MediAvataar's News Desk
Holds Digital Garage in association with Google.
CarDekho.com, India’s #1 portal for cars hosted an event for automotive dealers called ‘The Digital Garage’, at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi, in association with Google. The event aimed at showcasing the global best practices and innovations in the digital-automotive domain. The event was attended by more than 100 Dealer Principals and other important stakeholders of the car industry from across India. The key note speakers for the event were Mr. Todd Rowe, Managing Director, Global Channel Sales, Google, Mr. Amit Jain - CEO of CarDekho and Mr. Umang Kumar – President, CarDekho.com & CEO of Gaadi.com.
The event emphasized the immense potential of digital technology, increasing role of internet in consumer car buying process and how an effective online presence can help automobile dealers serve their customers better & manage operations effectively.
The auto industry is continuously evolving and digital presence has become inevitable to remain relevant in this industry. According to independent consumer research studies, 75% car buyers research online first when they think of buying a car and out of this, 66% research using their smartphones.
With more than 4500 dealer partners, CarDekho has been at the forefront of bringing dealers online by creating innovative technology solutions for them. Last financial year, CarDekho & Gaadi together served 152 million visits and currently CarDekho has over 10 million unique monthly visitors researching and buying cars on its portal. According to an independent research, 59% of car buyers want to chat online with a dealer before buying a car. In line with that, CarDekho has unveiled a number of innovative products to improve dealer business such as online booking, cloud solutions, live chat & various other products that add measurability to the media campaigns.
Sharing his views on these emerging trends, Mr. Amit Jain, CEO, CarDekho.com talked about the measurability and efficiency of the digital media. The cost of leads generated through digital media is approximately 10-12x lower when compared to other traditional sources such as print media and online events. He further showcased success stories of partner dealers who adopted digital solutions along with leads from CarDekho and managed to generate ~2000 leads through their own websites. Another partner dealer received ~25 lacs impression for their online branding within 5 months providing a cost effective marketing medium. Such effective and sustainable business value creation is possible only through great quality traffic and product leadership.
To give global context, speakers from Google, Mr. Todd Rowe and Mr. Sudarshan Sarma spoke about global trends in automotive domain & dealers around the world. Google is also involved in AdWords Premier partnerships, Android auto, and various marketing innovations in the auto industry globally.
CarDekho.com is a Google AdWords premier SMB Partner and aims to support dealers through every stage of their Digital Marketing Journey. “The Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program is a great way for small businesses to connect with companies who can help them make the most of their online advertising,” says James Sanders, Director of Channel Sales, APAC. “Guided by the expertise of our trusted partners like CarDekho.com, small and medium-sized businesses can maximize the value and performance of their campaigns.”
In the highly competitive automobile industry, with constant pressure on top-line as well as rising costs, digital technology can provide the much needed edge to both OEMs & their dealers.
Commenting on the future of digital partnership with dealers, Umang Kumar, President, CarDekho.com & CEO, Gaadi.com said, “In the age when 44% of customers have already decided what they want to buy before visiting an offline dealer, it’s imperative that dealers beef up their online presence. Cardekho is committed to help dealers in their digital journey by creating custom 360 degree packages to address their needs for digital leads, online branding, website and SEM.”
Nalin Kapoor, former Group Head, Hyundai Motors; Current COO, New Car Business, CarDekho.com highlighted the importance of digital in the auto industry and the emerging needs of the OEMs and dealers in this space. He also expressed that CarDekho, already a significant contributor to overall national car sales through their LMS, Cloud solutions for both dealers and audience, will redefine the future of the online car selling business in India by offering unmatched value adding products to both dealers and buyers.
Dealer principals who attended the event took out numerous learnings and were keen to participate in the future growth of online marketing for cars. Talking about the success of Digital Garage - “CarDekho is giving us excellent results in terms of market coverage, generating incremental leads. We are looking forward to expanding this relationship across all our brands.” – Mohan Mariwala, Auto Hangar, Mumbai
"Amit is very passionate about what he is doing and what he has already done at CarDekho. We at FADA, definitely look forward to interacting with him. I was very impressed with the real life situations he has dealt with in developing his products. I think, dealers would love to adopt what he is doing." – Nikunj Sanghi, Director - International Affairs & past President - Federation of Automobile Dealer's Association, India
Bringing voices from the field into the homes of urban audiences
The agricultural sector in India has made significant strides in the last three decades, with the emergence of smart practices that are being adopted by farmers. CNN-IBN in partnership with Monsanto, presents a one-of-a-kind series titled ‘Smart Agriculture’ that gives you an insight into how modern technology along with smart and sustainable farm practices are rejuvenating Indian agriculture.
