Screenage: When you look at mobile, look at the whole consumer ecosystem: Kedar Apte

‘Mobilizing the consumer ecosystem’ was the topic of choice for Apte, VP Marketing-India, Castrol

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Published: Oct 12, 2019 8:21 AM  | 3 min read

Addressing a packed house at the second edition of exchange4media’s Screenage, a mobile marketing conference, Kedar Apte, VP-Marketing-India, Castrol, began his session with some food for thought. Steering the audience towards the power of the influencer who is an important part of the consumer’s ecosystem, he outlined how this influencer and not the consumer should be the target for a brand’s mobile campaigns.  

“When we talk mobile, mainly we talk about using mobile for a consumer. If I tell you to remember one mobile campaign, you will remember one that is targeted at consumers and that’s why I decided to talk about the consumer ecosystem,” he said.

“What is a consumer ecosystem? All of you understand the brand, the consumers but influencers or dealers are as important in the purchase funnel as consumers. The extent of the influencers depends on the type of the category,” he said further.

When brands target an influencer instead of the consumer, explained Apte, they get a rippled benefit. Giving the example of OTC medicines, he said in such a scenario, the chemist would be the influencer. And therefore, by targeting him, instead of the consumer, one can get amplified benefits.

“The consumer is important but the case I’m making is when you look at mobile, you should look at the entire consumer ecosystem and look at elements of the chain such as influencer and dealer,” said Apte.

Further underling his point, he said, “This area of using the mobile for the whole consumer ecosystem is still underexploited.”

Using his category of Castrol lubricants as an example, Apte laid out in great detail the idea behind targeting an influencer and the success the brand met with by using an app for targeting local mechanics.

First the company identified the neighbourhood mechanics as key stakeholders in a business with the ability to influence a sale. To enable them to unlock their true potential, they used Castrol CONNEKT, an app-based solution that changed the game in terms of how Castrol approaches mechanics, uses data and drives advocacy. The garages and the mechanics were profiled and each mechanic received his unique ID. Data collected could be sent back to sales team to be analysed and then used to drive large scale campaigns. This helped them with their campaign India’s Super Mechanic- the biggest mechanic activation of 2019. Now any sales promotion by their team gets added to the mechanics profile, and they are able to track campaigns at the mechanic level and follow it up to test the impact of promotional campaigns on sales. This new age model has helped them drive campaigns, drive CRM and leverage business opportunities with data. The app has helped them build better advocacy and with a data base of 2 lakh mechanics, they are able to target mechanics at a nano level.

Citing examples of how Paytm enabled stores to promote themselves, Budwieser’s – Pub Manager Outreach program and Akzo Nobel Color Sensors campaign, he reiterated the importance of driving consumer satisfaction through influencers.

Summing up, he reiterated, “When you look at mobile, you need to look at the whole consumer ecosystem. It’s underexploited and there is enough to be done beyond consumer as well.”


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