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We've witnessed a strong start to the festive season & expect this to continue: Damyant Singh Khanoria, OPPO India

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Karuna Sharma
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Damyant Singh Khanoria


Social Samosa speaks to OPPO India’s CMO Damyant Singh Khanoria about festive marketing, trends in the smartphone category, and focus areas for the rest of the year.

The year 2022 started on a good note for the smartphone category after consumers started returning to a new normal, with hybrid work culture driving the category’s growth. As per a report, the industry saw 44% value growth YoY than 2021. 

While the festive season is an important period for all marketers, this year, mobile phones continued to lead the market with a 41% contribution in gross merchandise value (GMV) and nearly 56,000 mobile handsets were sold every hour, according to Redseer Strategy Consultants.

Smartphone brand OPPO also witnessed an uptick in demand this year and as per its CMO Damyant Singh Khanoria, it is expected to continue in the ongoing quarter. 

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To meet this rise in demand and expand its reach, OPPO announced a slew of discounts and increased its focus on digital platforms. It released a Diwali " target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">campaign that celebrated people who deal with challenges differently and followed it up with a user-generated campaign on social media platforms. 

Social Samosa speaks to OPPO India’s Khanoria about festive marketing, trends in the smartphone category, and focus areas for the rest of the year. 

Excerpts:

After two years of lull, this festival is particularly important for marketers. Brands are going all out to celebrate it with their consumers. What are you doing differently? 

The festive season in India has always been an important time for brands to connect with consumers. But this year will be extra special as after two years everything has gone back to pre-Covid normalcy; celebrations will be big again. At OPPO India, we have always focused on building a personal connection with our consumers. This year, for OPPO's festive campaign, the theme is #InspirationAhead which encourages us to relook at things from a different perspective; it exhorts people to explore and unlock their creative potential.

How was the consumer sentiment this Diwali? Are there any interesting changes that you've seen in consumer behavior? 

Due to pent-up demand and evolving consumer needs, we have witnessed a strong start to the festive season--particularly in the mid and premium segments--and expect this to continue. In keeping with our strong commitment to the country, we have increased our efforts towards Make in India and now lead the Make in India shipments with 22% in Q1 2022 and 24% in Q2 2022. OPPO will continue to invest and expand the mid-to-high-end market to meet consumer demand. 

How important is the festive season for the smartphone category?

The festive season is crucial for the smartphone industry as 20%. of the annual sales happen over this period of four to five weeks.

A wide range of exciting offers, no-cost EMI, never seen before discounts/ price cuts, and prizes help make smartphones more affordable, resulting in increased sales. A recent report by Counterpoint also forecasts that India will see smartphone sales worth Rs 61k crore/ 7.7 billion this festive season, the highest the country has ever recorded.  

You also released a campaign during Diwali, can you share the thought behind the campaign? How did it come to be?

The thought #InspirationAhead stems from our core values that encourage positivity in actions while empowering those who share the same values and optimism. As a brand, we promote thinking differently to provide inspired solutions to day-to-day problems. Our motto "Inspiration Ahead" envisions a future that is bright and innovative. 

As the campaign primarily focuses on the festive season, how many parts is this campaign divided into, and how do you plan to distribute it? What is the media strategy? Have you also upped your ad spending for this year? 

The festive season is an important time of the year for us. A recent report by Axis My India revealed that consumers spend 59% more time on digital platforms than any other. Keeping this in mind, we have increased our focus on digital platforms. Additionally, we have engaged with our consumers via user-generated content campaigns across social media platforms and via an association with ICC.

What are your expectations from the festive season?

Every year, the festival brings with it a lot of excitement and joy, and this year is no exception. We have been witnessing a great response from consumers across platforms. We are optimistic that this trend will continue with exciting offers and never seen before price drops across retail channels.

What else is on the charts this year from a marketing perspective? What will be your focus areas?

The festive excitement is at an all-time high OPPO has some exciting plans in the pipeline and will update you as soon as we are ready to go live. 

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