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Q&A with Interactive Avenues’ Aparna Tadikonda




“Today, consumers are well-informed, they know what they want already, what brands need to put their money behind, is the consideration and conversion phases.”

Aparna Tadikonda – Executive VP, Interactive Avenues

Quora for Business recently partnered with Social Samosa to host a webinar to reflect on Festive Marketing trends in India, the webinar saw industry experts like Aparna Tadikonda – Executive Vice President – Interactive Avenues share insights on how brands are reaching well informed consumers

Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

What are some of your observations on consumers in the post pandemic world and how can brands leverage platforms like Quora to reach these consumers?

After compromising during the last two years during the pandemic, 20% more consumers will spend in 2022.

If you look at the consumer’s media and content consumption habits, that itself has changed over the last two years and it is only going to keep evolving. Consumers are spending a lot of time watching content on Youtube, OTT platforms. They’re spending more and more time on social media and the newer platforms too, that are both in English as well as regional languages. The time spent on online research is really increasing. They’re comparing prices, looking at reviews and peer recommendations, and are making nuanced purchase decisions. On an average, one consumer has averaged close to about nine apps on their smartphone, it’s a very interesting behavior to slice and dice. A lot of data and therefore data becomes that much more significant for brands.

This year is a very critical time, because advertisers are bullish and the amount they spend on digital marketing is only going to bring a lot more returns than usual. It is important for brands to tap into the right medium and platforms that are addressing these differentiated consumer needs.

Top-of-mind awareness has always been a go-to approach for effective marketing but I don’t think that that alone can just be the strategy anymore. Right now, we need to look at deeper engagement with consumers across levels and activate differentiated strategies based on their needs. That’s where intent-based platforms like Quora become hugely relevant. 

What are some tips on how brands should be looking at intent based platforms? Is there something specific that they should be chasing?

Intent marketing itself is quite nuanced, there are all kinds of users with different intent, the strategies in terms of converting them will need to be extremely different. Brands have to pitch your content strategy accordingly.

Having a full funnel strategy is extremely important, which means it’s not just going to be enough to create awareness in the top funnel, you also need to understand your consumers.
Pre-festive is really an important time and brands are all looking at ROI based models which help them build awareness,consideration to conversion.

Today, because of the explosion of data there is accessibility of measuring the success of campaigns in different ways. Messaging strike strategies are what brands shall come up with and for that they need to understand their audience. Brands these days are really coming up with different messaging strategies and it’s not as simple as just making one video ad and running it (Vanilla marketing). Marketers to truly make it through the festive season need to know messaging strategies and the offerings need to be sliced in dice to enter the full funnel conversion strategy. 

What are some of the ad spend trends that you’ve seen this year or you foresee this year? According to you, which are some of the categories which would be the biggest spenders in this time frame?

E-commerce continues to be the largest share of spends, when you talk about festive you see brands like Amazon and Flipkart compete. The festive season is not only about loyalty but also about customers getting the best price and good deals.

Largely, brands are trying to re-look at what is the ROI that this approach is trying to give back. While TV will continue to be spent on, at a threshold-level, brands are also talking about how to drive the best ROI. Considering the spending e-commerce is giving, digital will get disproportionate spends. Categories of e-commerce like beauty, apparel, electronic devices, mobile phones, continue to be a large part of festive spends. It’s a very deal-driven approach and therefore brands need to study what are the various strategies to actually convert.

I think platforms like Quora can really play a relevant role in various kinds of categories. Compared to the last few years, brands are watching out where they’re spending. ROI is all brands are cautious about.

How do you see brands leveraging the power of intent and refine their marketing efforts or optimize what brands have been doing so far?

Brands need to know various audience segments with respect to questions that people are asking on the platform.

Brands shall help consumers take that decision to choose the right product. Brand’s ad formats and messaging needs to be different. Data-led marketing is a very loose word that people use, but, at the same time, it is about the power of how you use data. Don’t just have one video or one educational content and state it for customers, you need to be able to invest and understand what kind of content is suitable for what kind of audience.

Share your thoughts on how brands should be approaching custom marketing this season. What are some strategic pointers for brands to look at?

Brands should focus on a very healthy media mix, because it’s not about TV versus digital or print. As you progress through the festive season, your strategies, media mixes, brand communication and content strategies need to be very different. It’s not like you create something and you run it for two months. It’s a differentiated pattern in terms of how consumers look at different phases of festive marketing.

Brands should have faith in one specific medium to gain ROI. Often getting into tried and tested mediums, they give up halfway. To get ROI from a specific channel, brands need to put that faith in the media mix and need to put their faith in digital platforms.


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