Proliferation of social media helped us engage with customers more meaningfully: Saakshi Verma Menon, Kimberly-Clark India


Discussing how Huggies is stepping up its digital capabilities, Saakshi Verma Menon of Kimberly-Clark India shares brand’s overall marketing and e-commerce strategy targetted at new-age parents.

Parenting has evolved and so have the needs of millennial parents who are increasingly leaning towards organic alternatives when it comes to their tiny tots. Keeping up with the tech-savvy parents, Huggies from Kimberly-Clark India launched a digital film that promises of providing nature’s gentle protection to babies supported by a robust social media strategy.

Talking more on the campaign and upcoming growth plans, Saakshi Verma Menon, Marketing Director, Kimberly-Clark India, in conversation with Social Samosa shares the brand’s increasing efforts towards digital marketing, ecommerce, and niche marketing strategy for millennial parents.

Excerpts:

What sort of investment went behind your latest awareness campaign, ‘Huggies Nature Care with Organic Cotton’? What was the objective and Rol you are looking at reaping from the same?

As a brand, we have always strived to bring about a positive difference in the lives of parents as they navigate the new journey with their little ones, by empowering them not only with choices but also with knowledge, and the Nature Care campaign is a testimony to this commitment.

Over the past year, we have witnessed a shift in preference, especially amongst millennial parents who are extremely conscious about their choices when it comes to baby care products. There is a definite inclination towards products with natural and organic ingredients and consumers are leaning on brands like us for assurance, especially when it comes to the safety and comfort of their babies.

Keeping this in mind, we launched our recent campaign to reassure and inform parents about the innate goodness of Organic Cotton that forms an important ingredient of Huggies Nature Care. The idea was to enable consumers to make decisions judiciously amidst the stream of options flooding the marketplace today.

We launched our campaign through a multi-platform approach across YouTube, Facebook, Paytm OTT and Amazon. So far, the campaign has resulted in improved BLS metrics on YouTube and Facebook, and has also shown an improvement in consideration and ad recall.

What are distribution and promotional strategies do you have for the campaign?

We are constantly renovating and innovating our marketing playbook to reach and engage with our consumers where they are receptive. One aspect of this has been stepping up our digital capabilities to engage with consumers given the rapid digital adoption amongst consumers, not just as a purchase channel, but also as a key source of brand awareness and engagement. At the same time, we are continuing to focus on our brand availability and excellence of execution in physical stores, to ensure Huggies is available wherever our consumers demand it.

With the increase in awareness around organic products, our promotional strategies to loop in the millennial parent have worked great for the campaign and we look forward to continuing this momentum.

Also Read: Social platforms drive 70% of purchase decisions: Achint Setia on Myntra’s Content-To-Commerce strategy 

What are your overall marketing and advertising strategies for Huggies?

Investing in relationships with consumers is important not only to ensure the success of products but also to build loyalty. At Huggies, we have always strived to be an ally to new parents forging a bond that is not only functional but also emotional, supporting them every step of the way in their journey of parenthood. Be it about boosting their confidence, championing their instincts through campaigns like #SahiWaaliFeeling, or reassuring them that they are making the right choice for their baby through awareness, we have always had their back and that’s what makes us the brand of choice.

Millennial consumers today are predominantly looking for trusted partners in brands that cater to their need to be conscious, aware, and empowered. At Huggies, we are imbibing this requires not only in our product innovations but also in our communication strategies, as modeled in our recent campaign.

And, needless to say, digital has come to play a crucial part in it. With the growing footprint of parents on various social media platforms such as Instagram and parenting portals, seeking curated information on baby care, it has become imperative for us to engage with them across all digital touchpoints, in order to ensure brand resonance.

What all channels, mediums do you utilize? How do you allocate your advertising budget to all these channels?

As a consumer obsessed brand, we are constantly learning about the evolving behavioral curve and trying to intercept consumers at all touchpoints. Our advertising spends reflect this strategy and we ensure all platforms which are frequented by our core consumer gets equal weightage. The intent is to direct our budgets to more consumer-facing platforms. At Huggies, product packaging innovations remains our priority.

With the growing dependency on e-commerce, we are also witnessing a strong opportunity in the segment and are constantly renovating and innovating our strategies to meet consumer expectations. We were one of the first brands to launch “Sumo” monthly packs to cater to the bulk-shopping phenomenon that found precedence during the pandemic. New portfolios such as the Huggies Nature Care and the Huggies Premium Soft were also exclusively launched for e-commerce platforms, keeping in mind the different consumer preferences.

 Which of these mediums has proven the most effective for the brand and how?

Over the last two years, with travel restrictions coming into play and people spending more time at home, there has been a significant change in purchasing behavior of the consumer, with the accelerated adoption of online shopping and new users coming in from Tier II and III cities.

In parallel, social media has become a key platform of engagement for our target audience wherein new-age parents are seeking curated information on parenting and baby care. We recognize the need to create relevant consumer experiences using these platforms and have designed robust social media campaigns, as well as forged partnerships to engage and stay connected with our consumers.

How do you plan to increase your ad budget this year? Which all mediums will see higher spending this year and why?

While digital transformation was already redefining the landscape for businesses and brands, the pandemic further accelerated its adoption. As mentioned above, it has impacted consumer behavior significantly because of which we have been pursuing aggressive e-commerce and digital marketing strategy to match and maintain the momentum.

We are further looking at leveraging our influencer and advocacy programs which form the core of our marketing playbook. We will adopt a digital-first approach and drive our focus on e-commerce and relevant social media platforms. Not only are we looking at building stronger connections with customers but are also trying to meet their requirements across all these touchpoints seamlessly to drive higher engagement.

How would you define your overall digital and social media marketing strategy? How important and effective social media has been for the brand?

As a brand, we have always taken a multidimensional approach, and social definitely forms the cornerstone of our digital strategy.

Not only do we leverage digital as a communication platform but also to build relationships and drive participation with our consumers. In fact, the proliferation of social media has helped us engage with them more meaningfully.

We usually witness high engagement from new moms who believe in the concept of community, and we provide them with one by helping them share ideas and connect better with each other.

How do you go about measuring the RoI from each of the social media platforms?

One of our key objectives is to drive brand consideration. As a consumer-centric brand, it is imperative that our communication resonates well with the consumer.

The North star for us is an increase in the BLS metrics and an improved engagement with consumers across multiple social media platforms.  

How the growth has been for the diaper market amid the pandemic? Impact of Covid-19 on your brand in particular?

The pandemic brought in a new wave of awareness amongst parents who became more conscious about meeting the needs of their babies, laying greater emphasis on comfort and convenience. Needless to say, they have become more mindful when it comes to health and hygiene and are turning to trusted brands that can meet their needs. Keeping this in mind, we understand there are significant opportunities for the continued growth of the baby care market as category penetration continues to rise and consumers trade up within established categories. We believe that the baby care market will continue to evolve, and we will keep innovating to meet the changing needs of our consumers.


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