Catalyst

How can you get the consumer to shop?

Sanjay Mehta | Updated on September 17, 2020 Published on September 17, 2020

Brands who can make the most of the festival demand will be the winner   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Brands will do well to take the digital advertising route

Digital advertising has been growing in terms of total marketing spends every year. Particularly this year, in the Covid-19 hit world, digital advertising will deliver you the best results.

Why so?

At the outset, it is clear that consumers are experiencing boredom and frustration over these five-six months of lockdown and constraint. There is an eagerness to get back to the life one lived in the pre-Covid days. One way to “seem” like you are back to normal is to shop as if you were!

This is where the alibi of a festival comes in!

Right from August, India gets into a festive mood. Traditionally these festivals have been a reason or an excuse to shop because you meet a lot of people during these times. A lot of that might not happen this year, but the consumer, with pent-up demand and a sense of frustration, will find enough reason to justify a high amount of shopping.

Looking from the company’s point of view, most companies have seen subdued business over the last five-six months due to Covid. Initially, there was a complete lockdown, resulting in no sale. Slowly, sales started picking up, first only on e-commerce and then in physical retail too, as the stores started opening up. But the consumer demand did not pick up. Sitting at home, there were not many social occasions to splurge on, and also there was not much window shopping that results in sales, when people walk around in malls and market areas.

Right opportunity

In such a scenario, brands are definitely eager to sell more and compensate for the low turnover earlier. The festive season provides just the right opportunity. Brands who can make the most of this increased demand will be the winners. But not all brands will enjoy the same fortune, as like anywhere else, there will be winners and losers!

What should you do to become a winning brand? Yes, you’ll certainly want to do marketing, but what specifically? It may not be the best time to experiment with expensive brand campaigns, simply because the lack of measurability of such campaigns makes it difficult to evaluate impact. Your key objective would be to spend money to deliver the best ROI in this challenging year.

Digital advertising is the most potent weapon for a marketer to reach the consumer. After all, the Covid era has definitely seen significantly increased online time spends by the consumer. And the high level of measurability on digital allows you to do extremely result oriented marketing.

Digital advertising is often used as a catch-all term to cover several different types of online marketing strategies, but what you should include in your media plan is a good combination of search engine marketing, some programmatic display ads — most certainly social media ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc — video ads, and maybe a good influencer marketing programme as well. In these last few months of stay-at-home, we have seen several edtech, fintech and healthcare brands create a huge market for themselves, solely using such digital advertising means.

The overarching recommendation is to have a good budget apportioned for digital advertising, and spend it prudently on the best result-producing media, to ensure high impact.

Additionally, owing to the consumer now getting used to the convenience of online shopping, ensure that your brands are well-set up to be sold online, and provide the consumer a very seamless experience shopping at your online store.

Get set for digital fireworks in your marketing mix for the festival season, and have a happy Diwali for your business!

Sanjay Mehta is joint CEO of Mirum, a digital agency

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Published on September 17, 2020
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