What Ticks for Indian Consumers/Women: Vinay Bhatia and Mitrajit Bhattacharya

13 Aug,2014

Continuing with our extracts from the second edition of the MxMIndia Annual, we present contributions by Vinay Bhatia and Mitrajit Bhattacharya.

 

 

Marketing driven analytics is the way forward

 

By Vinay Bhatia

 

In the past two years, we have seen a rise in the use of marketing driven analytics by brands in India in order to deliver a better retail experience at the consumer level.

 

At Shoppers Stop, we have been investing in data driven marketing a lot and have created tailor-made programmes for our customers, through which we can then keep a track on their spends.

 

While it is true that data driven marketing is the way forward for India’s retail industry, it is still in its nascent stages; it is probably just beginning to be recognised as an effective marketing tool in India. I guess, in the next five to seven years, we will see massive growth in this area – and I see that within retail – every aspect of investment will be much more data driven.

 

To remain connected with the consumers at large, we undertake digital and social media campaigns. Gone are the days where brands rely on traditional modes of communication. Today word of mouth has become an important factor in decision making, and this is true of both men as well as women consumers.

 

 

Don’t preach,  just build bonds that’ll last

 

By Mitrajit Bhattacharya

 

Magazine as a brand or magazine as a printed product? Most publishers are still struggling to figure out the transition from the latter to the former and the earlier they do it, the better it is for them. Readers particularly women, as we all know might be difficult to understand but when they profess their loyalty to something, they are quite rigid about the same. And this is where trusted brands should swiftly move in to become the friend, philosopher and guide to their readers rather than continue being printed magazines.

 

There are many examples of great magazine brands, like Vanitha, Sananda, Grihashobha, Chitralekha etc where the relationship has evolved much beyond that of a magazine and a reader. We at Chitralekha do many things to keep our women readers engaged, and in a very entertaining manner. Our motto: never be preachy and change with times. We have a dedicated magazine within Chitralekha addressing the needs of women, named Priyadarshini.

 

A magazine-withinmagazine, it was launched in 2001 as we felt we needed to create a different ambience for the women audience. During our 60th anniversary celebrations in 2010 we took 60 of our readers on a paid holiday to Thailand. It was not a favour we did to them but was an acknowledgement for the goodwill they have showered on us over the years by following every word published.

 

 
 

They do ask their friends before buying a product or a service. Various mobile applications (such as WhatsApp) and social media networks have made it easier for consumers to share and review their purchase decisions with friends. Therefore, retailers have taken to digital and social media very seriously. And we’ve certainly taken it very seriously as well.

We were among the first retailers in India to have leveraged the digital space effectively. On Facebook, we have more than 5 million fans – the 8th largest Facebook page in India across all brands and all categories. We are also very active on Twitter with more than 70,000 followers. As far as consumer and consumer spends are concerned, this year, we have seen a steady growth despite the economic slowdown.

 

In the apparel category, we clearly see an upswing where consumers are spending more, they want better brands, and they want to own more brands. Women in particular. We have seen an increase in sales of women footwear and women bags in the premium category like never before. All we need to do moving forward is keep the buzz going in the social space and leverage that with tailor-made programmes made for consumers with the help of data analytics.

 

 

 

They really know more than we do about our magazine. In fact, when we found a couple of issues missing from our archives and approached our readers, many came forward to provide them to us. One more recent example has been a massive consumer activation programme on recipes with stars of Colors’ TV shows and Everest Masala. The activity which ran for 15 weeks received an overwhelming 5000 original recipes from readers on the favourite food of the TV celebs.

The lucky winners visited the sets of Colors to meet the stars and were showered with prizes too. A magazine brand connected with its audience, how can we not leverage the social media? We have a very active FB page with strong properties like Chhoti Si Mulakat, Wah Bhai Wah, Elchi etc which are very unique to us. We were able to build a very strong connect with the younger audience through FB within a very short period of two years.

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow: Teens -Anupriya Acharya and Lavneesh Gupta

 

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