NEW DELHI: Mondelez is evolving its marketing strategy toward online and mobile platforms in India as the country's consumers become more digitally-oriented, according to a top executive.

Prashant Peres, Director – Chocolates at Mondelez India, addressed this subject at the recent IAMAI Marketing Conclave and reported that "consumer packaged goods companies (in India) are behind the curve when it comes to digital".

India is now the second largest market globally for mobile phone penetration and the increased penetration of smartphones is creating a demand for data-driven services in India, as more consumers become mobile-first.

The challenge for FMCG brands is to better understand digital behaviour patterns and adapt their campaigns to different user needs across devices. (For more, read Warc's report: Creating brands of the future: Mondelez's digital evolution in India.)

"There are two opportunities for CPG companies in e-commerce," Peres stated. "One is getting the traditional consumer to purchase online, and the second is for e-commerce to create markets for the future. For instance, the gifting space is moving towards e-commerce."

Though internet penetration remains low outside India's urban areas, recent research suggests that brand opportunities also exist there. A report from the IAMAI says that 52% of internet users from rural areas access the internet primarily from an entertainment perspective, followed by 39% for social media and 37% for communication.

A major change for Indian FMCG brands in the move toward digital is the need to be 'always on' when it comes to managing customer engagement.

Peres observed that until relatively recently, the scenario was very different in India, with brands focused on television, print and radio as the only media. But the two-way communication enabled by digital marketing has forced brands to rethink how they engage with India's consumers.

"Today there has been a dramatic change. Consumer engagement, which was an add-on a few years ago, has become the centre of marketing today. Digital is the most convenient mode of any-time shopping," said Peres.

Data sourced from Warc