#TheSocialCMO Leveraging IPL enabled us to cut across diverse markets with relevant conversations: Harish Narayanan, Myntra

Harish Narayanan Myntra

Influencers have drastically changed the scope of trust-based marketing in India and are of great significance for Myntra’s growth, reveals Harish Narayanan. We converse with him to understand the e-commerce brand’s content & marketing strategy.

With a focus to pursue a marketing strategy that centered on building a strong platform differentiation for the brand, Myntra claims to have shrugged it all to reach out to the consumers during the pandemic hit lockdown. Harish Narayanan, Chief Marketing Officer, Myntra speaks at length about the various initiatives that the e-commerce platform carried out in the past year, why Tier 2 & 3 cities will be of critical priority for them, the power of influencer marketing, and more.


With demand for e-commerce seeing an upsurge during the lockdown, what was it like for Myntra? How did the marketing of the platform take place?

There was a tremendous growth opportunity from a sizable cohort of offline shoppers who were looking up to online shopping. Therefore, our aim was to drive organic installs and new user acquisition.

Myntra’s holistic marketing strategy covers various channels of communication to ensure consistent brand visibility at various consumer touchpoints. Our campaigns were driven by a host of A-list celebrities, including Kiara Advani and Disha Patani, Samantha Akkineni, and Naga Chaitanya. Furthermore, we associated with the most popular IPL teams – RCB, MI, and CSK to ride on the popularity of the IPL.

Our association with YouTuber, Bhuvan Bam, the brand’s first digital ambassador, highlighted how Myntra has optimally leveraged the power of marketing to drive conversations around the brand in key markets. 

From a content perspective, we used Myntra Studio, which is an influencer-led shoppable fashion content destination, to provide users, access to original, exclusive, inspirational, and entertaining content, making fashion discovery, both easy and fun. Myntra Insider Masterclasses on the other hand offered a one-of-a-kind opportunity to consumers to get fashion tips from the leading celebrity stylists.

We began curating Work from Home styles since the beginning of the lockdown to meet changing consumer needs by providing them with the latest range of styles, designs, and trends in categories such as loungewear, that largely make up Work from Home wear. In addition, during the early days of the lockdown, we introduced Myntra doodles on our platform to take user engagement to another dimension, showcasing the creative and fun side of the brand, with topical subjects and other events as themes to communicate through illustrations.

How did the recovery phase perform and please shed some light on the user retention process?

The recovery phase saw demand for some categories grow faster than ever before. These included ‘work from home’ essentials, kids’ wear, work casuals, lingerie, grooming, and personal care essentials. The festive buying season also took off to a roaring start, with Myntra witnessing the highest ever visitors in a single day ever.

The wedding season continued to draw shoppers to the ethnic section, the demand for ethnic wear doubled and kurtas were favourites among both men and women. The winter wear category also witnessed unprecedented growth; the sales doubled compared to the previous festive season. We saw 1.5x growth in the winter category last year, sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts were among favourites. 

How do you see consumer behavior changing in the pre- and post-COVID world towards online fashion? How do you plan to implement the learnings in the current year’s marketing stints? 

The clear shift in consumer behavior and preference for online shopping have resulted in an influx of new customers. This impact is even more pronounced in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets.

Going forward, Myntra will focus on retaining its leadership in Metros and Tier 1 cities, while continuously making in-roads into Tier 2 and 3 markets. 

‘Myntra Fashion Superstar’ was one of the first content initiatives within an e-commerce app UI. How has it benefited the overall brand imagery and what does the objective look like on that front? 

Myntra Fashion Superstar (MFS) is the flagship content IP for Myntra and completed its second season in December last year. We were able to build meaningful conversations with viewers, which translates to brand love in the long run. The event has grown to become the most searched fashion reality show in the country, garnering 150M views, 1Bn impressions, and more.

The show has impacted our TOM and imagery scores positively and hence accrues quite meaningfully to our overall marketing efforts. 

