Today, 30% of advertising budgets are spent on digital media: Bata

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Has the pandemic affected Batathe advertising budgets of ?

Covid-19 has actually changed the marketing mix based on consumer behavior. We had a temporary break in major campaigns above the line (ATL). But we used that time to start building and moving from multi-channel to omni-channel travel. When I say multi-channel, it’s basically different channels – e-commerce, retail store, but there’s not a lot of interaction between the channels, so the customer experience varies.

We’ve taken the last 18-24 months to transition to an omnichannel reader, which means you can search on one channel, buy the product on the other, or the same product is now available across all channels. The customer experience is more consistent. Last year, 15% to 16% of our overall revenue (from sales) came from digital.

How much of your total advertising budget have you shifted to digital media?

3-4 years ago, digital was 10%. Two years ago, it went to 15%. Today it is around 30 to 35%. So the journey is almost 3x, and we want to invest in digital channels because even the traditional consumer will buy from a store because of that online search.

You said digital sales revenue has increased 15-16%. Do you see this increasing as the pandemic subsides?

We don’t want to limit that. We will need to contextualize for the Indian market what this number might look like. But we have the opportunity to increase our presence on digital channels.

This 15-16% contribution comes from different channels. The first is our D2C Bata.in website with more than 5000 styles that you can buy online. The second is partnerships with platforms like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, TataCliq, Ajio – nearly 10-15 marketplaces.

Then there’s home delivery where you walk into a Bata store and if they don’t have the size or color you want, you place the order and it’s picked up from another store or warehouse, for be delivered.

The others shop via WhatsApp, or store-on-wheels (launched during the pandemic for condominiums) which are digitally enabled. We are in the process of setting up Facebook and Instagram shops.

What is the Bata brand in the Indian context today?

When I joined (in 2016), the task was to transform the brand. I said, let’s look at the elements that really go into making up a brand – customer experience, retail experience, and portfolio evolution. Over the last 3-4 years, the wallet has evolved from a very functional, durable, everyday style to a little more fashionable, sneaker, casual style.

Second, the stores looked dated. We therefore launched the Red concept stores which were created in Europe and allow for better display and visual merchandising. We have renovated some stores and all new ones are currently opening in this format.

In the last 3-4 years we have also started to open a lot more stores in malls. Stores have grown in size and today they are found in approximately 200 to 215 malls.

Finally, we did some marketing and chose the “Surprisingly, Bata” campaign. The brand has actually evolved from a functional brand to a more contemporary brand, more focused on occasions and the choice of millennials.

What role did brand ambassadors play?

We joined Kriti Sanon in 2018. We needed someone who looked authentic, held the same values ​​and principles and didn’t overshadow the brand. We have linked up with her and others like Sushant Singh Rajput and even Smriti Mandhana, for our Power brand. We used them to change the perception in a very honest way that Bata is not just a school shoe brand, but has fashion, sneakers and technology.

Some of these messages have started to resonate with consumers, footfall and conversions have increased, and our ability to sell more premium products has actually increased.

Why is the sneaker category growing?

Sneakerization is a global trend. Some research shows that three years ago, the contribution of sneakers accounted for about 40% of the total footwear market. Today, it is approaching 50%. And in the next three to four years, it will actually hit 60-65%.

Market change is driven by several things. First, companies are becoming much more relaxed about what people are actually wearing. That’s why you see more casual outfits coming up. Covid was a big trigger in this space as people started buying products that they could use many more times. So sneakers and casual clothes will actually become more dominant.

For Bata, sales of casuals and sneakers have increased by 40% in 18 months. It’s a huge number. We have nine sneaker brands and 300 styles. What we are rolling out is Sneaker Studio in Bata stores where we put all sneaker brands in one place so discovery is easier.

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