Harish Narayanan, Head of Marketing, Myntra recounts how the company executed its latest campaign and overcame the challenges to a successful sale What has been the impact of the pandemic on Myntra? In order to stay relevant, we engaged with our customers through content and storytelling, particularly with our personalised content destination Myntra Studio. We shared tips on fashion, styling, health, well-being and the entire platform took a different engagement led approach and consumers rewarded us by staying engaged. It was a tough period but now that we are back in business, users are coming back and things will only get better. During this period, all the different verticals and the entire team at Myntra came together as an organization. During tough times, some falter while others become stronger, and as an organisation, Myntra became stronger. Since the lockdown eased, what has been the response from consumers and which categories and regions performed? Business demand has come back quite strongly. The response from Tier II and Tier III markets has been encouraging. Even before Covid-19 struck, we planned for a heavier revenue contribution from Tier II and Tier III markets. Covid-19 only accelerated that priority and we are witnessing growth across multiple categories now. Home-based and comfort categories such as T-shirts, shorts, loungewear, personal care etc, are scaling faster. Even occasion-based categories have seen growth, which is quite encouraging. What was the challenge in executing the latest Myntra’s End of Reason Sale (EORS) campaign? How did you overcome it? Our HR team managed expectations and set the work norms. The entire team came together in the new normal, working remotely. The marketing team across verticals communicated with each other regularly and the cross-team meetings ensured that we knew what every person was doing. The team worked on the latest campaign with our creative agency, Brave New World, and our media agency, Wavemaker. We were able to turnaround the campaign very quickly. We even managed to shoot the ad films in the premises of our celebrity ambassadors – actors Hrithik Roshan and Sonakshi Sinha and Samantha Akkineni – with a minimal crew and a remote director. A format was created where the different messages were produced separately and the celebrity and sale messages would then be blended together seamlessly. This made it easy to shoot remotely and our celebrities were fantastic and made it easy for us. We also used the Myntra Clarion Call – our sound signature created by music composer Rupert Fernandes – as the call-to-action reminder that EORS is here. What was the key insight and objective behind the campaign? The first insight was that necessity is the mother of invention and constraint is the mother of creativity. When we were faced with the challenges, the team came up with fantastic ideas on how to make this a reality. Since there were multiple constraints, a key insight was that the story had to be simple; only one celebrity could be in a film and modular so that if we had to swap different messages at different stages of the sale, it could be done. The message that India's biggest fashion sales is back generates a lot of excitement and interest, so our objective was to reduce the complexity and deliver and then scale the message in an effective way so that our loyal users return to the platform and it also garners interest among new users to come to Myntra. Two or three weeks back it was difficult to imagine it would come together seamlessly and we are happy to see where it has landed. With the majority of the nation opening up for e-commerce, we want to serve our users wherever they are. The objective of the campaign was to show that Myntra brings back joy and colours into the customers’ worlds. Due to the lockdown, there is a pent up demand and consumers do want to shop for fashion essentials and we designed our campaign to reach the maximum number of consumers and the campaign reached approximately 150 million customers overall. Our aim was to get back the users who shopped with us pre-lockdown, as well as others. What was the media mix used? We used all the mediums that we traditionally use. For the past few years, we have been digital heavy and that continues. Different mediums play different roles in the context of the sale. TV plays the role of mass reach, announcement and generating initial interest. Digital video - YouTube, Instagram, Facebook – increases reach, frequency and total mind awareness. Our digital performance creatives also increase frequency to a level where consumer interest is converted to consideration and then to actual landing on the site. This helps target new users as well as re-target people who have seen our ad but have not visited or have visited but not bought. We do cohort level performance marketing planning and based on each cohort, we choose different media that makes sense at that point of the sale. It's a regular 360 marketing approach, but the channel choices, the mix, the creative storytelling and the sharpness of how we optimized the mediums is what makes this quite unique. How would you assess EORS? How many consumers came on board, which categories performed, revenue estimate? How did it compare to the last edition? About 3.5 million customers shopped during this EORS, with over 7 lakh first-timers and we sold about 10 million items. Shoppers in the country placed orders across multiple categories, of which, men’s jeans and streetwear, women’s western wear, women’s ethnic wear, men’s casuals and personal care, were the most popular. We also recorded a 30% growth in traffic YOY during the event. What is the contribution of Tier II and III markets vis-à-vis urban areas? Fifty-six per cent of the new shoppers were from Tier-II cities and beyond during this edition of EORS. The top Tier II and III cities were Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Dehradun, Imphal, Aizawl and Panchkula. We have also recorded an 86% increase in the number of customers from these markets, which is the highest so far. About 15,000 Kirana partners under Myntra’s MENSA Network (Myntra’s Extended Network for Service Augmentation) are delivering across 300 Tier II and III cities at the moment. What has been the biggest challenge, particularly on the distribution front? The entire team - fulfilment centres, distributors, last-mile logistics - brought the whole supply chain to life with all the safety aspects being adhered to, social distancing norms maintained and multiple checks at every stage. This has been the best part, where we have put the safety of our customers and employees first. The challenge is the manpower constraint and maintaining the strict guidelines. We are dealing with a higher demand at a lower capacity but the team has already sorted that by creating extra variable capacity. Another challenge will be maintaining the momentum that we have seen in the last few days. As a marketer, my number one area of focus would be to continue to accelerate this momentum that we have seen. How do you see marketing evolving post-COVID-19? As marketers, it's only getting better. We have explored the limits of how fast things can move. It doesn't mean that every time we shoot an ad, it should be in the time frame of 7 to 10 days as we did for the last campaign. We need to have a balanced approach to this. It is not going to be about short deadlines and quick turnarounds. With constraints we achieved great results, so the right approach would be to see how we could unlock the creative juices once the constraints are lifted. I look forward to this time period.