Digitally Yours Road to Get Ahead Digital Connect Digital Roadmap 2020: Transformational year for Digital in India

Amit Tiwari, Vice President - Marketing HAVELLS India Ltd, India With a solid experience of 18 years, Amit has built and expanded multimillion dollar businesses for leading global and Indian brands such as Havells, Philips, Hero Honda, Nestle, Perfetti and ITC

Digitization has disrupted the business of every industry in today’s times across the globe. Slowly, but surely Digital platforms are becoming critical for in India too. The volatile macro economic indicators are sending mixed signals to Indian consumers and Brands needs to be well aware of this and not repeat the goldrush scenario on the Digital front.

Lessons needs to be learnt, and learnt fast from what’s happening around us. Mobile phone warfare in the Indian online space is a great example. And phenomenon is not going to stop at just Mobile phones rather it will soon pervade to other categories like Panel Television and will probably be soon followed by Air Conditioners in the upcoming 2020 Indian Summers.

Relatively younger brands are ready with innovative products & innovative marketing techniques the passion & zeal to win at any cost. The Online business thrives on special days & offers. The Chinese equivalent of US Black Friday, 11/11 Single’s Day is slowly being adapted by different brands across Asia. Flipkart’s Big Billion Day or Amazon’s Great Indian sale are becoming with every passing year. In India known as ‘Country of Festivals’, it’s a huge opportunity for brands to leverage!

According to GlobalWebIndex, one third of the time spent on the internet is on social media, hence it makes sense to invest on social media marketing.
For long, Indian brands have been focusing on traditional retail, but now the time has come to move the gear and get ‘Online. Million dollar question today for marketers is What needs to be done on Digital platforms? Here are key digital trends which you must keep in mind while finalizing your Digital Strategy for 2020…

1.Blurring of line Understand how your core consumers shop?
•Distinction between offline and online is getting blurred day by day. Businesses that want to stay competitive are adopting a phygital model to address these demands through the holistic integration of offline and online retail.

2.Smart Home is becoming a Reality... Be ready with your Smart solutions
•The advent of IoT and artificial intelligence (AI) in the consumer appliances segment opens a wide array of possibilities, given the massive size of the electronics market in India. In fact, India is one of the largest growing appliances players in the world. The market is expected to grow at 9 per cent CAGR from 2017–2022 forecasted by a PwC study.

•While the current users in India are mostly from Tier-I cities, industry is bound to witness major adoption in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in the future. Government’s continued focus on Digitalization will help proliferate adoption of smart devices.

3.Engage with your customers Interactive Content
•With over 460 million Indians online on the-go search is now an established habit. While online shopping users were considered as more digitally savvy offline shoppers are also equally adept and engage with digital touch points throughout their purchase journey.

•The engagement on social media should not be limited to likes and share. Engage with your customer through polls, quizzes and shoppable posts, analyze & respond to the specific reactions to your post by customers.

4. Personalization & Customization
•With the advent of smartphones and data access, consumers today are always connected, and they have attention spans that keep shortening and heightened expectations when it comes to personalization.

•Contextual video advertising is critical for brands that are trying to reach the right audience at the right time. Average ad recall increased by 2X in verticals such as FMCG and Auto when using contextual ads

5. Consumer segmentation:
•In a digital world, marketers must consider not only the obvious socio-economic and demographic factors but also factors like choice of device, reliability and strength of available telecom infrastructure and readiness to transact online.

•Segmentation using consumer data is a special skillset. Digital marketers will need to invest in understanding these individual niches as even the smallest among them presents an attractive opportunity.

6. Hyper localization
•The smaller the segment, the more relevant and engaging advertising will be. In essence, there will be a mass of niches that will demand hyperlocal content and advertising to go along side. This ability to hyper localise both content and advertising should also help onboard the largely offline SME community who can then cater to their target catchment area.
7. Voice, Vernacular & Videos: 3 Vs driving Digital in India
•In India, Digital has seen a rapid growth in last few years and will continue to rise in the country on the back of growing popularity of digital media, which is fueled by voice vernacular and video trend.

•One of the reasons for this humongous growth is because voice is faster than typing. Also in rural areas, where people can’t read or write in English, this technology is a blessing in disguise!

•For Indian consumers, now increasing using smartphones to interact with brands and coordinate their tasks would prefer using voice assistant for getting their News updates, playing music setting alarms, prayer recitation recipes, direction & travel time to destination and asking for other information from the internet.

8. Augmented Reality Vs Virtual Reality
•Use of smartphones has created opportunities for brands to offer immersive experiences through applications and other AR-VR based gimmicks. Portability and ease of use of smartphones will lead to widespread adoption of phygital technologies in retail, and allow businesses to strengthen their digital reach while promoting convenient lowercost channel options for customers. The adoption of 'magic mirrors’ by the apparels and cosmetics industry is one example. Augmented reality allows customers to virtually use products, aiding purchase decision process & promoting cross selling based on individual preferences.

