Globally, digital ad spends have risen from 5%-10% to 30%: Sriram Padmanabhan, Nissan

Sriram Padmanabhan, VP- Marketing, Nissan India talks about their 'precision marketing', the upcoming subscription model and association with ICC Cricket World Cup

Sriram Padmanabhan

Auto major, Nissan sees India as a ‘priority’ market and as part of its global strategy. Nissan India, in order to expand their product portfolio, to build digital go-to-market competencies, establishing customer engagement, recently appointed Sriram Padmanabhan, Vice President, Marketing, Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd.

Bringing over two decades of rich international marketing experience along with specific India business, Padmanabhan, who came on board as the newly elevated Vice President of Marketing around two months ago, spoke about ‘precision marketing’ to gauge consumers on the digital front. He also sheds light on Nissan India’s industry-first upcoming subscription model to be rolled out in coming months and the association with ICC Cricket World Cup.

For Padmanabhan, celebrations are around since the onset of ICC World Cup 2019. The brand continuing their heritage in the SUV segment has been successful in connecting with consumers with the company’s recent launch Nissan KICKS. The newly launched car is also the official car of the ICC World Cup 2019. This is the second World Cup with Nissan as ICC’s global partner and the brand plans to leverage the most from the sporting event.

Padmanabhan says the sports and automobile sectors are deeply connected. And, one of the key marketing strategies for Nissan India to expand the growth in the Indian market via cricket. Sharing more about the brand story of Nissan India, Padmanabhan says, “Nissan has been in India for almost eight years. We have brought some great products into the country. We also have Datsun as a brand we established. We have a strong presence from a manufacturing perspective. Making inroads in the Indian automobile market is a significant aspect of global strategy, not only in terms of manufacturing but exports as well.”

Indian market is complexed, brand and value driven

In regards to the eight-year-long association with the International Cricket Council, Nissan India has been communicating heavily both in broadcast and digital. “Sports sponsorship has been picked up by the automobile company. From a brand persona perspective, Nissan has tied up with a lot of sports sponsorship. Through this medium, we are connecting the dots across various elements into the business be it our employees, leadership, or dealers. There is a big celebration happening around. It’s very exciting times for us, it’s a good partnership.”

Nissan India is undergoing a transformation, says Padmanabhan. “The right customer, at the right time, and the right medium to connect with the consumers has been our core mantra with precision marketing,” pointed out Padmanabhan.

Sharing how the company has brought in change to their digital medium which emerged as the core platform to communicate with consumers, Padmanabhan says, “Customer experience and digital communication has been an important part of our strategy. We have combined offline and online communication as a part of our long term plan which involves a better customer journey online. It involves strong programmatic connectivity and advertising. The idea is to have a seamless journey for a customer from digital to offline.”

Explaining in detail, Padmanabhan says that Nissan India has various marketing platforms to serve customers. “We have over 75-80 channels to create content for a consumer. The communication would serve to only that particular consumer through these content channels based on the customer search. To be precise it is more programmatic.”

As far as the ad spends for digital is concerned, according to Padmanabhan, in last five years, the global ad spends have gone up from 5% - 10 % to 30% on the digital medium.

Nissan India has over 270 dealerships across 230 cities. Before signing off, Padmanabhan also tells us that for future expansion and plans ‘Watch the space in the Electric Vehicle segment’ as Nissan India would soon roll out their product in this segment in compliance with the 'Green Energy' push. The company also boasted of being the only player in the mass market segment to soon adopt a subscription model online, like western countries - making car ownership flexible for the consumer on lease.

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