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Watch #ConversationStarters with BMW India's Pallavi Singh and Hyundai's Tarun Garg

After several tough months, which sent auto sales into a free fall and impacted new launches, the automotive industry is now changing its gear to leverage digital platforms and get back on track. A significant number of automakers have already adapted well to the new reality of social distancing, and are bringing new products, supported by end-to-end online sales experiences, into the market through virtual launches. Twitter has been at the heart of this shift to digital launches, with auto brands making the most of the service’s conversational power and ad-product offerings.

In the latest episodes of Twitter Marketing India’s (@TwitterMktgIN) live video series #ConversationStarters, Twitter India’s Business Head, Kanika Mittal (@kanikamittal), spoke to Tarun Garg, Director - Sales, Marketing and Service at Hyundai India, and Pallavi Singh (@pallavisbali), Director - Marketing at BMW India, about how auto brands are conceptualising digital innovations to stay connected with their customers.

Navigating roadblocks through digital innovation

In the first episode which aired on Friday, 24th July 2020, Tarun shared that Hyundai (@HyundaiIndia) has been partnering with Twitter in creating successful, high-impact campaigns over the years. The brand’s most recent launch of the Tucson, which happened live on Twitter, was a massive success too with more than 1 million views in less than 12 hours! The brand has not only been making the best use of Twitter’s various ad-products, but is also creatively utilising other formats on the service, including the newly introduced Fleets, to engage with their audience.

Reiterating the role of digital innovations in Hyundai’s journey, he said, “Twitter is our beloved medium. The launch of the Creta was very good; we had a reach of 28 million, with 1.5 million views. We’ve also had some innovations like Women#Men, a sweet way of having a hashtag between two words, which was one way of attributing our success to women around India who have followed us and supported us.”

Further sharing insights on expanding the brand’s digital outreach, he spoke about how hyperlocal & digital marketing has helped the brand in reaching the rural hinterlands of the country and building the brand further.

Providing a larger perspective on the industry, he spoke about the increased preference for personal mobility, as opposed to shared mobility that was favored in the pre-COVID 19 time, and how this change is benefitting the brand.

Sharing her thoughts, Kanika Mittal, Business Head at Twitter India, said, “We have been partnering with automotive brands for several years now and are proud to have created some of the most impactful campaigns with these brands. Twitter has proven to be a lucrative medium for auto brands, especially when it comes to launching new products and connecting with key moments. We are excited to produce more such work through creative collaborations with the finest brands in the country. Twitter’s leaned-in audience also helps to deliver the results needed for the category and cut through clutter to drive recall.”

Luxury brands amplifying personalisation through the digital space

In the second episode which aired on Saturday, 25th July 2020, BMW’s India Marketing Director, Pallavi Singh (@pallavisbali) highlighted the importance of experimenting and the value of brands being enablers in these unprecedented times.

While adapting to the current scenario, she mentioned that innovation has been held at the helm of all initiatives at BMW (@bmwindia). The brand launched its Contactless Experience program within two weeks of the lockdown’s initiation. Pallavi highlighted how the conversational nature of Twitter is a major support for brands and businesses, especially to have more personalised conversations with customers. As an example, she elaborated the power of Twitter polls in helping brands gain insightful customer feedback and opinions.

With customers relying on online sources and information to make buying decisions, Pallavi believes that 90% of the consumer’s purchase journey already happens online. Elaborating on this point, she mentioned, “I think there is going to be a paradigm shift where online will become about consumption for everybody, but on ground experiences would become exclusive. This exclusivity paradigm is going to shift in some ways. That’s going to drive a model which is going to be interesting to see.

Both Tarun and Pallavi emphasised the importance of consumer centricity in building experiences. With the changing times and simultaneously evolving customer expectations, both experts believe that keeping the customer at the heart of their business is what is going to drive impactful innovations in the times to come.

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