Even a business selling commodities can successfully use digital if it looks at this in the right way, according to a Tata Chemicals’ executive who believes the channel opens up opportunities for brands no matter the vertical.

The Indian business operates across three verticals – basic chemistry, consumer products and specialty products – and has leveraged digital to build its Tata Sampann pulses brand into a market leader with a 25% share in just four years.

At a recent Mumbai conference, Sagar Boke, head of marketing (consumer products business) and business head – spices, Tata Chemicals, argued that marketers “usually look at digital in a very myopic way, as another medium to advertise.

“In my view, it is essentially a way of life and a way of doing business,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s report: How Tata Chemicals created the right growth formula with digital.)

And he maintained that the consumer funnel is becoming cylindrical, with the consumer journey now shorter and “a bit random”.

The challenge that every consumer brand has had is that the purchase process is shaped like a funnel, he explained: you advertise to as many consumers as possible and of that group, some of them would want to buy your product, and an even smaller subset would actually buy it.

“So, at every stage there is leakage and with digital what you are trying to do is turn that funnel into a cylinder,” said Boke.

“That means if a consumer has seen your ad a few times and has shown some interest in your brand, you convert that customer and make fulfilment happen. This makes it possible to reduce the leakage.”

Tata Chemicals is currently working on a data management platform where, if a customer has shown high engagement, the team will have the capabilities to persuade the interested individual towards a product purchase. “It’s possible only with digital to do this,” he stated.

The success of Tata Sampann also illustrates another aspect of digital – how it can build brands in a very short time.

“In the past it was always the muscle that mattered, muscle in terms of media money and distribution channels, now digital allows you to build that capability much faster,” said Boke.

Sourced from WARC