We measure all experiential activities on recall, value and sales: Vivek Zhang, CMO, Vivo India

Smartphone brand, Vivo, entered India in late 2014. After grabbing the title sponsorship of IPL in 2016 for two consecutive years it has now partnered with various youth oriented TV shows across channels. “Vivo is a young brand and has a strategy that focusses on the youth of the country because we believe that youth are the trendsetters. Our associations with different channels and properties is to ensure that we continue tapping the new and existing customer base in India", said Vivek Zhang, CMO, Vivo India, sharing his views on the brand's approach. In an exclusive conversation we explore his views on experiential marketing.


Where does experiential marketing stand in your marketing mix?
For Vivo as a brand, it is important to leverage a multidimensional media approach to promote across channels and ensure maximum reach and brand recall. Experiential marketing has the ability to closely align brands value to the realities of a consumer’s life and is as important as both traditional and digital advertising. Real-life experiences shape our thoughts and memories much more profoundly than anything we read or see in the media. Vivo as a brand has always engaged in experiential marketing from time to time which has helped us to create a positive recall and a better brand recognition amongst our target audience.

What are some of the activities/ campaigns executed by the brand?
As a young brand we always try and innovate in terms of our offerings for our valued customers. Taking this promise forward, we started the first ever Vivo IPL Trophy Tour across six cities in India where thousands of fans witnessed the firsthand experience of the Vivo IPL Trophy. Additionally, we set up a Vivo Hi – Fox box in each stadium to provide additional thrill for cricket lovers. Also, with the introduction of Vivo IPL fan parks in 34 cities across India, fans who couldn’t watch matches at the stadium could came here to experience real time viewing.

Being a youth oriented brand we have associated with youth centric events and festivals like Rendezvous- the annual cultural festival of IIT Delhi. Currently, we are organizing mall activations across states to generate brand awareness and allow customers to touch, feel and experience our new offering in the market – the Vivo V5 which is equipped with the world’s first ever 20 MP ‘Moonlight Glow’ selfie camera.

What is the response you've seen and is it different from the response from other media channels?
The overall response through experiential marketing has been extremely motivating as we have witnessed commendable results in terms of an increase in brand recall and sales figures. Specific response varies as per activities as they are not similar in nature. On ground experience helps in establishing a deeper connect with consumers and also helps in generating and evaluating customer feedback about the product.

In what terms do you measure the success of your experiential campaigns?
Experiential campaigns are an integral part of Vivo’s campaigns and success can be measured by the brand recall, brand value and overall sales figures. This year we have seen a holistic growth in terms of brand recall and an exponential rise in our sales figure through our yearly campaigns across traditional, digital and experiential marketing.

What do you assess in a partner event/experiential agency before bringing them on board?
For a growing brand like Vivo, choosing the right agency to work with is extremely essential. In order to partner with an agency, they should have pan India presence as that is our primary focus. The agency should be credible and cost effective in line with our brand’s objective. Measuring the success of past campaigns with previous clients serves as a testimony to their work.

Which experiential agencies have you worked with?
Vivo has associated with advertising, digital and event agencies like Group M, Fountainhead and Encompass for experiential marketing.

How is the implementation of experiential marketing predisposed for Vivo in the years ahead?
As mentioned earlier, experiential marketing is an essential part of Vivo’s marketing mix and this concept is growingly gaining popularity amongst consumers. Currently, we are in the initial stages of our plan to leverage experiential marketing in a better are more effective manner in the coming years.

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