Lockdown blues prompt brands, agencies to rethink strategies

The challenge is to balance economic losses while staying present among consumers.

MUMBAI: Even in a lockdown, the show must go on, even if it means cutting down your exenses. With cash crunch being a problem across the world, brands and agencies are figuring out how to optimise communication at the lowest cost. reached out to a cross section of brands and agencies to get their perspectives on this.

According to FCB Ulka ECD Anindya Banerjee, this is the period of hand-holding both the client and the consumer. “While the sentiments and the bottom-line have taken a hit, we can’t disappear from the lives of our consumers. Also, some businesses like financial services and banks haven’t stopped. The idea is to tailor-make messages for the consumer.”

Giving a helping hand to clients, Marcom Avenue director Divanshi Gupta says that it is curating more personal content and strategies such as industry opinions, post-pandemic come-back strategy presentations, blogs, articles, that can help its clientele to establish themselves once Covid2019 is under control.

Brands have been figuring out how to get through this difficult phase as well. For Liberty Shoes, the months from March to June are key for business. Says its retail executive director Anupam Bansal: “New season’s merchandise was placed in the shops, sales teams were geared up, marketing campaigns for ‘back to school’ or ‘marriage season’ was all set, but unfortunately the pandemic hit at the same time. It was difficult to quickly act on the situation and with social distancing and lockdown, mindsets are cash-conservative.”

Without demand and revenue, Liberty’s marketing expenses also took a hit. It had to safeguard finances for rainy days, deducting the ad expenses, which, according to Bansal, was an articulated decision. The company is looking at consumer behaviour staying constant for another two quarters.

The challenge before brands and agencies is to balance their economic losses while staying present among consumers. DigitalKites senior VP Amit Lall says that brands are reluctant to allow their focus to dilute and wish to stay relevant to the consumers. This is where digital comes into the picture with its ability to provide faster reports on investment.

Barco India head of marketing Vijayant Khattry feels that it is only natural that most of its current campaigns revolve around remote meeting as well as virtual learning products like ClickShare Conference and weConnect as it expects their demand to increase substantially even after people go back to the office post-pandemic.

The lockdown has seen digital spends shoot up. Banerjee says: “The pandemic has forced all companies to go digital. Fortunately, at FCB, we’ve been aligning ourselves to not work as a traditional agency for quite some time and that has helped us during these times.”

In order to maintain the balance, Marcom Avenue has shifted its focus to branding and community building rather than sales/lead generation activities. Gupta adds, “Some of our clients have introduced new product lines during the pandemic like masks/hazmat suits/infra-thermometer, etc., looking to make available medical products to the health industry and further requiring us to create end-to-end marketing for these essential products in demand. Further, we took an initiative to analyse and tap into different industries that are booming like e-learning and pharma, so that we can help them increase their revenue and RoI.” 

Apart from shifting focus from OOH and print to TV and digital, brands are looking at other options as well. Liberty Shoes is improving the UI/UX of its website to give a better customer experience. The company is also improving the website SEO to future-proof itself. It is also looking at strengthening its social media/influencer marketing tools to stay relevant. “Personalised communication with consumers is also taking place using the CRM database,” says Bansal.

MediaTek marketing and communication deputy director Anuj Sidharth says, “We are also trying to increase our focus on offline public relations activities such as virtual roundtable conferences, webinar sessions, etc. MediaTek is maintaining consumers’ focus on the interesting mix of technologies that we power, especially products like mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs, wi-fi routers and voice assistant devices, which have become even more vital. We are also devising marketing mix strategies for mobile and non-mobile segments.”

While brand building and marketing is a difficult thing for most brands to undertake simultaneously right now, communication is still essential in some way or the other.

Latest Reads
Bikano ropes in Chhota Bheem for launch of new snack range

Mumbai: Snacks major Bikano has taken the license for one of India’s most popular kids-show characters Chhota Bheem for the launch of its extruded products range under the sub-brand ‘Fatax’. The new offerings include Ringz (masala and tomato flavour), Puffeez, Cheese Balls, Pasta Crunch, and Jungle...

MAM Marketing MAM
Britannia rolls out new campaign for Milk Bikis Classic relaunch

Mumbai: FMCG major Britannia is all set to bring back the iconic Milk Bikis Classic biscuit to the market, beginning with Tamil Nadu. The relaunch is being supported by an influencer-driven digital campaign ‘An Ode to Simpler Times’ that is currently running across social media platforms including...

MAM Marketing MAM
CashKaro drives 45000+ sales at Mamaearth during its three-day sale

Mumbai: Cashback and coupon portal CashKaro drove over Rs 6.5 crore in sales for its beauty partner Mamaearth during its three-day 'OMG sale' held between 14 and 16 July. In the short span of three days, CashKaro and its sister site EarnKaro were able to bring 70 per cent of new user transactions...

MAM Marketing MAM
P&G appoints Shailesh Jejurikar as global chief operating officer

Mumbai: Global consumer products major, The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has announced the appointment of Shailesh Jejurikar as the global chief operating officer (COO), with effect from 1 October. This is in line with the change at the CEO level with Jon Moeller taking over from David...

MAM Media and Advertising People
Matrix reinvents itself as the most inclusive brand

Mumbai: American salon brand Matrix on Friday announced a brand renovation at recently held Matrix India M-Day, the community e-connect programme. 

MAM Marketing MAM
upGrad India onboards Abdul Wajid Shaikh as head of performance marketing

Mumbai: Edtech major upGrad on Friday announced the appointment of Abdul Wajid Shaikh as head of performance marketing for India. In his new role, Shaikh will be driving end-to-end performance marketing across digital platforms. He will also work towards streamlining and automation of the entire...

MAM Media and Advertising People
HiveMinds names Manav Khurana business head - marketplaces

Mumbai: Hiveminds Innovative market solutions, the digital specialist of Madison World, has brought on board Manav Khurana to head its growing marketplace division. Khurana is a seasoned e-commerce professional armed with over 12 years of experience across global brands. Before joining HiveMinds,...

MAM Media and Advertising People
Cashfree appoints Vikas Guru as chief financial officer

Mumbai: Digital payments and banking technology company Cashfree has announced the appointment of Vikas Guru as its chief financial officer, to fuel the next phase of its growth.

MAM Media and Advertising People
ZEE5 head marketing - SVOD & music Reilly Rebello moves on

ZEE5 head marketing - SVOD & music Reilly Rebello has moved on from the platform and has joined Zoey's All Natural as co-founder. At Zoey’s All Natural, he would be at the helm of the branding and marketing of the company.

MAM Marketing MAM

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required