Last month, Renault India announced that it had tied up with Paytm to allow customers to book its hatchback Kwid online using the wallet. Customers could pay online, or pay at dealerships using their Paytm wallets. Renault became the first car maker to tie up with Paytm. Besides which – like other carmakers – it is also eyeing a share of sales from portals like Carwale and CarDekho, to complement its dealerships.
Speaking with Campaign India a month prior (in June), Renault India’s head of marketing Virat Khullar releaved that he spent 20 to 30 per cent of his time figuring out digital. After all, it is a market where customers are primarily researching online and purchasing offline. But there is more to digital than targeting consumers engaged in research with increased marketing monies, explained Khullar.
“There’s big time growth in our digital marketing spends. Now, we lead with digital when it comes to most of our campaigns. We are targeting 15 per cent leads coming in from digital. Having said that, we launched the Kwid only online, through an app first. We have had 11,000 e-commerce bookings through the app. About 8 per cent of the total bookings we got till date are from the app. During the first four months when we launched it was more than 20 per cent. We have had 4,00,000 downloads for the app. The app for the Duster has seen 90,000 downloads. We are clearly looking at advertising online, but also looking at e-commerce,” he said, without revealing a number or target for online bookings.
Role of the mother brand
Khullar joined Renault in April 2015. Then, Renault had been around for three and half years. According to the marketing head, unaided awareness was around 10 per cent.
“In the auto category people primarily buy mother brands so the first target was to establish Renault as a brand in India. We were known as the mother brand that sells the car Duster. The second task given was to strengthen the Duster brand. Finally, it was to launch the Lodgy and then create the runway to launch the Kwid,” he noted.
In three months of Khullar coming on board, the brand signed on Ranbir Kapoor as brand ambassador. AR Rahman composed the signature soundtrack ‘Re Raftar’. The Kwid was to launch in end-October. The campaign (Passion for life, which announced that the Kwid was coming soon) was launched much earlier. The mother brand had to be strengthened.
“It helped our spontaneous recall for the brand. We do internal brand tracks and they showed that scores increased by almost 25 per cent. Also the campaign that we did for the Kwid, got 96 per cent of the recognition towards the brand Renault. That’s phenomenal recall for a mother brand.The aim we wanted to establish was that Renault is inspired by India’s passion for life.That showed we’re making cars specifically for India,” added Khullar.
In June, Renault had a market share of 4.2 per cent in India. The stated target was 5 per cent by 2017, but Khullar expressed confidence that this would be achieved earlier, by end-2016.
Khullar explained the focus, “Renault is not the low-cost manufacturer in India. We’re not cutting price, but we are showing better value with our cars.”
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