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Marketing

Tied strongly to the idea of branding and innovation is marketing. Marketing and promotional campaigns, an integral part of retailers’ strategies, are being used to increase visibility, drive sales, advertise new products, popularise products and reach out to new consumers.

Given the current economic situation, companies are focusing on making marketing strategies more efficient, faster and at the lowest possible cost. Five marketing vehicles that are being increasingly used are presented below.

Sectoral snapshots

Reality shows

Reality TV shows are a popular vehicle for marketing products since they ensure good returns on investment. Reality shows are captivating and attract a greater percentage of consumers. Reality TV shows are beneficial to marketers in various aspects because —

  • Reality shows help marketers reach new audiences/consumers.

  • They provide advertisers with a platform for live interactions.

  • Marketers can embark upon product placement, whereby products are

integrated into the programme.

Mobile phones

With approximately 300 million subscribers in India, mobile phones are increasingly becoming a powerful marketing tool. The key differentiator of mobile marketing is that it is a more personal method, reaching consumers on a one-on-one basis. Selected major companies have undertaken mobile advertising to launch new products, announce promotional offers, etc.

Brand ambassadors

Associating a brand with events and personalities is one way to build and enhance a brand’s image and status. In India, film actors and sports personalities are admired by millions of people and are typically signed by Retail&Consumer companies to become brand ambassadors for their brands/products. These brand ambassadors are featured in major print and media campaigns and also participate in theme-based events, such as polo matches, parties to celebrate product launches, etc. The use of brand ambassadors enable Retail&Consumer companies to increase awareness and recognition, build brand recall, leverage the positive traits, qualities and characteristics of ambassadors towards the brand, reach and appeal to new consumers, etc.

The Internet

Retailers are starting to leverage the electronic platform to introduce online company- and/or product-specific games, chatrooms, microsites, etc. The use of microsites is becoming increasingly popular as Retail&Consumer companies target young and aspiring Indian consumers.

Sponsorships

Retailers are sponsoring marathons, sports-based tournaments and events, and concerts in order to build brand equity, push the brand to a larger subset of consumers and gain advertising/media mileage.

Strategic Issues for Retail CEOs* : Perspectives on Operating in India’s Retail Sector

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