Social distancing norms coupled with fear of using public transportation besides the pent up demand seems to have led to a rise in sales, claims automobile company Maruti Suzuki. “Enquiries and bookings have reached roughly about 80%-85% of what it used to be, before the lockdown,” Shashank Srivastava, executive director, marketing and sales, Maruti Suzuki India Limited told BrandWagon Online. According to him, most of the consumers have taken to digital medium to enquire. “Several recent research shows that nearly 70% of customers would prefer digital medium over physical forms of visits,” he added.
The company claims digital which contributed to five percent of the total enquiries in FY19, accounted for 13% in FY20. However, post lockdown, digital accounts for nearly 35% of the enquiries. “The conversion ratio on digital has also grown to become two and a half times of what it was earlier,” Srivastava stated. Led by the growth, the automaker has redirected its marketing spends towards digital. “Although overall spends have declined, spends on digital have increased thereby pushing the percentage of our investments to be somewhere between 25%-32%,” Srivastava elaborated. The company claims to have spent around Rs 630 crore on marketing in FY20.
As for its premium retail network Nexa, the carmaker is looking at further strengthening the brand’s presence through content creation initiatives such as Nexa Music in addition to associating with lifestyle properties in the areas of travel, fashion and music. As per the company, Nexa, which has been in the market for five years now, is the third largest retail automobile brand by volume. “The Nexa segment contributes roughly about 20%-22% of Maruti Suzuki’s total sales,” Srivastava noted. This accounts for nearly 3-3.5 lakh units of which Baleno has been the biggest contributor. Keeping the consumer base of Nexa in mind, comprising male and female under the age of 35 years who are well travelled and tech-savvy, the company aims to create mobile first content for its consumers. “Digital is at the center of all our strategies,” Srivastava explained. With Maruti Suzuki taking digital seriously more than ever, it is assumed other auto companies will soon follow suit – thereby taking the competition online now.
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