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Brand building and intent marketing work in tandem—not as standalone strategies

5 min read




Rajiv Dubey, the veteran media and marketing professional with over three decades of rich experience, heads Media at the homegrown brand Dabur. In an interview with afaqs!, he shares his belief over the sync between brand building and intent marketing, the behavioural shifts in customers, the necessity for clutter-breaking strategies, an anecdote on how he discovered Quora and leveraging influencer marketing- a refreshing take from an over a century old brand.

Rajiv is the latest guest to join us in our thought-leadership initiative Marketing Thought Leaders, in partnership with Quora For Business. The series aims to highlight a marketer’s mindset to reach a high-intent audience and the dynamics of consumer behaviour.

The following has been edited for brevity and clarity.

One of the biggest marketing/business goals today is to ‘find buyers who are ready to buy’. What’s your thought and strategy to leverage intent marketing?

Intent marketing works best for businesses ready to move to call-to-action basis. It is a low-hanging fruit that brands want to encash, but it works best in tandem with brand building and not as a standalone strategy. It is a lower end of the funnel marketing that helps in the last mile conversion.

At Dabur, we do a mix of both. Most of our budgets are allocated to brand building and demand creation because of our massive and diverse presence. However, specifically for digital customers or eCommerce, Intent marketing has helped with a quick conversation.

Now that the ‘new normal’ trend has settled, what are some of the shifts in consumer behaviour that you have observed with your TG?

The biggest change was that the modern trade customers moved away. Another behaviour change was that businesses moved to online—third party resellers or marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, etc. This has happened at the cost of other businesses—for example, organised retail which was non-functional for some time.

Now, we can see muted growth in both—modern trade and eCommerce; the pace is not as fast as we witnessed in 2020 or 2021. Other businesses like general trade are on the rise. Business volumes have not been that significant across the FMCG category, the pie remains more or less the same. New mediums have thrived at the cost of other mediums.

Today digital has become a marketer’s favourite in the media mix. What are your thoughts on social media marketing?

At Dabur, the major part of our digital marketing is through social media which includes substantial spending and efforts on influencer marketing. We associate with thousands of influencers across the mega, micro and nano categories.

Lately, platforms like Quora (for Business) have gained traction among marketers for its high-intent audience. What are your thoughts on brands leveraging such new-age platforms?

Quora is an upcoming medium that has strong engagement levels. The audience of the platform is very well-informed and uses it regularly. The time spent on Quora I believe would be higher than any other social media medium.

What are the consumer trends that can impact marketing in 2023?

Platforms have become difficult for viewers to consume content because of the sheer number of ads and in India, the number of paid subscribers is still low. CTV is promising but lacks growth for now. As per the latest KPMG report, it has a user base of only about 14 million. Hence, Clutter breaking strategies and platforms would be a big trend going ahead with both consumers and advertisers.

Livestream IPL for free will be a game changer. Watching sports digitally has not been free in this country and that’s something to watch out for.

Another trend to continue is the position of regional GECs for an FMCG advertiser like us. The TV penetration in regional markets is massive, about 80-90%. These channels still hold a significant share of the market with high spillover.

How can brands take a thought leadership position on Quora to communicate their objective in a more integrated and one-on-one approach?

Brands can take a thought leadership position on Quora by consistently providing informative and valuable answers to relevant questions within their industry or topic of expertise. This can establish the brand as a trusted source of information and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

Brands can also create their own content in the form of Quora articles or blog posts to share their perspective on industry trends and issues. Engaging with users by responding to comments and questions can also help to build a one-on-one connection with the audience.

Here are a few more specific ways that a brand can establish thought leadership on Quora:

  • Identify key topics related to your industry
  • Create detailed and informative answers
  • Share insights and perspectives
  • Respond to and engage with users
  • Share your content

Brands should leverage platforms such as Quora in order to communicate their objectives and build thought leadership. Brands can create content in the form of Quora articles or blog posts, and engage with users by responding to comments and questions.

Check the Quora for Business Resource Library to learn more.


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