IPL is a big leverage for offline smartphone brands: Sr. VPs, Transsion India

Gaurav Tikoo, Senior VP- Marketing, Transsion India, and Arijeet Talapatra, Senior VP, Sales Distribution & Retail, Transsion India, spoke to exchange4media on their association with IPL 2018 and how sports marketing works well for an offline smartphone brand

by Misbaah Mansuri and Dolly Mahayan
Published - May 10, 2018 8:56 AM Updated: May 10, 2018 8:56 AM

Tecno Mobile, smartphone brand from Transsion India, has for the first time partnered with Kings XI Punjab for the IPL season as the team’s official smartphone partner. Also, their flagship brand itel has launched a new brand campaign-‘Full hai Wonderful.’

exchange4media spoke to Gaurav Tikoo, Senior VP- Marketing, Transsion India, and Arijeet Talapatra, Senior VP, Sales Distribution & Retail, Transsion India, on leveraging IPL 2018 and how sports marketing works well for an offline smartphone brand.

Betting on IPL

According to Tikoo, IPL’s popularity is a big leverage for offline smartphone brands like Tecno.

“IPL has established itself as the most popular sport in India. Enticing every Indian into this highly acclaimed sports entertainment, IPL brings people from across the globe on to one platform. This makes brand association with these sports teams a lucrative tactic. We are extremely delighted to be the official smartphone partner for Kings XI Punjab. Through this synergic partnership, we intend to engage with sports enthusiasts of India by launching a slew of exciting new products during IPL. Camon iSky is the first smartphone being launched in the IPL season,” he said.

Talapatra voiced a similar opinion and revealed that some digital campaigns with the Kings XI Punjab team are in the pipeline. “We also have print columns penned down by Mr Sunil Gavaskar across different newspapers to amp this up further. And, lucky for us, the IPL team we have associated with is doing well and we’re getting a lot of visibility,” he added.

When quizzed on how sports marketing works well for an offline smartphone brand like Tecno, Tikoo contended, “Cricket in its entirety is the most celebrated sport in India and within that, IPL has always proven to be the most impactful media property for branding. However, it is important to figure out the key markets so that you can pick up the right properties and start associating with them. For Tecno, Punjab is a huge market. So association with Kings XI Punjab works well as part of the overall game plan to permeate to the right audience with robust offerings.”

Online/Offline model

Transsion Group has a multi-brand strategy under which there is Infinix for online model and Tecno for offline model. “At Transsion, the advantage of having multiple brands is that you can have a channel-focused brand by offering eclectic products based on our extensive market insight and consumer segmentation. These products not only cater to users looking for cost-effective devices or experiencing a smartphone for the first time, but also give the best of experience to users wanting to move up towards a premium segment,” said Tikoo.

Speaking on their offline-led approach, Talapatra said, “We have had a very clear go-to market strategy with itel. Our observation was that 85% of the market was offline. So we focused on it and chose to go to the consumers with direct distribution.”

Reviving Spice

Spice Mobility is all set to make a comeback in association with Transsion. On reviving Spice in the Indian market, Talapatra shared, “In many markets, Spice is doing very well and we’re getting a lot of traction from these market. We have a ‘one-year free replacement’ deal which is an offer that nobody in the market dishes. This talks volumes about the confidence on the quality and product. To revive it, we’re going with offline channels and direct distribution.”

Marketing budget across ATL and BTL

Tikoo explained that while ATL or BTL is important independently, they work the best when used collectively. “That makes a 360-degree marketing campaign the best for any brand and we are no different. Our go-to-market approach for Tecno is an ideal mix of ATL & BTL to create an integrated marketing campaign around our core proposition of ‘best in any light camera’ in reaching out to our core TG and stand out amidst fierce competition in the smartphone category,” he said.

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