The series will enlighten viewers about smart agricultural practices being used, to help increase productivity and minimize challenges. It underlines how agriculture can be a profitable proposition with technology and agronomic practices that minimize resource use, reduce input costs and enhance productivity.
Based on a consumer centric approach, Smart Agriculture will demonstrate the latest agricultural practices through case studies of farmers across the length and breadth of India, interspersed with informative bytes from the industry experts. It will talk about the growing use of practices like contract farming, drip irrigation, farm mechanization to name a few; the complexities and challenges faced by the Indian farmer; and the state of agricultural policy making.
Radhakrishnan Nair, Managing Editor, CNN-IBN, said “The whole objective behind Smart Agriculture is to acquaint our audience with the changing trends and the developments in the field of agriculture. Our aim is to present a layman friendly show to create a connect with our viewers.”
Don’t miss ‘Smart Agriculture’ starting from 25th July, every Sat & Sun @ 4:30 PM exclusively on CNN-IBN.
It’s long been the mantra of marketing specialists to build brands that are so attractive and magnetic that people are drawn irresistibly to them, like moths to a flame. In truth, it’s much more likely that the brands we’re all developing and running are much less important to people than we might like to think.
In the developed West, we’ve lived through an era that we might call peak consumerism. In the 90s and 00s austerity wasn’t a concern and people had more disposable cash and getting credit was relatively easy and cheap to buy. People were generally happy to define themselves as consumers, with the brands they chose acting as signifiers of whom they were or whom they aspired to be. The perfect recipe for brand marketers who duly stood on their branded pedestals and spouted aspirational lifestyle messages and waited for the crowd to assemble around them.
Clearly things have changed. Today millennials are far less inclined to see themselves primarily as consumers. They identify with many different things, but critically they see themselves as being in charge, they don’t abdicate their identity definition to brands so readily. They want to be defining it for themselves.
This power shift isn’t restricted to the young; increasingly we’ve seen and heard from people across the generations that if they choose to buy a brand continually they expect something back for that behaviour. People aren’t interested in the old concept of brands – they’re looking for something altogether different.
Ultimately, the power has of course always been with the purchaser, what’s changing is how brands need to present themselves. Where once being an aspirational demi-god on a pedestal kind of worked, today it’s better to acknowledge that actually lots of brands are operating in the swamp, surrounded by competitors, all clamouring to be heard.
In this situation, what’s vital is that brands are both interesting and useful – neither one by itself is sufficient, it can’t be an either/or. Being useful is primary, the “thing” has to perform well, and some very functional-oriented brands are currently thriving – the rise of discounters being an example of this. The more a brand has to cut through noise the greater being useful is necessary – people are looking for convenient solutions and ways to make their busy lives easier. The global success of Uber is a prime example of this with convenience and functionality being at the heart of its proposition.
Usefulness is also being taken beyond a brand’s core functionality – British Gas’ Hive has given people convenience and control of their heating beyond the traditional service, and Nike has provided people with exercise apps that gives their brand a function beyond apparel to sit at the heart of people’s exercise regime.
Making the brand interesting is a different kind of challenge. Brands need to be interesting on three levels. Firstly, be interesting to people. Having a clear, insight based role in peoples’ lives to guide choices about what the brand does and does not do. Secondly be interesting in context.
Having a role, or mission in wider culture (and knowing how to deliver this appropriately) so that the brand becomes naturally amplified through events that are already happening (see cultural vibrancy article on p.6). And lastly, just be interesting per se. Having a style and character of its own so it’s distinctive and memorable every time.
Brands like Nike and Uber in particular, have managed to tick all the boxes. Both have strong, confident characters and both play a role in people’s lives as well as being a part of a wider culture – Nike in the health and exercise movement and Uber through technological disruption. Virgin Atlantic is another great example of providing a functional service while being distinctive, relevant and culturally vibrant.
