India is a land of festivals, no matter the season, there is always some sort of festival going on. From Makar Sankranti in January to Christmas in December, there is always an event to attend thanks to our experience-focused lifestyles. But for brands it means more than just an occasion to celebrate, it means an opportunity for promotion during public events and festivals and a way to connect with existing and potential customers.
Leveraging on the diverse festivals celebrated in India, the marketers find their foothold in the minds of consumers by betting on ‘emotional marketing’ and it has traditionally boded as well. As the majority of the population’s purchase decisions are driven by emotions – a contributing factor to the marketing campaigns that are rolled out by brands to promote their products.
With More Diverse Festivals, Comes More Diverse Marketing Offerings
The festive season has always been essential to consumers and traders in India, as per a report the online retail platforms in India clocked $5.7 billion (about Rs 40,000 crore) worth of festive sales between September 22 to 30, a robust 27 percent (year-on-year) growth.
According to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents 70 million traders across the country, the size of the sale is a big sigh of relief, as the bounce back after almost a two years lull was much needed. Keep in mind the festivities are not yet over and with Diwali around the corner, the marketers are expecting more shopping and profits with more and more customers rolling in, making festivertising the perfect money-making marketing strategy.
Reasons Why Festivertising is Thriving
● Nearly three in five Indians wait for festive season sales with nine in ten planning to make a purchase during this time.
● Festive season sales produce more ‘brand switchers’, as more than half of Indians (53 percent) are neutral or indifferent to the brands that they purchase but in the end, festivertising stays the winner.
● More brands mean more options means more sales, six in ten Indians are interested to learn about new brands during the festive season with women leading the train at 68 percent versus men at 58 percent.
Reasons Why Brands are Thriving of Off Festivertising
With the advent of a ‘new India’ which is unabashedly molded by social awareness and conscious consumerism, the purchasing decisions of consumers are shifting and are becoming decidedly more rational. Especially, the younger generation who are coming into their own purchasing power is standing at the forefront of it. So to connect with their audiences on a more meaningful and personal level, brands look for an opportune moment to roll out contextual campaigns that directly relate to consumers and stay relevant to the occasion. It is also the time when consumer spending provides a favorable context to maximize sales targets and capture the attention of both ‘brand switchers’ and ‘brand loyalists’.
The most famous e-commerce brands that are now identified for the festive season sales, Amazon and Flipkart, have shown that brands are not only thriving from urban customers but from tier II and tier III too. In their month-long Great Indian Festival 2021 on Amazon and Flipkart’s The Big Billion Days began in early October, the festival sales events showed greater involvement from these tiers as well, pointing at the expansion of ground for the brands to play. Helping their online festive sales in the first week of October 2021 to reach a 23 percent year-over-year increase in sales which translates to $4.6 billion (Rs 32,000 crore) in internet sales.
Festival marketing strategies are evolving year by year, from the unique themes and innovations that unite the brand with the culture. To walk along with trends and strategies, marketers are looking beyond last-mile marketing and are driving brand fundamentals by staying top-of-mind throughout the consumer’s digital journey. To get that, many brands diligently follow a master recipe of festival marketing with the following ingredients - ad campaigns, media strategies, discounts and sales, and gift vouchers and rewards with a pinch of the courage of going big with the execution that will have widespread reactions.
Old school is no longer cool, brands are actively leveraging new marketing methods like Influencer Marketing - whose growth has been accelerated by a decade or more by 2021, fully revolutionizing the Indian marketing industry. Due to increased social media engagement, the influencer marketing business has come into the mainstream in a very short period of time, resulting in the festive season witnessing a 40-50 percent increase in ad spending for influencer marketing.
Traditional Advertising - Leveraging an ideal opportunity to connect with their customers through their advertisements, marketers are spending big bucks on advertisements. Last year the advertising business managed to garner around Rs 7,000 crore, which is 12-15 percent greater than the previous festive season.
Contests and Promotions - Designed around the theme of the festival, marketers spend a large amount to set the stage for frenzied bouts of promotional activities. According to executives, during the upcoming festive season, top companies in the automobile, consumer electronics, FMCG, and retail sectors are planning to increase marketing and advertising spending by 10-20 percent from the previous year to tap the anticipated recovery in demand.
Although all that shine is not gold, so as not to get lost in the sparkle of offers and discounts brands need to be a little opportunistic but with tact. They should come up with festivertising with a thought-through marketing strategy and careful understanding of your customer needs but not from the fear of missing out.