Automobile giant Maruti Suzuki, one of the largest advertisers in the automobile sector as per the TAM AdEx data, is all set to increase its marketing budget by 12-15 per cent this year.
Like most automobile companies, the Indo-Japanese conglomerate too faced a challenging period last year due to comparatively slow growth rate. As a result, the company cut down its media spends substantially in 2011. Moreover, the company launched comparatively less number of products last year.
“Much of what automobile companies spend is related to newly launched products. Last year we did not have as many product launches, so it impacted our media budgets to some extent,” informed Shashank Srivastava, Chief General Manager, Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India.
With a line-up of new launches, Maruti will have to endorse 16 brands in all, which will require substantial spends. “To sustain the momentum for 16 products, we will have to spend on advertising,” he said.
Going the digital way
Maruti was one of the most active digital advertisers in 2011, especially during the Cricket World Cup and the fourth season of IPL. Among other campaigns of Maruti Suzuki, Maruti Cricket Maharathi was the most popular campaign which registered 45,000 app downloads last year. The app was created by mobile marketing company Affle.
“Digital has emerged as a very important component of the media mix. It is being used in new and unexpected ways – right from display advertising to social media. The share of digital, especially mobile advertising will increase. Product integrations and other innovations are likely to increase,” shared Sudha Natrajan, CEO, Lintas Initiative Media. Media duties of Maruti Suzuki India are handled by Lintas Media Group.
Print and television attract over 80 per cent advertisements by the auto sector, but digital spend is expected to cross the 10 per cent mark in 2012. By 2009, automobile sector in India had surpassed other leading advertisers in FMCG and Telecom sectors in digital and mobile media advertising space.
Rich media advertising after product launches is a frequent exercise by almost all the marketers in the sector. Digital advertising by automobile sector is reportedly growing at over 100 per cent rate in India with search queries for cars growing more than ever. The most crucial period in digital advertising for automobile companies was in 2011 when almost all the players advertised heavily on social and digital media during the Cricket World Cup.
As per TAM AdEx Data 2011, Maruti Suzuki was among the top five advertisers in 2010 and 2011 in terms of both, ad volumes and spends. The company will up its digital spend this year too.