Interview: IPL & Kapil Sharma Show brought significant leads from Tier II & III cities: Sapna Arora, Olx

Sapna Arora

Sapna Arora tells Social Samosa that the platform has been targetting aspirational millennials from Tier II and III cities. Multi-lingual spots in television and radio, combined with a digital push play an integral role in Olx’s marketing strategy for the same.

In conversation with Sapna Arora, CMO, Olx, Social Samosa attempts to understand how the brand communicates with not only their consumers but also vendors, many of whom are concentrated in Tier II and III cities. Arora explains the role of regional marketing in their mix and speaks about growth driving categories, sharing how it all ties into the overall Olx marketing strategy.

Please share some insights into consumer buying behavior that you have seen post the pandemic hit the country

The pandemic has rewritten the rules of customer behavior quite extensively. And the triggers caused by the pandemic are likely to prove lasting for shopping behavior in the near future. The virus-induced lockdowns accelerated the already in motion move to digital channels quite significantly. Virtual shopping for previously unheard of items — such as cars and electronics has also increased. People are also known to shop consciously–keeping an eye on discounts, comparing products across channels, and planning their shopping around mega digital sales.

There is also an increase in hyperlocal buying channels where smaller traders are fast approaching digital commerce. What is also interesting is the growth in online shopping in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets where supply chains are improving, as are delivery channels. 

Internet penetration & increasing purchase power seen in the Tier II & III  markets has been spoken about a lot. How is Olx penetrating regional markets? Where does vernacular stand in the scheme of things at OLX?

Long before the endemic hit, OLX had started making inroads into Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and we saw substantial organic traffic growth across our channels. Categories like automobiles and smartphones contributed significantly to the overall growth. With internet penetration, especially post-pandemic our Tier II and Tier III users are increasing. For us, this makes a very significant market segment where we plan to target a large section of aspirational millennials.

OLX is not just into selling and purchasing but also enabling logistics and infrastructure by creating jobs in these geographies and demographics. Our marketing also ensures that the vernacular market is not just included but is a major component of our promotions.

Our campaigns and sales strategies have thus been focused on the aspirational millennial consumers from smaller towns and cities who are a primary target for OLX.     

Olx Autos just came out with a new campaign. How is the communication for the entity different from that of brand Olx?

The new OLX Autos campaign basically targets aspirational millennials. We wanted to position OLX Autos as the brand of choice for selling and purchasing pre-owned cars, positioning them as affordable luxury. ‘Price nahin, surprise milega” has been curated to help both buyers and sellers get a sense of the premium value of associating with OLX Autos to get the best price for their cars.

Also Read: It’s not just travel, it is more travel & hygiene marketing today: Mayur Hola

Which platforms have been the most useful in terms of generating leads & creating awareness around Olx Autos?

OLX autos uses an omnichannel model to reach its customers –these include physical retail, digital channels, and broadcast TV and radio spots. We find that as a vast segment of consumers have moved to virtual platforms a lot of our leads come from there. Moreover, OLX Autos itself has physical and digital outlets and we have found that our digital classifieds have captured more than 85% of the market given our end-to-end service on these platforms.

At the same time using popular shows like the IPL and Kapil Sharma show have also brought in significant leads from the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities where a lot of our target audience resides.

What kind of a marketing blueprint do you have in place to reach out to new vendors? Where does social media stand in the scheme of things for the same? 

Our focus is to reach new vendors through straightforward messaging that shows them what OLX Autos stands for, why they should opt for us, and what benefits they get by partnering with us. To this end, we have launched dealership meets across cities pan India, our classifieds, already market leaders, are determinedly pushing to get more eyeballs and our TVCs and radio spots, deliberately multilingual and comical content that informs and entertains.

Going forward, we are going to be packed with omnichannel engagements that include social media and will be aimed at garnering more aspirational customers and vendors towards the brand. We are also exploring various AR tools to showcase the products in greater detail.  

The OTT universe has inflated immensely in the last two years – any marketing trends seen on the platform?

There is a lot happening in the OTT space as these streaming digital channels take over the traditional TV space. We are exploring how best to exploit it given local market conditions and which platforms emerge as broad mass-market ones. Furthermore, with subscription fatigue hitting as people are tired of subscribing to multiple OTT platforms, we can see increased innovation in OTT video monetization plans. We are likely to see pay-per-view models and advertising as alternatives. 

What does your marketing plan for 2022 look like? Please give us a peek into your AdSpends plan

Our marketing plans for the current quarter are centered around OLX Autos with a focus on its car buying & selling and affiliated services around it as well as its omnichannel approach. For our horizontal platform, we will continue to strengthen our relationship with the consumers via the touchpoints we have nurtured in the last few years.

As a jury member of Social Samosa 40 Under 40, what is the one element that you will look at in every entry?

I would look at creativity and passion together as I genuinely believe that creativity comes from the passion and insights people invest in their idea.  

Any message for all the participants?

My message to participants would be to think beyond cliches and not just do things because they are trending, but because you believe in something. It is not just about winning or losing, it is about creating something that you are truly passionate about


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