The Indian economy is passing through a rough phase. There is a slump in consumer spending and signs of an economic slowdown are visible. Despite this, the coming festive season is expected to witness huge advertising spends by brands and the reasons behind this trend aren't very difficult to guess.
The festive season in India is considered to be a goldmine for brands, as consumers are willing to spend and are more receptive to brand messages and experiences. There is a lot of shopping on the cards and the mood is upbeat. Brands, at this time, generally achieve double the target as compared to the rest of the year. This is achieved with great planning, management and most important of all, a good strategy.
We got in a conversation with Ms. Supriti Misra, Director (Key Accounts & Business Development), Pulp Strategy to better understand festival marketing and how it opens new growth avenues for brands.
Do you think festivals are a good time to talk about your brand?
Traditionally, most companies stash away a chunk of their media budgets for the festive season, which contributes more than 40% of their annual sales. It is the time when your customer is exploring brands. From apparels to electronics to lifestyle and renovation, people are on a shopping spree. It’s a great time for B2C brands, when customer engagement is easier, as people are already in the buying mode and more open to new brand experiences. The festive time is equally favourable for ATL, BTL and Digital agencies. Talking about the Digital, I must tell you that your presence on the digital space brings you even better results. It allows your customers (sometimes, physically present on your retail store) know you better, have access to the reviews and eventually take quick purchase decisions, resulting in faster conversions and higher ROI.
Do you think your message gets registered while the customer’s mind is focused on the festivals and his needs regarding the same?
People are indeed occupied with several things during festive times, but what's also true is that they are smart. They know when and where to invest their time and if your brand, after all the chaos in the market, still manages to grab the attention of customers, it is a positive sign for achieving conversions. Getting more eyeballs will help your brand and lead you towards desired results. It is indeed an experience rather than an interruption.
Are there any rules for the festival marketing that a brand must not forget?
Yes. There is a rule that every brand must remember, irrespective of the festival and the rule is to keep relevance. The link between the brand and the occasion must be there. The colours, theme, giveaways, communication, etc. should be aligned well with the festival. Brands must try to make a different identity around certain occasions, for example – Amazon Independence Day Sale, HnM Season End Sale, etc.
What do you prefer for your brands during festive times– Attention or Relevance?
Both. I guess I would always choose the attention of my customer in all relevant ways. This also depends on the client’s objective, which decides the direction of the strategy and communication.
What is more accepted these days, Digital or on-ground activations?
The changing trends and innovations over a decade have created an ever-expanding need for digital presence. Every B2C brand must focus on correct online targeting. The right planning and choice of digital space are essential for brands.
The sales are expected to draw between 5-7% of overall festive advertising spends. On the other hand, on-ground activation is also important for brands to connect physically with their potential customers. It brings things to on-spot and on real ground.
Do you think that the experiential activations work better during festivals?
Yes, they do. Festive time is the best for experiential activations, as the customer is open to experiences. You can help your brand stand out and catch attention, which would eventually result in a higher ROI.
How much would you think is ‘the Role of Technology’ in helping the brand communication during the festive times?
A lot of Brands are increasingly embracing Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies to achieve their communication objectives. Technology has opened new avenues for creativity leaps and it is being used to create an engaging experience on the ground.