Baidyanath has seen a lot of new customers emerge who preferred the
offline model but now have entirely moved to online and are impressed by
it. Digital marketing is definitely going to become mainstream, and
companies will allot much higher budgets to digital than before – says
Siddhesh Sharma, President at Baidyanath in an interview with TalkCMO.

TCMO Bureau: How have the lockdowns affected the healthcare and wellness business sectors in India and globally? 

Most healthcare companies like ours come under essential services. So, we could operate at lesser capacities throughout the lockdown. Mostly, all industry players are going to suffer this year and won’t be able to achieve the targets they set for this financial year.

TCMO Bureau: During the lockdown, a record number of consumers shifted to online platforms. Does this move to digital during confinement indicate that consumers will increasingly prefer it to offline shopping model?

We all know the market share of digital purchases is going to grow with time; it’s inevitable. Due to COVID-19 and the current circumstances, we are seeing this growth to be much faster than anticipated. Considering our business as well, we have seen a significant jump in online sales, which is up to 15% during the lockdown. We have seen a lot of new customers emerge who preferred the offline model but now have completely moved to online and are impressed by it.

TCMO Bureau: Has Baidyanath witnessed an uptick in first-time consumers or established customers’ usage in online shopping, despite limited delivery options?

We’ve seen a significant jump in online sales, especially for our immunity-boosting products. Traditionally, our customers have mostly been offline buyers. But we’ve seen huge online purchases during the lockdown. Our online partners have also strategically put Ayurveda in the forefront and given more visibility to our products. While lots of our established customers moved to online, we’ve seen huge demand from first-time consumers as well. These are fairly new to the world of Ayurveda and are willing to give it a shot.

TCMO Bureau: Do you see Baidyanath reconsidering its omnichannel strategy, in the post-COVID-19 era?

To be honest, we have been building our omnichannel strategy very seriously for the past couple of years. It’s critical for the growth of a brand like ours, and we will continue to build this in the post-Coronavirus era. In today’s world, all brands who aspire to create a dent in the market place need to have a strong omnichannel strategy and execute it seamlessly.

TCMO Bureau: If the online shopping behavior is likely to become permanent, what changes does this herald for marketers? How can companies use technology to manage their marketing budgets judiciously?

This is the time for innovation and thinking out of the box. We can see tech companies like Zomato, Swiggy introduce new ways to take consumer products to its customers. Consumer brands have to adopt a new route to market strategies that are going to be tech-enabled.
Digital marketing is definitely going to become mainstream, and companies will allot much higher budgets to digital than before. Organized retail chains will have an edge since they can service their customer base through their own e-commerce channels. Marketers will have plenty of new avenues online to spend their budgets and create brand awareness with relevant consumers.

TCMO Bureau: How is Baidyanath realizing the digital marketing potential to improve the ability to personalize offers to customers, prioritize sales pipelines, and improve sales activities? 

We are now using all digital marketing tools available in order to increase our online presence. This is, of course, being done with a strong strategy in place, which is going to give us results in the long term. We have over 1000 plus SKUs. So we have several packages targeted for specific customer needs that can be served through the online channel.

TCMO Bureau: Will more companies invest in data and analytics marketing solutions, especially predictive analytics, virtual sales, pricing, and promo thresholds, and sales effectiveness?

I certainly foresee this. We are meeting some bright young companies that are building these analytical solutions and are able to demonstrate them effectively. There’s no doubt that tech is the future, decisions that were taken purely by gut feel will be more data driven.