Morris Garages not niche but a brand for all: Pallavi Singh, Marketing Head

The Marketing Head for MG Motor India, which will unveil its first model in India next year, tells us that digital will be the main focus of their marketing strategy.

e4m by Madhuwanti Saha
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 8:53 AM

In a highly connected world, brand advocacy is more than just the need of the hour. And British automotive company Morris Garages Motor India, which will unveil its first model in India next year, surely understands this. The company recently launched #MGChangemakers campaign in collaboration with The Better India and UN Women India, highlighting and recognising the extraordinary journey of six women across marginalised communities who have brought about positive changes in society. The association, which was initiated five months ago, gave the much-deserved attention to personalities such as transgender activist Kalki Subramaniam; Padma Shri awardee Sudha Varghese; women-led rural banking pioneer Chetna Sinha; India’s youngest sarpanch Jabna Chauhan; Dr. Rani Bang; and founder of North-East Network Monisha Behal.

No automotive brand has so far chosen advocacy to communicate its message and so MG’s campaign is quite an interesting feat. We caught up with Pallavi Singh, Head Marketing, MG Motor India, for a free-wheeling chat. Singh shared the objective of the campaign, emphasised on the community building aspect of marketing strategy and insisted on how they are a brand for all.

Here are the edited excerpts:

What was the overlying concept behind #MGChangemakers campaign?

The ethos and pillars of our brand are people, experiences, community innovation and diversity. We look at letting people know about the brand through advocacy. These changemakers are truly bringing changes to our country. Advocacy is important in the world we live in. And that’s what we are trying to establish. With The Better India and UN Women, we are trying to ensure that women with great stories come on board with us.

How are you planning to scale this up?

This is part one. Going forward, we are going to work with The Better India and UN Women and look at the next wave of advocacy campaign and what we need to communicate as a brand. It could potentially be in the innovation or diversity space. It has to fit in people, experiences, community, innovation and diversity. They are not overnight ideas. It takes a lot of time to convince people to do what you want. This is just the beginning. We have just taken baby steps.

Building community has turned out to be an important element in marketing strategy for most brands, including MG. How does it work out? Will India be a part of this strategy?

MG Car Club, one of the oldest clubs, has been around since 1930. I am fortunate to be able to find opportunities like this where such communities can exist. Brands like One Plus and Xiaomi are trying to build communities. Right now, it’s the need of the hour that communities come together and have a great time. Through communities, you meet great people. It just adds to what brands can do. If your customer is part of a strong community, you can find out what they want. They are your true brand ambassadors. They truly tell what the brands stand for.

There are 70,000 MG Car Club members worldwide. We are going to extend it in India as well. We have an opportunity to make it in a way that is accustomed for the Indian market. There’s going to be a programme for the car club. People can be a part of it. We will reveal that strategy as we move forward.

What’s the marketing strategy?

As brands and marketers are evolving, there is no one-fit-for-all kind of a strategy. Digital is going to play an integral role for us. Advocacy is an important part of content marketing.
We are going to launch an SUV in April 2019. Anybody and everybody who has an aspiration to have an SUV, can own an MG. So the strategy is going to revolve a lot around customer advocacy, storytelling and having the right foundation and fundamentals of digital ecosystem where we are very close to the customer. Digital will be the main focus. Other mediums will be part of the strategy.
At this point, our motto is when people think about MG they should know it’s a British car brand coming into this country in April 2019.

Who is your TG in India?

There’s no target audience. MG is not a niche brand. We are a brand for all. We want everybody to own an MG in the future. Anybody who is a car enthusiast and wants a comfortable and experiential SUV will be our customer.

What are the touchpoints?

We are going to be fairly expansive in our approach. We are looking at close to 130 locations and expanded very quickly to 200 locations.

Unified digital measurement is an issue that the industry is grappling with. How have you been measuring your digital campaigns and their effectiveness?

If you have the right team who understands data, fundamentals and foundation tools, it’s not difficult. As marketers, we confuse between digital and social media. They are both different things which require different expertise. That’s why we have invested in Adobe AEM marketing solution. It helps us understand and synthesise data and target right. That way, we need to have right tools, team and infrastructure to ensure we understand the digital ecosystem.

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