Recalibrating the impact of the second wave, Poulomi Roy, in a conversation with Social Samosa, highlights RSH Global’s communication and marketing strategy dealing with the humanitarian and business challenges the situation posses.
Buying patterns, consumption patterns, and even frequency of purchase have altered over the months. However, RSH Global is continuing with its other marketing efforts and is on track with the plan, affirms Poulomi Roy, CMO, RSH Global as she speaks at length about the company’s marketing strategy, the initiatives to keep the businesses afloat and upbeat, social media blueprint and more.
As the second wave of COVID-19 looms, how are you trying to help your consumers survive this difficult phase? What have been the key campaigns initiated?
One of the most significant impacts on business due to the pandemic has been the increase in input prices and that led to a direct impact on customers. We are doing our bit in that direction, for example, we have absorbed the increased costs internally and have refrained from jacking up product prices.
We are working on making our products even better and based on derived insights from consumer behavior, initiating a habit-inducing campaign called the “Last Wash” starring Kriti Sanon. The campaign is derived from internal dermatological research indicating that skin rejuvenates faster while a person is asleep, and that washing your face before sleeping, aids in skin rejuvenation. The Last Wash campaign encourages customers to induce the habit of using face wash before going to sleep.
How do you view the impact of COVID-19 on the beauty and personal care industry?
Consumer goods manufacturers faced initial disruptions due to the pandemic, but towards the end of the year, things looked much better in terms of business. The improving momentum continued through to this year as well, and we are ending the financial year on a very positive note. Last year, the supply chain was disturbed and consumer demand was majorly need-based.
Customers, due to the lockdown were staying indoors, and the lack of supply in some cases was not using personal care products as extensively as they would otherwise have. However, the base of the personal care product pyramid has not been affected much, i.e. the likes of moisturizing creams, lotions, face washes, and shampoos. The top of the pyramid, particularly the indulgence portfolio products did witness a notable drop in demand. Some reports also mentioned a different reality that the lockdown phase did see a surge in demand for indulgence portfolio as well.
Please take us through the marketing strategy for RSH Global. According to you, what kind of message should be put out by brands considering the sensitive times?
We have been promoting our mother brand, Joy, and the brand’s philosophy through ad commercials and other marketing endeavors. The brand philosophy has always been “beautiful by nature,” which truly gives utmost importance to inner beauty. The strategy for Joy Personal Care has always been to provide the best quality product to the customers, with a focus on consistent quality improvement at every step of product development.
During peak Covid times, we launched our hygiene range with distinct communication, encouraging customers to use sanitizers and hand-washes frequently and to incorporate this habit into their daily lives for the foreseeable future. The brand voice remained the same throughout.
Whatever messaging the brand chose to communicate during these times, we ensured that it aligns with the brand identity. The need for visibility should not direct brand communications in these difficult times.
When the pandemic became prominent in India in March 2020 and now again with the second wave, most brands had to revisit their marketing & communication strategy. What was it like for RSH Global? How did you decide on your current content hooks?
We knew it was a phase. A difficult phase for all, but we were positive that it will pass. We had to hit the pause button on most of our day-to-day activities, but we never felt the need to revisit our communication strategy. We were also clear that we will not play on the fear in the customers’ minds due to the pandemic or make tall claims that were not aligned with what the brand was actually doing for the customers.
We rather focused our attention on our media mix and other non-traditional forms of marketing. We distributed personal hygiene kits to help ensure the safety and sanitization of one of the most marginalized and neglected communities during the pandemic. Through this initiative, we distributed over one lakh hygiene and personal care products to underprivileged members of the transgender community and sex workers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Kolkata.
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How has social media been helpful in engaging with your consumers? Which platform has yielded maximum results for the brand?
We have always had a strong Facebook community, but over the last year, we have been able to make a loyal base of consumers through Instagram as well.
What does RSH Global’s social media marketing gamut look like?
Our key media mix entails- Television, social media, digital media, OTT. Social media marketing includes a combination of all forms of creatives, we have mainly 3 buckets of communication, product posts, topical posts, and testimonials/influencer/trivia.
How influential has been influencer marketing and content marketing to meet the business objective?
Well, it is the norm for brands now, and there have been some great examples of influencer engagements. Influencer marketing is the need of the hour, but there need to be some checks in place. The identity and messaging of the influencer’s content must be aligned with brand messaging and also be engaging to the relevant target audience. The same influencer collaborating with 15 brands in a month is not something that will give the most authentic feedback to consumers. Hence we try and choose influencers carefully.
In the case of a celebrity brand ambassador, their popularity, their public image, and their reach are what make a difference for the brand, in terms of visibility. In the case of influencers, their popularity amongst a targeted group of people is what attracts brands. The right influencer endorsing the right product can do wonders for a brand since they have dedicated followership and enjoy high engagement.
What are the key factors that have strived your personal growth as a marketer? Your Marketing Mantra- basically.
Being agile and responsive to your consumer needs has always been my focus and during the pandemic, I realized the true importance of it.