In Conversation with Jennifer Pandya
With a number of major players in the field, how does the brand sustain itself amidst the competition?
Shaadi.com is synonymous with the online match making category. But to stand out a brand needs to constantly reinvent itself. By taking a consumer centric approach in our product as well as communication we attempt to stay relevant to our target audience, and stay ahead of our competitors. Other than the conventional marketing activities our social & digital initiatives help us to create a differentiated brand. We believe that if we consistently create content that resonates with our consumers we will be successful in creating a niche for ourselves.
How did the initiative 'Shaadi Cares' help reposition the brand's image?
Shaadi Cares is our CSR initiative which provides us a platform to talk about things that Shaadi.com is passionate about. Be it our anti dowry campaigns like Angry Brides or Not For Sale, or Fast For Her which was a campaign that focussed on equality in marriage, we try and talk about issues that resonate with our target group. While that was not the intent, Shaadi Cares definitely helps us to build a relationship with our audience by talking about issues that directly affect them, hence giving a very human side to the brand.
We haven't seen any TVCs from Shaadi.com lately. What has been the recent thought process in the advertising strategy of the brand?
There’s a certain level of awareness and top-of-mind recall that Shaadi.com enjoys having been in the market for so many years and seeing almost 5 million Success Stories through. Our main strategy for the year gone by was to focus on social & digital content and create conversations around the brand, which we have managed to do successfully. We have used TV as more of a tactical media. We believe that every brand needs to have a well-thought, purposeful message to make a new TVC and as soon as we have something on the cards, I’m sure you’ll be watching it.
How good is your relationship with your agency (advertising) partners? What as per you, is the key to getting the best out of your communications agencies?
I would be lying if I say that it’s smooth going! I think the sign of a strong partnership is that two partners with strong point of views come to the table and create something magical. But the key is to understand that nobody knows media/creative better than them and nobody knows your brand better than you and each one must play their role and be allowed to do it well.
How integral is digital media for Shaadi.com? Do your social media campaigns result in a lot of customer engagement?
Being a digital brand, digital media is very important for us. All of India is going social – consuming content online takes up a fair share of time in our lives and we realise how important it is to be a part of that share. Our social media campaigns have high engagement and something that our consumers look forward to. I can confidently say that we are one of the frontrunners in the industry as far as social campaigns are concerned. We recently also won Social Samosa’s award for being amongst the top Social Brands in the Utility App space.
When not working, what is it that you like to occupy yourself with?
When I’m not working, I love spending time with my family – watching movies, reading books and exploring new places.