This is where we came in. As the Marketing and Advertising partners, the onus was on us to cement the brand perception right at the time of brand launch to allow the brand to grow rapidly. We started from the scratch. While consulting and advising the brand on how to improve its UI and UX, considering the marketing perspective in mind, we listed down steps on how to build trust and acceptance amongst the consumer and merchants alike. Though like any other start-up, funds were scarce, we smartly optimized every penny and plowed ahead. We initiated the marketing solution with a two-pronged approach. 1. Win the Merchants’ trust and comfort to give deep discounts. 2. Win Consumers’ trust for buying online without worrying about any possible fraud on their credit cards or the delivery and quality of the chosen product(s).
We shot success stories and testimonials all over India and put them together in multiple presentations, EDM, collaterals and videos to showcase the promise that the brand held. The response was huge. In each city, it spread like fire in the jungle, as one convinced merchant got the rest of them signing in. A story that began with one deal a week started taking shape. It became one deal a day and soon it became individual “deals of the day” for every city separately. In a short time, Snapdeal was the go-to brand for the best deals. So much so that we not only started to advertise different deals in different cities but also different deals for each half of the day as well.
Since Indian consumers were still in favour of buying tangible goods and services over the counter and wary of online transactions, we needed people who were willing to experiment new and evolving concepts. When it comes to the new and the unknown, youngsters are always more willing to take a lead. They also start trends that snowball into changing opinions for everyone else. But the youngsters those days did not have credit cards (COD and Debit cards options came much later), but their parents did. So we had to ensure we made the youngsters take the call to action but when he/she needed the credit card to buy, his/her parents should have heard of and trusted Snapdeal.
We initially started a heavy online campaign on websites, portals; however, there was still need for something that would create more traffic. We analyzed the gap to infer that we not only had to promote an online model, we also had to garner attention through offline mediums. Our this finding holds good even today when you see major advertising campaigns from all e-commerce companies through Print, FM and TV Ads. Social media in 2010 was not as abuzz as it is today. Youngsters were more tuned to channels such as MTV for entertainment and their parent would watch channels like TLC and NDTV Goodtimes etc. other than advertising on FM, outdoor and Print regularly.
We picked-up ‘MTV Roadies’, the cult reality show with humungous following amongst the youngsters to influence them and fashion/food shows, travelogue, etc., on NDTV and TLC for connecting with their Parents. This was a first in the history of reality shows. The host, Ranvijay, introduced Snapdeal as an exciting, new and a young portal where there were great deals waiting to be grabbed. The show highlighted it further by giving the two competing teams of ‘Roadies’ a task revolving around Snapdeal. The exposure that Snapdeal got on ‘Roadies’ was massive. The concept had fit in beautifully in the show. The traffic on the website went through the roof and so did the buying of deals. We kept on innovating and kept going and promoting Snapdeal in each city, morning and evening through FM Radio to reinforce the conversion. An arduous production schedule to match the airing of the show could not put a dampener on our spirits to build the brand perception just right.