While Tata Motors has no definite numbers on its overall marketing budget as it keeps it flexible, the automobile manufacturer is planning to increase spends in digital and experiential, followed by TV, OTT and OOH.
“In terms of market strategy, we are very clear that post-Covid, digital has become very important; so a lot of investment in digital and experiential areas such as virtual reality platforms and augmented reality. So we are very strong on digital media and ORM (online reputation management) and we will definitely grow in this area. We will be very strong on TV and all screens, including OTT,” Vivek Srivatsa, Head, Marketing, PVBU, Tata Motors, said.
For its recently launched all-new Safari, it will be looking at OOH billboards too.
In an interaction with BestMediaInfo.com, Srivatsa said, “I think print is still a bit under question mark for us. Covid-19 has impacted physical consumption of the media. While we don’t have enough data to understand how newspaper circulation has gone up, what I can say is that effectiveness of newspaper advertising has definitely come down, which is largely because of lesser reach.”
It has also associated with IPL for over three years now and plans to continue the partnership for this year as well.
Srivatsa believes IPL was pretty good last year despite the pandemic and this year as well it will continue to be more valuable and broad in terms of customer reach as it becomes full household viewing now.
With social media under the scanner for its privacy-related issues and ongoing controversies with the government, he said brands won’t be bothered as the user base will continue to exist on this medium and it is only poised to grow in the future.
“Social media is going to grow for sure and it is almost irreplaceable in terms of our ability to connect with other people. Of course, privacy concerns remain but overall the minute you own a smartphone, you have written off your privacy. So it is a question of to what extent you are willing to let go. However, I really wish social media companies were more conscious. I don’t think brands will consider these aspects, because brands don’t have to worry about social media’s rights or wrongs. We keep it as any other media and don’t question it. I think it is up to the user and social media and their relationship. As long as users are available on the platform, we have to be true to the ROI we intend to achieve and the kind of customers we want to reach,” he said.
Even in terms of virtual launches, Srivatsa is of the belief that going forward, even after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, offline launches will remain fewer as most stakeholders have found the online and hybrid mode more efficient.
He said, “All of us are looking at the benefits of the virtual launch and at the same time we are discovering some of the loopholes. Going forward, my thought is that loopholes will get filled and most of the stakeholders are quite happy with this kind of virtual launch. Many people save a lot of time, money, energy and the loopholes will be addressed. To that extent, hybrid models will emerge. I wouldn’t say that physical launches will never happen but it will become very few depending upon the kind of product and event.”
Tata Motors is among the companies that have achieved revenue and grown above pre-Covid-19 levels. Having grown 36% over the last FY, despite having two months of losses due to Covid-19, he said things are going great and it hopes to continue on the same path with new products being launched.
With its all-new Safari re-launched in the market, he is optimistic that it will make the company become even stronger in the market while achieving a double-digit market share in SUV space. In terms of SUV, it currently has a 9.6% market share.
“Overall, we are on a very good growth path, not just for SUVs alone but in the overall automotive space,” he said.