Indian market is important, we need to continue growing with it: Marc Cavaliere, CMO, Fiji Airways

The CMO of Fiji Airways shared insights on his marketing experiences in India as it recently signed a code-sharing agreement with Jet Airways Byline – Ronald Menezes

by Ronald Menezes
Published - Sep 25, 2017 8:56 AM Updated: Sep 25, 2017 8:56 AM

Fiji Airways has signed a code-sharing agreement with Jet Airways, which allows for better connection of flights between Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai and its Singapore flight which aims to drive more visitors from India to Fiji. Marc Cavaliere, the CMO of Fiji Airways, spoke to exchange4media where he shared his views about the Indian market, how different it is and challenges faced while marketing in the country. Edited excerpts:

How are the ad and marketing campaigns shaping up for Fiji Airways in India?

They are doing quite well. It takes a while to gain traction, obviously in a market that is the size of India. We are working closely with the media but especially with the trade and other partners. With the country and its size, population and diversity, we have to be sure to be very targeted. I think what we do with the travel space is very important; it is not only the media but also our participation in events that’s connecting the networking with the travel trade.

It is working well and we are pleased with the growth in traffic between India and Fiji. The growth percentage is exciting. We are running at a growth rate of 18-20 per cent for the second consecutive year.

How does Fiji Airways look at India as a market?

India is a diverse market with several different interests but we also have tremendous similarity. In Fiji, almost 45 per cent of the population is Indian or Indo-Fijian heritage. So, there is a similarity and interest there. We are trying to understand how the Indian market wants to see us, Fiji and South Pacific, and we see a lot of potential there. I think a lot of the familiarity in the front level or top level comes from the awareness of Fiji being a South Pacific island with aquatic interests and more. India is also coming to realise that there is a lot more to Fiji than beautiful beaches, sand and the sun. As we share this more, more people become attracted to the destination.

How is India different from Fiji when it comes to marketing your airline?

There are a number of different segments here in India. Some constitute a more mature market like parents and grandparents and then we have the other population that is very dynamic, cosmopolitan and first-world experienced. We need to market in India in a more conventional and traditional format but we also need to communicate that it has helped grow the travelling market, and that happens through the digital space. I think the real contemporary market is looking to be wooed and be informed through the digital space. They want to share experiences, appeal to different senses and see rich content. 

What are the challenges you face while marketing in a vast country like India?

I am not sure if there is much of a difficulty besides the logistical reality because you have a diverse, rich and beautiful country and it is massive in terms of geographic size, population and diversity of interest. We are a unique,

exciting and small island in South Pacific. We have to be sure we are very strategic in our approach to the market so that with our limited resources, we are delivering complete messages. Those are some of the major challenges which are mostly just size related. But at the same time, we realise how important the market is here. Thus, we are deepening our relationship with Jet Airways and investing in expanding our representation firm here in India. The Indian market is just that important to us and it is growing, so we feel that we need to continue growing with it. 

What are the marketing and ad campaigns that Fiji Airways is working on?

We have to make sure that there is a general as well as specific message delivered to masses. I think what we do is working with the travel trade is that we get into specific segments of the market. For example, we will get into adventure marketing with the travel trade, then romance or honeymoon marketing as opposed to necessarily doing a lot of market segmentation in general media because it is just too big for that. So, we work with the travel trade, work through specific association and we get to know that there is a growing interest in the MICE market from India and businesses want to bring their groups to explore new and different places. We are working with the MICE market there but that is more direct marketing than general marketing. The general marketing that we are doing is mostly with Fiji tourism which is more in line to what we are doing in the digital space. 

What would your 3-point advice be to any other foreign brand who wants to market in India for the first time?

There are number of things that can be considered there. The very first thing I would consider and recommend is ‘Listen’ and take in as much information from the market as possible. We need to make sure we are listening to what the market wants to tell us. Secondly, you need to make a commitment to the market by which I mean investing both time and investment purposes of increasing the activities of our representing company. Thirdly, you must really engage with the market and embrace it. You need to believe in the market which you are in and you need to love it.

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