In this digital age, online content is becoming extremely powerful – Swagat Sarangi
Marketing needs not only tactics but the best ways to influence what needs to be influenced. In a conversation with Mr Swagat Sarangi, co-founder, Smytten, we find out his views on marketing, digitalizing content and the growing market of men grooming sector.
What is marketing for you if we minus the effect of social media from it?
Marketing is all about telling a story where your consumers are. Even before one defines whether to do social or to have ‘the likes strategy’ on Facebook, the person must first understand where the consumers are. Typically, if we take beauty and wellness, the way digitalisation is happening in the last 3-4 years, most of the audience has moved online. The amount of time spent today on Smartphones is about 3.5 hours. So, when you have to tell a story about your brand through the smartphone because the attention of the consumers is there, your communication has to be tailored. It has to be quick, crisp and has to catch the attention of the user. In this digital age, I believe that content is becoming extremely powerful and by content, I mean the one which can be consumed on the go. For mobile advertising, one should have a website which is mobile responsive, have stories, assets which are mobile ready etc. The other biggest thing that is coming up is video consumption which is growing in India. If you see in the last 2-3 years, people have been consuming a lot of videos where they are being influenced. So, I think social is just a destination. Where one should engage their customers is video and content and this is what your marketing strategy should be.
Which medium is more effective in terms of marketing if one wants to extract the best from it?
If we look at the international market some 10 years back, the introduction of the internet there happened a lot earlier than it happened here. This is a myth that the internet is an easy and cheap channel of marketing which it is not. If you are doing it the right way, digital could be far expensive than offline or TV campaign. It’s all about what kind of consumer one is targeting towards and what kind of brand proposition one has. I believe that lots of innovations are happening in this space. As a distribution channel, if you are able to leverage organically, then it is a massive one for you. So, the moment you start paying for digital reach, it becomes another media play.
How do you see the men’s grooming market in context to India?
It is a very interesting and unique problem we have in India. Typically, it is both of the demand and supply sides of the show. For the last 5-10 years, there were not enough male grooming brands that came with a supply perspective. Personal grooming sector in the men section was always neglected. It’s only recently that lots of brands are coming in the picture. At Smytten, we have quite a few interesting brands like if you have heard of the brand called the Bombay Shaving club; they are trying to kind of get the traditional shaving experience become modern and slick. So, there are some nice brands which have come up in this sector. From the demand perspective, it is growing exponentially now. A lot of men are now going and shopping for themselves. People are becoming more and more lifestyle conscious. In the services section, there was never a premium salon which was made for men. Today, we have Trufitt &Hill and they have an amazing success to look up at. So, I believe the time has come and from here, it is going to be a rapid growth in the men’s grooming sector.