Pitch CMO Summit 2011: Flipkart –Selling in virtual space According to an estimate, Asian sub-continent which includesIndia and China is contributing over 44 per cent of the overall internet population of the world. The internetspace in India has grown about six times over the last decade. Along with this, the fast growing internet-friendly mobile base in India is adding more and more internet users in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.Obviously, the online population in the country is growing rapidly, and Flipkart, an e-commerce website,finds its potential customer in every internet user in India.The ChallengeBut the challenge for Flipkart was to talk to the right kind of potential customers in a right manner. Anotherchallenge for the brand was to engage more frequently as the average time spent on internet in India isstill very low in comparison to US and other western markets.Strategy and implementationAs an online player, Flipkart wanted to ensure that internet users not only notice the brand but also clickon it, engage with the brand, and eventually become its customer and place their orders.Ravi Vora, Marketing Head, Flipkart.com, feels that marketing activity for online space requires aseparate strategy and it should not be based on a percentage of the marketing budget. “Online space isvery different in nature and engagement with internet users is of utmost importance for an online player.Therefore, rather than going for a certain percentage of online marketing budget, a marketer should havea clear objective for online space.”“Just making audience to visit home page does not really yield any result. So, after a click, comes thelead and here lies an opportunity to get the customers registered for a brand, take them to activities onsocial media platforms, show them video ads and engage with them. This is how an e-commerce siteactually gets customers,” he adds.Considering that online formats work only when the TG is internet savvy, Flipkart basically targeted earlyteens and young adults which were adapting to the medium at a much faster rate than the rest of thepopulation. It designed messages in an informative way and kept the creative as simple as possible sothat the internet users can register the impression quickly. Ravi Vora, Marketing Head, Flipkart.com
Also, it segmented its TG and reached out to them through selected and niche websites. It worked on thegenre base targeting, as Vora says, “Psychographic mapping of the consumers worked better thandemographic. So, we figured out psychographics of our TG and then looked for the kind of sites ouraudience would be visiting.”For example, to reach out to male of SEC AB in the age group of 18-30, it went through entertainment,sports and social media sites. To approach males of over 35 years of age in SEC A, it used the sitesrelated to business news and finance. Similarly, it targeted housewives in the age group of 24-35 throughsocial media, cooking and recipe sites.ResultsThe website began with selling books from its website, but the products available on its website nowrange from electronic and consumer goods to mobile phones and laptops. With its engaging content,Flipkart website has close to nine lakh people on its page. On an average one and a half lakh people areinteracting with the brand though its Facebook page.