Big Fat Indian Wedding: Jewellery brands expected to allocate 20-25% ad spends to digital

Recognising the need to boost their presence in the digital space, jewellery brands are increasing their ad spends on the medium to target the digitally-savvy customer

e4m by Shikha Paliwal
Updated: Dec 10, 2019 9:12 AM
Traditional gold jewellery

Slowdown or not, the Indian wedding season is a time for consumers to loosen their purse strings. Typically Indian weddings are planned years ahead, budgets are set aside to ensure that no stone is left unturned for the big day, which is why the Indian wedding season is famously referred to as ‘recession proof’.

The Indian wedding market is pegged to be around $40-50 billion and expected to grow at a rate of 25-30% annually, as per an earlier KPMG report. A neat chunk of wedding budgets is also allocated to jewellery, which is the highlight of most weddings across cultures and demographics in India. Not surprisingly, therefore, the December - March time period sees a sudden spike in jewellery advertisements.

Over the years, digital has become an intrinsic part of planning, shopping and executing weddings, which is why jewellery brands are now shifting a part of their ad spends to the digital medium. The objective is to target customers that are increasingly living in an online world. And rightly so, believes Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) CEO, APAC and Chairman India Ashish Bhasin, “I think digital will start accounting for 1/4th of the entire advertising; between 20-25 per cent. Everything is moving to digital, it’s not only about buying, but it’s also about searching, getting familiar with products and also word of mouth etc. Digital is becoming important for every category and it’s not just the purchase but also the process of the purchase that makes it important for most categories and the same would apply to jewellery as well."

We spoke to several jewellery brands to understand what their digital marketing strategy was for the 'big fat Indian wedding'.

Kalyan Jewellers has set aside 15 per cent of their overall marketing spends for digital according to their Chairman and Managing Director, T S Kalyanaraman, who believes that targeted online advertising ensures that they reach the right kind of customers across various marketing avenues. He says, We have always opted for a multi-channel marketing approach ranging from traditional mediums like print, television and radio and new mediums like digital and OOH. To ensure a 360-degree outreach, we have recently announced that 15% of the brand’s overall marketing spends will be on digital mediums.”

Brands like Senco Gold & Diamonds also has allocated 10-15% per cent of their ads spends on digital advertising. Says Suvankar Sen, Executive Director-Senco Gold & Diamonds, “Digital is important for the wedding season to showcase the new designs and new trends. Consumers look for help and guidance digitally and we must be helpful to consumers.”

According to the Euromonitor International, a market research provider, the Jewellery industry in India in terms of market size is pegged at Rs 5002 billion for 2019, with a growth forecast of 8.5% CAGR for 2020-24. Experts believe this healthy forecast is expected to reflect in their ad spends, in fact, advertising spends from jewellery brands have seen steady growth over the years and the digital medium has also benefitted from it.

A majority of consumers now access the Internet to plan, research and compare products and services, thus influencing their final purchase decision. Having a digital presence, therefore, becomes imperative for brands looking to target wedding shoppers.

Ahammed MP, Chairman, Malabar Gold & Diamonds explains, “In the hyper-competitive jewellery retail space, digital marketing has become an integral part of the market mix of any progressive jeweller. In fact, an effective digital marketing strategy sets the game for a jeweller, as it catalyses footfalls and influences purchase decision by enhancing brand visibility and brand equity. In this era of social media when the sensibilities of the new-age brides are continuously being shaped and reshaped by the Instagram or Pinterest boards, having a 360-degree presence in the digital space is of paramount importance for the jewellers.”

He adds that they have always been extremely focused on strengthening their presence on digital media by rolling out new digital marketing campaigns and striking conversations with interactive posts on social media, etc. “In this wedding season, we are continuing with the same objective and intent.” Says Ahammed.

Another trend that has emerged as a result of consumers increased presence online is influencer marketing. Various studies have shown how the word of mouth is a powerful tool to influence shoppers on social media and other online platforms.

 The influencer marketing part of the marketing mix

Kalyan Jewellers has been one of the earliest brands in the jewellery sector to understand and identify the power of influencers, explains T S Kalyanaraman, Chairman and Managing Director, Kalyan Jewellers, To appeal to a younger, digitally forward audience, we rely more on engaging content, collaborations, contests, influencer marketing techniques and a string of digital activations. These social media influencers play a key role in creating buzz online around the product offering of the brand.”

The brand has in the past collaborated with designer and celebrity influencer Shweta Bachchan Nanda for their #AddTheKalyanSparkle campaign. In fact, to leverage the full potential of the influencer market, they have extended their portfolio, and signed on 4 regional influencers/brand ambassadors and are coming up with region-specific hyper-local campaigns to further penetrate the markets.

Popular jewellery brand, Malabar Gold & Diamonds is also exploring ways to maximize the impact of influencer marketing for their brand. Says Ahammed MP, “Influencer marketing or leveraging influencers’ channels to expand the reach and influence of the messages have become a rage among advertisers. Influencer marketing strengthens both the engagement and credibility aspect of a brand as well.”

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