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On 4Ps, LG to stress on products: Sanjay Chitkara

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Sanjay Chitkara –Head Corporate Marketing, LG India

Sanjay Chitkara –Head Corporate Marketing, LG India

With marketing spend of Rs 700 crore, LG India is positioning itself differently on the basis of the first ‘P’ of marketing and acknowledging ‘Product’ as one of its key differentiators. In an interview with Pitch, Sanjay Chitkara –Head Corporate Marketing, LG India talks about their marketing plan along with their 4P’s strategy. Excerpts:

What is your marketing strategy for 2013? How are you going to shape up your 4Ps?
When it comes to product which is the key to success; we will be strengthening our product portfolio across categories. Our recent launches like World’s first 84 inch Ultra HD TV and Optimus G are much appreciated by industry experts, media and consumers. In terms of price, Indian consumers are value conscious and not price conscious, so we will not be playing on pricing front. As far as place is concerned, we are focusing on enhancing moments of truth for consumers with in-store activations, better in-store visibility through display of products and better product experience by deployment of quality fixtures. Certainly retail plays an important role as for consumers as it is an experience, we will be strengthening our presence throughout retail mediums, be it MBO or our own exclusive brand shops. Our marketing plans will support flagship launches and apart from traditional marketing we are focusing on experiential campaigns like LG Lifestyle service on wheel which is, the exceptionally well crafted campaign has covered 16 cities and 5 states, and plans to cover 35 cities by the end of the year. More than 15,000 customers engaged till date and around 20,000 will be engaged by end of June 2013. The whole point of this campaign is to give the users a firsthand experience of how LG can help simplify their lives and at the same time add a touch of style to their homes. In terms of promotion, we have rolled out various ATL and BTL campaigns this season for products including Inverter V AC, Power cut Ever Cool range of Refrigerator, and L series in mobile phones. Shortly we will be starting ATL campaign for flat panels.

What is the marketing-spend for this year?
The marketing spend of this year would be 700 crore. Digital media, which plays a very important role in the consumer decision journey of searching and evaluating products, will be given a bigger share to have an early influence on potential customers

What is the market share of your products in the market?
Our recent market share as per GFK Nielsen March 2013 in value is, Refrigerator-36%, Washing Machine-37%, Microwaves-38%, AC-24%, Flat Panels- 24%, CRT-40%, 3D TV- 36%

How are you positioning yourself differently from your competitors? How are you planning to increase your brand value?
For LG Electronics Product leadership is very important, we introduce futuristic technology and products. Our product is our hero and we don’t need a brand ambassador. Like in case of India, we have driven 3D TV market single handedly. Our recent launch world’s first 84 inch Ultra HD TV received good response and we are planning to introduce different sizes in Ultra HD technology. Similarly, recently we have launched World’s first power cut Ever Cool range of Refrigerator which retains cooling in refrigerator area for 7 hours. We will continue to launch flagship models to strengthen our market leadership.

How are you going to scale up your presence in India?
We are already market leader in consumer durables and certainly we have to work hard to strengthen our leadership. We are constantly working on all areas and ‘product’ is the key differentiator for us.

Any foray in a new segment?
We have recently launched sing along system, Designed especially for the Indian Market – LG Song Star is one of LG’s India insight products. With over 4000 plus songs in nine languages including English, Hindi and regional, it is designed to raise entertainment quotient. Consumers can choose from genres like classic, rock, hip hop, jazz, and contemporary.

Can you tell us about your future product launches and product campaigns?
We have introduced entire new range of product across categories. Our recent launch is 45 new SKU in Flat Panel Display including new line up of Cinema 3D smart TV and Indian insight based products like jazz and Transform TV.

How much does print, electronic, digital, radio constitute in your marketing spend. Which medium is better in terms of brand reach and recall?
We always look at efficiency for our marketing spends and digital platform is one where we can see good response. We have increased our digital spends by 50%.

Is there any price-rise on the cards?
Price-rise is also linked to macro-economic factors like dollar appreciation, as if now we are not planning to increase any prices.

How much do rural markets contribute to the overall growth?
Rural contribution is between 15 to 18%

How is LG positioning itself in the market – as a mass segment brand or a premium brand like it had planned a few years ago?
We’re not vacating mass segments. Premium products don’t mean that we will focus on high end products only, but it means that we will focus on best of products with best design and technology in all product categories. A consumer who wants to buy a single door refrigerator, for him premium would mean a refrigerator apart from cooling which serves additional advanced health features such as anti-bacterial gasket, vitamin plus, fresh riser and cell fresh crisper that ensures healthy life. In CRT TVs also, we constantly work on new designs and CRT line up has more than 32 models. We have the largest portfolio in AC- 62 models. From the most basic feature to the most sophisticated technology, our products are designed to give our customers substantial value, so our focus will be to bring quality products in every segment for which consumer doesn’t mind paying extra premium provided he perceives additional benefits in it.

Cricket has been in the forefront for you. What plans do you have for cricket?
We have a long association being the Global Partners of ICC, promoting cricket among its billions of passionate followers. We are proud to be associated with this great sport and with ICC. Through the global platform provided by ICC events, we will enhance the joys of cricket with our own innovative programmes and campaigns. Lead 11 is one such initiative to celebrate the national spirit by giving platform to our young future generation to lead the cricket stars. We are looking forward to ICC Champion trophy in June 2013

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