Brand health & organic search should be the centre of attention for marketers: Sneha Beriwal

Pranali Tawte
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Sneha Beriwal

Sneha Beriwal shares VAHDAM's festive marketing plans, building a customized plan for various geographies, the role of social media, and more

In conversation with Sneha Beriwal, Chief Marketing Officer, VAHDAM India, Social Samosa attempts to understand how the apt marketing mix can help reach more consumers with the product and how the emphasis should be on investing in strong content and collaborations rather than just media.

Edited Excerpts:

How would you define your overall marketing strategy, and how are your media spends this year? What kind of spends have you designated for the festive season? 

We are a relatively young brand so our overall marketing strategy is full funnel-focused. We need to engage with customers at top of the funnel, from mid-funnel to the bottom of the funnel. Our spends across the funnel are the highest this year, this is primarily because we are now in many geographies, many channels, and many categories and each one of them needs focus.

The festive season for us has always been the US festive season which starts with Halloween and runs up to Christmas. It's a big season for us and takes up most of our marketing spends. This year, we will also be focusing on Diwali in India in a big way. We have some very interesting partnerships lined up for Diwali, we are launching an exclusive Diwali blend and our India website will have exclusive Diwali offers.

What does your marketing mix consist of? Would digital be the primary focus, and why?

We are a digital native brand, so yes, our marketing mix is heavily skewed toward digital. But we also want people to experience our brand and product, hence we incorporate a good mix of experiential in our strategy. Festivals, events, demos, gift bags, PR seeding are all important elements in our marketing mix. These are great avenues to get the product into the hands of more and more customers.

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What role does social media play for the brand? How much per cent of your total spends is reserved for social media marketing? 

Social media is important for every brand today. It allows you to establish your personality and voice with the consumers in their natural environment. Being a global brand, we are present on multiple social platforms from Instagram to Tiktok to Pinterest.

We spend a significant share of our budget on social but the focus is on spending on great content and collaborations rather than just media.

One of the challenges marketers face with evolving and new-age mediums is scale; how does VAHDAM address that challenge?

Scale isn’t a challenge but a 'meaningful scale' is. It's easy to buy reach and follower numbers today through paid spend but it's important to understand how that benefits your brand. Are you getting the right engagement, engaging with the right audience, and what is that customer's journey after engaging with the brand on these mediums?

Brand health and organic search are the right metrics that should be the center of attention for all marketers.

What gives Vadham an edge in the increasingly competitive tea industry?

If you think of us as just a tea brand then yes the brands you mentioned are our competition. But our value proposition to our customers is our expertise in direct sourcing, infusing teas with Indian superfoods, and bringing wellness solutions in convenient formats. For this offering, we are very uniquely positioned.

The task at hand is not to stay ahead of these brands but to build a habit of healthy beverage consumption amongst the target audience.

What is your approach to strategizing while developing marketing strategies for different countries? What distinguishes one from another? 

The approach differs by market, by the stage of business in that market, and more importantly consumer behaviour. Understanding the local marketing landscape and deep diving into the media habits of our target audience is important. Eg: TikTok is a must-have platform in the US strategy, whereas Canada is big on sports, the UK on music festivals, and so on.

Incorporating the media habits along with cultural insights from each market helps us in developing our marketing strategy for different countries. 

Interview Vahdam Teas Vahdam India Sneha Beriwal