Khushboo Solanki Sharma, Founder, Zero Gravity Communications unravels the digital marketing and social mediascape in Gujarat with case studies.
Gujarat is an enterprising state with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and wit to spot a business opportunity. It’s also home to some of India’s pioneers in industries like Pharma, Manufacturing, Textile, Diamond, Dairy, and FMCG brands. With changing times, it now incubates rapidly growing, new age mid-segments brands and startups. An interesting fact about digital marketing in Gujarat is the level of smartphone penetration and internet usage in the state, which is higher than the national average.
While the national average is about 10 GB per month, Gujarat stands at about 13 GB per month. With a better infiltration of 4G services, rising usage of 4G handsets and abundant content, there’s a massive push to the data consumption in the state. This allows local brands to innovate and create content and campaigns with regional impact. Keeping a focused regional strategy and content mix, we can get terrific ROI.
As an agency, we have worked on brands with specific focus to a particular city or area, whereas some have been statewide or national campaigns. However, conceptualising and executing a Gujarat specific campaign does bring along challenges.
There has to be a focus on the demographic aspects of Gujarat: Rural vs. Urban break up (there is a city within a city), the importance of ABSR (Ahmedabad, Baroda, Surat, and Rajkot) and understanding that beyond these, there is consumer base.
Leveraging and pairing these factors with the right platforms can help brands run a Gujarat-centric digital campaign.
Importance and role of regional language
When you are working with FMCG products where the target audience is over 45 years in age and has product buying influencer, it helps to communicate in Gujarati.
For a spices brand available only in Gujarat with 45+ local women being primary users, optimal communication would be a mix of about 80% Gujarati and 10-15% in Hindi. The rest can be a combination of Gujarati and English. It helps facilitate content acceptance and interaction.
Mobex allows ‘at the doorstep’ mobile repair service. A pilot for this startup is currently available only in Ahmedabad city. The linguistic content ratio that works well, in this case, is 85:15 for English: Hindi. The primary consumers being targetted are early adaptors of the service, young smartphone users. While social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram help the brand raise awareness and impressions, Google adverts help with lead generation in the target city.
Find a brand focused social media mix
Gujarat attracts a lot of outstation people as a professional workforce, and a huge part of that population has international exposure. As they say, an average Gujarati spends more on travel (international or visit family in the US) more than others. Hence, they’re more exposed to diverse, quality content, even if it’s in regards to local jewellery stores or restaurants.
Micro-level strategy: Community building
In 2014, Mybyk started its journey in Ahmedabad, spreading presence across smaller clusters of NID, ISRO, CEPT, Shantigram campuses, Riverfront, Kankaria to Diu, and Udaipur. In this case, the focus is on using social media platforms to build a community, induce interactions and optimize user-generated content.
The brand actively uses Twitter to respond to grievances and reach out to cycle enthusiasts. On Facebook, they run local community pages and on Instagram, the content is all about cycling.
There is no fixed formula for Gujarat as a state, just like there is none for digital marketing elsewhere. It works well when you listen carefully to what people around you are saying and use it well for the brand. Go personal, target focused groups and use the power of the local language. However, don’t overkill it.
For startups, there is an opportunity to do the right POC, test, and scale-up in this state. Especially now, with the rise of digital media and its ardent use. To the startups looking forward to starting their brand journey from Gujarat, I would like to say, that it is an ideal market to test your product or service — If you manage to sell it here you can make it anywhere.
This article has been authored by Khushboo Solanki Sharma, Founder, Zero Gravity Communications.