Why Experiential Marketing is Key in the Automotive Sector: An Interview with Subir Majumdar, Executive Vice President & Creative Head

Marketing is changing. It’s no more about the products you make or the services you provide, but about experiences you create and the automobile industry is no exception to this change.

In order to understand this leap in event marketing in the automotive sector better, we got our automotive sector event head, Mr Subir Majumdar to share his thoughts and insights on the relationship between a brand and an experiential event. Excerpts from the talk, below:

What is your take on the current automotive scenario?

The auto industry is more challenged than many people realise. On the surface, performance is still strong, but there are major headwinds in terms of new technology, changing regulatory environment and an extremely hard to please customer.

What role does event marketing play in the automobile sector?
In an overcrowded market with 20 odd car makers and 300 or more variants on sale at any point of time, experiential event marketing plays a key factor in terms of creating brand awareness.

Advertising in traditional media is becoming irrelevant day by day with on – demand content and streaming media. It (traditional media) was already cluttered and still happens to be insanely expensive; smart marketing teams will have to innovate to stand out. You cannot touch the lives of your potential consumer without experiential events, and once you do, then the impact stays with the target audience for a very long time.

Do you think experiential marketing events could be the next big thing to attract more aspirational consumers?
Experiential marketing events are already part of the marketing mix for all brands. How a brand leverages it, makes it cost effective, while delivering a life experience is what the entire game is all about.

Could you share an instance of an event that has greatly influenced Indian automobile industry / an example that illustrates the power of experiential event marketing when it comes to automobile industry?

Mahindra was one of the first in the country to have launched an experiential campaign called Mahindra Great Escape, back in 1993. The idea and the strategy were simple: the company encouraged customers to actually go on long drives on really any terrain. Today, on the basis of this, three Mahindra brands – Scorpio, Bolero and Thar occupy a unique space in the minds of Indians which is tough, rugged and macho.

Similarly, Royal Enfield has the same cult stature which many bike companies are trying to emulate, but nothing comes close to what they have achieved through the adventure journeys they curate today.

What would your advice be to automotive brands on incorporating experiential events into their marketing strategy?

The world is changing even faster than we can fathom and with smart interfaces, driver less technologies, battery operating systems, AI etc. one thing that stays at the root of it all is the inherent human trait of emotion. This one single aspect drives the way with respect to how we feel when we like to own our ride. Creating high emotion driven experiential events will be the way to create stickiness with the customer and that necessarily doesn’t mean creating ordinary drive experiences like we have today.

Shobiz Creative Corner

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