We are focused on providing a seamless digital journey: Ankur Kansal, Jaguar Land Rover

Kansal, Brand Director, Jaguar Land Rover India, spoke about ‘The Above & Beyond Tour’, how Land Rover uses experience to communicate its brand story and driving strategic brand objectives

by Misbaah Mansuri
Published - Oct 18, 2018 8:43 AM Updated: Oct 18, 2018 8:43 AM
AnkurKansalLandRover

Land Rover recently completed its 70th anniversary globally. Throughout its journey in India, the brand has gained quite a following in the country and is only stepping up its game, as we go foward. At the helm of the brand's growth is Ankur Kansal, Brand Director, Jaguar Land Rover India who chatted with exchange4media on ‘The Above & Beyond Tour’, how Land Rover uses experience to communicate its brand story, driving strategic brand objectives and how it leverages CRM system, social media channels, and digital targeting. 

Edited excerpts below: 

What was the starting point of ‘The Above & Beyond Tour’ and why is it of the essence?

‘The Above & Beyond Tour’ is a series of drive experience events that are organised with Land Rover vehicles and allow customers to test the true capability of the vehicles under challenging off-road conditions. As such, these events allow us to bring the brand closer to our customers. For any brand to have a sustainable future it is important to build trust and credibility and we do this by delivering the experience events in a safe, authentic, relevant and engaging manner. This also helps us in differentiating the Land Rover experiences. Further, the experience is highly engaging as the customers actually get to drive the Land Rover vehicles over the chosen terrain, while the Land Rover Experience Instructor only guides the customer.

The most important factor, however, is relevance. Given, the road conditions one encounters in India on a day-to-day basis and the unpredictable weather systems that may result in water-logged city roads, ‘The Above & Beyond Tour’ demonstrates the capability of Land Rover that lends itself perfectly to overcome these challenges. The first such drive experience event was conducted in India in 2013. When we started in 2013, of course, it was limited to a few events in the top cities in India. Since then, we have expanded the reach of ’The Above & Beyond Tour’ to Tier II and III cities across a variety of formats. We have smaller formats that we use via mobile terrapods, training programs where customers get to drive several models of Land Rover and then we have international expeditions. The main objective is to maximise reach and take our brand as close as possible to the customers.

How does it impact the brand funnel?

‘The Above & Beyond Tour’ has the potential to positively impact the entire brand funnel i.e. from creating awareness, building brand appeal to driving consideration. As such, to check the effectiveness of our experience events, we not only seek to measure the sales conversions but also measure impact on the brand, and we are convinced that ‘The Above & Beyond Tour’ has effectively conveyed the Land Rover brand story to our customers, thus providing a positive impetus to the brand. To further maximise the impact from these events, we curate content and leverage it across social media platforms, thereby extending our reach to a larger set of customers. As highlighted earlier, we closely monitor inquiries and customer feedback that we receive post the events as well.

Is there any activity specifically to promote‘The Above & Beyond Tour’ and ‘The Art Of Performance Tour’?

We rely on our CRM system, social media channels, and digital targeting to promote our events. Further, we leverage our strong network of retailers, who have built strong and engaging relationships with our current and potential customers. On-ground amplification via PR and social media is also deployed to popularize and maximize the reach of our experiential events.

In terms of prominence, which of the two mediums holds more importance for Jaguar Land Rover – television or digital?

The choice entirely depends upon the objective of the campaign e.g. at the launch of a new product, driving awareness might be the objective and hence use of television, if done appropriately, will help meet the objective. However, in case the objective is to build immediate demand, then certain targeted digital actions will provide a more cost-effective solution. Having said this, the relevance of Social Media channels must be acknowledged, regardless of the objective of the campaign, even though the social media channels lend themselves better to driving strategic brand objectives rather than tactical ones. Overall, the media mix will depend upon the objective of the campaign and of course the available budget.

 What distinguishes brand Land Rover from its competitors?

Land Rover is known for its ‘go anywhere’ spirit – designing iconic vehicles with genuine capability and composure at their heart.

What is your digital marketing strategy?

For us, digital and social media are very significant; we are focusing on providing a seamless digital journey, from the discovery of our brands and products to booking vehicles online. As such SEM, SEO, programmatic targeting, etc. are part of our digital strategy and we have a well-defined action plan for each of these. We also have extremely engaging online booking platforms, findmeacar.in for Jaguar and findmeasuv.in for Land Rover, which may be used to search and book, a Jaguar or a Land Rover vehicle of choice. Further, you would have seen our latest campaigns on social media, ‘Discovery with a Purpose’ and ‘Land of Land Rovers’. Such content is extremely effective in delivering the relevant brand stories and we do intend to continue our focus on this aspect.

 What according to you are the challenges with operating in the luxury auto segment?

The size of the luxury auto segment in India is fairly small in comparison to the overall passenger vehicle market, and hence finding a luxury customer is like finding a needle in a haystack – extremely challenging. Besides the media landscape, relevant to the luxury auto segment, is changing quite rapidly, especially in digital. And thus, it is imperative to keep the marketing plans dynamic and flexible. We are continuously seeking to create new brand touch points via digital and on-ground initiatives, evaluating them and then tweaking our plans for optimizing the output.

Unified digital communication is a big challenge, so how are you measuring your digital campaigns and their effectiveness?

In today’s cluttered media space, understanding the impact of any campaign or communication is extremely crucial. For any campaign to be successful, it is important to define the objective and success measures e.g. if the objective of a campaign is to achieve a particular sales number, then it is extremely pertinent, to look at sales conversions. However, if the objective is to drive awareness and familiarity, then we focus on parameters such as reach, website visitors, time-spent, etc. We have a very robust CRM system and complete integration of our CRM system with our digital channels. This enables us to track the impact of any campaign that we undertake.

 What would be the way forward in terms of the brand's marketing and communication plans?

We have campaigns planned to meet the various brand and sales objectives; specific details of these will be known as we activate these campaigns. At the moment, we have our festival season campaigns on and we do intend to continue focus on ‘The Above & Beyond Tour’. In terms of content, we have had success with ‘Discovery with a Purpose’ and ‘The Land of Land Rovers’ and are in the process of exploring new content opportunities along similar lines.

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