How CarDekho Group has changed its marketing strategy during the second wave of COVID-19
CarDekho Group's Gaurav Mehta on how his role has changed during the second wave of COVID-19
CarDekho is working on providing self-serve digital solutions for its customers
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How CarDekho Group has changed its marketing strategy during the second wave of COVID-19

CarDekho is working on providing self-serve digital solutions for its customers
  • In our latest interview series, we speak to a few CMOs to understand how they are helping out their organisations find the right ways to connect with consumers.
  • Gaurav Mehta, Chief Marketing Officer, CarDekho Group tells us how the group’s focus on marketing and advertising has changed after the pandemic.
In this last one year, the pandemic has thrown many curveballs our way. As we stepped into 2021, consumers and brands were hopeful about their lives returning back to normalcy. There was hope and enthusiasm for a better tomorrow. However, in March 2021, we were back to square one and the situation aggravated every day. These changes have impacted our mental health and no one knows when we will go back to living a ‘normal life.’

As a result, brands and Chief Marketing Officers have changed their marketing strategies to be there for their consumers and stay relevant. The focus now is on launching empathetic, compassionate and changing-making campaigns.

Gaurav Mehta, Chief Marketing Officer, CarDekho Group has also found his role changing lately but he felt a bit more prepared this year to face the sudden ups and downs.

Recalling how last year’s lockdown affected him and his company, Mehta said, “It’s a story of two phases. April-Sep 2020 was more intensive and entailed longer hours as the challenges were new, complex and WFH was a new phenomenon. The 2nd phase (last 6 months) has seen more focused deployment of time, shorter meetings that are agenda-led. Preparation is also better with a mental toolkit for problem-solving that took more time during the 1st lockdown.”

So when the cases started rising again, Mehta knew it was time to take a step back, recalibrate the situation and be there for its consumers by shifting its marketing gears. So, CarDekho launched a campaign in April that aimed to create a safe driving environment for senior citizens as they go out to get their vaccines.

Telling us how the brand is using its advertising tools to help out India in times of need, Mehta said, “By standing for personal mobility, we try and address issues that hamper ‘personal mobility’ for people. We saw that the elderly had to drive themselves during the pandemic period and to make their driving experience better on the roads, we came up with ‘E for elderly’ initiative, which has been embraced broadly. We have also digitized a number of physical touchpoints (Car inspection from home) to make sure that our users don’t have to venture out of their homes.”

Inside the organisation, Mehta and team have started welfare initiatives for its 5600+ employees. In the unfortunate event that an employee succumbs to Covid-19, the deceased employee’s family would be entitled to 4X CTC payment. Employees can apply for Caregiver Leaves for 10 days at a stretch to help take better care of loved ones.

“It's a combination of personal equity, right policies, and open communication. The former (personal equity) is to solve unique issues, policies evolution is to make sure that we are an agile organization trying to do the right thing for our colleagues and open communication is to make sure that we all understand the situation in totality and collaborate to navigate and deliver business goals,” said Mehta.

On an operational level, lines between online and offline shopping have been in the process of blurring for a while. This pandemic has lent the final push that completely erases the line now. According to Mehta, almost 90% of all new car buyers in the country use a digital platform for their search now and most of this user base comes from CarDekho.

Now, CarDekho is working on providing self-serve digital solutions for its customers.

Talking about the company’s focus areas, Mehta shared, “We have a unique opportunity to create one of the largest full-stack auto-tech ecosystems in the world. With this objective in mind, more collaboration with product teams to make self-serve digital solutions is the order of the day. Externally speaking, working with stakeholders from the BFSI sector to create unique products to accelerate personal mobility would be another evolution.”