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Marketing 2020: Marketing and advertising to get far more regional in 2020, says Uber’s Manisha Lath Gupta

The Marketing Director of Uber India says that 2020 will see the rise of vernacular content across platforms and personalisation will be the main theme of marketing brings to you a new series ‘Marketing 2020’ where we ask top marketers about marketing trends that will shape up 2020 as they move into the new year with their new plans and expectations.

In a conversation with, Manisha Lath Gupta, Marketing Director, Uber India, shares the marketing trends that are likely to dominate next year. She talks about the focus areas for Uber and how the brand would strive to remain edgy.


How was 2019 for the marketing industry and what do you expect from 2020?

We will continue to strive for digitally relevant content. Agencies and marketers need to think of digital ideas first, and build surround sound around them. With our multi-modal portfolio, our approach for the New Year will be to ensure we are always on, maximising our weeks on air.

How do you see advertising and marketing trends evolving in 2020?

Advertising and marketing are likely to become far more regional in nature. Vernacular content consumption is driving the industry and thinking about regions/cities first is a large part of our brand charter too. Example: Yeppa Selvam, thought and written in Tamil for Chennai, with a deep-rooted local insight.

Personalisation will continue to be a theme as marketers try to serve the right piece of communication at the right time to their customers. Dynamic Creative Optimisation will aid creation of personalised messaging based on profiles of customers.

Purpose-led marketing sits firmly at the heart of a brand’s vision and informs every business decision. Smart, purpose-led brands see their customers as stakeholders more than buyers who are investing time, money and attention into the brands they love. Understanding how to instil a sense of brand love, recognition and belongingness through a clear and relevant purpose has become prerequisite for competitiveness.

What’s your marketing budget likely to be and which will be the key platforms?

We will continue to aggressively invest in marketing in order to build the brand and our product portfolio. We don’t comment on absolute spends or increases.

Overall, our approach will be similar. However, we will double down on on-ground activations. We show up locally in cities as it is important for us to partner at a very local level while retaining a national and global brand image.

Currently, we already have our #LeaveYourCarBehind initiative, which seeks to establish Uber as an ally in Delhi-NCR’s crusade against the worsening air quality.

What do you expect from your agency/communication/content partners in the next year?

We believe in thinking digital first and build more engagement with riders/ drivers, instead of a one-way communication.

We have already seen success with the chatbot featuring Virat Kohli during the ICC CWC 2019, an APAC-first on Google, delivered high engagement and conversations on any bot-enabled ad unit.

What's your brand's outlook for the next three years?

We aim to address different price points and consumer segments, yet remain an edgy brand. It is a phygital product, and hence our challenge will be to traverse offline and online successfully.

Social media and consumer behaviour are changing the dynamics of marketing faster than brands could even get a grip on the current trend. What would help you and other brands keep abreast with the evolving landscape?

Social media today is more dynamic than ever before, with not just new streams of content but even the emergence of newer social channels. The landscape is changing at the speed of thought and it's a huge responsibility on marketers to be on top of this ever-changing medium. Collective forums on best-in-class work and practices would help marketers understand how to unlock the power of social in a big way. Partners also have a significant role to play here to keep the industry and brands informed of new trends.

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