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Sudeep Narayan

Director - Marketing & PR | 04 Sep 2013

The OOH media, unlike matured markets, is unstructured in India. This results in clutter. There are two ways to look at this in your go-to-market strategy. Get bogged down by the nature of the medium or rework your thinking to get the best out of existing environment. I am an endorser of the latter, so it doesn’t matter to me if the media vehicle is unstructured.

As Marketing & PR Director with Volvo Auto India, Sudeep Narayan has successfully driven all marketing communication campaigns in his over four years with the company. He works very closely with the global teams on their brand development campaigns and is solely responsible for driving and streamlining all initiatives of Volvo Cars in India. Narayan is responsible for successfully launching the XC60, S80 and S60 in India.

Narayan has over 16 years of experience, starting with advertising and moving on to the automobile industry. He is one most optimistic marketers, who thinks that outdoor advertising has great potential.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Narayan shares his views on the outdoor landscape, about his brand’s presence in outdoor and much more...

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

The OOH media, unlike matured markets, is unstructured in India. This results in clutter. There are two ways to look at this in your go-to-market strategy. Get bogged down by the nature of the medium or rework your thinking to get the best out of existing environment. I am an endorser of the latter, so it doesn’t matter to me if the media vehicle is unstructured. OOH is an integral part of our plan as it helps combat the battle of the mind, which typically in an automobile industry precedes the battle in the market.

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

I think a bit of both is required. Innovations break clutter and smart planning delivers relevance. For example, we talk about the sturdiness and safety of Volvo cars in a highway OOH, which is relevant at that moment in time.

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

No major change, just a better index to gauge efficacy.

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

It depends on the definition of a ‘Common Currency’. If you look at most media vehicles (with common currencies) there are actually uncommon currencies with various factors interplaying. As a marketer, I have always believed in the currency of GUT as much as the currency of Research/indices, etc. In the end, nothing is a worry if the strategic intent is focused.

Q. What are the key elements that you would want to see incorporated in an outdoor campaign?

Simplicity and being terse. Get to the point quickly as you have only seven seconds in a traditional outdoor media.

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

There is a thin line between OOH and events; we lay emphasis on activations primarily to communicate our product strengths. It becomes an ideal platform for prospects to engage and be informed about the Scandinavian design, high-end technology, superior comfort, and above all, the world-class safety features in a Volvo car.

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

We are currently planning a very engaging OOH property. Our new campaign will unleash when the season picks up. At present, we are concentrating more on securing orders.

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

Objective KPIs and result KPIs. As simple as it may sound, we usually miss the mark and dismiss events that could have a high result potential, if done the right way, if the learning from the previous ones are understood and effectively implemented for the next.

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

In this dynamic marketing arena, I do not believe in allocation at the beginning of the year. Budgets are always shrinking and there could be a better way to spend if we have marketing money, which is allocated to achieving objectives versus allocated to a predisposed media vehicle.

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