Maruti Suzuki revs up for growth: New marketing chief Partho Banerjee hints at soaring ad spends

Maruti Suzuki's new Head – Marketing and Sales Partho Banerjee talks about increasing market share, growth strategy, campaign success and rising ad spends in a two-part interview with Storyboard18.

By  Tasmayee Laha RoyApr 13, 2024 6:58 PM
Maruti Suzuki revs up for growth: New marketing chief Partho Banerjee hints at soaring ad spends
Under Banerjee's leadership Maruti Suzuki will prioritise a customer-centric approach, ensuring all efforts, from brand building to product intervention, are closely aligned with consumer needs.

Auto major Maruti Suzuki just made changes in its executive ranks with Partho Banerjee taking over as the new Head – Marketing and Sales. Banerjee who was earlier the Head of Service has a sharp focus on sustainability and targeted campaigns.

In an interview with Storyboard18, Banerjee discusses the success of Fronx and Jimny campaigns, which doubled the brand's SUV market share in the country. He also touches upon the the future direction of Maruti Suzuki's marketing strategy, fuelled by an increased budget.

Edited excerpts:

As the new head of marketing and sales, what are your top priority areas for the upcoming year in terms of driving growth and enhancing brand positioning in the market?

As the head of marketing and sales, my primary focus is to maintain our current momentum even as our industry is inching towards muted growth this year for a variety of reasons.

To achieve this, we'll prioritise a customer-centric approach, ensuring all our efforts, from brand building to product intervention, are closely aligned with consumer needs.

Moving on to the two big launches of the year, what are the key strategies that contributed to the successful launches of Front and Jimmy models in India, and how do you plan to build upon this success in future launches?

Let's talk about our recent launches. The Fronx campaign, in particular, has been a tremendous success. It's helped us achieve a significant jump in SUV market share, from 10 percent to 20 percent. The campaign's focus on design resonated well with our target audience. Fronx has become the fastest-selling car in India, reaching a sales figure of over 1 lakh units in just 10 months. This is a testament to the effectiveness of the campaign and our ability to connect with customers. The Jimny campaign was also very well received.

With four strong SUVs in our portfolio and a 20 percent market share, we're now the number two player in the segment.

Maruti’s campaigns keep getting bigger every year, are marketing and ad spends also growing? What is the media mix like?

In fiscal year 2023 (ending March 31, 2024), our total marketing spend amounted to approximately Rs1100 crore. To provide a breakdown, television advertising received roughly 35 percent of the budget, followed by digital marketing at 30-33 percent. Print media accounted for approximately 18 percent, with the remaining budget allocated to other channels. We are definitely anticipating an increase in marketing spend for the coming fiscal year.

Watch out for the full interview on Storyboard18

First Published on Apr 13, 2024 5:26 PM

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