5-6 per cent of our total spends is on digital: Sunil Kataria

The COO - Sales, Marketing & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products talks about how the company has effectively leveraged the evolving digital medium as part of its overall marketing strategies

e4m by Sonam Gulati
Updated: Apr 7, 2014 7:56 AM
5-6 per cent of our total spends is on digital: Sunil Kataria

Godrej is a brand synonymous with innovation. Many of its products like Cinthol, Hit, Good Knight, Aer, Ezee have stood the test of time and have been reinvented to constantly keep them relevant with changing times. The Indian multinational has been holding its fort and growing at a great pace despite cut-throat competition from global brands.

Sunil Kataria, COO- Sales, Marketing & SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products, joined exchange4media for an exclusive conversation to shed light on the brand’s digital strategy. He shared how Godrej plans to leverage digital and what challenges the ecosystem faces currently.

How much do you spend in digital of the total marketing budget?
Digital has become a key component of our media mix and 5-6 per cent of our total spends is on digital. It has risen sharply from last year.

How does a brand like Godrej use the digital medium?
We use digital for both ourmaster brand as well as for most of our brand marketing plans. We have used social media platforms pretty innovatively especially Facebook and Twitter. In fact we have focused on generating a lot of engaging content to leverage our digital strategy. For example, on our brand Godrej Aer, we have created India's first crowd-sourced video song which generated lot of interest and virality.

Over the years how have you seen marketing evolve for the FMCG category?
Firstly, most categories have become extremely fragmented and this means brand differentiation is imperative for success. Secondly, the biggest change is the multiplicity of consumer touch points in media - now consumers are consuming content through many new mediums through mobiles, social media, experiential platforms like malls, etc rather than only TV, radio or print. This means that brands have to think in terms of IMC (integrated marketing campaign) approach and optimise to engage consumers through multiple and relevant touch points.

Godrej has reinvented some of its brands like Cinthol very successfully. Please share the experience and how you usednew means of marketing for this repositioning.
Cinthol is an iconic brand and has huge youth equity since the beginning. In 2011, we could see fundamental shifts taking place in oursociety - one such insight was that the new India has much more of an explorer mindset than it did in the past and wants to live life in all its dimensions and to the fullest. We decided to pick this insight and leverage it for our brand repositioning - this is how Alive is Awesome was born.

We employed complete makeover of products, design and communication to put forward theAlive is Awesome positioning. Digital was the key as we are a youth brand and we used it innovatively through Alive is Awesome bathing project campaign, Challenge Virat campaigns, etc. and response has been tremendous.

What are some digital marketing trends that have caught your eye?
The biggest trend is really the mobility piece - as smart phones penetration is moving sharply along with 3G, this is where large consumption of media has started. Smartphone has become a ‘complete personal confidante’for today's consumer - they reach out to everything through this one device. This is the device which is still under leveraged by marketers.

What do you perceive to be the issues facing the industry, since it a nascent segment as of now?
One issue is definitely the evolving metrics - the multiple and changing platforms do not lead easily to single currency of measurement - any investment requires a measurement for it to explode and this is something which will need to evolve sooner than later.

How do you see digital advertising growing in next 12-18 months?
The growths will be very discontinuous as more brands across industries adopt the digital way - expect to it be in range of 40 per cent as against the projected ad growth of 15 per cent.

Sunil Kataria is also part of the esteemed jury panel of exchange4media’s Indian Digital Media Awards (IDMA). IDMA 2014 is an annual event that aims to celebrate and encourage the work being done in the digital media space. The event will take place on 6th June, 2014 in Mumbai. Click here for more details. (http://www.exchange4media.com/idma2014/Registration.aspx )

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