[Interview] For content-based marketing Instagram & Facebook proved effective: Ashesh Dhar, Tata Motors

Ashesh Dhar

In conversation with Social Samosa, Ashesh Dhar, Tata Motors speaks at length about the brand’s communication strategy in current times and how they utilize social media to keep the conversation going.

The current pandemic has challenged individuals and businesses across the world which led to the emergence of a ‘new normal’. It has changed the way brands look at conventional marketing and communication feels  Ashesh Dhar, Head – Sales, Marketing and Customer Care, Electric Mobility Business Unit, Tata Motors.

The auto industry has been one of the worst affected due to the pandemic induced lockdown. Dhar, here, shares broad highlights about the brand’s usage of social media to gain momentum and amplify conversations, leveraging moment marketing, content strategy, and key learnings.

Edited Excerpts:

As a company, how are you approaching COVID-19? How are you trying to help your consumers survive this difficult phase? 

At Tata Motors, we have been constantly working towards staying in touch with our customers during this difficult time. Since the lockdown was announced, our business units have been actively engaging with our customers on various platforms. Our call center executives, product specialists, and dealer staff are constantly engaging with potential buyers through phone calls, WhatsApp video calls, messages, and emails to provide them with essential information during these times.

On social media, we changed track from being in active sales mode, treading different paths, to help keep consumers informed and engaged.

We leveraged moment marketing at various appropriate occasions, with reasonable success. We also ran a series of campaigns, advising our newest customers on Nexon EV Care Tips and the precautions they should take while keeping their newly acquired Nexon EVs in good condition, during the lockdown.

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Posted by Tata Motors Electric Mobility on Thursday, May 28, 2020

When the pandemic became prominent in India in March, most brands had to revisit their marketing & communication strategy. What was it like for Tata Motors Electric Vehicle vertical?

The current scenario has pushed electric vehicle marketers to adopt a twofold approach- one that revisits old marketing practices and another that redraws communication strategies to fit better into these current dynamic times. Consequently, today the focus for marketers, as always, will remain on having an insightful understanding of the changed market conditions and adapt to them accordingly.

How did you decide on your current content hooks?

The current COVID-19 crisis is undoubtedly the underlying theme of communication on social media. However, our content strategy is based upon turning the crisis into an opportunity, communicating positivity from the EV brand perspective. We are using this time to bust EV related Myths by a series of “EVpedia” – know your Nexon EV / EV Technology videos, EV care tips to be followed during and post lockdown, and are also doing related topicals that drive and strengthen positive sentiment.

How has social media been helpful in engaging with consumers? Which platform has yielded maximum results for the brand? 

We are actively utilizing all our EV social media handles – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to keep our consumers engaged. For Videos – YouTube and for content-based marketing Instagram and Facebook have been very effective for us.

WhatsApp has also been very effective for our sales teams to be in direct touch with customers who have bought/booked or are in the process of booking our EVs.

Also Read: [Interview] If you don’t enjoy the creative process, consumers won’t enjoy the final outcome: Sujot Malhotra

There is a thin line between helpful & optimistic. How does Tata Motors EV make sure they tread the line?

Tata Motors EV is actually communicating on both these lines. While our Myth Busting / Know your Nexon EV / EV Technology called “EVpedia” videos, EV Car care tips have been helpful to consumers in keeping them informed about our product; the series of topicals on our social media handles  – “Dawn Chorus Day, Earth Day, 9 PM 9 minutes” are all to strengthen positive sentiments. We have also run interactive puzzles/games using Instagram stories to keep our audiences entertained and engaged.

How does the team coordinate to execute the real-time marketing strategy? Please take us through your creative, communication & marketing team’s day to day hustle

As a practice, at the beginning of the month, we have several rounds of brainstorming sessions to chart out the strategy for the month. Our teams and agency partners are in close and constant touch to execute the finalized plans. We also keep an eye on trending topics to enable us to connect better with consumers and do constant PDCA.

With the lockdown in place, an impact is bound to appear on the business front. How do you plan to deal with it? What does the post COVID world look like?

As the lockdown is gradually getting lifted, we have adopted the strategy of a calibrated opening of our manufacturing locations, channel partner dealerships, and workshops, while meeting all regulatory compliances as mandated by the authorities. We intend to continue encouraging our consumers to change their lifestyles and adopt the EV lifestyle. Going forward, Tata Motors will continue to embrace the mission of TATA Trusts and will do what is best for India and Indians.

3 things that the COVID-19 situation taught you in terms of marketing & advertising?

  • Stay connected to your consumers with positive and empathetic communication
  • Utilize moment marketing
  • PDCA