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Timex Group India to up marketing spends by 50 pc; to enter virtual space in 2011

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Timex Group India to up marketing spends by 50 pc; to enter virtual space in 2011

After making a strong comeback by the end of 2010, Timex Group India is now focused to kick off the New Year with aggressive marketing plans and is all set to capitalise on the digital medium for the very first time by early 2011.

In an exclusive one-on-one conversation with exchange4media, VD Wadhwa, CEO, Timex Group India, said, “We started 2010 on a weak note because the business was not getting the desired attention internally. I don’t think there was any problem externally. I took over as CEO in April, and if you see the last two quarters, we are growing at about 25-26 per cent in terms of revenues, and in terms of bottom line, it is as high as 70 per cent.”

Further sharing the statistics, Wadhwa said that the brand was looking to maintain the growth rate in the coming year and additional money was being pumped in the current budget. “For 2011, we are putting in additional $2 million in the overall marketing budget, which is about 50 per cent increase in the current expenditure,” he informed.

“I think we will be touching a growth rate of somewhere between 22 per cent and 25 per cent on the whole year basis in 2011,” he added.

The fashion portfolio
Meanwhile, expanding its fashion portfolio, the company recently launched an exclusive watch collection by well-known designer Tarun Tahiliani. The new label consists of two sub-brands – ‘Tarun Tahiliani’, a bridal collection, and ‘OTT by Timex’, a ready-to-wear collection.

When asked about the kind of role advertising would play in reaching out to its customer base, Wadhwa replied, “Timex is a mass brand which is selling in about 900 towns and from almost 4,000 different outlets across India. So, there we need mass media to connect with the audience of that kind and measure. At the same time, we are dealing with the fashion brands – Salvatore Farregamo, Nautica, Marc Ecko and Versace, and now also launching Tarun Tahiliani’s collection – so each of these brands needs advertising through events and ads in fashion magazines. The related campaigns are not more of TV-led or print-lad, they are more magazine-centric.”

On how the company determined which medium of communication was apt for a particular brand and whether there was a thumb rule to allocate more resources to print than other tools, Wadhwa elaborated, “We first define the objective that we are trying to achieve, what kind of target audience we have to connect with, how many cities we want to cover, and accordingly we allocate the resources. We don’t have any fixed ratio for the tools of communication that we are going to apply. Like, for instance, when we will reach out with Tarun’s collection, we will figure out the cities, type of audience and accordingly have expenses for different mediums in place. And like I said, for fashion brands, print medium is far more effective, along with events, which play a crucial role too.”

Digital debut
The brand is also gearing to make its debut in the digital space and is upbeat about the new addition to its marketing portfolio. “We are going to occupy the digital media space and fill one of the gaps in our current marketing strategy. I think within two months from now, you will see a lot of action from us. We will leverage the medium according to our target audience. For example, Versace won’t be highly promoted on digital media, whereas Timex and Nautica will hold majority of that space. Tarun’s collection, too, will go out through a mix of print, TV and digital. We are connecting with the youth and they are spending more time on the Internet than on any other medium,” he informed.

Wadhwa further said, “We are willing to keep aside a digital budget as it is a priority area for us as we go in future.”

While the plans for the year 2011 have already been defined by the global name as it has accelerated the efforts to be one level ahead of the industry. Wadhwa stated, “We have very aggressive plans and want to grow the business at double the pace of industry growth. The industry is growing at about 12-13 per cent, while we have set a target of 25-26 per cent internally. To achieve this, the roadmap is to open more TTF stores, which currently stand at about 75, and by the time we exit 2011, we plan to take it up to 110.”

Versace in India
“We are trying to add 800 new doors in our distribution market, right now we have a width of 3200, so that takes it to 4,000. Along with this, the additional amount being added to the overall budget, that is, Rs 9 crores or so. After Tarun, in the next three weeks we are launching Versace in India,” he concluded.


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