Mark Titus, Assistant Vice President- Marketing, Nippon Paint shares how geo-targeted marketing is working well for the brand, and how high-impact sporting and regional entertainment media is helping the brand grow in South India.
Q] You recently did a very interesting campaign with patrol vehicles. Do tell us more about it.
That is a very unique campaign and the first that we have launched in 2022. We call it the Walltron Patrol Vehicle. We’ve had so many unseasonal rains in the second half of the year. As per one-on-one consumer research, we found out that almost every house today is facing issues like seepage or leakage, dampness of wall, chipping off of paint, things like that. And keeping that in mind, we’ve launched this Walltron Patrol Vehicle. Consumers who have any waterproofing-related problems in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Bangalore. Upon calling the toll-free number (8880 261 261), can have direct access to Walltron’s trained technicians to address their waterproofing-related problems. Our Walltron Service team is available across TN and Karnataka and Walltron’s range of solutions (products) are available all across India. I think it’s the first time that such a concept has been executed in the industry. And that’s why it’s the first campaign that we launched in 2022.
Q] As per research, India is one of the fastest-growing markets for the paint industry in the APAC region. What has been Nippon Paint’s strategy to make its roots stronger here?
Yes, definitely it is one of lucrative or the fastest growing industries, even within India. The market for paints in India is expected to grow at 1.5 to 2 times the GDP growth rate in the next five years. That’s the reason why you see so many new entrants in this industry. We entered India in 2006 and saw a slow growth during the initial ten years. In 2017, we changed the strategies and started focusing on the southern markets. We specially focused on Tamil Nadu and that really worked well for us. Since last year, we have been expanding our investments in Karnataka and other southern states.
At present, our core focus is on the decorative segment. Despite all the challenges, 2021 was a good year for us as well as for the entire decorative segment in India. The challenges that we faced were mostly in the pricing part of it. Due to the pandemic, the cost of raw materials went through the roof and hence, there were a lot of price corrections throughout the year. But in terms of the overall businesses, it was a good year. We’ve also started focusing on certain new categories such as repairing and maintenance. The waterproofing segment is actually doing better than the core painting segment.
Q] Did you tweak the advertising and marketing strategies during the pandemic?
The pandemic didn’t impact the decorative paint industry. But when we realized that the consumers’ sentiment was moving more towards the health-related products, we started focusing on the wellness part, specifically on the interior paints, which are antibacterial or anti-microbial. We have even anti-formaldehyde paints, which absorb the harmful formaldehyde and create a healthy environment inside a room. A section of consumers was not ready to spend much. To cater to that section, we launched a kind of high sheen product called Breeze Star. This product is also doing really well now.
ABOUT THE BRAND
Nippon Paint, founded in Japan has over 141 years of experience and is a prominent paint manufacturer in Asia, and among the leading paint manufacturers of the world. Nippon Paint produces high-quality paints and coats for decorative, industrial, and automotive sectors. The company and its subsidiaries have a presence in 31 countries.
Q] What about the marketing mix?
The number of cord cutters has increased manifold over the past two years and hence, it has become crucial for the marketers and organizations to be able to reach out to the consumers through digital mediums. The role of print decreased significantly during the pandemic. But now it is increasing slowly and thus, still important in the mix. So, when I say that we are investing more in digital, I don’t just mean playing ads on online portals, but investment across influencer outreach, and that could be both micro and macro in nature; improved SEO performance, OTT platforms, just to name a few. So, our spends on digital have increased from 4-5% to around 15% in the past 12 months.
Q] Can you please give us an idea about your target group?
Our target group is in the age group of 23-50. They are mostly men, who own houses. As far as the decorative paints are concerned, our TG is both men and women belonging to different age groups. As for the construction, chemicals, repair, maintenance, and the waterproofing part, it is predominantly men.
Q] What are the investments that you are looking at to become a more significant player in the domestic market?
We have a partnership with Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. We partnered with them because they have a large following in our core territories. After cricket, the most-watched sport on television today is Kabaddi. So, we have an association with Tamil Thalaivas and Bengaluru Bulls. They have provided us with a good audience base in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. We are partnering with other platforms which are more regional, such as Bigg Boss Kannada and Bigg Boss Tamil. Certain media properties (such as Saregama) have also help us make our campaigns impactful. Thus, we are focusing on the regional platforms of these states to make our brand more noticeable.