5 tips to make a marketing splash this Holi

Happy Holi everyone!

With an estimated 440 million Indian millennials in India, a staggering 468,800 born in India residing in Australia (and many, many more by ancestry!) and more than 150 million Indians logged into Facebook at least once a month, the Indian diaspora is certainly a highly attractive target market.

And brands around the world are increasingly realising the enormous potential of targeting this audience during the upcoming Holi Festival – a time when they are particularly receptive.

Without further ado, here are 5 simple multicultural marketing tips to help your brand make a marketing splash this Holi.

  • Think outside the box to engage your community at the grassroots level

Grassroots community engagement is all about providing the means for people to engage directly and personally with one another around something meaningful – and what better time than at the many Holi festivals around the country?

During this time, the Indian diaspora is out and about, and highly connected. Creative, grassroots initiatives at festivals and during Holi have the power to do much more than just reach the audience with a bland message – they connect, engage and resonate to create lasting memories and brand loyalties.

There are a multitude of creative ways that a brand can engage and connect with their audience through below-the-line initiatives. For example, Bisleri Water recently tapped into the community/ grassroots power of Mumbai dabawallas (hot lunch delivery service). In their campaign, Bisleri bottles containing eco-friendly colours were distributed across the city to spread awareness for water conservation during Holi.

  • Tap into cultural insights and go beyond stereotyping

To paraphrase renowned author and speaker, Guy Kawasaki – One must understand what people are thinking, feeling and believing to enchant them. And nowhere is this truer than with the power of cutting-edge cultural insights – and the unique culture of the Indian diaspora.

This audience is deeply rooted and connected to their culture – a finding that we see again and again in our MCX Lifestyle survey (MultiConnexions’ proprietary planning and insight building tool to understand ongoing consumer behaviour).

Your audience looks at the world through a different cultural lens, and a brand that taps into cultural insights and goes beyond mere stereotyping will have a greater impact in the market.

  • Explore creating a bespoke, themed collection/ product or service

Festive periods such as Holi are often a time of increased consumption. People celebrating may travel more, call their friends and family more, purchase gifts, purchase special foods or clothing. The list goes on and on. As such, a brand that taps into these needs and insights by delving deeper – and creating winning bespoke, themed collections, products or services will likely perform very well.

For example, this year popular online discount website Snapdeal’s “Holi Store” has put together a complete collection of thoughtful items that people celebrating Holi will need before stepping out, while out enjoying the celebrations and all that is required to clean up after. This is such a simple initiative, but it is a winning strategy.

  • Stay on top of changes and trends – as your audience does!

Your audience is increasingly consuming content from many more places than the clunky PCs and print media of the past. While these mediums still have their place and are important, the device which is constantly glued to our hands – the smartphone screen – has the potential to build a truly interactive and personal experience with your audience.

Mobile marketing, retargeting, data, SEO, influencer marketing, apps, social media and more – these are the newer ways of targeting your audience, and Holi is no exception. There have been some exceptional instances of brands embracing technology during Holi, with Asian Paints India developing a virtual reality Holi game app with ‘Tag-A-Friend’ functionality. The colours you could splash friends with incorporated the palette of colours provided by Asian Paints too!

Or what better Holi-related initiative than MultiConnexions very own Holi Facebook filter? Have you entered our competition yet? Check out MultiConnexions Facebook page!

  • Develop a relationship with your audience, and go beyond transactional ‘dipping in and out’

As a final, parting tip and thought – it is well worth mentioning that while Holi, Diwali and other festivals are a fantastic opportunity to connect with your audience at a time when they are particularly receptive, it is equally important to develop a meaningful and ongoing relationship with your audience.

New friends are often made at Holi when people splash each other with colour and laugh together – but if they never meet again, a real relationship cannot be forged. The same goes for brands.

Essentially, brands need to go beyond transactional ‘dipping in and out’ to a more year-round strategy. Relationships are key to the hearts and minds of many in the Asian and South Asian diaspora, and trust is the foundation of any good relationship.

To paraphrase motivational speaker Patricia Fripp, one doesn’t just close a sale, one opens a relationship!

This blog was written by MultiConnexions PR & Social Media Manager, Katrina Hall. Happy Holi everyone!

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