We are focusing on regional markets like Marathi, Punjabi, Telegu, Bengali & Tamil: Vidyut Kaul

Vidyut Kaul Philips

Vidyut Kaul, Philips shares insights on the changing A & M dynamics in the personal health industry with a focus on authenticity in the marketing initiatives, as the way forward for the brand.

With the evolving consumer behavior, it is critical for marketers to stay vigilant with the changing paradigms. Vidyut Kaul, Head – Personal Health, Philips Indian Subcontinent sheds light on the top consumer trends in the healthcare and personal care category, the role of influencers on consumers’ electronic marketing and OTT marketing, at large.

Edited Excerpts

While the pandemic has changed consumers dramatically, it applies more so to the healthcare & personal care segment. In light of the changing consumer needs & behavior, how do you think personal health marketing can be made more intuitive? 

Consumer behavior is changing fast, and it is critical for companies to keep a pulse on the same. Consumers have increased their utilization of social media as a tool for identifying products, collecting information, and making product purchases as well. Overall, it is important to know your audience and where they are and accordingly devise marketing strategies to target the relevant consumers.

Marketers work in a complex ecosystem and best practices can lead to a home run for one brand and fall flat for another. Thus, marketers need to understand what motivates people which is the first step toward anticipating their behavior and ultimately allowing them to comprehend and navigate through various niche marketing strategies. Intuitive marketing focuses on building long-term relationships through disciplined monitoring and managing of consumers’ associations throughout their journey of purchasing a product. Intuition, insight, and experience are crucial factors to consider for marketing.

With the rapid digitalization in the wake of the pandemic, how is Philips integrating data with the purchase funnel to ensure optimal conversion?

Consumers have changed where and how they engage, and it is essential to recognize the change and accordingly reshape the customize offerings. Digital medium enables to showcase innovations, experiences, and quality engagement. There is an opportunity to localize, target, and reach an audience that is suitable for brands. There ought to be a balanced media mix of Print, TV, and digital media and a focus on 360-degree campaigns.

At Philips India, we are focusing on regional markets like Marathi, Punjabi, Telegu, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, etc., and vernacular channels to increase relevance in these local markets. Having said that, digitization has helped marketers extract higher ROI on the campaigns, by narrowing down the target group and creating homogeneous audience profiles, together with an ability to filter out both the creative as well as the messaging that works with the consumers. This approach allows us to make better, faster, and fact-based decisions to drive a higher conversion rate.

Influencer marketing has played an integral role in consumer electronics marketing. What kind of a role does influencer marketing play in the brand’s marketing strategy? How do you calculate RoI on Influencer marketing? 

Influencers are important for brands as they harness the accessibility of social media to establish personal connections with their audiences. Moreover, Influencers, owing to their massive reach, have the power to increase brand exposure and boost brand awareness. Additionally, coming from a trusted influencer, such recommendations are often considered authentic.

For a successful influencer marketing campaign, it is essential to select the right set of influencers who can put to life the brand’s messaging and create content relevant for the target audience. It is important to pick out influencers who are effective, engaging, authentic, and appropriate to be the brand’s face.

We take into consideration the content created by them in the past, metrics which can help us determine their popularity and impact.

For Philips, it is crucial that we are able to convey the brand’s vision and messaging through them.

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

What were some of the new consumer consumption trends seen during the festive season? Do you see these trends extending to the New Year? 

The pandemic and consequently the festive season had witnessed the emergence of several new trends and has changed the behavior of consumers with new consumer entrants going online for the very first time. With a majority of people spending substantial time in their homes, it has re-defined the role of consumer durables in our lives, and it is this new role of a partner that makes staying at home more comfortable and joyful. This trend has driven the demand for the category, this festive season.

With the ongoing wedding season, consumers would want to pamper themselves, experiment, and look good. They are looking for products that offer a better value proposition in the long run. This insight has led to DIY becoming a trend that will stay and is driving demand across segments. At Philips, we have seen a healthy growth in both offline and online channels as each of them has unique offerings on the table.

Philips works with celebrity ambassadors time & again. While they do lend a certain credibility to the brand, do you think that they also bring along additional crisis chances in this sensitive socio-political environment? 

We select endorsers/influencers/celebrities not only because they are the role models for our consumers but also because they complement the brand. We make a conscious choice to stay away from controversy owing to the socio-political environment.

As we move ahead, we will continue to be an authentic brand seeking authentic endorsers.

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

OTT platforms have transformed the way consumers consume content and in doing so, they have also transformed the way brands reach out and engage with their target group. While most of the OTT platforms started with no advertising – slowly and steadily, we have seen a lot of things changing.

From allowing ads and various media vehicles, these platforms have started partnering with brands to create the content product/brand placement- which sometimes gets woven into the content. And not all of it is seamless – you do notice the force-fit at times. Having said that, this universe is still evolving and one needs to see how these platforms and aggregators will leverage data to drive marketing.

How does Philips plan to invest in OTT marketing? 

We have been partnering with OTT platforms for a bit now. In fact, this year, we invested quite heavily in some of the platforms given the nature of the audience and a huge overlap with the categories we play in.

We will continue to work closely with the OTT platforms in the coming period, as they will allow us to be closer to our audiences.

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

One thing that I will personally look at in every entry will be ‘how authentic’ the individual has been. For me, authenticity summarizes the strength of the individual, his/her unique approach, thought process, and ultimately leadership style. To be able to demonstrate and exhibit it – one must have a deeper understanding of their own personality from within, know their conscious and unconscious biases. It is this that sets the great aside from the good.

Any message for all the participants? 

First, I would like to wish all the participants the heartiest congratulations – to be able to reach this stage and to be able to share your work is a recognition.

I would like for all the participants to keep their eyes and ears open – it is never too late to learn. We, humans, have this innate ability to keep amassing a great amount of knowledge but what sets some leaders aside from others, is their ability to put this knowledge into practice and develop the future generation of leaders. Aspire towards becoming that leader that is not obsessed with self but with building the future leaders.

Lastly, my personal belief is don’t be afraid of failure – FAIL (first attempt in learning). It is a great teacher. Cherish it, celebrate it – for it has taught you something.