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Avinav Chaubey

AGM – Marketing | 23 Aug 2013

At The Muthoot Group, OOH medium comes second in the media priority list after TV. For us, OOH gives a multiplier effect on ground level and is easy to monitor from across our 4,300-plus branches. It helps us to deliver our message in an uncluttered environment to a large audience at a minimal budget. The Muthoot Group spends about 18-22 per cent on OOH.

It was in the year 2005, armed with management skills and prior work experience of over three years in the field of event marketing, Avinav Chaubey took on the responsibility of Marketing Manager at Muthoot Finance. Chaubey today is the AGM - Marketing, The Muthoot Group and is the brain behind the brand’s various successful marketing initiatives.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Chaubey speaks at length about how brand Muthoot has used out of home advertising effectively in its media plan, his opinion about the outdoor industry and more...

Q. The OOH industry is labelled as unstructured. Please share your opinion. Where does outdoor fit into your media plans?

It is true that the OOH industry is an unstructured one, yet it is a great and impactful medium. Though there are not enough data or studies to show what works and what does not, still OOH is the most preferred medium for any national and regional campaign as it plays a vital role in creating top of mind recall for the brand.

At The Muthoot Group, OOH medium comes second in the media priority list after TV. For us, OOH gives a multiplier effect on ground level and is easy to monitor from across our 4,300-plus branches. It helps us to deliver our message in an uncluttered environment to a large audience at a minimal budget. The large format with dynamic photographic representations helps us in delivering key message to the target audience, which in turn results in retaining our name and message over other competitors. We believe that in coming days this industry is going to have enormous prospects.

Q. Do you think above innovation, smart planning should be the ground rule while designing an outdoor campaign?

‘Innovation’ and ‘smart planning’ are definitely necessary while designing any outdoor campaign as they help break the clutter and make the brand stand out. For instance, if a brand comes out with an innovative idea and places it at an inappropriate location, the brand will not receive the desired result. Similarly, if the location is good but the innovation is poor, the brand will again get affected.

Hence, in order to grab the eyeballs of the fast moving target audience, the brand marketer needs to ensure that the OOH creative should be simple yet conspicuous. Thus, to have a powerful impact, the OOH creative should have limited words, should be easily readable, have impactful visuals and placed at strategic locations.

In fact, with the available technology, media integration and easy access to specific audience segments, there is simply no excuse for a brand to neglect OOH innovations. Today, marketers are taking OOH not only to billboards but also integrating it with BTL and thereby, making it an effective medium.

Q. What are the changes that you would want to see in the outdoor industry that will lead to retain brands’ trust towards this medium of communication?

Personally, I would like to have the outdoor monitored live. Other things include better technology and transparency, which are required for better impact of outdoor advertising. We also need to benchmark the rates for some sites, which when achieved will infuse more confidence in the media and create a bigger playground for the brands.

Q. The outdoor industry doesn’t have a common currency. As a marketer, how much does this worry you?

As mentioned above, OOH is an unstructured industry and there are areas of concerns. For instance, there is no measurement tool through which a brand can obtain direct ROI of its campaign. They do it indirectly, which is measured through growth in business. With our extensive branch network of 4,300-plus branches spread across the length and breadth of the country, we are able to utilise the OOH medium to the optimum through proper monitoring. However, with more and more corporate players taking a serious interest and investing in outdoor media, I am sure that in the coming years we will have a more streamlined system and process.

Q. What are the key elements that you would want to see incorporated in an outdoor campaign that you roll out for your brand?

Localised communication, minimal and bold message, striking image, singular colour, innovation and strategic locations are major elements that we at Muthoot look at while planning any outdoor campaign. We believe that OOH should be interactive and not be one-sided communication. Outdoor campaign should not be only restricted to billboards but also involve BTL, on-ground activities and anything and everything which is out of home in a literal sense.

Q. It can be observed that Muthoot has been very active in initiating on-ground activities for customer connects over the last one year. What are the reasons behind choosing this medium of communication in your media plan?

With a diversified business portfolio that leverages its core competencies to address the ‘aam aadmi’ in India, ground activity has proven to be the best opportunity to connect with our local customers.

With a dominant presence in 21 states and four Union Territories of India, on-ground activities are a necessary tool for branch special marketing initiatives. Over the years, we have noticed that these on-ground activities have helped us to have an emotional connect with the local customers. It helps in obtaining real time feedback as well as get closer to the target audience. These activities have helped us in a competitive market, enabling our branches and sales staff to obtain data which in turn leads to business growth. The biggest advantage of such on-ground activities has resulted in top of mind brand recall among the customers.

Q. Could you throw some light on your latest campaigns?

In today’s day and age of transactional relationship between the marketer and the customers, it was imperative for us to bring out the essence of our company – our essence of trust, of care and of being inclusive. Thus, our latest advertising campaign – ‘Prarthana’ with the tagline ‘Sapney aapke, prarthana hamari’, was made keeping The Muthoot Group’s legacy of 126 years of trust and being one of India’s highly-respected diversified business conglomerates. The new campaign talked not just about the fact that ‘we give gold loans for anything you need’, but talked about that we care about your dreams and when we give you a gold loan, we pray that the dream that you have seen comes true, essentially bringing forward the core thought of a loan with a heart.

The core objective of this campaign was to present Muthoot Finance, the flagship company of The Muthoot Group, as a company that goes beyond just the five minutes that a customer spends while making a transaction in a branch. In the world of finance, loans and banking, there are certain clichés that are used like fear, elevation, the best in class, the best returns, security, being always there, etc. The starting point of this concept was to look beyond the cliché, to go beyond the obvious and to counter the belief that is associated with a gold loan. In the transactional world of banking and NBFC, ‘Sapney aapke, prarthana hamari’ means that your aspirations and our inspirations stand out.

Q. What are essentials that a brand should have while rolling out an on-ground activity?

First and foremost rule for any brand rolling out an on-ground activity is that the brand should be clear on the quantifiable and measurable objectives it envisions. Second, proper brand and product knowledge, along with effective presentation among the promoters and brand representatives present on the ground is required.

Third, the activity should be customised as per the geography so that the brand has a better connectivity with the local customers. This will help the customers enquire about the product more. Fourth, the on-ground activity should be simple, straight and tangible, where we can measure the success of the activity, obtain the number of audience touched, and the data of the customers who experienced the product, among others.

Q. What percentage of your marketing spends is allocated to OOH?

The Muthoot Group spends about 18-22 per cent on OOH.

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