The trend of buying cars in India is shifting towards digital platforms: Kunal B Marjadi
Kunal B Marjadi is a marketing communication lead with 12 years experience in heading teams and driving business development, cross functional partnerships and C level relationships. Dedicated team player who believes it takes a team to build successful businesses. A keen planner and implementer with demonstrated abilities in devising marketing activities and accelerating business growth, Marjadi’s key focus is on building and nurturing cross-functional relationships to align people towards a common goal.
In conversion with Adgully, Kunal B Marjadi, VP - Marketing, Consumer Business, CarTrade Tech, speaks about delivering substantial value to its users, preference for used cars in the post-Covid scenario, and much more.
What are the challenges that you have faced and overcome as VP - Marketing at CarTrade Tech?
As an aggregator, our primary focus is to deliver substantial value to our users while addressing specific challenges faced in our industry. One of the most pressing challenges that we encounter in the automotive industry is keeping customers engaged during the waiting period for their desired vehicle, especially during times of supply-chain disruption. Another challenge is to ensure that our website provides adequate and relevant content to cater to the needs and queries of our users.
To overcome these challenges, we have partnered with numerous OEMs to create engaging content and prevent customers from losing interest while they wait for their cars to be delivered. We understand that there is a significant gap of time between when a customer books a car and when they receive it, and we aim to keep their interest alive and ensure they don’t change their minds about their purchase. We have also expanded our content offerings to include informational content such as price range, colour, model, and reviews. This has helped us to become a one-stop shop for all car-related queries, and our customers appreciate the value we provide.
What are your marketing and media mix strategies to engage with the audience?
As an online platform that serves car buyers, we have designed our marketing and media strategies to engage our well-defined target audience.
Our marketing mix includes three primary components. The first component is search engine marketing, which is crucial for our online visibility. We understand that potential car buyers usually begin their search on search engines like Google. Therefore, we have made sure that we have a strong presence on all major search engines to ensure that our platform is easily discoverable.
The second component is our social media platforms. We recognise the importance of social media in influencing people’s choices, and we provide practical information to our audience to help them make informed decisions. Our content includes pricing, colour options, available car models, and expert reviews, all of which are presented in an engaging and easy-to-understand manner. Additionally, we are able to reach out to a giant audience of 35 million-plus people on social media on a monthly basis.
The third component is our presence on YouTube, which we consider a part of social and creative media. We have a significant presence on YouTube, and our content focuses solely on providing unbiased reviews and helping buyers make informed decisions.
How does your approach differ towards consumers from your competitors?
At CarWale, our approach towards consumers sets us apart from our competitors in several ways. One key aspect that distinguishes us is our commitment to providing a 360-degree view of cars, both internally and externally. While we offer practical buying advice to help consumers make informed decisions, we go beyond that by delving deeper into the technical aspects of the car. We understand that some individuals are interested in the intricacies of the technology behind the vehicles they are considering, and we have that kind of information covered with our comprehensive MO (Mobility Outlook).
Furthermore, our services extend beyond just individual consumers. We also cater to the auto ancillary industry at large, providing valuable insights and solutions tailored to their specific needs. Our expertise and understanding of the industry allow us to offer comprehensive support and guidance to businesses operating in this sector.
What campaigns are lined up and what are the objectives behind them?
We currently do not engage in any marketing campaigns in the conventional way. However, our primary objective is to guide individuals who are seeking information online through our website. This approach is rooted in the belief that providing helpful and informative content is a more effective way to build an audience and establish a positive reputation than relying solely on advertising.
What are the trends that will dominate your industry in 2023? What will be your major focus according to that?
The trend of buying cars is shifting towards digital platforms. This trend is evident in India, where purchasing a car is the second most expensive investment for consumers. With the increasing tech-savviness of consumers, they now prefer to access car information from the comfort of their homes. Consequently, there is a growing availability of online resources that provide extensive information about cars. In addition to the prices and comparisons, customers can now access 360-degree views and customisation options, which were once only available for luxury cars.
Another trend that we have noticed is the preference for used cars. There have been challenges in the new car supply chain due to COVID, which has made buying a used car a more viable option. Personal mobility has become crucial during the pandemic, and people are not willing to wait for six to nine months for a new car. The demand for used cars has increased, and dealers are making money through this business. Issues like semiconductor chip shortages, supply chain issues and increases in prices have also driven consumers to opt for used cars. This is where CarWale abSure steps in with its multiple outlets across the country, allowing consumers to choose the used car of their choice instead of waiting for elongated periods of time for their cars.
Another developing trend is that customers are increasingly conducting extensive research online before visiting a dealership. This shift in behaviour significantly reduces the role of salespeople, as customers can now access all the necessary information about a car from the comfort of their own homes before even taking a test drive. This changing market has evolved from simply providing basic information about car prices and colours to offering more comprehensive details such as car stats comparisons and expert opinions on fuel economy.
To cater to this trend, we have 11 partners onboard, which include Banks & NBFCs to offer a loan product, assisting customers basis their queries & interest in a specific car. In our endeavour to bring delight to the car buying process, we definitely believe that content is our strongest campaign.