What has been the most interesting sales promotion you have engineered so far?
The 'Dal on Call' service is an unique initiative to reach out to our target audience. Through this initiative, we ensure that the aesthetically packed and clean I-Shakti pulses (dal) are delivered at the customer's doorstep within 48 hours of placing the order. The initiative, which started last year, has allowed us to connect with our consumers through the toll free number 1800 108 4488, which we provided to facilitate the ease of ordering the natural farm fresh Tata I-Shakti unpolished pulses. While the promotion is also online, the real differentiator was tying up with the Mumbai dabbawallas in the first phase of the promotion. They are the symbol for delivering delicious, fresh food on time without any error for over a century. Our association with Mumbai dabbawallas for the 'Dal on Call' service turned out to be a great fit. Through this partnership, we got Mumbai dabbawallas to mark lunchboxes of Mumbaikars with 'Dal on Call' tags to give details of the promotional offer. This helped to convey the message of ordering healthy and nutritious legumes at home to a large number of households.
Who did you primarily target with it - new or existing customers or both?
Our primary target are the health conscious individuals. By offering the ease of ordering the product offline and online, we are attracting the new consumer base too.
What kind of promotion was it?
The promotion used the offline and online space for reaching out to a wide section of the audience. As people are not aware of the health benefits of unpolished pulses, our aim was to ensure that the message reached out to as many consumers as possible. The ground activation with the dabbawallas helped us achieve that goal.
Why was it designed so?
Our research showed that very often when people visited the local grocer, they would manually carry back large, heavy packs of pulses for their family. Even if the home delivery system was in place with the neighbourhood kirana store, the missing link was the consumer not having enough knowledge or idea about the quality of the legumes. What they ordered is what they got. Then, there is no 'brand' connect in this category, something that we wanted to introduce through our superior quality of pulses. The 'Dal on Call' service allowed not just ease of ordering the legumes on phone or through the internet, it also took away some of the drudgery of grocery shopping, fulfilled the aim of educating the consumer about the brand. The backend for this meant setting up call centres to take orders from the toll free number that was provided. Our payment mode was cash on delivery.
What were the challenges?
The branded pulses business is dominated by unorganised, unbranded players. The challenge during the promotion was to ensure that we had a wide reach, with people getting to know about our branded pulses and actually picking up the phone or going ahead and ordering it and becoming repeat consumers. The task of growing the branded pulses category is not easy but it is also the biggest opportunity and it is precisely for this reason that we carefully planned the promotion.
Who partnered you in it?
We tied up with logistic and last mile delivery partners who are in the e-retail delivery business. We took the route of advertising on traditional and online media. Given that we already have a partnership for a show on television channel Food Food, we ensured that there was enough buzz around the promotion.
How effective was the exercise? Don't sales promotions incur high long-term costs for the company?
Any initiative or promotion by a company involves investment but you must remember that if the intention is to grow the category, the right promotion can actually give back good results. In the first year of the launch of this initiative 2013), we reached out to over 10,000 consumers in Mumbai and Delhi. The demand for our branded pulses is growing by 10 per cent every month and roughly 50 per cent of consumers who place the order once come back to place repeat orders. We have now launched the service in Bangalore and plan to expand it to other cities.
"Dal on Call" Aim
To grow the category of farm fresh and unpolished pulses and make people aware of its health benefits
Health conscious individuals
I-Shakti pulses (dal) are delivered at the customer's doorstep within 48 hours of placing the order. Consumers can connect through the toll free number 1800 108 4488 to place an order
The demand for our branded pulses is growing by 10 per cent every month and roughly 50 per cent of consumers who place the order once come back to place repeat orders
The Source - business-standard.com