts to induce consumer trials by launching smaller packs across FMCG categories including face washes, packs, scrubs and even creams!

With India poised to become the youngest country by 2020, more and more brands are targeting youth across communication platforms to induce trials at a younger age and create brand loyalists. Brands focusing their marketing initiatives on teens are driving growth in the industry.

Lastly, going natural and organic is another trend that is picking up in India. Be it eco-friendly furniture to personal care products like lotions, lip balms or face care, consumers are willing shell out more money for chemical-free products. The trust and faith in natural and herbal products is on the rise and international players from the personal care industry have launched newer categories to appeal to market needs.

The author is Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Business Head – Personal Care Division, The Himalaya Drug Company.

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