Of course there are many brands where status is still a major influencer, and admittedly I’m exaggerating this for effect, but the principle holds that if you want to cut through and stand out in a crowded market you need to challenge yourself to be both as useful and as interesting as possible.
Source: Added Value
FMCG products have long watched ecommerce from the sidelines, but with ecommerce sales set to hit $1.7 trillion in 2015, there is the rapid realization that it is as important to FMCG as it is to categories like travel or electronics. There is however still little understanding of what the true impact of ecommerce is on mass distributed brands that have been available on the high street for years and are practically institutions themselves. There is a lack of clarity on how brands sell to consumers online – whether directly or via etailers. Clearly, there is more to ecommerce than simply giving consumers a place to enter in a credit card number.
For FMCG brands, the growth of ecommerce comes from not just a shift – but also the opportunity to grow incrementally. In just two years after its launch, Dollar Shave Club has cornered an 8.8% of the US razor blades market.
Their clever use of media and technology to solve a consumer problem means that this ecommerce startup has upended the status quo of a category that hadn’t seen significant evolution in decades. For mass products, ecommerce represents a dual growth opportunity: capitalizing both on consumer shift as well as the ability to deliver a new service.
While it is an area of immense innovation, selling direct to consumers is not without its challenges. Not only does it open up a distribution and packaging challenge, brands have to invest in the technical backend to manage secure transactions and consumer data. The larger conceptual problem however, is that for most products, consumers go to one destination – virtual or real – to see which shampoo they want and don’t visit each shampoo maker individually.
The alternative – selling through etailers is also a wrinkle in the logistics chain FMCG manufacturers have perfected.
Etailers such as Amazon generally operate on an inventory light model and place small, if frequent orders. This upends the efficiency manufacturers are able to achieve at a scaled operation. Besides, why bother with the tiny number of people who buy shampoo online when there are millions who flock to the supermarket? How then, do mass market brands seize the opportunity that ecommerce presents?
Rethinking the role of Ecommerce
For FMCG brands to focus on ecommerce just as a distribution channel is to use a meat cleaver to slice a shallot. Consumers increasingly rely on ecommerce, irrespective of how they make the actual purchase: via clicks, bricks, or a mix.
Using MEC Momentum, a proprietary approach for understanding how people make purchase decisions, we can quantify how ecommerce fits into the non-linear journeys that consumers make on the path to purchase. MEC Momentum uses a custom designed quantitative questionnaire that gives a detailed picture of what buyers think and do in a specific category, and which communications and behaviors influence them. Momentum data makes it clear that the true potential of ecommerce is not just in the immediate transaction it facilitates, but it is just as important as primary destinations during consumer decision making. The distinction between ecommerce and mcommerce has effectively disappeared, and the explosion of mobile usage means that consumers now carry these decision tools with them at all times, right up to the moment they are walking into a store.
Consumers expect brands to provide them with the information they need to make a purchase at any time and in any place. While the raw number of mobile transactions remains small, the impact of mobile on consumer purchases is undeniable.
In some categories, MEC Momentum surveys revealed that as many as 25% of buyers compared prices while in store using mobile phones.
FMCG Purchases and Ecommerce-Beyond the Transaction
We looked at all the FMCG Momentum studies conducted in Europe, and we found that while almost all of these sales were offline, on average 12% of shoppers conducted an ecommerce action to make their decisions once they were in active shopping mode. With high involvement products such as moisturizer, we found that as many as 20% of Spanish shoppers performed at least one ecommerce action such as looking up price, product information or reviews online.
Consumers are looking for information everywhere – on brand sites, social networks, and from retailers. With major retailers, there is the benefit of the transferred equity of the merchant: amongst pain medication buyers in the UK, pharmacist websites were ranked as one of the most influential touchpoints – ahead of brand websites and even physical pharmacist recommendations. Within FMCG, the health and beauty category, unsurprisingly, is one where online reviews are the most important – for a product like hair dye, 8% of buyers relied on online reviews.
