Advertising should evolve just as people are evolving, believes Rajeev Juneja, CEO, Mankind Pharma. A believer in cause-based marketing, Juneja says it is important for brands to communicate with audiences on issues they connect with.
In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, he said Uttar Pradesh has been the most productive market for them India and Sri Lanka internationally.
Talking about the pharmaceutical giant’s marketing plans, he says they will continue to focus on outdoor and digital marketing for communication as it gives the brand a good ROI.
What mediums of communication will you focus on and what expenses are you aiming for those mediums? Which is the most effective medium for you?
Currently, our media focus is directed towards digital marketing. We allot 20-25% of our total media budget spends on digital marketing owing to its spectacular ROI. So, we plan to keep injecting our budgets in digital marketing for the year to come. Another medium that really works for us is outdoor advertising, particularly airport branding, which does wonders for our brand equity.
We have seen the trend of influencer marketing rise in recent times, what are your thoughts about it? Any plans for coming up with more influencer-specific campaigns?
We have witnessed the benefits of influencer marketing ourselves. We believe engagement with consumers is effectively met when done with the right influencers. For our recent campaign (#ImwithYellow) also, we collaborated with 13 A+ and B category influencers and the engagement for the same has been fabulous. Apart from this, we have also paired with Momspresso and Baby Destination where they have roped in real mothers to capture their thoughts on this concept. Right influencers targeted towards the right audiences deliver the message spot-on.
Experiential marketing has also emerged as a trend for brands to communicate. Do you wish to explore experiential marketing for any of your brands in the future?
Experiential marketing is a very interesting way to engage with your audiences. It obviously has its benefits but we haven’t had a chance to experiment with it yet. We would, however, love to integrate it with our new campaigns in the future.
Your campaigns often talk about social issues like gender discrimination. Do you see this emerging as a trend? Are you a believer of cause-based marketing?
Yes, 100%. The idea is to communicate with your target audience on issues they resonate with. With time, people are evolving and so should the way we advertise. Brands have become more conscious, gaining a voice of their own to improve the world they exist in.
In your last campaign for Prega News, you spoke to people about gender equality in public spaces like malls. Will you focus on such on-ground activities in the future? How much do you focus on ground activities?
We always aim at creating a 360-degree campaign to engage with our audiences. On-ground activities give us a chance to know what people are thinking, thereby providing us an opportunity to connect with our consumers. For instance, this time we collaborated with First Cry wherein their shopping packet had a leaflet carrying all the information about the campaign. It was also wrapped in a Prega News tape which had the branding of the campaign hashtag #ImwithYellow. Many mothers who received those packets posted videos and Instagram stories on their page to acknowledge and show their support towards the campaign.
What according to you were some of the brand’s most notable campaigns last year?
Without a doubt, the best marketing campaign for us was our 2019 Mother’s Day campaign (#GoodNewsIsGenderFree) on the issue of gender bias. We set out with an objective to challenge the issue of gender bias prevalent in our country and reinforce that good news is good news, regardless of the baby’s gender. Our aim, therefore, was to start conversations. In fact, we wanted to change conversations from a baby’s gender to its health. The campaign resonated with people well and Google called it “one of the rarest” ads as it achieved the highest Brand Interest Lift Google had ever recorded.
Another good campaign we had last year was Manforce #ShutThePhoneUp 3 wherein as a responsible brand, we were sensitising couples about safe sex. This film was giving a strong message for those who trust their partners blindly and later fall prey to their blackmailing. And how they can save themselves from further victimisation by taking help from the right authority.
Any new products in the pipeline that the brand is focusing on?
Yes, we keep exploring new categories to add to our portfolio. Currently, we are focusing on multivitamins, products that cure cough, and products that improve overall health and hygiene. These are the highest growing markets and we would be able to comment more on them only when we roll out the entire plan.
What have been the best performing brands for Mankind?
Our best-performing brands in the OTC division of Mankind are Manforce, Prega News, Gas-O-Fast, and Acne Star.
Which markets in India have performed best for you?
Almost all markets have given us good coverage, thanks to our well-spread distribution networks with 12,000 dedicated field representatives. Our highest productive market has always been Uttar Pradesh though.
What is your reach in the global market and which international market has performed the best for you?
We have Mankind’s presence in 34 countries, including the United States, Philippines, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal, etc. For us, Sri Lanka has proved to be the highest performing country.