'60% of our television spends are directed towards various regional markets'

Joy Chatterjee, General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Mankind Pharma, revealed that the brand will reconsider advertising on the print medium if it shows signs of recovery

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Published: Apr 6, 2021 8:28 AM  | 6 min read
Joy Chatterjee

Leading Indian pharmaceutical company Mankind Pharma is bullish on capturing 40 per cent market share by this year and is all set to expand its digital footprint. Joy Chatterjee, General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Mankind Pharma (Manforce Condoms’ parent company) in conversation with exchange4media shared the company’s advertising game plan ahead and how the company plans to reach the targeted market share mark. Chatterjee revealed that the brand will reconsider advertising on the print medium if it shows signs of recovery and that the company plans to up its spends on digital marketing to 30-35% in 2021 from 20-25% last year.

Edited excerpts below:

What are the shifts in marketing that the pandemic has brought for Mankind Pharma?

Changes are in both psychological and physical space, people are spending less. We are witnessing a surge in cases again. With the introduction of the vaccine, we hope to get back to normal soon. Ecommerce sales are witnessing major traction, as the customers are ordering from home. Marketers are exploring the digital medium as a strong potential candidate to spend marketing budgets on.

The brand has reduced its print presence. What was the reason behind it and will that continue as we go forward?

Even before Covid-19, we were seeing traction was decreasing on the print medium. After Covid-19, people are consuming more and more content/news on digital. Customers are still sceptical of physical/print medium. For the time being, we have taken the wait and watch approach to whether the circulation and popularity of the medium will grow back post covid-19. If the print medium will show signs of healthy recovery, we will reconsider our strategies to advertise there also.

How are you planning to heighten your focus on regional markets? 

India is not only a big country but distinctively different from one state to another. This year the plan is to decentralize the strategy on a state-to-state basis. As our brand has an enormous reach, it becomes highly effective for a brand like us to give a focus to each state - depending on the size and reach. 60 per cent of our television spends are directed towards various regional markets, in which markets like West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Punjab have a good reach. Whereas 40 per cent is catered for HSM (Hindi-speaking markets).

The brand is also seen partnering with many influencers. How much will it continue to be a part of your action plan as we go forward? 

We are diversifying influencers' activity by partnering with regional influencers more. It provides more leverage from influencers and helps in achieving more engagement and traction. In recent times, we have collaborated with different influencers depending upon the matter we want to focus on. Apart from regional influencers, we are also focusing on regional actors to amplify the message and resonate better with the target audience. 

With the increased e-commerce buying capacity after Covid-19, how is the brand working on the space? 

After the pandemic, e-commerce buying capacity has increased for all categories. I feel that what would have come to India 10 years later has happened now. 

We have recently launched our D2C platform and the results are promising. We are encouraged by the results so far. We are strengthening our positions on major e-commerce platforms as well with new listings and advertising. We have witnessed a spike for all the categories. Besides, focusing on our website we are getting our presence registered across all major e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and others. 

What is the marketing budget allocated and which mediums will you increasingly be investing in?

Last year due to the pandemic we witnessed a great spike in TV viewership, digital engagement, and a lot of traction was observed on gaming apps also. Immediately after the lockdown, we started aggressive media promotions across the digital mediums. The key is to be omnipresent and put a regular reminder to audiences throughout the period.

This year also, we are increasing our digital spends. Customers are spending more time on smart devices. Digital medium provides an opportunity to target the campaigns smartly. Our trade marketing budget also covers a significant portion of the marketing budget.

We are constantly exploring new platforms of advertisement to get a captive audience.

Our Marketing budgets are well defined and divided among all our major Brands such as - Manforce, AcneStar, Gas-O-Fast and Prega News, as per the internal benchmarks. We define our brand targets based on both internal and external reports and strive to achieve them in the best organic way possible. ROI in traditional terms is calculated based on numbers but in Mankind, we calculate our Brand equity strength through various brand track exercises.

Currently, we are spending 20-25 per cent of our overall sales on digital marketing and we are planning to take it up to 30-35 per cent in 2021. However, the numbers will be re-evaluated after a year.

What are your marketing plans for the year and your marketing strategy?

The year has started on a good note, we have plans to introduce products in new categories as well as in existing categories, we are present in. Our plan this year is focused to increase our distribution in all dimensions, and strengthen the e-commerce and digital presence as well.

Social Media has become critical in recent times, audiences on Instagram differ from Facebook. To reach our right audience, we are curating platform wise specific content and special campaigns which are meant for digital audiences only. With the scope of narrow targeting, we can connect with the right consumer with demographic, geographic & interests. 

For the past few years, Manforce Condom has focused on cause-marketing always to create awareness through video campaigns and social media posts to convey the messaging in different parts of the world. 

Tell us about your focus areas and plans ahead for Mankind Pharma?

Data usage and logical interpretation of data are some of the areas we are building our capacity on. Right now, Manforce holds 30-32 per cent of the market share and aiming to touch 40 per cent by this year. Similarly, we are focusing on Gas-O-Fast and AcneStar to strengthen their position in the market. Though for AcneStar the market is very unorganised, and we are working on it to make it a known brand in the coming years.

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