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2019 will see brands focus on tier II, III customers: Onida's Pratyush Chinmoy

He also highlights the marketing trends for 2018 and 2019.

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MUMBAI: One of the most popular electronic companies, Mirc Electronics Ltd (Onida), which, in fact, used to lead the roost in the 1980s and is still very much in demand, is equally popular for its marketing campaigns. The iconic devil, which the brand has recently revived, was one of the fondest characters that Indian audience got from the ads of a decade or two ago. Pratyush Chinmoy, the head of marketing at the company, tells Indiantelevision.com how his brand and the related industry fared in 2018 and what are his expectations from 2019, in an exclusive conversation.

Excerpts:

How was the year 2018 for your brand and what do you expect in 2019?

Overall, year 2018 was a mixed bag for the industry. It was a year of shift in the periods of consumer purchases (for e.g. shift in the Diwali festive season by ~19 days led to late footfalls at retail outlets), shift in end-buying preferences, slight smoothening in the crest and troughs of the seasonality factor, and also a year of innovation. Onida in this year also brought back it’s iconic DEVIL and had released major campaigns in mass media channels such as televisions, print, digital etc., while also concentrating on the in-store last-mile marketing efforts to capture consumer attention. The year also saw Onida re-affirming its unique space of sound in the television space through its successful launch of KY Super Thunder TV, which was innovation at its best.

2019 is expected to be positive with our marketing campaigns and budget carrying on the increasing spends and efforts to drive our brand into the consumer awareness and consideration set leading to purchases. Focus on e-commerce channel would also be strong by expanding our SKUs and products categories, thereby leading to higher sales and profitability.

How was the year 2018 for brands in your category and what is 2019 going to be like?

2018 was a year of changing tax structure in the major consumer durable space which caused disarray for few companies and retail channel alike. It was also a year expanding unorganised players playing aggressively on prices, giving the bigger brands a run for their money. Also, far more mature consumers with both online and off-line sales at their disposal have been at the forefront to being catalyst of the trend towards pull marketing than push marketing.

2019 for most brands would continue to be year of top innovators with best price points taking the driving seat. Consumers in tier-II & III are expected to be the major focus for every brand to expand to newer horizons. We might have just scratched the surface of the buying prowess of the hinterland consumer!

What were the key marketing trends for brands across categories in 2018?

One clearly visible trend was companies increasing their digital pie in the overall marketing spends, in recognition of shifting consumer touchpoints. Also, marketing analytics and research studies to get the pulse of the consumer was a driving factor behind many campaigns being more personalised and granular to an increasing heterogeneous consumer sect. Many industry leaders also saw an impressive growth in video marketing, OTT media, with consumer from all walks of life consuming data at a much faster pace than ever before helped by telecom price decreases. A few new brands also took on larger brands with aggressive pricing and guerrilla advertising.

What are the key marketing trends that the brands should be banking upon in the coming year?

2019 will usher in many firsts in the way consumers would interact with brands which won’t be limited to social media or other traditional touch-points. Brands would need to be more nimble and agile to capture the Voice of the Customer across every available outlet, and should reciprocate fast to any averse or suggestive feedback leading to great word-of-mouth. Traditional media will see a decrease in pie leading to higher spends in video marketing, and also organic marketing channels. Products would still continue to be the hero among all the marketing communication elements with a tight need-benefit match only impressing consumers rather than hyperboles or claims in the advertisements.

What were the most impressive marketing campaigns for 2018 according to you? 

The best and funniest ad personally would be the Amazon Echo ad which was initially run in Superbowl, the campaign on ‘Alexa lost her voice’ which drove home the point of the voice technology-led product’s importance in consumers' everyday life.

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