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Checklist For FY 20-21 Marketing Plans

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As the effects of Covid-19 unravel, Sushil Goswami, General Manager – Marketing, CPD India & Nepal, The Himalaya Drug Company lists critical pointers in working out the annual brand plan for coming year

Most experts agree that Covid-19 will have impact anywhere ranging from six months to two years. I have attempted to write down few considerations which are critical in working out the annual brand plan for coming year.

  • Invest More On E-commerce

With the fact that social distancing will continue as a norm, more and more consumers are expected to order sitting at home. So be present where it matters!! (Point of Sales visibility in traditional trade can be shifted to driving visibility on e-platforms)

  • Participation In Meaningful Social Cause

As a community we are going through a tough time. It’s a great time for brands to do necessary service towards the society’s wellbeing. It’s also a great opportunity to build trust for your brand in long run.

  • Cut The Tail

Consolidate and rationalize the investments towards two or three key business priorities. It would be a tough year towards financial commitments. Hence, we must identify priorities to focus on this year. Remember, marketing is also an art of sacrifice.

  • Pricing Will Be Play A Crucial Role

Price hike as a key business growth tool should be kept inside the closet for some time. In fact, marketers should identify ways to improve cost-value matrix for consumers.

  • Changed Communication To Reflect New Realities

With consumer preferring to spend more time with family, there is a huge opportunity to unearth new insights. For OOH consumption categories, it will be a very tough year as they will have to reinvent themselves in this changed world.

  • If They Can’t Come To You, Go To Them

Due to the pandemic, on-ground activations are out of the equation. Marketers will have to ideate on how to drive product experience (in case of categories where it is a must) inside the home.

  • NPD Plans To Be Revisited

New products, planned launches (unless around fear and safety) can be postponed or introduced in few pockets to ensure better ROI. NPDs (New product development) around personal and home hygiene can be explored on “E-commerce First” as a key GTM (go-to-market) strategy.

  • Germ Protection Claims Are Expected To Expand Wings

With preventive care at centre stage, more and more categories are expected to carry claims around hygiene. This will assure consumers to try categories without any fear. In Hygiene categories, we should expect stronger fight with comparative claims to win the ultimate battle.

  • Customer Vs Consumer Paradigm

Who buys and who consumes has changed during Covid-19 world!! So, keep a close eye on this shift in your category. You might not have enough resources to target both but find creative ways to deliver on this.

  • Less Communication To Add To The Clutter

With pressure on top-line and bottom line, most brands are expected to release limited new commercials. Over and above, consolidation will mean companies will have to protect their main contributor with high decibel campaigns. (monies from other mediums like OOH, BTL is also expected to add back to TV & Digital).  So, you can expect the same commercials but heightened GRPs levels this year. Consider this fact while you plan your media campaigns.

All the above considerations will also depend on various parameters like the operating category, life stage of a brand, market position, target group etc.

So, use your own discretion in making a decision.

Happy Planning!!!


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Sushil Goswami

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