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Strengthening brands through regional penetration way to go, say industry experts

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Strengthening brands through regional penetration way to go, say industry experts

The phrase ‘Regional is the new national’ was coined three years back, and the media industry has been banking on regional markets since then. Not only print, broadcasting and radio, but brands, too, have started focusing more on regional markets and tier II-III cities.

In a roundtable organised by exchange4media and presented by to discuss communication in local languages on digital. Chief marketing officers from different brands participated and shared their opinion on the topic.

Talking about the key markets today Manav Sethi, CMO,, said, “We have a fairly diversified portfolio cutting across different verticals. We have a very deep-routed history looking at traditional print. If you want to capture the language-led target group, the factor form of that could be videos rather than article or text. That’s why all our television commercial run in four different languages—Hindi, English, Telugu, Malayalam.

Talking more about the power of video in local languages on digital he said, “We have got commoners creating video content in their own languages and upload it. We have more than 10000 uploads from Tier-C cities because it breaks through the language barrier, input barrier and it also breaks through the literacy barrier to an extent.

Saurabh Srivastava, CMO, Jabong, shared his plan to reach these markets. Citing the example of a Coca Cola TVC, he said, “From the time advertising evolved in India and we all grew up to ‘Thanda Matlab Coca Cola’ and ‘Yahi hai Right Choice Baby’. A lot of those came into being because they wanted to touch the chord with the audience and the audience felt that this brand could understood then and hence they wanted to consume the brand. The philosophy largely remains the same, when you talk in a native language to people in different cities, you largely try to get the brand closer to them.

Micromax, CMO, Shubhajit Sen, highlighted the role of content in the smartphone business.  

“They are talking about the whole mobile and internet thing. Even today if you talk to anybody in the eco system, either facebook or Google, everybody is thinking how ‘should we penetrate to the smaller town classes and lower economic classes’. I think that challenge is not a singular challenge of just content. “

“We have got to thinking about in two different ways—How do we increase actual penetration, which is to get guys on to the internet; and other is those who are already on the internet, how do you increase their depth of consumption of content and branded messages.”

He added that vernacular is the big thing which drives depth of consumption. “I think the singular barrier right now is content,” he added.

Sharing his perspective on how Dabur looks at digital and the brand is riding on the backbone of local languages, Archan Banerjee, Head, Digital Marketing, Dabur, said, “The touch point Dabur has is that people are calling us and we need to have IVR solutions which need to be in multi-language format, and that gives us very in depth engagement like what you are looking for and that connects with our audience, and most of the times we connect with our audience in Hindi.”

He highlighted they were actually thinking of putting brand messages in between films. Because they had a study going on that found out that people pay Rs 15 to a ‘Kirana Store’ and get a movie downloaded and see it offline. He added, “We were thinking to put out a message there, and all we need to do is just to pay 15 bucks.”

Sharing the underlying formula of digital growth, Shikher Gupta, Head of Brand and Digital Marketing, Videocon, talked about how the brand is very strong in smaller cities.

Citing an example of significance of local language, he said, “During a campaign for Onam in Kerala, we got 300 engagements in one week. The team decided to do something in Malayalam and revamped in local language. Within one week with all this freshness the brand managed to sell 1500 LED TV sets on digital space.” 


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