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Social media is a top priority for marketers today: Vivek Patni, Director, Wonder Cement

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Social media is a top priority for marketers today: Vivek Patni, Director, Wonder Cement

Wonder Cement is one of the most active social media users in the cement category in India. Vivek Patni, Director of Wonder Cement, spoke to exchange4media about the current marketing strategies and challenges that brand owners face and endeavours to earn a place in the premium segment of the market. Excerpts:

What are your ideas of good marketing?
In today’s scenario, the consumer is very busy so it is important to communicate in a way where we can make some kind of engagement. Today the ways of communication have increased, earlier it was just television and radio but today we have mobile phones, social media platforms, OOH. Consumers have access to multiple locations from where they get the chance to communicate. A brand always tries to create that interaction to engage customers. As India is one of the fastest countries to adapt to the digital world, brand owners should first target social media platforms for marketing. Wonder Cement is one the very few B2B brands to have a presence on Instagram.

What are the key challenges for brand owners today?
In the current situation, everybody is moving at a very fast pace where people can easily forget a brand. In the earlier stage, a brand had a shelf life of many years. Look at the example of Nokia, around 10 years back it was the market leader but now it doesn’t exist (anywhere at the top). So the biggest challenge for brand owners today is to continuously engage customers, create a value proposition and command that aspect of love and emotion from the consumer. In terms of engagement on social media, we reach out to more than 18 million users, on Twitter we reach out to around 4 lakh users leaving behind JK Lakshmi Cement, Ambuja Cement and ACC.

How has the cement market changed over the years with regard to marketing?
Our journey is still very young. When we started, it was very important to us to establish ourselves as a brand because cement is a very competitive market; moreover there were several big brands in the market. I don’t think much has changed. The category is still very low involving, the decisions are still not with the consumer. I would love to change the scenario, to make our category more involved and for that customer engagement is a must. We have been organising various campaigns on social media. We started a campaign on Facebook #PeopleOfWonder in which the total engagement was more than 1 lakh and total reach was more than 9 lakhs.

How has digital media played an essential role in developing your brand name?
As I said earlier, we have been organising a lot of campaigns on social media because today social media is a top priority for marketers. People are more active and connected. It’s a huge platform to connect with your consumers where a lot of creativity can be infused. We have been doing a lot of campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and that has helped us a lot. Our digital campaign #wonderofcement on Facebook had total video views of more than 8 lakhs, and that was a big number.

Do you think the emergence of local brands is hampering the trust of consumers?
People believe in customisation so a lot of local brands have local noises where they can give you local solutions. In terms of cement, as a commodity, there is not much that has happened. Quality still plays a very important role but in today’s scenario people are ready to experiment with brands where they can get better service. Local brands don’t carry the heavy baggage of their legacy, they can improvise and they can take risks.

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