Marketing in India

Vijayalaxmi Hegde
MultiLingual March 2017
Core Focus

When you’re considering marketing in India, you need to consider important trends in Indian consumer culture, the eCommerce scene and how you can adopt a nuanced localization approach.

Digital is seen as intrusive

While inbound marketing practices are slowly catching up, advertisements and other traditional marketing channels cannot be ruled out. But, hey — no cold calling! That's not going to work in any market, not even India’s, despite the fact that a lot of cold calling gets outsourced to the country....

Indian markets are fast becoming dominated by Chinese companies in various verticals, especially in mobile phones and apps. Used to a highly competitive atmosphere back home, these companies have been innovative in how they work in the Indian market. Junde Yu, managing director of App Annie for the Asia-Pacific region, told Tech in Asia in March 2016 that the latest tactic Chinese app companies are trying is to partner with other Chinese companies that have active users in China to distribute in India. These distribution channel partnerships definitely reduce user acquisition costs, grabbing up tens or hundreds of millions of active users in many emerging markets such as India.

eCommerce parallels

eCommerce companies, whether Indian or not, have had to try many new tricks to remain in the game. A couple of years ago, Myntra, an apparel retailer that’s a part of Flipkart, went completely mobile. It shuttered its website and forced people to download the app. Never mind that the approach didn't work; it still was a bold and unprecedented move in the world of online retail.

Amazon itself hasn't shied away from learning from and collaborating with the local market. To serve its customers in distant villages, it partnered with mom-and-pop shops — India has more than 14 million of them, usually smaller than 600 square feet. People come to these shops, use the shop owner's internet connection to look up items on Amazon, and then place the order through the owner's Amazon account. The goods are then shipped to the shop and the buyer picks them up....