•Travel industry is also using Virtual Reality to create an immersive experience for prospective travelers, allowing them to experience various locations. For instance, Qantas Airways allows prospective travelers to visit Hamilton Island with the use of VR.

•AR & VR technologies are also being used in Home interiors industry, with players allowing consumers to envision furniture and decor items in their homes or the ‘live living rooms’ in stores.

9. Impact of the East
•Japanese designer brands like Miniso, Mumuso, Chinese smartphone brands like Oppo and Vivo, Japanese fashion brand Uniqlo skincare brand like Innisfree are catering to interested consumers. Brands also need to look at the rise of TikTok in Indian market.

The focus of brands on Digital, especially on Social Media should be on building connections thereby gaining customers confidence in one’s brand. From the moment a customer realizes the need of buying a product and feeds in their query to buy something online it is the brand’s responsibility to inform and engage them in a meaningful manner.

The focus of brands on Digital, especially on Social Media should be on building connections, thereby gaining customers confidence in one’s brand

In an era when consumers do not like intrusion but appreciate personal content, it can be tricky to attract their attention and keep their affinity towards a brand but nonetheless this needs to be done in order for a brand to stay relevant in today’s times.

At Havells, we have been closely connected to the cyberspace keeping our MarkTech tools ready for this unstoppable Digital Revolution. Some of our key initiatives towards this end include:

-Establishment of a Real time monitoring centre which provides a unified management dashboard of customers digital touch points for Havells mother brand and power brands

-Social CRM which provides a 360-degree overview by converging big data emails social media and CRM for marketing

-Regular launch of campaigns and contests on social media leveraging on different festivals across different regions of India. We have also successfully launched campaigns with celebrities (Deepika Ranveer Lloyd campaign Khayal rakhenge khush rakhenge; Vicky Kaushal Personal grooming campaign Beard kyun ho weird)

These are baby steps that we have gradually initiated to stay relevant amongst our customers in today’s times. It is our endeavor to continue working towards this end relentlessly to ensure that we leave out foot prints in the digital space and become a brand that others look up to!

APPENDIX: About the Author
•Amit Tiwari Vice President Marketing HAVELLS India Ltd, India

Amit has a solid experience of over 17 years of understanding Consumers & Markets, and more importantly converting those insights into Marketing Strategies, backed with his rigorous work ethic and drive for excellence. Team work is his secret to winning people and tasting success, and holds it close to his heart. He can be contact at amit.tiwari1@havells .com/+919810245179

•HAVELLS India Ltd. Vice President Marketing: Amit is entrusted with the responsibility to establish a strong brand identity and presence in the markets across India via strategic end-to-end marketing solutions. He is driving the entire the advertising and communication initiatives, digital marketing, retail identity, activation programs, influencer programs media planning, buying etc. He is also championing the though leadership to make consumer centricity the core of all business decisions making at Havells by guiding the consumer Insight journey for the organization.

•PHILIPS, Director, Indian Subcontinent - Brand, Communication & Digital - Jun’ 17 & earlier: Amit Tiwari served as Director - Brand, Communication and Digital for Philips, Indian subcontinent. He was credited for being the first to identify, formulate, and spearhead digital strategies for the brand through digital learning. Amit also successfully increased the retail presence of the brand and helped it launch new categories like Personal Care including grooming, shaving and beauty products, LED lighting, home decorative lighting modular switches, and accessories. In the Healthcare sector, he is accredited for his leadership in establishing a series of platforms to drive ‘Accessibility Agenda’ of Philips Healthcare. Similarly, his tenacity for revenue expansion in Marketing and media sectors allowed him to help, build, and shape giants like Hero Honda, Nestle, Perfetti, ITC, and many more before Philips.

•Awards & Recognitions: Amit has won Best CMO in Financial Results Category by PITCH CMO Summit 2018. And most coveted Media & Marketing awards such as CANNES Awards 2013, OOH Awards 2011 Brand Leadership Award 2011, Best Business Partner Corporate, Global Youth Marketing Awards and many more. He is regularly invited to prominent award and media events as a panelist and jury member.

•Early Days of His Career: Amit holds a Post Graduate Program in Management(PGPMax)certificate from ISB Kellogg and Wharton. He is an ISB -Alumnus (Indian School of Business, Hyderabad). Before that, he went to London and pursued his certificate program in International Marketing Management (IMM). Further expanding his horizon he did a certification course in Integrated Marketing Communications from ISB (Indian School of Business, Hyderabad).