The second edition of India Brand Conclave saw the gathering of the best minds in the marketing industry in Gurugram on the 29th of November. The Conclave was followed by the fifth edition of Indian Marketing Awards where organizations were awarded for setting achieving excellence in their marketing practices. The awards were given across various categories including stages of Brand Building, Communications, Design, Marketing to Unique Audiences and Excellence Awards.
The conclave commenced with a speaker session where Vikram Chopra, Co-founder and CEO, Cars24 spoke about ‘How is CARS24 disrupting India’s used car sector’. Speaking about the potential of the Indian market, he added, “India is all set to become the world’s third-largest auto market behind US and China. Used cars are a $4mn market today. In five to 10 years it can become a $200-300bn market opportunity.” He also talked about how technology helped the brand build a vast network without having any physical infrastructure. “In three years we have reached a transaction volume of 10,000 cars a month or over 120,000 cars a year. Regardingvalue we are doing $300mn worth of cars a year or Rs2000 crore of transactions is facilitated in three years of business,” added Chopra.
The conclave moved ahead with a fireside chat with Rajiv Singh, COO, Zee Media where he talked about the challenges faced while convincing advertisers about news media as an advertising medium. Defining the future of news consumption, he added, “News as a genre in India is likely to double up in the next three years which is a big incentive, but how this growth will come and who will cash in on it first will depend on capability and strengths of the channels and also the consumer behavior; how much time they spend on TV vis-à-vis digital.”
At the Conclave, a panel discussion took place on “How can marketing drive the personalization game? Eminent names including Amit Sethiya, Head Marketing, Syska Group; Ayushman Chiranewala, Head Marketing, Fastrack; B.Krishna Rao, Sr. Category Head, Parle Products; GulbaharTaurani, Director Marketing & Business Head, Philips India; and Srinivas Rao, Sr. VP- Marketing, Lifestyle International were a part of the panel discussion. The session was moderated by Avik Chattopadhyay, Co-founder & Partner, Expereal. To begin with, Srinivasa Rao explained what the word personalization implies. He added, “Personalization actually means knowing customer preference and choice.” B Krishna Rao talked about ways to look at personalization and added, “There are two ways to look at it, one is in terms of B2B. We do lot of personalized offerings for several of our distributors, as all of them don’t want the same product so, we try to personalized their offerings, schemes etc. Another aspect, as far as modern retail is concerned, we have lot of chains operating here. We try to collaborate and give exclusive offerings to a particular chain for a period, say months, and try to execute to other chains, which has given us great results. Relevance is extremely important.” Sethiya talked about a key concern that could affect the personalization game. “Personalization at scale is not a very difficult task because it’s a ‘wow factor’ that cracks but my bigger concern is, who is taking responsibility of the customer information and how do you ensure that it doesn’t end up irritating the customer?,” asked Sethiya.
A special address was then conducted at the Conclave where Oliver Mirza, MD & CEO, Dr. Oetkar India spoke on ‘Category Management: Building a New Category.’ He talked about how creating a new category ‘Veg Mayonnaise’ helped the brand deep dive into the Indian market and help establish itself as the biggest category which is now a 180 crore market in the country. “Beauty of building this category is that you take an insight and scale it up. Eggless is not that relevant, people wanted to hear vegetarian,” said Mirza.
Another panel discussion then took place where marketers talked about “The changing landscape of marketing’. The discussion was chaired by Vikas Mehta, CEO, PointNine Lintas, along with Anika Agarwal, Senior Vice President & Head-Marketing, Digital & Direct Sales, Max Bupa Health Insurance; Dinesh Arora, Digital Head, Angel Broking; Prashant Verma, Vice President Marketing, Grofers; Trupti Bhandari, Global Lead – Horlicks & Boost, GSK Consumer Healthcare being the panel speakers. Talking about how health insurance category is slightly under penetrated, Agarwal stated, “Insurance is a traditional industry where the distributor is the consumer. In my industry, there are only 2-3 per cent consumers who go and buy a health insurance end to end online.” On the other hand, Verma spoke about how his business was more need based rather than want based and added, “Measurement for us starts with the acquisition. We can classify in deep from consumer buying patterns etc.”
The conclave then saw another speaker session where Bishwajeet Samal, Head Marketing, Volkswagen Passenger Cars spoke on the topic, ‘Finding the right balance between short term activation and long-term brand building in the complex market environment’. “Balance is a verb, where one needs to stack up to the right things that will hold the brand together,” said Samal. He gave a few examples of brands that have had long-term activities, like Raymond and Nike. Picking up the former he said, “They have been consistent with their messaging. When we say the words ‘Complete man’, the first thing that comes to our mind is Raymond.” While talking about how such activations helped the brand Volkswagen in its 10 years of launch, he added, “We did achieve our goals through both these plans. We achieved it in a record time of 3 years where our awareness grew from 8% to 33%.”
The next speaker session moved to Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands who spoke on ‘Creating Brands with Purpose’. Initiating his session with what purpose meant, Sinha added, “My personal belief is that brands should do a lot of on-ground activities rather than just focusing on advertising or communication medium.” He went on to give the examples of two key brands that he worked with and how they did much more than just a campaign, Amul and Reckitt Benckiser. “Everyone will follow the bandwagon of brands with purpose but if you do it properly, not only will it work a lot for your brand, it will work for your corporate image and will be gratifying to each one of us individually,” concluded Sinha.
The session was then followed by a fireside chat with Rachana Panda, Chief Communications Officer & Citizenship Leader, GE South Asia where she spoke in depth about innovation for mature brands like GE. “Mature brands do have their own nuances and they have to keep in mind a lot of things beyond marketing. If everything else is orderly and process oriented, then it easy to do a little bit of disruption,” added Panda.
Another fireside chat took place with YashishDahiya, CEO & Co-Founder, PolicyBazaar.com Group of Companies on ‘Best practices to make the most of customer insights in the era of fast evolving media and technology landscape.’ During the chat, Dahiya added, “By reducing prices or giving a much higher cover at the same price, we at PolicyBazaar are able to use data fundamentally to give customers an offering, which is exclusive & and can’t be found elsewhere. That’s the way we use data, in the biggest possible manner, as we always try to do the right thing for our consumers.”
The Conclave concluded with a panel discussion on ‘Brand Building via Sports’ which included speakers Anita Nayyar, CEO, India and South East Asia, Havas Media Group;Anupam Bokey, VP Marketing, RP Sanjiv Goenka Group and Sai Narayan, Associate Director and Head of Marketing, Policybazaar. Speaking about the reasons that make sporting platforms so effective for brand building, Nayyar said, “We have seen how cricket has panned out over the time and it’s almost like a religion now. The reach of cricket and the fact that we connect so well with cricket and the pride that we have in winning are some of the factors that make sporting events very close to our hearts.” Bokey spoke about the reasons behind choosing a sporting icon (Virat Kohli) over Bollywood actors to launch their new brand Too Yumm. “When we were designing Too Yumm communication, we wanted a celebrity who could solve the marketing challenge that we faced. We needed somebody who espouses those values and is extremely health conscious. Also we wanted to establish our credibility and needed someone who could help us do that and ViratKohli was the perfect fit for it.” Underling how sporting properties have established insurance as a category that goes beyond the tax saving period, Narayan said, “The kind of reach and visibility and the kind of integration that sporting platforms offer takes brand building to a different level. When we thought of buying IPL it was an extremely difficult decision. But once we did it, we saw the highest traffic in a month that is otherwise the most difficult month for us as a category.”
The Conclave was then followed by a felicitation ceremony of the Indian Marketing Awards.