Guest Column: The role of digital marketing in achieving better ROI during festive seasons

Guest Column: The role of digital marketing in achieving better ROI during festive seasons

When it comes to the world of marketing and advertising, festivals provide a unique opportunity to reach a wide audience with an almost singular emotion- “celebration”. And while in western markets, this peak season is predominantly during Christmas, it is a completely different ball game in India. From Diwali and Dusshera to Holi, Eid and Christmas, festivals and their corresponding festivities and celebrations abound through the year. This creates an interesting opportunity for marketers to drive engagement and sales through several periods of the year, while also keeping an eye on brand building.

In the pre-digital era, this indicated large sweeping mainline campaigns that aimed at targeting as wide an audience as possible. However, this strategy often hit a speedbump because being part of a diverse country such as this, the celebrations and cultures associated with each festival vary from region to region. And that is the issue that the digital space has resolved for brands as well as marketers. Instead of just one blanket campaign, we are finally able to customise and channel the right message to the right individual. 

This is especially important when you consider that festivals are more about pushing for sales rather than mere brand building. Take the recent Big Billion Day Sale campaign by Flipkart, with a plethora of influencers and creatives that generated every aspect of every point of sale was covered across regions and demographics. Although not around a specific festival, the ‘festive season’ as it is popularly known to be allows us to widen the reach of this messaging further, and the fact that it is not a singular creative asset-led campaign helps maintain freshness in the content.

Now combine this with strong consumer data and deeper insights on culture, and what you have is the opportunity to build messaging basis a prevalent conversation or sentiment online. And by mapping these two well with nimble content creation capabilities where assets are created, not in weeks or months, but a few days and at times even hours, one can deliver creative assets that engage consumers while not only providing value, but also propagating the brand’s values.

What this understanding of culture also does is to help brands focus on deep consumer insights about what a festival truly means to people today. An interesting case in point was Netflix’s film around the worry everyone has with respect to gifting during festivals,which led to a widely enjoyable creative that had its sentiment analysis spot-on, generating a smile across everyone’s face.

The above example also showcases that the era of wider reaching creatives isn’t over.In fact, while the digital space allows us to hyper target and create content that is well aimed, it also allows us to not lose what the larger message of the brand is. This is because when the avenues to propagate a message increase and the data allows one to target, then you can both, deliver a wider message for brand building along with smaller, more targeted content for sales. In other words, the digital platform allows you to have your cake and eat it too.  

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