BrandWagon AdTalk with Hindware’s Charu Malhotra

Occupying a major share of the marketing budget pie, digital marketing is not only crucial but the need of the hour. With newer technologies sprouting every second day, it has become essential for marketers to be ahead of times and cater to their TG. Digital marketing is important in not only acquiring new customers but also retaining existing ones. In our weekly BrandWagon Ad Talk series, industry experts highlight what has changed over the years and more importantly, are these changes here to stay. Charu Malhotra, VP and head of marketing, Hindware talks to BrandWagon Online, about the dos and don’ts of digital marketing, best marketing campaigns, and more.

What is the difference between launching a brand in today’s digital era versus earlier?With the advent of digital platforms and social media, brands now have the opportunity to reach a global audience within a quick span. Unlike earlier, when reaching a large audience required substantial financial resources and extensive marketing efforts, today’s digital era allows brands to connect with potential customers through targeted advertising, influencer collaborations, and viral content. Moreover, digital platforms allow brands to adapt and pivot their strategies in real time based on immediate feedback and data analytics. This flexibility enables faster adjustments and iterations, improving overall brand performance and relevance.

Additionally, in the digital era, brands can directly engage with their customers through social media platforms, email marketing, live chats, and other interactive channels. This direct engagement provides valuable insights into customer preferences, needs, and feedback. Brands can leverage this information to refine their products, services, and marketing strategies, fostering stronger customer relationships. And the ability to target specific demographics and track the performance of digital campaigns allows for optimised marketing budgets and improved return on investment.

And most importantly the digital era provides brands with an abundance of data and analytics tools. By leveraging data, brands can gain insights into consumer behaviour, preferences, and market trends. This data-driven approach allows for more informed decision-making throughout the brand launch process, from identifying target audiences to refining messaging and optimising marketing campaigns.

What are the recent best marketing or advertising campaigns you have seen and why?I believe that for an advertising campaign to be deemed successful, it should be able to deliver tangible outcomes, whether in the form of revenue generation or social impact.

Vicks’ #TouchOfCare campaign, specifically the ‘One in a Million’ aspect, has emerged as a standout example of effective digital marketing over the past year. Through storytelling, the campaign shares the heart-warming journey of Nisha, a girl with a rare skin condition, and highlights the power of love and care provided by her adoptive mother. By leveraging digital platforms, such as YouTube and Facebook, the campaign successfully reached a wide audience, generated high engagement, and sparked meaningful conversations around caregiving and redefining the concept of family. Vicks’ #TouchOfCare campaign exemplifies the brand’s commitment to social impact and showcases how digital channels can be utilised to convey powerful messages and connect with the audience on a deeper level.

Hindware’s “Build a Toilet, Build her Future” campaign is another one that is significant to me, it is an example of a socially responsible and impactful advertising campaign. The campaign addresses the issue of the lack of proper sanitation facilities in schools in India, which leads to teenage girls dropping out of school. The campaign seeks to construct and renovate toilets in schools across India to empower teenage girls to continue schooling and promote hygienic sanitation practices. This campaign is a socially responsible initiative and a smart move from a marketing perspective, as it promotes the brand as a socially responsible entity.

Which brand in the last year has made the best use of digital and how?Swiggy, a food delivery platform, has demonstrated an understanding of the digital landscape and utilised digital channels to drive its business growth. Swiggy’s success in the digital realm can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, they have capitalised on the growing smartphone penetration in India by developing a user-friendly mobile app. The app offers seamless navigation, personalised recommendations, and easy order placement, providing a convenient and efficient food ordering experience for customers.

Furthermore, Swiggy has leveraged social media platforms to establish a strong online presence. It has utilised engaging content, including food visuals, interactive quizzes, and humorous memes, to connect with their target audience and build brand affinity. Through witty and relatable social media campaigns, Swiggy has successfully tapped into Indian consumers’ love for food and created a strong brand identity.

Another key aspect of Swiggy’s digital strategy is its focus on data-driven marketing. By analysing customer preferences, ordering patterns, and delivery trends, Swiggy has been able to offer personalised recommendations, promotional offers, and timely delivery services, enhancing the overall customer experience. Its data-driven approach has contributed to customer loyalty and retention, strengthening its position in the competitive food delivery market.

Swiggy’s success in the digital space can also be attributed to its adoption of technologies. They have integrated features like real-time order tracking, contactless delivery, and cashless payments, ensuring a seamless and safe experience for customers.

In a post-Covid world, what are the dos and don’ts of digital marketing?In the evolving digital marketing landscape post-Covid, it is imperative to prioritise online presence, personalised marketing, delivering value, and demonstrating empathy towards customers. We must understand the importance of establishing a robust online presence, optimising our digital assets, and leveraging data for effective personalisation. Brands are committed to avoiding spamming, over-promotion, and maintaining authenticity in their marketing messages. Furthermore, we highly value customer feedback, ensure mobile optimisation, and prioritise data privacy to foster trust and engagement. I particularly emphasise these principles to effectively navigate the post-Covid digital marketing landscape and create meaningful connections with our target audience.

One recent bad case of advertising you have seen, and why?I have come across various advertising campaigns, both good and bad. I believe brands should consciously utilise advertising to promote transparency, honesty, and meaningful engagement with customers.

At Hindware Limited we strive to ensure that our advertising campaigns are focused on showcasing the real benefits, quality, and innovation of our products, while maintaining a high level of integrity and authenticity in our messaging. We understand that building trust and credibility with our customers is essential, and we aim to achieve this by providing accurate information, delivering on our promises, and constantly improving our products and services.

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