Media mix for XPRES will be primarily digital-driven: Vivek Srivatsa, Tata Motors

Srivatsa, Head-Marketing, PVBU, Tata Motors, says while their dependence on print has gone down during pandemic, presence on TV and digital has gone up substantially

e4m by Sonam Saini
Published: Jul 15, 2021 8:53 AM  | 4 min read

Tata Motors on Wednesday announced a new brand, XPRES, designed exclusively for fleet customers.

Under the XPRES brand, the company will introduce offerings catering to fleet-specific needs of safety, passenger comfort, and low cost of ownership.

According to the company, all vehicles for the fleet segment will sport an elegantly designed XPRES badge, clearly differentiating them from the 'New Forever' range of cars and SUVs that cater to the requirements of the personal segment. The first vehicle under the XPRES brand to be launched shortly will be an Electric Sedan called the 'XPRES-T' EV.

Targeted at mobility services, corporate and government fleet customers, the company wants to keep its marketing communication around its features, including low cost of ownership and safety and passenger comfort, making it a comprehensive and attractive proposition for fleet owners and operators.

Talking about the range, said Vivek Srivatsa, Head - Marketing, PVBU, Tata Motors, said, "XPRES is a brand focused on the fleet, and it's not for a regular customer. So, the marketing strategy is focused on the cost of ownership, which is an important part of a fleet buyer’s needs. Apart from the cost of ownership, safety and passenger comfort also become an important part of what we deliver. Therefore, XPRES as a brand will stand for the low cost of ownership, uncompromised safety, and passenger comfort. And that's how we want to project all products that come under XPRES." 

He further added, "In terms of reaching out to customers (which are primarily fleet customers), we rely largely on the PR. We also have a vast data bank of our earlier customers since we were one of the bigger players in the fleet section five-six years back. Consequently, a lot of our existing customers are potentially upgraders to the electric sedan that we are offering. Email and SMS campaigns to a database which consists of fleet owners, corporates who are looking to upgrade is the way we're going to market this car."

The media mix for any new product at Tata Motors is chosen based on multiple factors, and it varies from product to product, informed Srivatsa. However, for XPRES, initial marketing will happen on digital.

"The media mix will be primarily digital-driven followed by emailers, SMS and supported by a lot of activity on our social media handles. In specific markets, we might even go on print with the publications that actively cater to corporates."

He further mentioned, "Our presence on digital goes beyond buying media. It's also about optimization and hyperlocal marketing. Hence, digital is always on. But whenever we do big launches, we use other media like print, TV, OOH, and sometimes even radio. It depends on the product and market requirement then."

The auto industry witnessed some challenging times during the lockdown period (April-May). However, the lockdown impact was moderate this time as compared to the previous year.

Talking about marketing during the pandemic, Srivatsa shared, "The pandemic has been extremely challenging for the marketers. The newspaper circulation was almost zero for few months, and there was no fresh content on TV.  Therefore, we have focused quite a lot on digital marketing, which has become more about customized communication."

He further added, "Our dependence on print has gone down quite a lot due to a drop in circulation and readership. Apart from digital, our presence on TV has gone up substantially. Sometimes there is a shortage of fresh content due to the lockdown restriction, and therefore, many brands have taken up the opportunity to be present more on live sports."

Srivatsa said that the second Covid wave didn't impact the marketing spends of the category. However, he feels there is a change in the period.  "The cyclicity might have changed. People might have reduced marketing in April and May, but they would have saved the money for another time. We see a lot of advertising activities by various companies as the markets are opening. I believe, at an annual level, there's not going to be any reduction in marketing spends."

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