Volvo, the luxury car brand will be spending Rs 15 crore on marketing this year, which will be largely on out of home and on-ground events.
Sudeep Narayan, Marketing and PR Director, Volvo Auto India told exchange4media that the car brand would not take the television route as of now, and would be focusing on niche magazines.
“Our marketing budget for the year is about Rs 15 crore, which is about seven per cent of the luxury car segment,” said Narayan.
However, he expects the budgets to double next year, as the sales volume grow. “When you are actually running a steeplechase or a 400 metres race, you start slow and gradually gain momentum. We are in that phase when we are gaining momentum,” he added.
Volvo entered the Indian market four years back and currently has four cars in India – two SUVs (X 60 and XC 90) and two sedans (S 60 and S 80). S 60 is an entry level model and is priced at Rs 25 lakh (Delhi ex-showroom). Meanwhile, its most expensive car is XC 90 and is priced at Rs 45 lakh (Delhi ex-showroom).
Narayan expects that the 60 range would drive in volumes. “The 80 and 90 are more of a fashion statement,” he said.
According to him, Volvo is geo-targeting and sharp targeting its advertising. Delving more on how Volvo utilises magazines, Narayan added, “We target niche magazines and ask them for their database. This database is further filtered to find out CEOs, CFOs, SMEs, doctors and lawyers who are top in their field. And there's a communication within communication to reach out to this audience.”
He said that advertising in mainline media is wastage for the brand. “The luxury car market is just one per cent of the car market in India. Hence, it isn't prudent to go mainline,” he said.
Meanwhile, the luxury car market in developed countries is about eight to 10 per cent. “Among BRIC countries, Russia sells five per cent. In India, while more than 20 lakh cars were sold last year, only 23,000 luxury cars were sold. The numbers are going to increase as the entry level models in the luxury segment have become more affordable. Earlier when the entry level started at Rs 30 lakh, it has come down to Rs 25 lakh now,” he said.
He expects the Indian market to sell 40 lakh cars per annum by 2020, of which 1.5 lakh cars would be from the luxury segment. “We sold 326 cars last year and we are hoping to sell 800 cars this year and doubling it every year, taking the number to 15,000 by 2020, which is as big as Japan,” he said.
Volvo has a very targeted strategy for outdoor too. “We started outdoor lately, as we realised that we were missing out on the recall of the brand,” he said. In Delhi, Volvo has only two spots. One at Modi Mill Flyover that targets commuters going towards Noida and South Delhi and the other at Emporio Mall in South Delhi. In Mumbai too, the brand has had only two landmarks. “Instead of putting in money and placing 20 hoardings which would be irrelevant for our TG, we take up strategic locations only,” Narayan said.
Volvo has a digital presence too, which though wouldn't be noticed by everyone. “We are on some websites, which are subscription based and have an annual subscription of around Rs 2 lakh,” said Narayan.
Narayan pointed out that Volvo targets high-end travellers through communication on first-class airline tickets, mainly travelling between India and Europe.
“We are also present at the Lakme Fashion Week, which brings us another five per cent of HNIs, we are targeting. We also do golf events, where we get the trophy made by a top designer, instead of buying it off-the-shelf,” Narayan added.
For future golf events, Volvo has roped in Ritu Beri, who will design blue jackets to be presented to the winners.