Tata Motors on digital drive to connect with truck customers

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla | Updated on: May 23, 2019

Series of campaigns have helped strengthen the bond with its commercial vehicle buying fraternity

Automotive marketing campaigns have driven past winding roads and glamorous locations. With today’s discerning consumers increasingly interested in technology and innovation, brands are stepping on the gas to impress big time.

Marketing campaigns are looking to get your creative motor running. Take Tata Motors for instance. Its branding and marketing efforts have effectively changed gears over the last two years to tune in to consumer demand.

However, given the increasing number of commercial vehicle customers engaging in the online space and consuming digital content, the company has been addressing every aspect of the digital spectrum with unique initiatives.

“Today, the access to internet cuts across strata: our customer is already on various digital platforms,” says UT Ramprasad, Head, Marketing and Brand Communications, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit at Tata. Digital medium by nature is fast paced, he adds, and consumers expect no less in response time and availability of information to empower them in their purchase decision.

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“We try to optimise the digital journey of search-to-buy. Customer satisfaction is a by-product,” says Ramprasad. According to him, media reach does not work in isolation and it is integrated planning that gives the best results.

“Digital, being a media channel, also acts as a response reservoir of all forms of traditional communication. It provides easy access to information and reach to hitherto untapped areas and media-dark territories,” explains Ramprasad.

Digital strengths

In today’s increasing digital world, he adds, it is imperative that companies like Tata Motors get ready to adopt, use and leverage the obvious strengths of the platform. It is perhaps pertinent at this juncture to rewind to 2005 when it introduced a new concept in the commercial vehicles market segment with the ‘Chhota Hathi’ (small elephant) campaign.

Branding it Ace, India’s first mini-truck, the company reached out to prospective owners with what was a superior alternative to the traditional three-wheeled ‘tempo’ goods carrier. Released as a pilot project on social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, these digital ads were later published on media websites. They were praised for their cuteness and tongue-in-cheek communication.

Interestingly, the campaign was also appreciated by non-Ace users, apart from its target audience. In terms of achievement, the campaign managed to generate over 133 leads in just 12 days. Chhota Hathi managed over 6.66 million impressions with over 53,449 clicks, delivering over 4.59 lakh views.

This was followed by the ‘Desh Ke Truck’ campaign, which passionately drove ahead two Indian sports: wrestling and kabaddi. This saw Tata Motors introducing a video featuring Olympic medallists Sushil Kumar, Bajrang Punia and wrestling champs, Sakshi Malik with Pooja Dhanda.

The film helped establish the company’s range of commercial vehicles as an integral part of a sportsperson’s quest for excellence. It highlighted their inherent strength and reliability while driving home the common traits of ‘Desh ke Champions’ and ‘Desh ke Truck’.

The vehicles also doubled up as a symbol of perfection, inspiring every athlete to push his/her boundaries, mirroring the CVs unstoppable charge in the wake of challenges.

The ‘Desh Ke Truck’ campaign garnered 19.03 million views and delivered more than 79.03 million impressions with more than 1,81,566 clicks. It also generated over one million views on Facebook Live for the Tata Elite Wrestling Programme.

This was followed by the ‘Photo OK Please’ campaign, which continues to speed across the country, with the climbing speedometer capturing its reach and engagement with truck drivers. The campaign gives this fraternity an opportunity to share their travel diaries with the rest of the world through photographs.

All that participants need to do is click a picture, upload it to their Instagram account and tag @tata.trucks. The campaign was launched early this year and is still going strong with a follow-up, ‘Music OK Please’, planned during this quarter.

Good engagement

Total impressions for this marketing initiative went past the 60.08 million mark, with the number of views crossing 2.54 million. Consumers spent an average 2.23 minutes on the campaign, which brought on 3,588 online leads leading to sizeable footfalls across the country. While Mumbai stood out with some 2,060, the tally at Gurugram was 1,326 while Bengaluru pegged the number of footfalls at 774 in the early days.

Ramprasad reiterates that technology is the backbone of all digital campaigns given that every user interaction is a captured event. “They are tools that enable us to plan, optimise, execute and report by unifying all possible data parameters. Technology interplays with media,” he says. Tata Motors is now looking to use the latest in technology to “break the cluttered ad space” and stand out. With its ‘Winger Ghumo India Saath Saath’ campaign, the core message was about the joy of travelling together even while stressing on the importance of safety and comfort.

This campaign delivered more than 14.29 million impressions and generated over 4,81,096 clicks. In a mere 13 days, it saw an inflow of over 3503 entries (customers walking in to showrooms to enquire about the product).

Ramprasad says the company is figuring out better solutions to draw buyers to its products. “From a digital standpoint, we have activated OSEP (owned, shared, earned and paid) media. Educating users is key to business success and our social channels aim to inspire the new generation of entrepreneurs,” he adds. The CV segment has looked at “channelising data pointers across data sources” to provide rich insights to digital executions. “We are enabling tools that give us a singular view of insights from all owned assets, conversation from social and online and campaign results from all forms of paid media,” continues Ramprasad.

Tata Motors is in the midst of consolidating all data pointers in a single dashboard to help it plan and optimise better. It is also leveraging industry-best tools to stay ahead of the curve “from an adoption standpoint”. There is more time spent on analysis (and less on collating) in order to get a holistic view of what is being said by the digital signals.

“Analysing a battery of first and third party data, behavioural attributes and contextual nodes about customers can help us deliver targeted, one-on-one messages to prospects at the right moments in their decision making process,” explains Ramprasad.

Published on May 23, 2019
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