Q] How do you think IPL helps in creating a perception shift or a behavioural shift in your category among audiences?
The upcoming season of IPL is riding high on expectations, given that last year’s IPL had broken all previous viewership records, by clocking a historic reach and time spent on television. As per BARC India viewership data, a whopping 462 million viewers watched IPL 2019, signalling a 12% rise in viewership in comparison with the previous season. Even at the regional level, the presence of IPL across multiple platforms and multi-language feeds makes it a great platform for marketers to reach their target audience and experiment with different communication formats. IPL last year was telecast in eight regional languages across 24 channels, which in itself, is a positive sign for brands to deepen their regional connect. This clearly indicates the strength that IPL holds for brands to establish greater connect with their audiences at large, and encourage behavioural shifts.
Q] For a category like personal finance which is typically regarded as complicated by consumers, how does an association with a cricket tournament
or with IPL work? How does it impact your business?
IPL scores big on magnitude and reach. The mammoth level of marketability that cricket enjoys in our country, especially IPL, makes it imperative for brands to cash in on this opportunity and reach its target audience. Being the largest online financial marketplace in India, we expect to ride high on the popularity of sports, especially cricket in our country, by leveraging it more as a platform than a medium.
Q] What were your key objectives and rationale behind the association with IPL? And what made you choose cricket?
As I mentioned before, the immense popularity of cricket, and more so of IPL due to the highest level of entertainment and international competition, makes it imperative for us to leverage it to connect with our audience. Historically speaking, whenever we have considered cricket, we have observed a substantial surge in our web traffic, resulting in lowering our cost per lead at a daily/ monthly/ campaign/ market level.
THE MARKETER SCOREBOARD
As the CMO of Paisabazaar.com, Sai Narayan spearheads brand, marketing, digital and social media efforts at Paisabazaar.com. He brings with him over 14 years of experience across brand management, advertising, digital marketing, social media and PR functions. Prior to taking over this role, Narayan was Director & Head of Marketing at the Policybazaar.com Group. It was in that role that Narayan leveraged the popularity of cricket in India by associating with the IPL. He has worked extensively in marketing and brand management with a host of insurance companies like Max Life insurance and Aviva India. Narayan is a recognised marketing thought leader and has spoken at various marketing, brand, social media, digital and e-commerce events across India.
Q] As a brand that operates largely on Digital, what are some of the success measurement parameters that you keep in mind while associating with a sports property like IPL?
The strategy to be adopted for a particular medium depends on whether that medium passes the test of performance to fit in our plans. Over time, we’ve been able to clearly establish the ROI on every rupee spent on TV (highest reach medium) and digital (which is the fastest growing medium), which constitute 100% of our media spends.
Q] In the last few years, IPL has become one of the biggest marketing platforms with multi language feeds, live stream on OTT, etc. As a marketer, how do you think this benefits other marketers and how can this be leveraged?
With the Internet being amongst the top three fastest growing segments in the past few years, both in India and globally, the gap between TV and digital media’s reach is getting narrower, but the audiences remain varied. According to KPMG’s ‘India’s Digital Future: Mass of Niches’ report, media and entertainment industry posted a solid growth of 13% in the financial year 2019, to reach Rs 1.6 lakh crore with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5%. Digital is expected to become dominant force going forward, and in FY 2023, it’s likely to become the second largest media segment, after TV. Moreover, smartphone penetration and investments in original and regional digital content is expected to substantially increase online consumption in the years to come. And if you don’t ride this wave, you will never be able to reach the masses. Ultimately, the onus is on brands to think creatively and come up with content that would stand out and reach a wider audience base. Communicating via multiple platforms and multiple language feeds would further aid
"The mammoth level of marketability that cricket enjoys in our country, especially IPL, makes it imperative for brands to cash in on this opportunity and reach its target audience. Being the largest online financial marketplace in India, we expect to ride high on the popularity of sports, especially cricket in our country, by leveraging it more as a platform than a medium.”
Q] As a viewer, please share your most memorable or favorite IPL related campaigns.
Some of my favorite IPL campaigns from the previous season include Vodafone’s ‘Unofficial Sponsor of Fans’, Swiggy’s ‘#whatadelivery’ and Goibibo’s ‘The Travel Cash Fest’ campaign. I also liked Star India’s ‘Game Banayega Name’ campaign.
Q] As a cricket fan, what are you looking forward to the most in IPL 2020?
Most of the teams have reshuffled their players to a great extent, with even some unexpected players remaining unsold in the auction that took place last month. As a cricket fan, I hope this season turns out to be evenly competitive and challenging for all teams, and it remains to be seen who all turn out to be the star performers, especially the newcomers when this season of IPL ends on 24 May 2020. Of course, I am looking forward to another gripping final like the 2019 finale played between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.