In conversation with Social Samosa, Ajay Dhyani speaks at length about Timex Group's marketing strategy, new launches, spewing topical conversations, and the digitized way of advertising.
Timex has traditionally been an offline-driven brand; it noticed a positive shift during the pandemic as consumers adopted a digitized way to live in this crisis. This crisis allowed the brand to understand consumers beyond the physical retail format. Ajay Dhyani, Head- Marketing & eCommerce, Timex Group talks about the brand's digital new avatar, offline to online conversion, the Timex marketing strategy, and more.
The tables of marketing were turned when the pandemic hit the globe. What did the marketing blueprint look like for Timex India?
With the onset of pandemic, we introduced a WFH collection from Timex, encouraging our consumers to style up by giving them an opportunity to feel good and stay motivated even while working from home. Considering the rise in the number of fitness enthusiasts across India, we had launched the fitness band- Helix Gusto 2.0, Timex iConnect Premium Active and our most recent Timex fitness band in the health and fitness category.
Praising and saluting the frontline workers in their efforts to combat the ongoing global pandemic, Timex Group announced the #देशकेगौरव campaign on its brand TMX's Facebook page. Under this 10 days long campaign initiated a series of posts to thank and salute the true heroes of the country for protecting the lives of others around them in such an unprecedented time. We planned to distribute 1000 TMX watches under this initiative to the nominated heroes.
To capitalize on the growth in e –retail and to offer its consumers, a ‘worry free shopping experience’ TGIL also partnered with the retail entity Timehut. This development will not only support revenue growth but also increase the profitability of Timex group while modernizing its retail experience, as through Timehut we will be able to control offers & discounts, elevate brand experience and present the entire range of watches under the bouquet of brands to our consumers.
We instantly shifted to cash preservation but at the same time we were served with an additional opportunity to develop our OEM business and for that we partnered with Flipkart to offer our manufacturing, designing & after sales capabilities for some of customers most-loved fashion brands on Flipkart.
How has social media been helpful in engaging with your consumers? Which platform has yielded maximum results for the brand?
As social distancing and digitalization continue to become the new normal, we are more focused on our communication through social media and are meticulously communicating with consumers on quality, durability, and authenticity.
Currently, we are focusing on the omnichannel approach so that our products are seamlessly available to our consumers at their convenience. There is an aspiration among consumers to buy our global marquee products either online or offline.
From a physical retail format which has in turn completely changed our perception and we noticed more traction on web and social media. During the pandemic and even the post-COVID-19 scenario, we saw maximum engagement on Facebook and yielded maximum results for the brand in terms of following, awareness, new buyers and much more.
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In lieu of this and for better consumer engagement on website and social media, we ran contests on social media and offered valuable deals which grew our sales even when people were sitting at their homes.
How did you decide on your current content hooks on traditional and digital platforms?
We curated content hooks across traditional and digital platforms by launching some of the more topical collections. Further, keeping in line with the seasonal trends, Timex Group recently launched the Furla brand watches in India offering a range of classic timepieces that come with strong Italian design combined with timeless precision and craftsmanship.
Switch it Up for Valentine’s Day which is a prime time for gifting and shopping by style for conscious consumers. We continue to expand and improve our footprint in modern trade and e-commerce segments. This will not only help us in increasing sales and driving brand preference but also in serving our customers better, offering them trendy and innovative timepieces with the best of global watch assortment.
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Content and Influencer marketing have found a prominent presence in every marketer's guide. How has Timex leveraged the trends? How often do you engage with influencers and what has been the result?
Influencer marketing gained a lot of attention due to the fluctuating ways of the audience receiving brand messaging.
We focus more on the quality of content that not only captivates the attention of our audiences but is aligned with the current scenario. We feel content creators can communicate our messaging to the consumers in an organic manner, maintain relevance and meet our target audience online.
For our upcoming launches, we will continue to partner with macro as well as micro influencers to build awareness for our products through product reviews and interactive content.
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A lot has been said about Tier II & Tier III consumers being the focal point of economic revival. What is your opinion on the same? How do you plan to connect with these consumers through marketing/advertising?
We are growing our fashion portfolio for our fashion-conscious customers and we have some of the best global brands in our fashion portfolio like Versus Versace, Ted Baker, Nautica, and the new addition to the family of brand Furla for our customers. Also, we want to ensure that we bring new collections for our Tier 2 and 3 customers with quality offerings under the brand TMX.
We aim to achieve this by leveraging our distribution channel and growing the e-commerce channel in partnership with Timehut to offer our consumers trendy, innovative timepieces, and the best of global selections in India at the comfort of their home.
We have also partnered with Viniculum, a global software company that enables omnichannel retailing and aggregator for marketplace e-commerce. We are hopeful that Vinculum partnership will help Timehut strengthen its presence across the Indian e-commerce market through its robust infrastructure, advanced technology, and strong marketing acumen. It will further enable modernization of warehouse, linking offline retailers in Tier2/3 cities, thereby gaining market share and a new consumer base to grow sales.
In our initial months, we have been able to serve more than 15,000 customers till date and have seen a consistent month-on-month growth in customer orders. In fact, we were able to double our orders last month and look forward to steady growth in the upcoming year.
With intense competition in the market, how is Timex matching up to the millennial trends and gaining attention?
Millennials play a primary role in driving consumption demand in consumer markets in India. They spend a lot on personalized consumer experiences and therefore cater to their customized fit into their lifestyles. Hence millennial is an important segment for us to grow and we gain attention on the features, styles, interchangeable straps, packaging, and most importantly competitive pricing across fashionable brands Timex, Helix, and TMX.
In terms of ad spends, what does your marketing plan for this quarter look like? Would your budget allocation for various mediums change in 2021?
For 2021, we are more focusing on digitalization, understanding consumer behaviour and accordingly do launches, and maximise our ROI as well. We see potential growth in the market as its reviving post-COVID.
What are the key factors that have strived your personal growth as a marketer? Your Marketing Mantra- basically.
Adapting to new changes digitally will be the marketing mantra in the year 2021. As a marketer, it is important to understand consumer behavior and consequent shifts, study marketing trends at length, and focus on the digital way forward. Also, add some lines about changing landscape through the use of technology, the confluence of channels into Omni, future trends, etc also talk about the importance of data
Covid-19 placed data centers at the center of key IT decision-making and as a company & marketers continue to evolve with the new world of distributed workforces and blended working options, you’ll see flexibility, scalability, and efficiency as the new standard in data centers.
Top 3 tips you would like to share with the industry leaders for marketing in the category in the post-COVID world?
- Focus on the existing customers- To Create services and ad campaigns to target consumers new needs
- Focus on the major areas of customer loyalty, social media engagement, brand awareness, new avenues, and organic traffic on websites and social media
- Keep your customers more engaged on social media platforms which is crucial for customers to buy, attract them to buy online and offline as well as maintain safety measures while selling at the stores
- Advertising messages are most effective on social media handles such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. This is the most cost-effective way to bring in leads and add sales to grow for your brand
- Marketers also need to upgrade their learning skills and should be able to take up the challenges as the industry is going through a rapid transformation and should always be receptive to exploring newer ways of learning and enhancing your skillset.