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Disruption likely in celebrity-driven ad model; purpose and content-led marketing to gain prominence, says Amitabh Pande of Ikea India

In a conversation with BestMediaInfo.com, the Country Marketing Manager of Ikea India talks about the key marketing trends that will dominate 2021 and shares Ikea's advertising strategy

Amitabh Pande

Purpose-driven marketing will become much more important for brands this year, said Amitabh Pande, Country Marketing Manager, Ikea India. 

Pande said that as brands seek more value on their investments, the celebrity-driven advertising model could also be disrupted. 

Predicting the marketing trends for 2021, he said there will be a lot of marketing around purpose-driven brands this year.

“I expect to see a disruption in the approach of celebrity advertising. Many brands will drive for much greater affordability and value for money offerings. 2021 will see more content-driven marketing; and, in general, more marketing focus on the simple and the everyday reality rather than great and grand,” he said.

"There will be much more importance on building ‘brands with purpose’. It gets so easy to make choices during a crisis, once we have a purpose. It helps us marketers to treat our customers not as consumers but as human beings first," Pande added.

Advertising plan for 2021

Digital is more important than the rest of the mediums for Ikea and it will continue to focus there, Pande said. 

“We will continue to use our marketing media mix based on the objectives for different campaigns and brand goals through the year,” he added. As the brand believes in building long-term partnerships with its agencies, all its partners are part of co-creating its plans for this year while he expects higher need for agility.

Ikea spent between Rs 150 crore and Rs 180 crore in 2018-19 on marketing when it entered India.

Having observed how life at home is the central focus of everyone’s lives, he believes that this will continue to be a focus area this year and that is why the furniture category will only grow in 2021, with a wide array of options to shop in different, convenient and safe ways.

As it continued to understand its customers digitally through most of 2020, going forward it expects to meet more customers in the physical environment of their homes, once the health and safety conditions stabilise.

Pande said, “We are people-oriented company, and not being able to meet and serve our customers physically as much as we would like has been something we have missed. We would like to spend more time interacting with our customers; and understanding their life at home and requirements in their physical environment. We hope to achieve all of these in 2021 and continue to make every day brighter for the many people of India.”

With ever-changing social media and consumer behaviour dynamics, Pande suggested brands should get better and smarter (by working with the right people and partners) at speaking to people with the right message at the right time at the right place (platform) as the complexity of the media environment evolves.

“It is not so much about how social media is changing, but rather how consumer behaviour is changing. And that is an important difference to understand. We cannot build brands on how a platform works. Platforms are a means to an end. They connect brands functionally and emotionally to customers. Brands are built on consumers’ needs and dreams.  Brands need to keep a finger on the pulse of their customers’ changing behaviour and then cater to this across different platforms in their entire life and shopping journey, including (but not only) social media. Communicating empathetically and emotionally has always been important. All media (including social media) is part of achieving this,” he added.


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