Noel D'souza
Nov 02, 2021

Regional influencer marketing and video creations build up as people engage through the marketing funnel: Nandan Srinath

Campaign India speaks with Nandan Srinath, executive president, ENIL (Mirchi), about its latest campaign, creating omnichannel offerings for a multi-lingual audience, and more…

Regional influencer marketing and video creations build up as people engage through the marketing funnel: Nandan Srinath

Creating a local connection is inevitable in a country like India that is segmented into multi-lingual cohorts. To integrate this regional flavour into the marketing game plan, omnichannel offerings work best, according to Nandan Srinath, executive president, ENIL (Mirchi), and that's why the brand recently released a B2B campaign titled 'Proudly Local'. The campaign aims to bring the local potency back to a radio marketer's guidebook. 


In conversation with Campaign India, Srinath explained that instead of preaching to the choir, they wanted to bring awareness to national level marketers that potentially go after a one-size-fits-all campaign. 


Edited excerpts:


What was the insight behind the B2B specific national campaign? 


The campaign brings the attention back to radio as a medium. The intent was to get a lot of new leads coming in from potential advertisers we have never heard from before. 


The second objective was to inject a degree of enthusiasm back into the advertiser marketplace. Bringing radio back into fashion was needed. Radio has always been a supporting medium and never a leading one. 


How will this local initiative encourage advertisers to change their approach on Mirchi and radio as a whole?


The objective of the campaign was also about re-crafting radio stories. There is a slew of advertisers that don't see the intrinsic value a radio campaign brings to the table and the local nuance and faith people have in our RJs.


We wanted to reiterate Mirchi's own story. Multi-local services such as regional influencer marketing and video creations build up as people engage through the marketing funnel. 


On a regional level, how will this business objective play out? 


The first leg of the campaign rolled out is mainly for brand owners and marketers on a national level. 


The second leg of the campaign, in November 2021, will be for local advertisers that will target specific rural states we operate under. 


The local campaign will be rolled out in the respective local language the region speaks to reach out to potential advertisers. 


Mirchi is not a radio company alone. Radio has an added value with the integration of events, store opening events with RJs visiting the local shop, bringing attention to the brand through our social media networks, global inventory and targeted advertising. 


RJs have a meaningful connection with local listeners as they speak their dialect. Will the RJs popularity in regional areas be leveraged for this campaign and how will that attract potential advertisers? 


Some of our RJ's have already put out content around this campaign. The messages of these content pieces were targeted into the marketing community. 


There is a lot of conversation, in the present, around influencer marketing. But the original influencer at a local level is an RJ. It goes back to 2006, where our RJ's were selling Nokia phones on-air, telling listeners about its features and unboxing them without any form of video or social media. 


Now, these same RJs who worked their way through influencing listeners about products are on social media with millions of followers. 


How should advertisers on Mirchi reach out to a local audience? 


When we started on radio, in the first few years, we realised quickly that we didn't want Hindi ads on a Chennai FM station. It didn't make sense to our consumers in those areas and gave no results to the advertisers. 


We started re-creating the ads in Tamil, sent it to the client and would say this is the transformation of the message you wanted to bring about. They went back with the creative and checked with their agency if it works for them. We eventually put the re-crafted ad on-air. These basic principles are still true today and we follow this brand hygiene on our channel.


The second level of deliberation a marketer should be tapping into is local norms, the local flavour, the target audience behaviour in that particular market and how they can temper their message to appeal to that audience. It's not just translating the ad from one language to another. 


When we have an opportunity to contextualise our ads in local markets, we don't tend to use that opportunity. 


Thirdly, we need to be multi-local, the campaign should be surrounded by many things beyond that messaging. For instance in Coimbatore there are a host of influencers including our RJs who are very popular in that city should be integrated into the 360 communication process to reach out to the consumers of that region. 


How does an omnichannel presence in a regional market assist advertisers in their consumer brand recall results? 


Brands need to roll out SMS or WhatsApp campaigns in that local market, put out OOH advertisements in that market simultaneously, and integrate it with the local television channels. These are parameters brands should look into and we advise national clients to follow this path.


When clients approach us looking at this marketing funnel, the conversation is not just about radio. Our conversation is about a multi-approach in that market and how it can target the local markets. 


Radio is a local marketing tool and half of our revenue comes from these local advertisers. A combination of radio, print and digital can do the job of reaching out to a local market effectively. 

Campaign India

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