'RRRevving' Up India’s Marketing Mix With Reach, Resonance and Reaction Strategies
Like the country itself, India’s media and retail markets are dynamic and rapidly evolving—marked by increasing media fragmentation, the spread of advanced mobile devices, higher connectivity, and huge growth in product options at retail outlets. And these changes present a challenge for marketers to reach and resonate with consumers for the all-important reaction—a sale.
On the media front, India currently has more than 800 television channels, spanning audiences with both mass and niche interests. Smartphone penetration has also skyrocketed. Today, 51 million urban Indians own smartphones—up an astounding 89 percent from 2012. Retail shelves have eight times more products available now than there were six years ago. With more and more products being advertised across the country’s growing media, the average Indian consumer sees over 3,000 marketing messages per day.
At the same time, while economic growth in India is still strong by global standards, it has slowed. This has driven marketing budgets down across fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), challenging marketers to think differently about how to make brands stand out. Industry leaders convened in New Delhi, India, at the Nielsen Consumer 360 event, to discuss how to adapt amid an ever-changing market.
Reach, Resonance and Reaction
To get the right messages to the right audiences and drive all-important sales, Nielsen’s “Three R” framework (reach, resonance and reaction) is an effective way to evaluate advertising campaigns. Reach measures whether the campaign was relevant—did it reach the intended audience? Resonance determines if the campaign message influenced the audience—did it improve the consumer’s opinion of the brand? Reaction looks at what the consumer did after seeing the ad—did the campaign influence a purchase decision?
When planning distribution strategies across India, reaching the right stores is critical. Out of eight million FMCG retail outlets in urban India, 2.3 million drove 80 percent of sales. In rural India, 11 percent of outlets across 600,000 villages drove 60 percent of sales.
Across the global media landscape, Nielsen research shows that the first seven seconds of an ad are the most crucial in capturing a consumer’s attention and can boost a consumer’s opinion of the brand by 15 percent to 20 percent. With Indian consumers barraged with 3,000 marketing messages per day, optimal ad frequency is also paramount. Contrary to conventional wisdom, too many ad runs can sometimes hurt effectiveness—also known as the “wear out” effect. In fact, as few as 15 percent of the ad campaigns Nielsen evaluated actually benefited from increased frequency.
For brands to stand out in India, retailers should appeal to their consumers’ desire to leverage life’s little moments of luxury and connect with how their customers are shopping. In-store promotions and deals are a long-favored strategy, and for good reason. Half of all Indian shoppers search out promotional items. But, premiumisation is also critical in this market, with 40 percent saying they actively seek out upgraded products.