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Digital ad spend will grow in 2021 but print and outdoor to remain impacted, predicts S Prasanna Rai of Wipro Consumer Care

The behavioural pattern of consumers would continue to be dominated by an underlying fear of uncertainty in the next year, says the Vice-President, Marketing, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting

S Prasanna Rai

Digital ad spend, including on e-commerce platforms, would continue to rise in 2021 while advertising on traditional mediums such as print, outdoor and cinema may remain subdued, said S Prasanna Rai, Vice-President, Marketing, Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting. 

Rai said that for Wipro Consumer Care, the marketing budgets are in line with the markets and they are following localised strategies.

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He said data used previously to make advertising and marketing decisions is not necessarily going to be useful in analysing trends in the future. The focus would shift to providing new experiences for already existing customers and brands will create services and campaigns to fulfil customers' new needs. However, the key to unfolding this trend would lie in retaining existing customers, he said.

Rai said marketers next year will have to find innovative ways of executing go-to-market plans for new launches since the role of visibility and display has reduced with consumers relatively spending less time at outlets and reducing the number of visits.

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Similarly, face-to-face time with retailers for FMCG salesmen has reduced, which makes the distribution effort required in new launches much tougher.

While general trade and kirana did make a comeback after the lockdown, marketers have quickly grown to realise the importance of leveraging digital mediums effectively. Especially with respect to e-commerce platforms, there was a strong need to customise pack offerings and invest in marketing on these platforms to venture into a larger customer base during these times.

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With this new and changed reality, the platforms for interaction and connection with consumers are also changing, requiring constant experimentation, tracking of efficiencies and effectiveness to help land on robust new ways of consumer influencing tactics, he said.

In 2021, he expects the consumer’s behavioural patterns to continue to be dominated by an underlying fear of uncertainty, be it while evaluating a product, understanding a brand, and making a purchase.

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As custodians of brands, he said marketers would have to observe, analyse and react in real time and continue to evolve in line with the dynamic consumer behaviour to retain brand trust and value.

Talking about the FMCG category, he said the focus on hygiene in personal care and immunity in foods would be high for some time and these products would see higher traction. The imagery product categories such as deodorants, perfumes, talc, etc., will slowly come back to normalcy but will be muted in growth.

Explaining the brand’s outlook, he said, “In coming three years, we aim to consolidate our position in our core categories, including personal and home care brands. Our products are targeted at the lower- and middle-class audience primarily living in the rural areas. Our brands, including Santoor, Chandrika, Giffy, Safewash, and Softouch, would continue to act as the growth drivers and the strategy for our brands would remain on promoting and celebrating cleanliness, safety and self-care.”

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