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PepsiCo bets big on digital brand building in India

By Ankush Chibber , 23-Feb-2012
Last updated on 23-Feb-2012 at 18:25 GMT

Digital marketing innovation and a strong, direct relationship with consumers is key to successful brand building and sales force in India, according to PepsiCo.

Shiv Singh, global head of digital, PepsiCo, said that the company is adopting innocative methods in India to tap into the potential of social media, speaking at the Ad Tech Summit in Gurgaon in the National Capital Region. “India is a unique place and market. There have been a lot of mistakes made around the world in terms of digital marketing. India does not have to make the same mistakes,” Singh said.

Debunking the old adage of brand building being measured by advertising spends, he said that the company is not looking at the Indian market through that lens but is instead focused on making digital innovations its spearhead.

Singh gave the example of the company’s use of Facebook during the Cricket World Cup in India last year, and said that PepsiCo was the most recognised brands during the event.

"We got an award from Facebook on that. We are using social media in a big way [in India] for building brand equity,” he added.

Consumer relationship important

For a food and beverage brand, it is important to talk directly to the consumer, Singh said.

It is important to have a direct relationship with consumers and not simply outsource it to an agency, he added

“Digital media should be used for real time marketing and we use this medium both for brand building and generating sales."

PepsiCo currently uses a piecemeal approach in India, he said, whereby multiple agencies are used for different brands and products in India.

Singh however declined to disclose the amount PepsiCo spends on digital marketing in India and elsewhere when asked by reporters.

It varies from market to market,” he said, but PepsiCo spends “both to drive sales and build distribution.”

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