boAt's marketing strategy is to move where the millennial moves

boAt is investing heavily in bollywood, music, and cricket with a digital-first approach

MUMBAI: Started just three years ago by Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta, boAt is a consumer audio brand that has attracted scores of the millennial populace to its range of products including headphones, earphones, stereos, and premium rugged cables, amongst others. In a very short span of time, the brand has created quite a buzz in the growing audio market with its affordable premium quality products.

Another factor that has led to the appreciable performance of the brand is its marketing. boAt relies heavily on its digital presence on platforms like Instagram and YouTube to communicate with its community of ‘boAtheads’. The brand introduces a fresh face with a fresh campaign every four months and boasts of 12 brand ambassadors including cricketing sensations Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Bollywood stars, Kartik Aaryan Kiara Advani, Jacqueline Fernandez, and singer Neha Kakkar, amongst others.

And the reason behind such efficient marketing campaigns is a team of young marketers with an average age of 23. They don’t come with any prior experience in the marketing world and have been functioning with their keen understanding of the behaviours, likes, and dislikes of people around them.

boAt marketing pirate Saurabh Goswami tells, “It’s not that we come from a lot of experience in the audio industry or even marketing but we know what our target audience wants and what they need in a product. We know how the youth today talk. We have never thought that there is some strategy or a particular formula to it. We don’t have dedicated projects per se but we spend depending on sales.”

He adds, “Aman (Gupta) has a very different approach to marketing and branding. Our budgets are very tactical. It’s all about the need of the hour. Aman says if the product is selling, it means we are doing something good and we are getting money to spend on marketing. But if there are no sales and we are spending on marketing, we are just loading off like other giants. We don’t have that sort of life. We have frugality. So, we actually pay a lot of attention to where we are spending.”

boAt quartermaster Aman Sadana adds that the team doesn’t have a yearly or monthly planner and goes with the flow of the market dynamics. “It’s really picking up trends that are happening.”

Elaborating on how trends are converted into content, boAt marketing mate Bhuvan Singh Rana shares, “Different content works for distinct platforms. Instagram is more meme-centric while YouTube is more ad-centric. We usually leverage on topicality. We even do brand shoots on topical content. Our brand ambassadors also play a key role (in driving traffic).”

On being asked what parameters they keep in mind while picking platforms or trends, Sadana reveals that it is a hit-and-trial approach. However, he added that engagement is the one metric boAt really cares about and has its content strategy centered on that.

He adds, “The metric for this is based on the fact that we, as a brand, look not just at reach but engagement as well. I don’t want people to just see my content and scroll past it. I want them to actually open it, read it, probably comment, and interact with the brand.”

The team reckons that there is stiff competition these days in the audio space and a subsequent clutter of brands trying to attract the consumers on the social media space. They, therefore, have worked hard to personify the brand and give it a distinct identity. They are also quite alert about the dynamic shifts in the audience interest and platforms they are on.

Sadana says, “Phones are a very important part of our lives. With Jio in the picture, content consumption is increasing drastically. The audience keeps shifting from one platform to another. So, as a brand, we always have to adapt and be where the millennial is and give them good content to consume. That’s the key to survive.”

Apart from digital, the brand is doing integrations with movies, music videos, and web channels like TVF and Filter Copy. It is also planning to work on its own YouTube videos like unboxing.

Sadana quips, “In India, there are three things that sell: movies, cricket, and music. These are the key pillars around which marketing revolves. We, too, are backing these three because we know people will interact with it. We have done collaborations with movies, one will be releasing in a few months. We are investing heavily in cricket and music videos.”

The brand has seen exponential growth in these years. As shared by Sadana, boAt had started with around 20 SKUs on Amazon, which now stands at 120-122 SKUs. The product portfolio is expanding and so is the team.

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