Interview: We spend nearly 60% of our marketing budget on digital & social media – Raghav Ravichandar
Raghav Ravichandar of Baskin Robins gives an understanding of the brand’s digital-first strategy, created to interact with the youth and Gen Z.
In conversation with Social Samosa, Raghav Ravichandar, GM Marketing, Baskin Robbins shares how social media, influencer marketing, and Web 3 have been presenting newer avenues to interact with the younger sect of the audience.
How would you define your overall marketing strategy? In what ways does it differ in the off-season?
Ice cream is an indulgence-led category, and Baskin Robbins is a highly indulgent brand, so our marketing strategy is crafted keeping that in mind. We traditionally have two large thematic campaigns during the summer and winter seasons where we launch our new range of exciting desserts for our consumers.
What kind of a role does digital and social media marketing play for Baskin Robbins?
While the Baskin Robbins parlour experience remains our flagship branding and distribution channel, we are continuously investing in digital and social media marketing as key channels (Facebook/Instagram/BR D2C website/aggregator channels) to communicate with our consumers.
Considering that our audience is largely made up of millennials and Gen Z who have adopted a digital-first lifestyle – be it for entertainment and staying connected with things they love, we go where they are.
Instagram, for instance, is a very visual medium and that helps us emphasize and promote the drool appeal of our range through short format video content and visually engaging content. Being a two-way interactive medium between the brand and the consumer gives us immediate feedback which helps us modify our campaigns on the fly.
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How much per cent of your total marketing budget is reserved for digital?
We spend approximately 60% of our overall marketing budget on digital platforms and social media initiatives.
How would you describe the relative importance of each Social Media Platform for the brand from Top to Bottom of the Funnel?
Social media platforms such as Facebook/Instagram and YouTube are largely used for top funnel marketing – for awareness and reach which are largely the key metrics that we track and evaluate.
Our D2C website which went live this quarter is a middle and bottom funnel channel that consumers can also go to get exclusive offers.
We also use Google Search and display and other bottom-funnel mediums to capture the ‘impulsiveness’ that’s so closely linked with ice cream. We explore several affiliate networks such as InShorts, Glance, and Hotstar to experiment and understand which channel mix is working optimally for us.
Please take us through your content strategy.
Baskin Robbins stands for spreading happiness – whether that’s through our products or through our communication. Our content strategy is also based on the same thought, and all our social media and digital campaigns are tailored to establish the relevancy of our products in our consumers’ lives.
Additionally, our consumers love to engage with the brand, and we strive to keep that up through various interactive social media initiatives.
It is a mix of product and brand communication and being part of pop culture consumers are interested and invested in.
What are your thoughts on influencer marketing? Does the brand have any plans on leveraging it for better engagement?
With more and more millennial and Gen Z consumers, we believe that influencer marketing is very important. Influencers have the power to increase brand awareness, and their endorsements of your brand help you reach a large audience at once and help educate consumers about the product.
Influencer marketing helps brands cut through all the noise on social platforms and attract direct attention to their products. We engage in a lot of influencer marketing for Baskin Robbins- we have a host of lifestyle, beauty, and food influencers who help us promote our products through endorsements, recommendations, videos/reels, etc.
What have been some of the consumer behavioural trends seen off late? How is the brand catering to the same?
When it comes to indulgence in general and dessert in particular, we’ve seen that consumers tend to purchase more on special occasions- festive or otherwise. Keeping that in mind, we’re now introducing desserts meant especially for the festive season. We also focus on innovation of new flavours and products, as the Indian palate is also evolving rapidly, thanks to travel and exposure to global cuisines and food trends.
Given that more and more consumers are younger, they’re digital-first, and prioritize convenience over everything else- our aggregator sales have increased significantly. So, we strive to be where they are, and have even started our own website to give them a hassle-free, convenient delivery experience.
Another trend we’ve observed is that consumers want variety when it comes to their dessert- it’s no longer about having ‘just ice cream’. They also care about the quality of their desserts, which is why they choose brands like ours. With that in mind, Baskin Robbins has expanded into more product categories as well- we’ve introduced indulgent sundaes as well as beverages, and ice cream cakes. We want our consumers to know that Baskin Robbins is the ultimate dessert destination, where there’s something for everyone!
What is your take on Web3 and Metaverse as the future of marketing? What’s the brand’s approach to adapt to this new reality?
Web3 and the Metaverse are exciting opportunities for brands to create a virtual ecosystem on the internet which blurs the boundary between the physical and digital space.
Baskin Robbins has a lot of exciting stuff lined up for the coming year. We’re launching a host of new products as well as categories, especially created keeping the festive season and the Indian palate in mind. Additionally, we will be exploring fun collaborations with other brands as well as launching our 750th parlour. We’re also focusing on introducing products that cater to a larger consumer set, such as our vegan consumers.