exchnange4media in association with Taboola recently hosted a virtual roundtable on--Making The Most of Your Brands Key Promotional Periods, Choosing the Right Marketing Tool.
Speakers on this panel included Amit Tiwari, VP Marketing, Havells; Amit Sethiya, CMO, Syska; Adil Sanwari, Head Digital Media and Transformation - Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, HP India; Bharat Arora, Country Manager -India, Taboola and Prashant Dhar, Marketing Director, A. O. Smith India.
Sharing his thoughts on how brands can make the most of the approaching festive fervour in a changed market environment, Amit Sethiya, CMO Syska said, “When you think of promotional periods, from a consumer standpoint you think about sales and discounts. However, over the last couple of years, this trend has changed. Ten years back we used to have discount-based events twice or thrice a year and people used to plan their purchase in advance to get that discount, which was not throughout the year. Now you will find a discount banner always hanging outside malls etc, only the percentage is different. Over the years that discount has lost its sheen now. Now, this approach is no longer effective to make the most of your promotional period.”
Amit Tiwari of Havells underlined that marketers to adapt to the changed marketing landscape and adapt to a new approach. “In the last two years, the consumer purchase pattern has changed in a big way. Unlike before, big-ticket items ranging from Rs 50K to 60K can now be bought online. My view is that now it is no longer about making most of the promotional periods, it is actually about the changed consumer purchase pattern and how marketers are able to understand it and match it.”
“We live in a world where we don’t need to tell the customers about the product in great detail as they did their own research. The strategy we follow is to look at data overall and get a sense of brand switchers and brand loyalists. From the latter’s perception, the promotional period is the time to make them feel special and realise that the brand can do something special for them year after year” stated Adil Sanwari of HP.
Prashant Dhar of AO Smith spoke about how in the last few years the contribution to the business of e-commerce platforms has just doubled. “The kind of focus you have on e-commerce in your marketing mix has gone up by leaps and bounds. The Great Indian Festival and Big Billion days are definitely revenue earners. The challenge is how to connect with your customers along with the value propositions”, said Dhar.
When asked about the key learnings from the pandemic as far as marketing for a festive period is concerned, Sethiya said, “Consumer durables is still a distribution-based business. For example, when the government categorised grooming appliances as semi-essential during the pandemic, we had to optimise them and ensure that the products were placed all across the medical stores in the country. During this pandemic, we also realised the power of authentic content.”
“Whatever we have learned over the last 20 years needs to be re-booted. As marketer, you also need to learn the new rules of the game and it boils down to trust, transparency, and technology”, shared Tiwari.
Sanwari underlined the importance of being agile, especially in a category where the purchase is made for a longer period.
Sharing his perspective on the same, Bharat Arora of Taboola said, “Last two years were challenging for every company, we had to deal with something which we never anticipated. The big thing for us was adaptability. We made sure that we adapt to the business we are in. At Taboola, we went to basics for both the publisher side and the advertiser side. We never spoke about eyeballs, visibility etc. We said that for every business, performance should be the key.”
He further added, “We have something called the Taboola newsroom which helps the editorial teams to look at actionable insights. It tells us what consumers are looking at on the open web and what people are reading across. As things improved, we also took a new approach to help brands to make a comeback with our products— a High Impact placement, where we give visibility along with performance.”