The show garnered a likability score of 90%, apart from Viacom digital network playing its part in amplifying the show’s reach, the cast, and talent in the show along with the creative construct of #ChangeTheConversation played a big role in making this season a huge success.

How do you see the dynamics of online content creation transitioning with each sector trying to experiment with it? What are Myntra’s marketing objectives from it? 

Content creation is integral to the fashion domain and we are at the forefront of innovation and creativity in this space, as fashion is a very engagement-oriented segment with enough and more scope to advance new concepts and ideas, with technology playing an important role. Myntra’s content play is designed to aid in building brand salience with ‘Myntra Fashion Superstar’ and driving platform engagement and retention via our content destination, ‘Myntra Studio’.

‘Myntra Fashion Superstar’ aims at bringing the influencer community to the fore. The platform provides a never-before opportunity for fashion enthusiasts with a knack for creating style-related content and bringing forward their unique personalities, through digital and social-first content.

Through this show, we leveraged the strong relationship between fashion and social media. Myntra Studio allows us to cater to fashion forward consumers by engaging them with fashion influencers across the country to stay abreast with the world of fashion. 

Also Read: #TheSocialCMO Data & digital help build efficient chain of personalized offerings: Pankaj Gupta, HDFC Life

How has the ‘IPL’ bog league association benefitted the brand when it comes to driving brand salience? 

The IPL Team Associations drove strong user engagement and salience through social media and powerful digital media campaigns, via the RCB, CSK, MI and Myntra handles, where customers were able to win unique daily prizes by participating in interactive contests around the cricketing extravaganza.

Leveraging IPL assets as a part of our marketing mix enabled us to cut across diverse markets and allowed us to have relevant conversations with our consumers.

In addition, the IPL store on the platform helped drive further conversations among our customers with offers and deals as well as providing contextually engaging and reliable content which includes the use of appropriate cricketing terminology.

The partnerships helped Myntra cement itself as the go-to fashion destination in key markets by leveraging the huge salience with cricket fans across the nation.

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?

Customers from tier 2 and 3 markets have been an important growth driver for Myntra this past year. Enhanced focus through increased investment in TV and digital to reach consumers in these markets has yielded higher returns. The two-pronged approach helped us in broadening our reach and deepening engagement with fashion-forward audiences at scale.

We brought on board an array of renowned celebrities and influencers whose influence and presence helped to drive appeal and relatability for the brand in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets. Going forward, Myntra will continue to build on this momentum and further consolidate its position in T2 and T3 markets.

How has ‘influencer marketing’ amplified the brand reach in the overall marketing scheme of Myntra?

Influencers have drastically changed the scope of trust-based marketing in India and now are a huge part of our marketing strategy. We today have an ecosystem of 1000+ influencers who work with us regularly to create content that meets varied marketing objectives, both on and off the app.

For big sale events, influencers help us reach a larger, more engaged audience base and on our app, they help us drive traffic and engagement via their own handles on the Myntra Studio.

What does Myntra’s social media marketing blueprint look like? Which platform has been effective when it comes to social media communication and why? 

While Instagram has scaled massively for us, owing to our big push on influencer marketing last year, Twitter helps us drive conversations during peak business days. We will continue to build strong engagement through these platforms, while exploring the potential of others, depending on the intent and execution. 

What are the marketing plans being chalked out for 2021? 

Leveraging the right partnerships and associations, driving culturally relevant conversations to build deeper connections with our ever-evolving consumers through our brand campaigns will be the focus. Aiming to consolidate the brand’s presence in T2 and T3 markets, while retaining our hold on Metro and T1 markets will be critical priorities for Myntra in 2021.

What are the key factors that have strived your personal growth as a marketer when it comes to the brand growth? Your Marketing Mantra- basically. 

My marketing mantra: Know the customer deeply and use marketing to make the brand helpful and entertaining to them. They will reward you handsomely for it.