#SSIPLWatch Nippon Paint’s Mark Titus on digital marketing strategy for IPL 2020

Mark Titus

Featuring in the #SSIPLWatch series is Nippon Paint India’s Mark Titus as he charts out the marketing plan for the current season of IPL.

Nippon Paint continues its association with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for the third time in a row, since its re-debut in 2018. This year, the company has further launched a new paint shade called the ‘CSK Yellow’ a distinct tone of yellow wall paint, in keeping up with this association.

Mark Titus, Director of Marketing, Nippon Paint (India) Private Limited takes us through the marketing and communication blueprint for IPL 2020.

What was the insight behind your association with CSK?

CSK has a phenomenal reach amongst fans, especially across TN which is our focus market, and this was abundantly reflected during our previous associations. We are optimistic that this partnership will have a long term business impact.

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

Considering the IPL tournament goes digital this year, as is the case with most brands we too have increased our advertising spends on social media and other digital platforms significantly. We will be running contests on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and we will be making use of the reels feature of Instagram since the app has been pushing it more now and give out our Nippon Paint and CSK exclusive merchandise. We are also looking to leverage the power of micro-influencers as a part of our digital engagement plan.

While the exposure on digital platforms is being significantly enhanced, we are not abandoning the traditional media platforms. Like earlier seasons, we will be launching a complete 360-degree campaign that will encompass multimedia platforms – TV, print, radio, online, and retail visibility too. We will also ensure interactive engagements with our consumers throughout the match and post that.

Take us through your marketing strategy. Any campaigns or activities lined up to support your partnership?

We are currently undertaking a multi-platform engagement strategy which will elicit a more enhanced response from all our consumers. This includes a campaign (that couples both CSK and the festival season) where fans will get to interact with their favorite CSK players.

Other than this, we have just shot a series of witty TVCs in Dubai featuring some of the key CSK players like Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay, and Faf du Plessis that we will be launching, in a phased manner, during the course of the IPL season.

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?

In terms of parameters that reflect the ROI, we equate the same to impact on the brand salience and the sales volumes, both of which we track very rigorously. Yes, the overall situation is quite challenging, but we have had time to plan for this over the last few months, and are extremely positive of being able to leverage our marketing investment effectively.

One huge positive is that the IPL as well as the festive season are coinciding. There is a positive consumer sentiment which is coupled with a general boost in the home improvement sector leading us to remain optimistic for the upcoming festive season.

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

As a brand, we have already strategized for the next few months keeping in mind the conscious consumer who is slowly on the path to recovery. The past few months have dampened the spirits of consumers who have been mostly working from home and have been devoid of any entertainment.

But the IPL season, along with the festive mood will do much to revive their spirits and encourage them to shop again for non-essential items too. As festival season connotes new beginnings for most Indians, consumers usually tend to undertake new purchases and developments during the auspicious season. This includes homeowners sprucing up their living spaces and taking up home painting projects. So, the timing is right to reach out to this segment.

Also Read: #SSIPLWatch CSK association brings additional value in Southern markets: Ravi Chawla, Gulf Oil Lubricants

Currently, there is a lot of positive communication driven around the products and services we offer which we feel is a step in the right direction to woo customers to paint their houses this festive season. At Nippon Paint, we have further focused on the marketing campaign – ‘Sanitize your Walls’ with our specialized Wellness range of products for Walls, Metal & Wood that would kill 99% of germs and keep consumers and their families safe at home. While in the past the focus during the festive season was more on aesthetics and decorative, the need for the hour right now includes a more functional and safe wall paint as well, that will protect homeowners and their families.

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? 

One big change is the absence of a live stadium viewing experience, which means missing out on reaching the live audience and engaging with them. But this cannot deter the average cricket enthusiast’s passion to be part of the conversation and so we still have the opportunity to leverage many other platforms to engage with consumers.

During previous seasons, we used to fly some lucky consumers to watch IPL across the Globe. Another Marketing activity was conducting physical meet and greets with the CSK players for fans and channel partners – that is not practical in the current scenario. This, we will counter by conducting virtual meet n greets with consumers, fans, and stakeholders. This also helps us reach consumers who hitherto might not have taken part in these virtual campaigns and contests if we were not so digitally connected.

Challenges bring out the best in us and we will surely see brands getting more and more creative in ways they reach out and engage with consumers. Even organizations which had previously not explored digital as a viable prospect, have begun to adopt various new efforts which are definitely a step in the right direction.


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