The Halo Effect of Ecommerce
A world where a majority of shampoo is purchased online is some days away. However, it is increasingly clear that there is a halo effect of ecommerce on offline sales. Consumers use ecommerce in many ways to make a purchase decision.
While the transaction may be completed in store, consumers rely on ecommerce to decide what to buy by looking up product information, price, reviews etc. The chart below shows that depending upon category, the halo effect of ecommerce is as much as 10x the number of direct sales. Even in the category with the smallest halo effect – soft drinks in Italy – ecommerce influenced nearly twice as many sales as it directly facilitated.
Ecommerce Halo Effect
Understanding the online buyer at a Category Level
The power of MEC Momentum is that it allows us to get to specific product level detail instead of mass agglomerations. To surface some of these insights we decided to focus on a product as far removed from endemic to ecommerce as possible: ketchup.
It’s inexpensive, widely available, and difficult to ship. And yet, a survey of British ketchup buyers found that 8% had bought the product online. However, this is not the subset of consumers that sauce makers need to consider. Focusing just on offline buyers from a media influence perspective, we find that online shopping was as influential as digital ads – and both more so than newspapers or magazines. It’s hardly surprising, given that 55% of offline ketchup buyers say they love the internet and can’t imagine life without it. TV love? Lagging behind at only 40%.
More fundamentally though, we wanted to test if there was something fundamentally different about the way the two groups, online and offline buyers, make ketchup related decisions. Looking at the most common category considerations such as taste, ingredients, price etc. - we find that they rank nearly identically.
This tells us that the online buyers aren’t an idiosyncratic subset, but are representative of British ketchup buyers overall. We found this trend was present in every single product and across all the European markets.
Managing the Digital Shelf- Retailer presence management is Critical
For mass market brands, the presence on retailer websites takes on a whole new dimension and is as important as their own websites. Product detail pages are an invaluable opportunity to develop a presence in a shopper context and provide content to those who seek it most. Peer reviews on product pages are vital for shoppers and also have a more immediate impact: the SEO bump. Effective visibility of product pages is extremely important – especially since consumers search for problems (“clean wine stains”) and not solutions (“Ariel 3in1 PODS”). And if as Forrester says, more product searches start on Amazon than on Google, why aren’t brands focusing on SEM and SEO within retailer websites?
These pages are very important to shoppers, and brands need to think of them as companions to brand websites. Given the effort spent developing brand sites, it is tempting to continue viewing traffic to them as success metric. But if success is ultimately getting product off the shelf, virtual or real, driving traffic to a product detail page would be just as significant to the bottom line. Retailers and third party technology companies are developing solutions that allows brands to tap into this and manage their presence on retailer sites more efficiently.
Shopper considerations are Identical
The Holy Grail- Measurement
Brands are understandably concerned about the costs of executing an ecommerce strategy. For this, we need to rethink attribution modeling for in-store sales and evolve it to include digital and ecommerce influence.
The KPI for a successful ecommerce strategy cannot be simply how many click-to-buy purchases it led to, but how it is one of the many elements of a larger communications strategy, inextricably linked to the entire consumer contact map.
We have the beginnings of this - Google, for instance, has recently started to include store visits in its Estimated Total Conversions measure for AdWords campaigns. There isn’t a default measurement system because what ecommerce means for each category is very different, as we have seen. However, the time is now right for brands to start to test and learn what ecommerce means for them and be prepared when the retailers and tech companies start calling.
Game theory tells us that to gain value in an evolving marketplace, both sides need to make many small, coordinated moves. The retailers have made theirs… and now it’s up to the brands to respond.
RED FM had approached the High Court in Delhi and has got an interim relief today.
RED FM has been allowed to take part in the mock auctions for the third phase of FM auctions to be held 22nd and 23rd July ’15.
Official statement from RED FM on the High Court verdict:
The Honourable Delhi High Court’s decision to allow Red FM to participate in mock auctions and take cognizance of our pleas to allow us to participate in the mock auctions has strengthened our belief in the judicial system.
We have always maintained that our business is a professionally managed entity and it’s unfair to penalize a well-run, successful business and its employees. We also strongly believe that not allowing us to participate the phase 3 auctions is an attack on media freedom.
The next date of hearing in court has been scheduled on Friday, 24th July.