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"Pent up consumer sentiment most important driver for festive season growth"

The great Indian Festive season has started amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We all know what kind of a washout the first half of 2020 has been when it comes to businesses and even personal lives being completely disrupted. Given the strict Government directives on maintaining social distancing, the huge crowds of shoppers that usually throng the markets during this time might be a lot less this year.

In normal circumstances, brands look at the festive season as an opportunity to gain maximum ROI, leveraging the consumer sentiments during this time. However, the unprecedented conditions have dampened the economy so far. While some are sceptical about businesses picking up during the rest of the year, we are also seeing a general mood of optimism.

Amid such a scenario, Adgully has reached out to marketers and publishers across India to gauge the sentiments during the festive season this year as part of our special series on ‘Festive Mood’. Over the next few weeks, we will be bringing the views and insights from various markets on how marketers and publishers are endeavouring to trigger a revival and give a boost to festive sentiments.

In an interaction with Adgully, Meraj Hasan, Head of Marketing, Welspun Flooring, takes stock of the festive season sentiments among both consumers and brands.

How do you see the consumer sentiments across the nation this year? Which markets are seen as leading the rebound and how? What factors will drive growth this festive season? How much do you see festive sales getting impacted due to COVID-19 this year?

We did an online survey 2 months ago when the country was slowly opening up, and it clearly indicated the growing optimism amongst the Indian consumer. Obviously, metros and categories like auto, e-com, and durables will lead the show.

While digital push and TV spend will drive the festive season growth, the most important driver would be the pent up consumer sentiment that they have been holding in the lockdown. Now, that the lockdown is almost lifted up, there will be a rush to release this inherent desire to consume, this festive season. In my opinion, barring categories like travel & tourism, there won’t be as bad an impact as we are afraid of, due to COVID-19, this season.

What kind of integrated marketing activities are you planning for the festive season? On which platforms will you be investing your ad spends more and Why? What kind of digital push are you looking at?
Digital is the way ahead for me, this festive season, for 2 simple reasons – cost effectiveness and measurability. We are looking at both organic and paid media campaigns as both brand awareness and lead generation are important. We will also be doing regular BTL activities to give product experience to the consumer, as we have a new and innovative flooring product.

Do you see retail footfalls increasing during the festive season, given that people are still not venturing out for shopping in a big way? What alternate routes are you looking at to shore up sales – such as e-commerce, online purchases, D2C initiatives?

There may not be a huge increase in footfalls, but malls and shopping arcades have started working around it using the digital platform. Central Malls have started a virtual walkthrough to navigate the mall as well as buy the products.

For our B2B products, we will depend on both digital and on direct approach. For our B2C products, we will go digital paid media way, along with BTL activities.


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