‘We are targeting double-digit growth in the festive season’

Shirish Agarwal, Head - Marketing Communications & Brand, Panasonic Life Solutions India, shares insights on the company’s festive marketing plans

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: Sep 22, 2022 8:48 AM  | 5 min read
Panasonic

Despite the tough macroeconomic situation, Panasonic is hopeful of a positive festive season, and is eyeing a double-digit growth on the back of smart air conditioners and the home appliance category.

Ecstatic with its growth trajectory in India in the first half of FY23 (Panasonic recorded 32 per cent growth Jan-Jul'22 vs Jan-Jul'21), Panasonic, the Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation, is already in a festive mood, and has launched several campaigns to boost its sales further in India.

exchange4media spoke to Shrish Agarwal,  Head - Marketing Communications & Brand, Panasonic Life Solutions India, to understand his festive marketing strategy, media mix and other plans.

Excerpts:

The festive shopping season has begun. Although big-ticket purchases are done during Diwali, what is the consumer sentiment right now and what are your expectations for Diwali?

We anticipate a strong festive season due to positive consumer sentiments and economic conditions. We are targeting double-digit growth in the festive season reinforced by smart ACs and the home appliances category (washing machines) and our marketing spends are in line with this. Further enablers such as no-cost EMI, cashback, and easy finance accessibility will boost the momentum and fuel the demand.

Considering macroeconomic factors like rising fuel prices, how are your sales panning out, in rural and urban both?  

Consumers across rural and urban areas have now adjusted to the post-pandemic lifestyle wherein safety and value proposition are taking precedence in their purchase decisions. Consumers have now realized that consumer appliances are an indispensable ‘essential’ item aiding in multi-tasking. We are seeing a rise in demand for value proposition appliances that are easy to use (allowing them to multitask), energy-efficient, connected (smart), and healthy & hygienic.

We at Panasonic, have synergized our efforts in creating a robust portfolio of smart products across categories like air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, fans, plugs and switches that are powered by Miraie – an IoT-based platform that connects with Panasonic appliances wirelessly for easy control and remote monitoring.

We expect to see a rise in demand for value-proposition appliances such as connected (smart) ACs, washing machines, refrigerators and premium microwaves. 

What are your festive plans for this year? Compared to the last two years, how much AdEx (in terms of percentage) have you planned for this season?

Starting in August, we announced the 'Festival of Life' campaign ahead of the festive season, which entails a range of attractive festive offers and schemes to make festive purchases accessible and affordable for consumers. With this campaign, we have introduced a range of cashback programs, convenient finance schemes, warranty benefits, and exciting gifts on the purchase of Panasonic appliances.

Last week, we launched the ‘Welcome to Adulthood’ campaign, through which we aim to support young consumers in their transition to adulthood by helping them make sustainable purchases through our buying guides. These #WelcometoAdulthood buying guides will allow consumers to educate themselves and make smart well-informed decisions to buy home appliances and contribute to helping them live their best. We also went live with our digital film campaign for the new line-up of smart washing machines, #India’sTrulySmartWashingMachine.

The campaign highlights that connected living is the future and how Panasonic Washing Machines loaded with a host of interesting features like Built-in Heater, Wash Wizard & Stain Genius, powered by Miraie, are making the chore of washing clothes truly smart and effortless. This is a digital lead video campaign, wherein we aim to not only drive awareness but also consideration amongst the consumers. Accordingly, we have chosen the touch points where digital takes the lead and we will also be doing print and OOH.

What is your latest marketing strategy especially when markets are totally open but digital sales continue to rise?

We maintain our communications through an omnichannel approach, where digital is our core focus. Our intent is to deliver audience-centric communication to embed relevant information across multiple touchpoints based on the consumer journey, allowing them to make an informed decision from the beginning. Moreover, we are strengthening our product portfolio across channels, covering various price points to make purchases more accessible and affordable to consumers.

E-commerce plays an important role when it comes to business as it complements other channels as well. Before making a purchase decision, consumers are using e-commerce platforms to discover and research new products.

Our aim is to provide consumers with a consistent experience across all touchpoints. As a result, we are available on all e-commerce platforms with our entire product line-up empowering consumers with the right product options.

How do you decide your media mix for different categories?

The rise in screen time has made digital the preferred medium for consumers, followed by Television and then Print. At Panasonic, we have opted for an intelligent marketing mix for adex with digital playing the key role. Most of our efforts, almost 70 per cent, are focused on digital and television-related campaigns. Television contributes to expanding audience reach and awareness, whereas digital platforms expand audience consideration.

How much was your advertising expenditure (AdEx) in FY22 and how much growth in AdEx is expected in FY23?

Based on the campaign objective, we decide the consumer touchpoints that we want to focus on. And whichever platform we choose, we aim to drive a 10 per cent SOV.

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