BrandWagon Ad Talk with Godrej & Boyce’s, Mehernosh Pithawalla

With competition growing fierce, marketing will revolve more around listening to the consumers and responding to their needs.

Omnichannel presence has become more important with brands aiming for greater online visibility.
Omnichannel presence has become more important with brands aiming for greater online visibility.

The pandemic has brought about notable shifts across industries, and the case has been no different for marketing. Today, digital marketing has become a crucial aspect in order to acquire new customers and retain existing ones. In our weekly BrandWagon Ad Talk series, industry experts highlight what has changed over the past two years and more importantly, are these changes here to stay. Mehernosh Pithawalla, senior vice president and head of brand and strategic insights, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd., talks to BrandWagon Online, about the dos and don’ts of digital marketing, best marketing campaigns, and more.

What is the difference between launching a brand in today’s digital era versus earlier?

Delivering seamless experiences is now essential for brand equity growth, and this aspect is on par with pricing and quality. Digital has become key for companies to realise their full potential, enhance their brand reputation, brand awareness, and brand image to increase affinity toward their brand.

With the virality that accompanies today’s digital landscape, a brand’s audience can grow from an audience of none to thousands and even millions in a matter of just a few days. Digital has really changed the game for brands enabling them to connect their offerings to the right customer via targeted digital ads, social media and the right influencers too. Another benefit of launching brands in the digital age is immediate feedback via customer reviews, thus enabling the brand to synthesize the data, re-engineer and relaunch quickly if required which would have previously taken years.

Brands these days also need to account for spending with an objective of seeking long-term gains with a special focus on customer engagement. One needs to distribute spends prudently to stay on top of the customers mind and capture the market.

It is interesting to see how the new age of digital has somewhat diminished, what was once thought to be the inherent value of a big brand name. Today, even a small company has the opportunity to become a success story.

What are the recent best marketing or advertising campaigns you have seen and why?

In today’s dynamic context, creativity has faced numerous challenges in 2022. This year, three campaigns really stood out according to me. Cadbury’s Good Luck Girls campaign reimagined the iconic “Asli Swad Zindagi Ka” commercial from a fresh angle. The “Good Luck Girls Campaign” paid a tribute to women, celebrated their achievements, and recognised their emergence as strong role models. Another campaign I fondly remember is from Bisleri ‘Har Paani Ki Bottle Bisleri Nahin’ which aimed at reinforcing the consumer trust in the brand. The 360 degree integrated campaign which was released through the summer of 2019, used a great mix if TV, digital platforms, and associations with large impact properties like the IPL.

One of our own brand campaigns too made it to my favourites list – Godrej Interio kitchens – for the Great Indian Family. The campaign portrays a day in the life of a typical Indian family and highlights the myriad roles played by the kitchen in making the cooking experience easy and enjoyable. It showcases the brands range of modular kitchen offerings and their suitability to Indian homes with the variety of people using the kitchen and foods being cooked showcasing how crucial this seemingly normal room is in our daily lives.

Which brand in the last year has made the best use of digital and how?

Netflix has set itself apart with its digital marketing game now making it a household name in India. Apart from just having a user-friendly interface and customer service features, the company ensures that it also caters to regional audiences making vernacular language content available. Netflix has adopted a quirky strategy on Instagram to entertain its fans, thus receiving a high level of engagement. A great example of this is their recent treat to their fans with their playback of 2022 ‘deleted scenes’. They created an unlikely crossover of characters and famous scenes across international and Indian cinema and series with various actors and influencers giving them the most unlikely things to have been said in those moments. These unlikely yet hilarious combinations made this piece of content viral.

In a post-Covid world, what are the dos and don’ts of digital marketing?

With competition growing fierce, marketing will revolve more around listening to the consumers and responding to their needs. First-party data from sources such as customer purchases onsite or on your ecommerce portal, surveys and feedback can give you insights into what your ideal customer is looking for thus helping pivot your offerings, if needed. Further, it can help you adapt your content to their preference, predict behaviour seasonality and more.

With digital marketing becoming increasingly competitive, hyperpersonalized marketing provides the opportunity for brands to purposefully engage with customers, deepen their existing relationships and build new ones, while improving the overall customer experience. This strategy increases hyper relevance that not only increases customer satisfaction but also drives brand loyalty, willingness to spend, and marketing effectiveness.

With brands being more visible online it is also important that they are accessible and hence having an omnichannel presence is very important especially in categories that are predominantly touch and feel.

One recent bad case of advertising you have seen, and why?

Every advertisement has its own context, time, place and audience.

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First published on: 04-02-2023 at 13:14 IST
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