India’s No.1 toothpaste brand –Colgate which is a sub-brand of Colgate Palmolive is an oral hygiene product line of toothpastes, mouthwashes as well as dental floss. The company sold its first Colgate toothpaste in the year 1873 and since then it has been India’s most preferred dental care line of product. Highly recommended by dentists across the country, Colgate is a popular brand of Toothpaste in India. The popular statement –‘Dentists ka sujhaya hua number 1 brand’ speaks for the popularity and recommendation quotient of this brand. Moreover, Colgate has been ranked as the 17th most trusted toothpaste brand in India by The Brand Trust Report.
Business Objectives of Colgate
Listed below are the business objectives defined by Colgate:
- To generate awareness about oral hygiene in rural India’s population
- To lay emphasize on benefits of using toothpaste on a regular basis instead of traditional natural products.
- To increase toothpaste penetration in rural India.
Approach/Strategy Adopted by Colgate
Big gatherings in India are the best place to find people altogether, especially in the rural areas. The Maha Kumbh Mela which is world’s largest gathering of humanity ever is the greatest show on earth. Hindu pilgrims turn up in huge number at the Maha Kumbh Mela. Big brands such as Eveready, Airtel, Coca-Cola, Alpenliebe, Honda, Britannia, Dabur, Lifebuoy, Idea etc. marked their presence at the Mela.
Colgate was amongst them who had set-up its consumer interaction outlet in the form of a mobile booth. However, to stand out from the rest of the brands, Colgate had to do something different to grab the attention of the masses and make the interaction engaging and interesting. This triggered Colgate to think something apart from the usual cliché traditional ways of marketing. Undoubtedly, there were several challenges that Colgate had to face and the solutions to which they discovered:
Challenge 1 –What is the best media vehicle to reach out to them?
Solution – The ubiquitous mobile phone was the only medium that the pilgrims carried along with them always.
Challenge 2 – Most of the pilgrims belonged to low-literacy rural areas, so what could have been the attraction hook?
Solution – Colgate came up with the solution of implementing voice-based communication.
Challenge 3 –How could Colgate target millions of devotees who arrived from different parts of the country? How to know about their whereabouts?
Solution – Location based targeting was the option to which Colgate could resort to.
It was then that the Maha Kumbh Mela was turned into the Maha Tech Mela by Colgate wherein it tagged three cell towers around the Maha Kumbh Mela and created a virtual circle of 3-5 kilometers radius to enable precise targeting. With a limited budget of $8,000, Colgate had to put its best foot forward by being extremely strategic in its mobile marketing campaign.
Thus, all those local Airtel subscribers or those roaming on Airtel connection who entered the virtual circle set-up by Colgate were targeted instantly. Furthermore, those devotees received a call personally from the legendary Indian radio personality Amin Sayani. While on the call, Amin would tell them to visit the Colgate booth and get Rs. 10/- small pack of India’s #1 anti-cavity toothpaste. Not only this, the pilgrims could even get a chance to win exciting prizes while having fun at the Mela.
Results Achieved by Colgate
The brand managed to conduct successful mobile marketing under a prescribed budget. This concept worked really well for Colgate and pilgrims in huge number turned up at Colgate’s booth. Thus, through the massive word of mouth publicity and personal call to the devotees enabled an altogether new avenue for the company to reach out to the consumers. Within the limited budget mount, Colgate successfully managed to interact with new customers, only through mobile marketing.
During the Maha Kumbh Mela, Colgate’s strategic mobile marketing technique thus attracted foot traffic to such an extent that the visitors rate increased by over 300% of the pre-promotion period. All in all, this campaign attracted over 7,00,000 visitors.
To overcome poor media penetration in rural Indian villages, Colgate leveraged upon mobile marketing to reach out to the rural consumers to convey the message of benefits of oral hygiene. Ideally, this was the very first time in India, when a brand leveraged upon location based voice communication and that too to a roaming subscriber.