#TheSocialCMO: Vivek Zhang shares Vivo India’s social media journey

social media strategy Vivo

China-based Vivo Mobiles, entered Indian in 2015, and since then has managed to give established players a run for their money. The brand not only managed to break the stigma of Chinese goods in India, but also, created a loyal consumer base in the country.

Social Samosa got in a conversation with Vivek Zhang, Chief Marketing Officer, Vivo India – to understand their social media strategy and their plans ahead.

What does social media mean to you as an evangelist of the medium?

Social Media is a medium of mass messaging and we treat it as the primary channel to acquaint our consumers with the brand and offer the first-hand experiential experience of our products.

What is Vivo’s underlying objective from social media marketing? Please take us through the pillars of your strategy.

As a new entrant in the Indian market, we have been aspiring to get maximum eyeballs and generate conversations around the brand. We have also been trying to engage with the audience by adapting to the key social trends in the local market. With small yet extremely consistent steps, we aim at creating a strong social imprint and a lot of buzz around the brand.

Vivo has been comparatively a new entrant in the Indian smartphone market. How did social media help in establishing a foothold in the market?

We are a smart phone brand and our target audience is the mobile-first generation. Use of social media has helped us to a very grave extent in penetrating beyond the metros. Social media has taken over the digital landscape, particularly amongst the 18-28-year-old demographic which is our target audience. Regular communication with the relevant target audience across geographies has been facilitated by the social medium

Where does social media lie in the scheme of things at Vivo? How much per cent of your marketing mix and spends are reserved for social media?

We are a pro-digital brand and social media is a big chunk of our marketing initiatives. Our marketing mix is designed in a way that we have a very formidable allocation of our resources for both traditional and digital and social will continue to be a mainstay for us in years to come.

Vivo is often seen engaging in influencer marketing initiatives. What have been your key learning from influencer campaigns? Please share some key insights and results of the campaign?

Word of Mouth Publicity and being able to trigger conversations around the brand has been the high point of influencer marketing campaigns. Additionally, the campaigns have worked out brilliantly for us to create an equity for our recently launched products by mobilizing the masses through influencers. Several pro-brand tie-ups have also helped us to create a lasting impression in the minds of consumers. Crowdculture has changed the rules of branding.  As a brand, we understand influencer and crowd culture or alternative branding methods are important and empowered by social media and influencers will continue playing a big part in our social initiatives.

How do you calculate ROI on Vivo’s social media campaigns?

We measure ROI from our social campaign based on the impressions and reach that we gather. Banking heavily on the multiplier effect of social mediums, we believe that more is the reach on the social space, the more probable it will be for us to engage with them in the physical space.

From social media marketing to marketing in a social age – how has a CMO’s role evolved over the years?

The role of the Chief Marketing Officer is evolving and has transformed faster than any other. There was a time when one was responsible only for creativity and brand, today the role is extremely complicated with vast and complex responsibilities reaching far beyond traditional marketing — now spanning technology, analytics, growth and, above all, measurable impact vis-à-vis consumer behavior and insights. Roles have been realigned along with resources, combining strategy, technology, execution and analytics to add value to the perception the brand creates in the minds of consumers

What are the five qualities that according to you a #SocialCMO should have?

– Being a Life-cycle marketer: Not just being able to acquire but retain customers

– Being Data-Driven always helps to evangelize the outcome of efforts

– Design Oriented makes it easy to create communication and messaging for the brand that resonates with the audience

– Being Adaptive is the key to marketing since consumer behavior perception is fast evolving with access to information