CMO | 29 Apr 2014
Brands must be clear about the presence of its target consumer at the on-ground locations. The location must be such that the consumer has time to connect with the brand, absorb the message and hopefully that generates interest leading to action... A creative blend of activity design and messaging, while maintaining the authenticity of the brand, is vital for any campaign of the brand. Finally, the execution of the on-ground activity has to be par excellence.
As the CMO of Tupperware India, Chandan Deep Singh Dang is responsible for conceptualising, designing and implementing strategic initiatives to drive the company’s growth in India. This includes developing and launching India-specific products and programmes, building consumer insights, creating relevant communication, brand building, and driving effective incentive and loyalty programmes for the field force. Dang also handles institutional sales for Tupperware.
Before joining Tupperware India, Dang was associated Wrigley as Sales Director (India & South East Asia) for one and half years, where he helped the company beat topline targets and achieve operational breakeven for the first time in their 17-year history in India.
In conversation with Abhinn Shreshtha’s exchange4media, Dang speaks about the challenges of OOH marketing and the importance of planning.
Q. When it comes to content in outdoor campaigns, what are the prime things you look at?
As consumers have tended to spend more and more time out of their homes in urban cities, thanks to the development of malls, multiplexes, and amusement parks and so on, outdoor media options have also evolved tremendously. Outdoor has become an important media option for any brand message. More brands than ever before are using this medium to effectively connect with their target audience at places like malls, multiplexes, gyms, bookstores, restaurants, office buildings, food chains, airports, bus and railway stations and so on.
When we look at creating content for outdoor campaigns, the target audience available and the location both help us to define what to communicate and how to do it. So the content created for a gym may differ from content for a mall, though the brand visuals and taglines remain constant. At a gym we might promote our on-the-go water products like our Eco bottles with the exciting and youthful new “Gym” and “Bliss” sleeves. At the mall we might showcase the same bottles but additionally cover the full range of Water products including the larger in-home bottles, water pitchers, tumblers and so on. Similarly, in office cafeterias during the lunch breaks we often connect with consumers for our healthy food preparation products like the “Steam It”, and the time, effort and tear-saving “Smart Chopper”. So we design and pick content appropriate to the location, target consumer and even time ofday.
Another factor that can determine our choice of content is whether the area is previously well-tapped, or a newly-penetrated area. For prospective new customers the content can be different than for existing customers.
Q. What are the essentials that a brand should have for an on-ground activity?
Brands must be clear about the presence of its target consumer at the on-ground locations. The location must be such that the consumer has time to connect with the brand, absorb the message and hopefully that generates interest leading to action.
A creative blend of activity design and messaging, while maintaining the authenticity of the brand, is vital for any campaign of the brand. Finally, the execution of the on-ground activity has to be par excellence. Lead generation and lead capture are encouraged. We also often use bounce-backs which encourage contacted consumers to reach out to us repeatedly after the present contact is completed.
Q. What percentage of your marketing spends is allocated to OOH?
The marketing spends for OOH are completely dependent on the kind of campaign that we undertake, that is, the objectives of the campaign, the target audience and the location. It is very relative to the need and the nature of the activity. Percentages of our marketing budgets spent on OOH are completely need-driven and vary widely year to year.
Q. The OOH industry is largely labelled as unstructured. Where does outdoor feature in your media plans?
It is partially true that the OOH industry is relatively unstructured, but as the industry is developing, we feel that more structure will automatically develop. What has been helping us is the presence of several good partners who we have worked with, even despite the relatively unstructured industry overall.
We have a fair amount of space allocated to outdoor in our media plans. Kiosk activities at major malls and MTOs, school access programs, office cafeteria activations, activations at cafés, RWAs and other event based activations to name a few.
Q. Beyond innovation, do you think smart planning should be the ground rule while designing an outdoor campaign?
Smart planning is definitely the thumb rule for any successful marketing campaign. Starting from the concept design, the selection of activity execution partner and then going to the execution plan. We try to ensure that we generate success right from the planning stage itself. There can be so many unforeseen variables impacting an outdoor activity that unless you plan meticulously for the things that you can control, you might be thrown off balance by things that are out of your control!
Q. What are the changes needed in the outdoor industry to retain and attract more brands towards it?
This media is fast-growing and it is catching eyeballs of many brands because people have started spending more time outside. In terms of changes, the industry needs to get more structured, have transparency in pricing, and move with the latest technologies. Another most desired change would be the capability to support great ideas on bigger scale. Sometimes, brands expect a lot and the deliverability is comparatively low. Finally, I would say we are always looking for partners who can work with us to understand our business situation and actually come up with business solutions through their marketing ideas and campaign designs.
Q. The outdoor industry doesn’t have a common currency. As a marketer, how much does this worry you?
It does worry us as transparency of prices is a crucial structuring that we need. Once this aspect of OOH settles the growth will be manifold. Perhaps, someday OOH might be the biggest thing in marketing!
Q. What are the key elements that you would want to see incorporated in an outdoor campaign?
Good understanding of the business and marketing objectives, converted to innovative solutions/ campaigns along with bigger scale, better structuring, brilliant execution and of course transparency.
Q. When it comes to hoarding sizes, does big always equate to better?
There is no standard answer. If the demand for any activity/ event/ campaign is a big hoarding then it is better to comply in that. Notwithstanding the fact that any potential idea or tagline and every great campaign always find its target consumer and market, irrespective of the size of the hoarding!
Q. How do you leverage emerging media like Digital OOH, RFID, ambient OOH, etc., as part of the overall strategy?
Over time, these platforms have evolved as very effective media for communication. Using all these platforms innovatively can leverage the brand visibility and deliver the brand message to the TG very effectively. Not just in terms of message delivery, but also in terms of building engagement and thereafter advocacy among target groups.