The marketing approach centered on redirecting leads from digital to official website: Francis Wong, realme

Saloni Surti
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Francis Wong

Francis Wong, CMO - India, Europe & Latin America, realme on how they created a blueprint that enabled the brand to redirect leads from digital and social media to commerce channels.

Since the beginning of the festive season this year, realme in a press release slated to have garnered a sale value of INR 3,500 Cr across all channels during the festive days which happened from 2nd October - 10th October 2021. The brand over the years has managed to penetrate the budget mobile segment with a core focus on the youth TG. 

Social Samosa in conversation with Francis Wong, CMO - India, Europe & Latin America, realme understands the marketing blueprint in place to support the festive marketing sale. 

Edited Excerpts: 

In light of the festive season milestones seen in terms of revenue & the number of pieces moved - take us through the marketing blueprint you had in place to back the festive sale. 

Social media plays a crucial role in creating awareness about the offers available in the festive season of the year. We have derived traffic from all social media platforms. The marketing approach was centered on and in line with the sales plan, with the purpose of redirecting leads from digital to the partner/official website. 

In terms of sales strategy, we allocate marketing budgets to digital media purchases and social media channels, primarily Twitter and Facebook.

In the first round of festive sales, we sold over 170,000 units of realme GT Master Edition 5G, contributing to a 1200 percent increase in the Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 pricing range for smartphones.

Content for commerce has been one of the biggest trends this festive season. Even Flipkart created real-time content programming for engagement, layered with e-commerce elements. Where does content stand in the scheme of things at realme? As a marketer, what are your thoughts on the trend of content for commerce?  

Content has emerged as a key element for engagement on social commerce platforms. In 2022, realme's official website will also explore social commerce, turning our app into a super app by bringing content, tech-life ecosystem products, and other exciting trends under one roof. It will become a one-stop destination for consumers to enjoy, watch content, and shop their desired products.

realme has strong penetration in Tier II and III markets, which contributes to approximately 68% of online sales for realme. To set the festive tone and engage with our vast target audience, realme has been bringing more personalization and curation to customers online through a greater degree of tech and marketing integration. Also, next year, we will leverage content through multiple touchpoints like Smart TVs & devices (Laptops & Tablets) to drive active/passive brand discovery as well as conversions.

Also Read: Anjali Krishnan on the role of generosity in the Mondelez India Festive Marketing Blueprint 2021

realme has been one of the fastest-growing brands in the budget mobiles segment. What was the insight that led to the brand investing for products in this segment? 

We have always wanted to give our users smartphones that include cutting-edge technology and trendsetting design, while aligned with the best price-quality ratio.  When we talk about the Indian market, the majority of products launched in the Indian market are either overpriced or lack advanced features. When we compare prices with features, there is a gap, and we aim to fill that gap. In India, we have a mixed set of users, from premium to budget smartphones, there is a huge demand for smartphones across different price segments. We listen to our consumers, incorporate their suggestions, offering products equipped with the best features in the best possible price point. 

Who is your core TG? Please shed light on how the brand reaches out to this TG? What does your media mix look like? 

We cater to a younger population with similar appeal and preference. We recognised that our youth are always eager to try out new and cutting-edge technology, which is why we bring devices with cutting-edge technology and world-first chipsets. 

Second, as a youth-oriented brand, establishing a strong resonance with our TG is of utmost importance. realme community has grown to be a 3 million strong family. We value our users and communicate with them on a regular basis via social media and frequent fan meets in order to better understand their requirements, as our users are our first priority. Many technological trend play activities, such as Ask Madhav, local fan meetups, and virtual fan meets, 828 Fan Festival, creative camp, and others, were designed particularly and have helped build appreciation and loyalty. realme also started a co-creation initiative with its users to design things together from the prototype.

While the effectiveness of influencers in the consumer electronics segment has been established - what is your approach towards influencer marketing? Please take us through the specifics of how the campaigns have worked for realme? 

Our Influencer marketing strategy is highly reliant on the campaign's products and goals. If the product is in the entry or mid-range segment, the maximum reach is what we prioritize. However, for different premium products, we keep all our campaigns very focused on segmentation creation, with communication playing a key part.

We don't want viewers to get tired of seeing the same promoted material, therefore each influencer campaign is unique. Our strategy is to make the content entertaining while also creating a space in the user's mind for our product and communicating our premium category, which is more user-centric than product-centric. We seize opportunities to combine our products while utilizing each influencer's distinct style.

Campaign-based approach v/s creating a community of long-term influencer associations - what do you think works more for realme? 

Because we want to maximize the reach to our potential users, the campaign-based strategy works best for realme, during the intrigue and launch time of any upcoming product. Post product launch, the community works best to put up the word of mouth or even create the best of creative content for social and community both. We have employed our community in every new content product we have created, and our fans have never failed to amuse us with their creative skillful mind as well.

3 festive marketing trends you foresee in the space

While digital push and TV advertisements were a big part of the festive season, the most important motivator was the bottled-up consumer sentiment. Consumer attitudes and rising brand advertising spending are two emerging marketing trends we have witnessed. Social media is one of the tools employed by different brands to enhance festive sales offers as today most consumers spend ample time on social media. Building influencer campaigns around specific products also drove the sale for many brands.