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(Photo via @CIIKOLCOE on Twitter)
(Photo via @CIIKOLCOE on Twitter)

Personalised digital ads, services to drive growth for companies, say marketers

'Personalisation is going to be extremely big,' says L'Oreal India Amit Jain at a virtual session organised by CII

With a significant increase in adoption and time spent on digital platforms especially since the onset of the pandemic, brands are focussing on creating personalised campaigns, services and leveraging influencers to drive sales, said top executives said at a virtual session on 'Winning the digital consumer' organized by industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Thursday.

Fast moving consumer goods firm Nestle India, for instance, targeted two different consumer segments for its brand Maggi through a massive 'Cooking made simple recipe' campaign during lockdown. Promoted across Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, the campaign targeted both mothers and budding cooks.

"..therefore a digital strategy, which is consumer centric, allowed us to use split audiences and have customised content for each of the cohort. While we did content for mothers with expert advice on replicating restaurant like food at home; for young consumers the content was aimed at addressing basic concerns such as 'how do I chop onions without making my eyes water'," said Nikhil Chand, director, foods and confectionery at Nestle India.

L'Oreal India said that the company is focussing on artificial intelligence (AI) backed diagnostic services for customers where they can get a personalised skin and hair care services specifically designed for them. The beauty firm already offers a hair care service, under its brand Kerastase, under which a customer can get a digital hair health check up in a salon and track the progress online.

"Personalisation is going to be extremely big. In the next few weeks, we will also be launching a service called 'Skin Genius' for L'Oreal Paris in India. This tool will help analyse a customers skin type and corresponding issues before recommending a customised regimen to be followed. We already offer virtual try ons for lipstick, eye shadows and hair colour which has seen traction especially after covid due to social distancing. We believe AI, virtual reality (VR) and vvoice are the future of beauty experience," said Amit Jain, managing director, L'Oreal India.

Facebook (with over 300 million users) and Instagram (with over 117 million monthly active users) along with Google offer tools for brands to segment their userbase on the basis of demographic, purchase intent and age.

"We know that acceleration in the adoption in the digital is one trend which will continue in a post covid world. Half a billion Indians are now on digital and segmentation has become a possibility for brands because of digital. Brands can slice their consumers on basis of number of variables from demographic to even first time buyer perspective," said Sandeep Bhushan, head of global marketing solutions, Facebook India.

Marketers also spoke about increasing dependence on influencer marketing which has become the go to strategy of brands especially after pandemic where customers are heavily relying on online recommendations. L'Oreal India, for instance, works with a wide variety of beauty influencers across its brands.

"..however I must add that it is extremely important for brands to do invest in due diligence before onboarding influencers as It is important for the brand to match its value with the influencers and forge long term associations. Data and measurement are equally important to gauge whether the influencer engagement is providing the right RoI," noted L'Oreal India's Jain.

Pre-covid, Indians spent roughly 3 hours and 22 minutes on their smartphones per day which increased to 3 hours 54 minutes in the phase two of the lockdown, that is, mid-April to early May, according to the findings of a July report by television viewership monitoring agency BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) and data measurement firm Nielsen that tracked TV viewership and smartphone usage during the various phases of India’s lockdown. Though it cooled off to 3 hours 37 minutes closer to phase two of the country’s unlock, data consumption moved up from 1.08 gb per day per user between the week of the first lockdown to 1.12 GB in end June.

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