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Direct marketing is moving towards ATL: Manisha Amol

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Manisha Amol, Vice President- Marketing, Modicare Limited

Manisha Amol, Vice President- Marketing, Modicare Limited

Manisha Amol joined Modicare Limited as the Vice President Marketing about 18 months ago. She is in charge of spearheading the marketing strategies for the organisation. Prior to joining Modicare, she has worked as the Head, New Markets, with Oriflame India. In her work experience of 19 years, she has been associated with companies like Canon India, Real Value Marketing Services, Salora International and HCL. Neha Goel from Pitch finds out her plans for the direct selling company from Modi Group.

What is the experience at Oriflame you are getting to Modicare?
Oriflame was more of skincare and colour. Being a multinational, they have the knowledge of around 60 countries. They have factories in five countries. So getting these products to India and tweaking them as per Indian requirements and marketing the products here was one experience. Coming to Modicare, it is an Indian company, and a multi-level-marketing company. As opposed to my previous company, we are more focused on Indians, their needs, their tastes. We customise the products according to the climatic conditions of India, according to the trends prevalent in the country.

We are bringing in international trends, but customising them to Indian tastes. That is one major change, plus there are nine categories of products that we deal in as opposed to a very focused skincare market. That has given me wider exposure and especially wellness, where the world is moving today. Not just in the product profile, but Modicare has given me wider exposure in consultants’ profile and reach. Here we are much more aggressive in Tier II and Tier III markets.

Are you planning to expand to international markets too?
Yes, we are already present in Nepal, we are exploring options in North East Asian countries also. We are looking at Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and these countries. But that is also at a very nascent stage. These are potential markets which are in continuity in India and having similar profiling like India. These countries have very similar demographics as India. So that’ll give us a logical expansion.

How important is advertising in the direct selling sector?
Earlier what we knew of multi-level-marketing (MLM) was that – give benefits only to your people and word of mouth will spread about the company. Competition is so fierce that even after all the knowledge that consumers have, anything which is in media provides credibility to the brand. And that credibility we all want – be it in retail marketing or direct selling. Retail marketers have very deep pockets. They can spend huge sums on advertising. We in our own sphere are trying to get into ATL. ATL need not just be electronic medium. We are looking at print, we are looking at outdoor advertising, we are looking at in cinema advertising. For example, to name a few companies, Amway is into electronic but if you look at Tupperware, they are more into print.

I think MLM is gradually moving towards media. We have started advertising in print very rigorously now. With the Rs 100+ crore of turn over that we have, we are trying to do all that we can. We are very active in PR. We are trying to get into Cosmopolitan, Elle, Vogue, all these top-end national publications for that visibility. For our consultants to derive the benefits, once the consultant goes to a consumer and the consumer has seen the brand, then the recall is faster, you have credibility in your mind, so your product sells. So, I think they go hand in hand.

It’s not like by going ATL we are trying to take away anything from the consultants. And we have plans this financial year, we might pilot in one of the markets to see how electronic media does benefit to our organisation.

So are women your sole targets?
Women have more free time as compared to men. In our country, a large chunk of women are still home-makers. So they have more disposable time which can be utilised to earn money. That’s why women easily get into this kind of business and you do not need any formal education, any heavy financial requirement. You need not have any dynamic personality to start this business. So any simple person who is 18 years and above, but has big dreams and wants to make himself or herself financially independent can be a part of it.

Women are very comfortable bragging about their hair, their dress, their beauty in their warm circle and this is the business. You buy a product, you use a product, you like it, you talk about it. And as you talk about it, you are not doing business; you are sharing your good experience.

At Modicare, we have more than 50 per cent male consultants with us. That is mainly because we have a lot of products, which are for men. We have agri-products, wellness products, that is one category where men are more conversant. Even in a category like personal care we have a clear demarcation for men. But generally in MLM, 70 per cent are women and that is the trend worldwide.

Today, you see there are a lot of young people who are joining this business and that is because they have a lot of free time. It’s an easy way of earning pocket money. They can easily earn Rs 5,000-10,000 per month by sharing experiences with friends. We have around 20 products which are youth oriented.

How do you plan to engage youth further?
We have launched our Facebook page because that is where the youth is. We have roped in the occasion of Valentine’s Day. We go to schools and colleges to talk about our products and make presentations. Like, we have products for children, so we target schools where mothers come. The students experience the products and get to know about Modicare.

We do mall activations and if you see the footfall in malls, majority consists of youth. So these are the kind of BTL activities that we do to attract youth, plus customised products, in terms of shades, styles and cost, are always there. All our strategies are aimed towards these two segments- women and youth.

Which are the new markets you are exploring?
We are looking at north east as a focused market. We’ve set up four billing points in the recent past. We are doing a lot of events through which we are showcasing our products. We try to rope in everyone through these events. We do ramp shows showcasing our products. These are business cum fun-filled events. Today we are strongest in south. So that market is there. For personal care we are targeting north-east because that is where people are more oriented towards such products.

We are also increasing our billing points. More number of billing points implies more penetration in Tier II and Tier III cities. Billing points are spaces which have Modicare’s branding and there is a representative sitting there giving information about the products. People can place their orders and collect them from there. This helps us expand our reach. There are 45 such centres and we are adding more and more. Every month we are adding one or two centres.

About the author / 

Jyotsna Sharma

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