"30-40% of Our Marketing Budget is Attributed to Experiential" - Keshav Bansal, Director, Intex
by Shantanu Jain Marketing | August 30, 2016 | Interview
The smartphone market in India has never been more competitive. While brands like Apple and Samsung are gung-ho about achieving market leadership, there are no fewer than 42 other brands that are also desperately seeking means to penetrate the second biggest smartphone market in the world.
In such a stiff marketing ecosystem, Intex is one brand which has slowly but steadily made its mark on the hearts of Indian consumers on the basis of its affordable and durable offerings, and a vibrant marketing strategy. In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS, Keshav Bansal, Director, Intex Technologies talks about the marketing mix of the brand, their EXM strategy and what one can expect from the Intex stable in the year ahead.
What is the marketing strategy of Intex and what constitutes its marketing mix?
Intex thrives on its ability to constantly innovate and challenge market dynamics. In the face of increasing consumer demand in India and the company's strong emphasis on innovation, the company has a suite of novel marketing plans in its roster, and constantly focuses on customer delight through technological leadership and after-sales service for its customers.
Being in the consumer facing business, we understand the critical role of marketing. Be it ATL, BTL or Digital marketing, we have tried to use them judiciously and strategically. With an aggressive focus on ATL activities, Intex has increased its visibility by being part of and sponsoring major sporting events like IPL 2014, India-South Africa 2015 series, in-film promotions, reality shows and GECs. Festive seasons are the other peak time when Intex is active with ATL campaigns. In our segment, Tier 2 & 3 cities play a vital role and it’s very important for us to reach out to the customers in these markets. Considering consumer behaviour and buying habits, we have regional brand ambassadors for South markets on board to promote our mobiles, ie. Mahesh Babu in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Sudeep in Karnataka and Suriya in Tamil Nadu. Farhan Akhtar is our National brand ambassador for the mobile segment. In order to reach out to customers for consumer durable market, we recently roped in legendary actress, Madhuri Dixit as our brand ambassador for the consumer durable segment – Washing Machines & Refrigerators.
India has young demographics & mostly cricket lovers. Therefore, to further strengthen our brand’s association with youngsters - Intex acquired the GUJARAT LIONS IPL team last year. Gujarat Lions team proved to be a great springboard to reach out to existing and new consumers across the country and provided a platform for some innovative marketing across mediums, especially digital and social media
The company’s social media strategy and website have been among the top ranks for community engagement (fans/followers). Brand Intex has upped the ante in the digital space and in social media through Twitter, Facebook, resulting in millions of fans following these pages. This has led to popular platforms such as Social Samosa conducting multiple case studies on Intex and its growing digital prominence.
This year we are heavily focusing on cricket associations, digital marketing and ground-level visibility. Besides this, the brand will be noticeable largely on television this year.
Intex now owns the Gujarat Lions IPL team which made its debut this year. How did the brand amplify its presence at the IPL and how has the IPL association benefited the brand?
Cricket is considered a religion in India and the biggest platform for the youth today. Since Intex is into the B2C (business to consumer) segment, the target audience is exactly the same. It made a lot of sense for us and gives us another platform to reach out to our customers.
Intex has been associated with the IPL and with cricket for some time now, but with owning the Gujarat Lions we have further strengthened the association and made it more meaningful. IPL is the biggest sports extravaganza and the biggest platform to connect with the youth of the country.
Associating with a platform like IPL has already helped us immensely in creating a buzz for the brand at a national level and in generating a lot of positivity among consumers. Considering it as a marketing masterstroke, we further expect this association to not only strengthen our connect with the IPL audience in India and across the globe, but also to catapult the perception of brand Intex beyond the realms of technology.
How relevant is experiential marketing for Intex and what have been some of your recent on-ground initiatives?
Brand Intex is connected with the consumers on-ground. Besides having a traditional approach to marketing, to build regional connect, we participate in all festivals. Garba during Navraatri in Gujarat, Baisakhi in Punjab, Durga Puja in West Bengal, Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Ganpati Visarjan in Maharashtra, Onam in Kerala are the few examples of India festivals where we leverage the occasion for creating the desired consumer connect. The aim here is to a part of the celebrations, create a connect with the consumers and develop a long term relationship. We have strong relationships with distributors, dealers and retailers who are the torchbearers for brand Intex.
What distinguishes your market strategy from your top competitors like Samsung and Micromax?
Intex Technologies as a company has always aspired to improve the quality of lives of people and make brand Intex a globally respected name. At Intex, our aim is to be present where the consumers are and we have successfully catered to the needs of consumers across price segments. Our strategy is to be a consumer focused and innovation-based company that offers products at competitive prices with strong offline and online distribution & robust after-sales service. As a consumer facing company, we have always focused on consumer satisfaction and on maintaining a robust distribution and retail presence. To further strengthen our network, in 2015 Intex began opening exclusive branded stores - ‘Intex Smart World’ as experience zones for consumers. Currently we have close to 80 stores across the country, covering more than 50 cities. This approach has enabled us to grow consistently and we are confident of continuing the trend.
How much of your marketing budget do you allocate to experiential marketing?
Being a consumer facing brand, experiential marketing becomes very important for us. We need to be connected with our consumers and for this various initiatives and activities have to be planned throughout the year, both at national and regional level. Considering this importance, experiential marketing forms a considerable part of our entire marketing mix. Between 30-40 % of the budget is usually attributed to experiential marketing, which differentiates us from rest of the competition.
What can the consumers expect from the brand in the year ahead?
Being an Indian brand, we have always brought innovative products at competitive prices for all. Since its inception, Intex has positioned itself as a brand that empowers masses with the latest technology at affordable price points. Intex thrives on its ability to constantly innovate and challenge market dynamics. In the face of increasing consumer demand in India and the company's strong emphasis on innovation, the company has plans to focus on more innovative products in both the mobile and consumer durable segments, provide more & more value-added services, active after-sales service and consumer, and a finance scheme to connect with consumers.
In an exclusive with EVENTFAQS, Keshav Bansal, Director, Intex Technologies talks about the marketing mix of the brand, their EXM strategy and what one can expect from the Intex stable.