We reached out to their marketing heads of Dunzo, Medlife and Housejoy to understand their day-to-day challenges.
- While we all are watching, worrying about everything that’s happening outside from behind the closed doors, delivery personnels from Dunzo, Medlife and Housejoy are risking their lives everyday to make sure we get our daily essentials and stay safe.
- We reached out to their marketing heads of these brands to understand the challenges these players have faced in the past 21 days, from delivering products to communicating with consumers and here is how they are functioning in the new normal.
To prepare for the long haul, they are welcoming new delivery personnel, introducing fresh HR policies, sanitising their storing facilities, and reminding their consumers to take good care of themselves by washing their hands and maintaining safe physical distance -- on social media every day.
However, things haven’t been simple for these players on the ground. In the first few days of the lockdown, owing to confusion and lack of clarity around guidelines, it was difficult for a lot of these players to function smoothly. Telling us what kind of challenges Medlife faced during the first few days of the lockdown, Meera Iyer, CMO, Medlife, said, “The lockdown has been quite a difficult time for Medlife. In terms of business, our traffic and demand has more than doubled. Organically, a lot of people have been coming online and wanting to order medicines as well as use our e-consultation service. But unfortunately, on the other side, the lockdown has meant total disruption on the ground for our operations team. The supply chain particularly was severely impacted in the first 2 weeks. Things are better now and slowly coming back to normal but it was the case of 2X the number of orders and pretty much 50% capacity on the ground, thereby allowing us to service around 25% of our customers. So customer experience went for a toss during this period.”
Despite the limitations that the lockdown brought, it also brought with it a lot of growth opportunities for brands like Dunzo. Elaborating, Sai Ganesh, Head Marketing & Creative, Dunzo said, “Groceries used to be our main category earlier and demand in that category has gone through the roof. We have seen significant organic growth, especially in grocery, medicine, meat and fish. That’s been the biggest opportunity where we are seeing a lot of organic traffic and new users coming in.
Housejoy, which is a tech-driven construction, renovation, interiors and Home Maintenance company, rose to the occasion and started delivering essentials.
Telling us how they arrived at it, Arpan Biswas, Vice President - Marketing, Housejay, said, “We saw an opportunity as the big players, who deliver essential services, have seen a growth of 6X. However, a lot of their delivery personnel left for their hometowns. So we have internally we offer home services and some of them don’t fall in essentials, so we have supply and tech in place. We just had to add groceries to it. We took a couple of weeks to take a call -- we saw an opportunity and thought this might make sense for us! From there, it was quite easy for us. Also, we wanted to make sure our internal delivery guys get to earn a bit and keep their households running. We have seen good growth so far. If it continues, we will think of approaching this category seriously.”
In sensitive times such as today, there's always a chance that if brands come out with marketing communications, their intent will be frowned upon.
Telling us how Dunzo is treading that line between communicating what’s required and being opportunistic, Ganesh said, “Our marketing communications in the past 45 days is very rarely focusing on selling the value proposition of Dunzo. We have also tried to use what guidelines WHO released for brands to incorporate social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands regularly, etc, so we have tried to use that. After the first lockdown was announced for two weeks, there was a period when users did not care about what your brand had to say. We saw very little engagement in those two weeks. The first two weeks were spent on informing the audience about what's happening, right things to the users and what precautions we are taking. Right now, they are looking for lighter, humourous content. There is a lot of stress right now and social media is a comic relief for them. So, we have moved to lighter content and none of it sells our product.”
To help maintain a positive environment on social media and reach out to a wider audience, Dunzo is also looking at exploring TikTok, which, as Ganesh said, is a great way to connect with their delivery partners.
Biswas, on the other hand, reminded us that this situation might not end very soon even if the lockdown opens. Therefore, as a marketer, you need to remind your consumers about the do’s and don’ts they need to follow.
He further said, “We should think of ourselves as customers, not marketers. When I think of what is my need v/s want, as a customer, it is the essentials. So I would rather stick to delivering essentials and making sure that consumers get the necessary information. You also need to be very patient and see how things turn out in the next two-three months. We should save cash, not burn it in the media. We should rather create content that adds value to our customer’s life.”
Moreover, taking care of the health, wellness and hygiene of their delivery partners is also a priority for most of these brands. Talking about all that Medlife has been doing to take care of its partners, Iyer said, “All our fulfillment centres across 15 cities have a doctor. We have thermal scanning for allowing people to come in. Use of masks and periodic sanitizing is mandatory. And we are doing everything to ensure that their commute to the warehouses and back home is also made safe.”