Mahindra has been almost synonymous to tractors as the company has retained its market leadership in the domestic market for the past many decades. 4Ps B&M tries to explore how the on-ground activations are helping the company to keep its flag high in the Indian market while keeping the Mahindra brand close to its target consumer
It was in October 2009, that the largest player in the Indian tractors market, Mahindra & Mahindra gave a shot at tackling the much-worrying problem of the perception of using faulty hydraulics in its tractors among its TG. Labeled as the ‘Hytech campaign’, the company chose to opt for an on-ground activation activity to pass its message across the prospective consumer. It did a live telecast on the LCD screen to show how the technology in Mahindra products work. The campaign was initially started in the sub-urban and rural parts of Rajasthan which was later followed by several regions of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Soon after the campaign was kicked off, it started to reflect positive results as the aspirational image that Mahindra has been carrying among its consumers for the past many years is intact even today. In fact, if you are a believer of numbers speak louder than words theory, then as the Indian tractors market clocked 4 lakh units last fiscal, M&M stood tall on the pole position with a 42% market share selling 1,60,000 units. While the campaign is still going on in the various parts of the country, it has surely been very effective as far as the impact on the mind of the consumer is concerned. “Keeping in mind the low reach in the rural parts of the country as compared to the urban regions, on-ground activations serve as a perfect medium to touch base with the target consumer,” explains Sanjeev Goyle, Sr. VP – Marketing, Farm Equipment Sector, M&M. However, it is indeed very interesting to note how the various BTL activities that the company has been doing for a very long time is helping the tractor major to retain its crown in the Indian tractors market.

As far as its media mix is concerned, the company spends close to 55% of its total spends on above the line advertising while a healthy 45% share is committed towards the BTL activities. In fact, keeping in mind that the rural consumer is considered to be quite receptive in its nature and has more time as compared to its urban counterpart, BTL activities are considered to be one of the best medium to touch base with the target consumer by many marketers. It may be noted here that companies like Hero Honda and Maruti Suzuki, the respective market leaders in the two-wheelers and passenger cars segment have seperate marketing division catering to the rural parts of the country. “Mahindra focuses on two different aspects in its on-ground activations. One is aimed at strengthening the M&M brand altogether while the other focuses on establishing separate brands among the TG,” said Priya Monga, Business Head, RC&M Pvt. Ltd, an experiential marketing company that has worked on several rural marketing campaigns. Hytech was only one of the activity in a handful of innovative dope that the company has been giving to the rural consumer. The company also organises the Mahindra Mahotsav on an annual basis that moves from village to village as it creates a set-up of a carnival for the people staying in the villages. “Mahindra Mahotsav is one of the best on-ground activations that M&M has done in the past years. In fact, it is as a day-out activity for the rural consumer and hence it focuses beyond selling and buying of tractors,” added Goyle. In fact, there are brands like Airtel, ICICI and Nokia that have participated in the event in the years gone by and provides a perfect platform for several companies to get closer to their TG.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2010.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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