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Winning has to be contextually relevant: Sandeep Kaul, ITC

28-November-2011
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Winning has to be contextually relevant: Sandeep Kaul, ITC

The Delhi leg of the Pitch CMO Summit 2011 saw marketers and brand owners talking about some of their path-breaking marketing moves and discoveries of the Indian shopper through consumer insights and revelations.

While explaining the ‘art of distribution push and advertising pull’, Sandeep Kaul, Head of Personal Care division of ITC elaborated on the importance of “mastering the art of ampersand”, especially when you are entering with a 100 year old category which has more than 120 existing brands. Kaul was talking about the challenges Fiama Di Wills and Vivel had to face when ITC decided to enter the segment.

ITC has created 11 brands in the last decade and while some of these brands have already touched the magical Rs 100 crore mark, there are others which are nearing Rs 1000 crore.

According to Kaul, extensive utilization of research, tracking and analytics play a key role in the success of brands. He stressed the importance of it by revealing the fact that ITC spends ten percent of its advertising budget on research and consumer tracking. Measurement of key matrix like behavioral loyalty, attitudinal attachment, sense of community and active engagements are very effective in planning marketing activities. Kaul, who has been behind the successful foray of ITC’s personal care businesses further said, “ATL and BTL marketing have merged today to evolve into ‘through the line’ (TTL) marketing process which is basically an integrated communication process and it typically includes brand building and direct response communications.” As per Kaul, the key enablers of TTL are “alignment of objectives across value chain and excellence in execution at all touch points.”

Segmentation of retailers, loyalty programs and engagement activities are some of the ways through which ITC has managed to excel its reach to consumers. In an ever-expanding market where within the last year, two crore television sets were added and seven million people became digitally enabled, ITC connects with consumers in twelve different ways. Apart from this, the company also thrives on innovative advertising, be it print, digital or last-minute reach.

Kaul says the company’s distribution network is also one of its core strengths with 1400 distribution centers, 4000 stockists and 26,000 salesmen across the country.

To elaborate, Sandeep talks about the ITC Vivel campaign in Kolkata during the Durga Puja this year. While the specially created television commercial featured the Knight riders, Kaul says the company connected with people through 400 locations. In four days, the company reached overall 1.5 lakh individuals, of which 40,000-50,000 were from the target group.

 

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