How the ‘local area marketing’ strategy has been working in favor of Havells India in these uncertain times
Havells' home appliances brand Lloyd has launched a campaign for its refrigerators and ACs with actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer SinghLloyd/screenshot
Amit Tiwari, VP, Marketing, Havells India tells us about the brand's marketing strategies and its areas of focus this y...

How the ‘local area marketing’ strategy has been working in favor of Havells India in these uncertain times

Amit Tiwari, VP, Marketing, Havells India tells us about the brand's marketing strategies and its areas of focus this y...
  • Ever since the pandemic and the resulting lockdown, Havells has changed its marketing strategy, instead of having a fixed annual budget and plan, the brand now has a flexible, rolling marketing plan, to be able to target audiences and geographies based on the changing day-to-day situations.
  • Amit Tiwari, Vice President, Marketing, Havells India tells us about the brand's marketing strategy and its areas of focus for the next few quarters.
For the last one year, brands have been working on minimizing the impact of the pandemic and the resultant lockdown on their organizations. For most, agility and adaptability has been the answer to the lockdown. Most brands that have been able to adapt to the dynamically changing conditions of the world we live in, have been able to cope well.

For electrical equipment company Havells India Limited that manufactures fans, home and kitchen appliances and lights, amongst other things, the strategy has been to keep their marketing plans open. The brand has been following the LAM strategy, which stands for local area marketing. Instead of keeping aside an annual marketing budget, the brand has been working on smaller, much targeted campaigns that have helped it gain more efficiency and come up with campaigns that are both more impactful and get them more ROI.

Considering the uncertainty of the times we live in, the strategy has worked well for the brand, Amit Tiwari, Vice President, Marketing, Havells India tells us. “Before Covid hit us, we used to have an annual marketing plan. But last year, we decided to come up plans every 3 or 6 months. Today, with how things are, it is difficult to predict how things will be a few weeks from now and for most marketers, having a rolling plan makes more sense. Things are changing on a day-to-day basis so having a fixed budget is difficult,” he said.

However, how difficult do the present circumstances make the life of a marketer, who usually work on a fixed budget set aside for marketing? “More than a challenge, I feel it is an opportunity of changing yourself and also rebooting your system so that you're ready for the future. There is a framework called local area marketing (LAM). For example, despite not being able to work on a national plan, there could be certain geographies where talking to our consumers could be possible. There are different markets that have different challenges, some might have moderate challenges while some might have no challenges. We look for such opportunities, so that we are able to reach out to targeted audiences in those geographies. This gives marketers a chance to reboot. You can pick and choose where you want to take your communication because you can get your marketing budget back but you cannot get your summer and the season back,” he explained.

In terms of communication, the brand has come up with a campaign for Lloyd ACs and refrigerators, featuring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. It also came up with its Feeling Fan campaign for its IoT-enabled ceiling fans. The task at hand has been to talk about the strengths of each of the products, to break the clutter in the segment. The brand is also making the most out of IPL to make sure it is able to reach out to masses.

“From a communication perspective, we have always believed in purpose-led advertising. Our last three communications are about the purpose of our products in our consumers’ lives. For instance, our fan commercial talks about simple facts: that it’s a child’s play to operate the technology. Whenever we come out with a communication, we want the consumer to feel that they are a part of it. Before thinking like a marketer, I think like a consumer. If you are able to have a clear narrative, I believe it helps break the clutter,” Tiwari added.

On why it decided to invest on IPL this year after having taken a break last year, he said, “A lot of TV channels have been running out of fresh content because they haven’t been able to shoot. And almost 89-90% of India is single TV household. So owing to the dearth of content currently, from an individual male-centric viewing, IPL has become more of a family viewing experience. So as a brand, it works brilliantly for us because we are on a property that has one of the highest impact and viewership multiply manifolds.”

The brand has launched three new products and three communications this year. “This year, by design we launched the products because as a brand, we wanted to come back. So this year, we wanted to craft a communication that we felt would have a much higher impact both from an individual brand as well as the mother brand perspective,” he added.

The brand had also come up with an Online to Offline model where it is helping connect consumers with distributors and dealers to simplify a consumer’s journey. “Consumers are looking us up on different marketplaces so we have been focusing a lot on creating our online stores on these different e-commerce platforms,” said Tiwari.

On what his focus as a marketer going ahead is going to be, Tiwari said, “The first thing is to be ready about the uncertainties of the future. You have to get out of the planning mode and have to make sure that you are ready for any market under any situation or circumstances. The future is all about adaptability and accessibility and that is what will help a marketer succeed in this new world.”