Being genuine & authentic is key for sustainable long term success: Ashish Mishra, ACKO

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In conversation with Social Samosa, Ashish Mishra from ACKO India sheds light on the relevance of genuity, authenticity, and nuances of putting local content for the target audience in 2021 and the days ahead.

With Durga Pujo, ACKO released its latest campaign of #TheMovingPandal in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. As we navigate through the festive season, Ashish Mishra, EVP- Marketing, ACKO shares two cents on aligning the brand's communication strategy in line with the brand ethos and the festive marketing trends seen in the category for 2021.

Edited Excerpts

Please take us through your latest campaign-#TheMovingPandal for Durga Puja. What is the idea behind it? How does it help to achieve the business objectives?

Kolkata is one of ACKO's next set of major markets to crack and we believe one of the ways to do so is to enter the hearts of the people of Kolkata as a local brand. Durga Puja is perhaps the most important festival that the entire city looks forward to, however with restrictions amidst the pandemic we realized that the sentiment to go out and engage in pandal hopping was not as buoyant. So at ACKO, we thought if you can't go out for darshan and all the festivities, we can get them to you at your doorstep and in your neighborhood. That was the genesis of our campaign 'Baadi Ashlo Maa'.

Take us through the total budget spent on the campaign. How much of it was invested in digital? 

While we can't divulge specific budgets, the campaign was anchored through local on-ground activation with digital and social being the primary amplification medium. 

We noticed social media posts in the Bengali language for the brand for its latest campaign. Please take us through your elaborate content strategy - which content hooks work the best & why?

Creating locally is something that we strongly believe in and this is now translating into our approach for all our campaigns - be it on social or on mainline. We've seen great validation that making locally relevant content in the language of choice drives tremendously higher engagement and response.

Which are the other prominent regions that you intend to tap on? Do you also plan to continue to target Tier 2, 3 cities? 

We've tasted great success by going local in markets like Kolkata, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat and will continue to tap into the top 20-25 cities in India to drive growth.

 Which are the top 3 tactics that you intend to leverage, as part of your regional marketing strategy at this time?

  • Pick a topic/content hook that resonates with the people of the region. Do something that is unselfish and for the good of the people
  • Create local but pay attention to nuances. The last thing you need is to come across as too cliched and superficial
  • Do 'acts' that are unselfish and genuinely for the good of the people. Being genuine and authentic is key for sustainable long term success

Also read: How not to spoil the festivities ft. The Glitch & VMLY&R

What does your festive marketing blueprint/plan for 2021 look like? What are the key media channels that you are leveraging at this time? Which media channel will occupy the lion’s share and why? How much of the budget is reserved for digital?

We don't believe in doing something around festivals as a check-box activity. The attempt is to identify and build on something that has value for us and our consumers. Typically most of our festive campaigns are driven through digital and social channels

As IPL 2021 commenced in September 2021, ACKO announced its partnership with the Sunrisers Hyderabad as its official insurance partner. What is the role of IPL 2021 in your marketing strategy and what are the initiatives in place at this time, in association with the event?

We've been active with our campaigns on TV and OTT telecasts of the IPL. In addition to this, our partnership with SRH, DC, and MI gives us a fantastic opportunity to build a connection with the fan base of these franchises. This year we launched the 'ACKO Insurer of the Match' contest on social media and this saw a phenomenal response from the fan base.

The brand is also seen associating with Shubham Gill from the Kolkata team. What is the idea behind this? What is the role of Influencers in your content and marketing game? 

Influencers help us build trust, credibility, and affinity with their followers and the masses and hence we see great potential in leveraging them as a part of our marketing strategy to drive the next phase of growth.

Top 3 festive marketing trends in the category.

  • Tailored Products For Customers
  • Insurance Is Now More Data-Driven
  • Automation Will Lead The Marketing

What does your marketing 'To do' list for 2022 look like?

We would look at expanding and creating awareness in the top 20-25 cities in India by creating more locally for our key markets.

In addition to that, we would build familiarity and affinity for ACKO through the year by identifying the passion points of our customers. 

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