The adoption of digital wallets among the elderly audience and public, in general, was truly surprising, which gave rise to never-seen-before e-commerce growth. This in return also spurt the growth of D2C brands in India.
Apart from this, brands are innovating various ways to engage their consumers – from changing retail strategies, adopting new technologies to enhancing consumer experience to name a few.
AR/ VR: The Emerging Trend
“Due to the pandemic, customers were limited to choices, and advertisers were limited to budget, so we adapted a multimedia strategy for our brands. Because of the technology, we could give a virtual try-on experience to our customers, create content through Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) even during difficult times, and use our data factory to create content liked by our consumers. In short, beauty and technology go hand-in-hand, and L’Oreal wants to be a pioneer in the BeautyTech space. This virtual try-on is helping us get close to our consumers and acting as e-beauty advisors with the help of Artificial Intelligence,” says Neel Pandya, National Head of Media, L’Oreal.
For most of the beauty brands, videos became a part of the media mix for it helps the brand communicate the message to customers in a nicer way and is leading to a performance-driven campaign as well.
Now, choosing a media to allocate the spending is a difficult choice for marketers because of the halo effect between traditional media and digital; hence, it all comes down to your brand's objective.
“Coming to ROIs, it is going to be a priority, and as we are continuing to move to e-commerce and online, there will be certain soft KPIs as well, like reviews on e-commerce, stock coverability on e-commerce, etc. And at the end of the day, to control the effectiveness of a brand’s advertising, it is important to bring in a unified measurement first and then go into unified targeting. This will not only help consumers with the right ads but also bring inefficiencies for the advertisers to ensure the key priority, which is ROI comes out well,” states Pandya.
Connecting Through Social Media/ Influencer Marketing
In 2020, there was big gravitation towards the authenticity of any product. Dyson created an Instagram handle, which organically got the brand more than 50k followers. The brand also used the good old methodology of emails, and surprisingly that worked.
“Dyson is primarily a direct business in India. A large part of the shift was that e-commerce is the first mode of purchase for consumers, so we directly communicated our new launch products to consumers and delivered them. Being volatile, we had direct contact centers helping clients track their deliveries. But the major focus was on the purchase experience because a large part of how we sell in India is through physical demonstration of our products in our stores. With lockdown in place, we leveraged video demonstrations that consumers could schedule. In the future, the journey is largely omnichannel. Our biggest store is the online store, and we believe that Dyson machines are bought, not sold, because there is always an attempt to explain a technology behind a machine rather than push a sale. We have a focus on explanatory videos and experiments with publishers,” says Nikhil Rastogi, Commercial Director, Dyson.
“Dyson is a utility-based premium product, so the discerning consumers were more into it during the lockdown. In Dyson, we have a concept called a control tower that captures our entire e-commerce, store, and media data in one place, making it easier for us to do analysis and make informed choices. Coming to influencers, our influencer strategy is 100 percent organic because we believe in our technology, and we know that out of 100, 99 of them would have a good experience. We experimented with Augmented Reality because some of our iconic stores are bought online on our website. You can physically go to these stores, pick a product virtually and get a virtual experience of being in a store and then you can schedule a live demo there itself. This worked well for us,” he further adds.
‘During Diwali, Mondelez International’s business was at a peak, but the brand was wary of doing a full-fledged campaign in the given situation. Having said that, the essence of Cadbury Celebrations’ 2020 Diwali campaign was around what the brand stands for, which is the spirit of generous giving, and it was the brand’s way of helping retailers who lost their businesses during the lockdown.
“Our Madbury campaign is an ongoing global campaign where we take inputs from our consumers and create a flavor that they have voted for. We have a microsite with 80+ combinations of ingredients to choose from, and this year we had two flavors named Panjeer, i.e. Pan and Anjeer, and HintorMint, i.e. mint chocolate. Therefore, for us, consumers are the heart of all our decision-making. Over the years, we have changed our media mix from being a television-centric brand to including digital in our strategy. We have done several campaigns where we have personalized our products for consumers. Today, we have a D2C website where you can personalize a gift and send it out. In every aspect of our marketing endeavors, some elements of consumers’ need are inbuilt into our strategy,” says Anjali Madan, Consumer Experience Lead-India & Bangladesh, Mondelez International
“Experiment-wise, recently we have done a ‘Do Nothing Mode’ campaign with Google Assistant. All you need to do is, say ‘Ok Google, eat a 5Star’, to get your Google Assistant to lean back, relax, and motivate you to do nothing as well, plus hundreds of built-in cheeky responses to any of your questions. Furthermore, we have used Instagram extensively for our social commerce; we were the first CPG brand in India to use both collaborative ads and Instagram shopping for our Silk campaign. The critical thing for Modelez in 2021 will be to drive consumer-driven insights from data, and that is where we are putting our efforts. Today, the biggest challenge we face as an industry is the single view of a consumer and full-funnel journey of consumer and e-commerce space, both of which we don’t have, and it is something we should be working towards. Also, a unified metric of measurement for digital is the need for the hour,” she adds.
Be it product, marketing, or overall business strategy, and these brands are slaying it with consumers bringing them the most inspirational and extraordinary experiences - direct from brand to the consumer.