Article by: Rajesh Rajgor
Tasting success by doing digital marketing campaigns for passenger car segment, Ottoedge has turned to CV sector for growth

Over the last decade, social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have emerged as a new wave of human communication. As consumers take to the medium in hordes it becomes imperative for businesses to take the digital plunge sooner than later. An automotive communications company, Ottoedge Services LLP, is trying to get automotive brands and dealerships to do just that. While the company offers its services in the traditional marketing, events, media productions arena, it is its digital marketing arm that has gained significance in the last few years, “We have created social media strategies for twenty automotive dealerships across India,” says Abhimanyu Sikarwar, Founder, Ottoedge. He adds, “We have conducted various online campaigns for auto dealers like Ritu Nissan (Mumbai), Ahuja TVS (Indore), and Dada Motors (Ludhiana) on their social media platforms.” For Sikarwar, the growing strength of Ottoedge’s digital arm heralds changing times and attitudes in automotive marketing and advertising.

With over 90 million users active on three prominent social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) in India, it does not come as a surprise when Sikarwar comments, “India is the second largest market for Facebook alone.” With traditional marketing, adds Sikarwar, the cost tends to be higher for the CV sector, despite the nature of ownership of the vehicle. A CV makes a productivity tool rather than a car that often makes a status symbol or a means of pleasure. It was exactly this part of the ownership spectrum that led Sikarwar to look at the CV sector. According to him, there is a need to be economical while marketing CVs.

With the uptake of internet on smart phones on the rise, companies can now take a more filtered approach explains Sikarwar. Companies can not only take their message to a specific age group, gender or location, in an effective manner but can optimise cost. Citing one such instance where a more filtered approach was adopted by a dealership, Sikarwar says, “While managing campaign for an automotive dealer in Ajmer, our data filtered by age, gender and location revealed that within the city there were two lakh Facebook users which fit the description of the dealer’s target audience.” Further, social media platforms have an added advantage says Sikarwar, “They are appealing as they offer measurable results.”

Moreover, these social media platforms can help the fraternity raise issues that they face as well as share customer feedback, like in the case of Facebook communities. Ottoedge created a Facebook community called ‘Automotive Sales Consultant’ for auto accessories dealers during the promotion of Mumbai International Motor Show. “In fact, we plan to create a driver community to help address the driver shortage issue by engaging a lot of drivers, fleet operators and OEMs,” says Sikarwar.

To have a better understanding of their automotive client’s customers, an Ottoedge team travels the length and breadth of the country, attending hours of focused group discussion for various brands. “Our collective experience of different brands helps us provide solutions to a specific brand or dealership rather than merely providing them with a marketing campaign,” says Sikarwar. The company has a dedicated team which manages online pages of its clients. This team addressed complaints that get posted on the client’s behalf. Clients are periodically provided with insights about their online campaigns, as well as monthly reports on Facebook.

With the growing demand for the digital marketing services in the automotive sector, Sikarwar believes that Ottoedge, which clocked a turnover of approximately rupees one crore in FY14-15, will grow by around 200 per cent over the next three to five years. The company has approached bigwigs like DICV, Scania India, JK Tyre and Bridgestone Tyres for various projects. “We want to explore the potential of digital marketing in brand awareness, for the need-driven commercial vehicle,” avers Sikarwar.

Brand building

Apart from digital marketing for automotive companies, Ottoedge, extends a range of Above-the-line (ATL) and Below-the-line (BTL) services. “The one point solution approach saves client’s time and budget. A client is happy to brief a single company handling all their branding activities rather than numerous agencies,” states Sikarwar. Ottoedge’s rich experience has helped them carry out traditional campaigns for notable brands like Mahindra First Choice and Fiat Avventura Clothon. Ottoedge is headquartered in Mumbai with two more branches at Bangalore and Indore.

 

 

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