Advertising any healthcare category is considered challenging as it is highly regulated. But for Dabur, that has been quite a journey.
The brand, which was earlier more focused building advocacy via traditional and credible channels, has now turned its focus to digital.
With its recent Pudin Hara campaign innovation on Spotify and social media channels, the brand is taking the medium more seriously.
In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, Ajay Parihar, Marketing Head, OTC Health Care, Dabur, shared how the brand has come a long in way in terms of growth, challenges and advertising learnings.
Talking about Pudin Hara in specific, he explained how the brand is preparing to enter the colloidal solution market as well.
“Healthcare product is something people don’t buy because a brand is present on a particular channel. They seek advocacy and some kind of assurance first. Being ahead of the curve in case of healthcare would have given us some kind of frivolity. We are now trying to follow the consumer wherever he goes and with the changing media landscape it is important for us to focus on something like digital,” Parihar said.
He added, “We are now dividing the digital spend into a couple of buckets and not going blindly behind YouTube and social media channels. For any healthcare brand, advocacy is the first thing which works the best because if you are a brand which is trusted, then only mainline advertising helps. Through credible channel and sites like 1mg.com, we have built advocacy. Earlier we used to have just ads, now we have gone ahead and shot something interesting because if you are going to play the same old violin in the game, consumers might not listen to you. We slightly have matured to understand the digital channel better and picking up the pace in this medium.”
Discussing how challenging it can be for OTC players to advertise themselves, he said the major hurdle is to remain relevant for consumers. The market has seen the emergence of a lot of new formats of all kinds of medicines. And so, consumers now want health to be slightly tastier also.
“Gone are those days when bitter was better in healthcare. Now consumers want to have healthcare given to them in a more palatable, slightly tastier formats. Especially millennials appreciate communication that is more honest and sincere in advertising and in product offering as well. Hence, the bigger challenge is to stand up to their expectations, which requires a lot of conviction,” he said.
With an increase in the consumer touch points, the brand is now focusing more on 360-degree promotions and not just utilising traditional mediums.
Talking about the journey of the brand, and why it still stands as the market leader, Parihar said, “We stayed committed to the quality and the efficacy of the product and that is what I can see as one of the major reasons that we remain relevant for consumers. A lot many brands came and wanted to capitalise on our offerings’ lookalikes. It doesn't work too well for consumers because they understand the difference between a real good product and otherwise.”
The health supplements business for Dabur reported a 14.4% growth during Q2 of FY19-20 and digestives category ended Q2 with a 10.2% growth during the same quarter.
Sharing how healthcare is relatively shielded in economic slowdown, he said that in such conditions, the need for a more trusted brand actually goes up, which works in favour of Dabur.