#SSIPLWatch Muthoot Group’s Abhinav Iyer on IPL marketing strategy

Abhinav Iyer

Taking forward the association with Chennai Super Kings, Abhinav Iyer, General Manager-Marketing & Strategy, The Muthoot Group divulges details about the company’s plan for IPL 2020.

In 2018, when CSK returned to IPL, The Muthoot Group partnered with the team from a long-term perspective. As a part of this association, all CSK player jerseys hereafter carry The Muthoot Group`s logo on the front. Social Samosa gets in conversation with Abhinav Iyer to deep dive into the brands IPL marketing strategy as they attempt to make the most of their marketing investment in the tournament.

Edited Excerpts:

What was the insight behind continuing your association with CSK this year? 

We believe that CSK is a formidable team with great players, a legendary skipper with the impeccable capability, and very supportive management. CSK is also one of IPL’s most successful teams with an incredible fan base both on & off the field as in both offline and online. Further, with a strong TN presence with 900+ Branches (out of our 5330+ pan India branches), associating with CSK comes naturally to us.

Even otherwise, there are quite a few natural synergies that bring us close.- both CSK & The Muthoot Group are mass brands, national brands & dependable brands.

What does the overall marketing plan for the season look like? What kind of a role will social media play?

We sense people, in general, are keen to get back to their normal life, and our marketing plans are built around this sense. This year with IPL moving out of India, customer and fan engagement through digital & social media will become even more essential. We plan to make the most of the opportunity through a strong digital and social media campaign titled #SpiritofGold.

We have also introduced a new Loan@Home service wherein customers can avail a gold loan from the comfort of their home. Besides Gold Loans, we have also launched a limited edition CSK Gold Coin with key CSK player imagery imprinted on the gold coin itself. These are available on Amazon, Flipkart, and on the Muthoot Gold website. All these and more shall be actively promoted through our social and digital assets. Having said that, the role of conventional media for a national brand like ours remains important.

Also Read: #SSIPLWatch TV & digital will be our biggest bets: Vivek Srivatsa, Tata Motors

Please take us through your media mix. How much percent of it is reserved for digital? 

In all, we would like our campaigns to persuade more and more people to experience that Gold Loan is Good. Our current campaign aims to achieve this objective by showcasing our unique features. In the coming months, our communication will bring together our association with CSK and Mr. Bachchan in a seamless way.

Our media mix has always been a healthy combination of ATL & BTL. You may have seen our current campaign on TV, Print and OOH extensively. Recently, our Sunheri Soch testimonial campaign with Mr. Bachchan as an inspirational narrator on Radio received an overwhelming response. At a top-level, our digital investments range between 10-15% of our media mix.

What are the parameters to calculate ROI on your IPL marketing initiatives? Do you think it will be difficult to recover the investment amidst the pandemic crisis? 

Certainly, these are challenging times. Gold Loans have seen a surge post unlock measures and rising gold prices have contributed to gold loans emerging as a hero product. Our widespread branch network and quick disbursal process have helped us gain share. However, some recent developments on the Loan to Value ratio have been concerning. Having said that, we have been one of the most media active brands since May and we intend to continue the same way. Eventually, AUM growth backed by good asset quality shall remain one of the most desirous KPIs for measuring the effectiveness of marketing or for that matter any business development initiative.

How will you be leveraging IPL to bounce back from the pandemic induced business lull & changing consumer habits created by the lockdown?

IPL should be bringing back a lot of positivity and energy into all our lives and thereby give everything a lot of momentum. The popularity of the league and its format will influence large sections of the society, especially as we go into the festive season. We would feel that demand will spur and therefore the supply side would also need quick funds to ramp up on goods as well as services. 

In parallel, feeding digital hunger is also witnessing a surge. In that realm, our digital offerings such as iMuthoot Mobile App for online interest payments, Online Gold Loan facility, Muthoot Online web pay facility, and our newly launched Muthoot Loan@Home gold loan service are playing a vital part to serve the changing need of the new and evolved loan seeker.  

Pre corona v/s post corona: has IPL marketing or sports marketing in general changed dramatically? What are the key advertising & marketing trends you foresee?

Initially, the choice of media shifted to digital or OTT. But television has come back in a big way. Both these are directly influenced by how the consumer’s life was affected by the full lockdown and through the periods of partial lockdown. Some categories remain affected more deeply than others – their visibility consequently has also diminished. Things continue to be dynamic and putting a finger on trends at this stage isn’t fair, but these are seemingly more non-permanent. Content has always been king and shall remain so. What a Brand Promises or what it is able to Deliver will continue to drive choices for marketers and consumers alike.


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