The cosmetics industry has boomed in India in the last two decades. Some trace it back to India’s win in international beauty pageants and the arrival of multinational companies around the same time. That could be a cynical association, but the truth is that this is where the Indian cosmetics industry really took off.
The figures are more than obvious. Like every industry in India, this is also that crucial point when the Indian markets opened up. From the same old tired brands with their 2.1 products, we were suddenly inundated with more choices than ever before. In current terms, the cosmetics manufacturers in India have grown at an incredible 54% since 1995!
However, we have to keep in mind that the market is changing all the time. While the rate of growth in the industry has been a steady 7-8% over the years, the very nature of the market is slowly, but inevitably changing. Now we have even more competition, the market itself has segmented with multiple players and we also have a bigger access to domestic and international markets than ever before.
This has also forced the companies to change their marketing tactics. While the demographic may have remained largely constant, their habits, interests and influences are changing. Consequently, the marketing strategies have also changed. We now need multiple channels to connect with the users. While conventional channels like magazines and TV are not going anywhere anytime soon, the truth is that content and with it, advertising is also slowly moving towards the digital world.
A remarkable difference here is the advent of social media. While other strategies have remained consistent, barring few changes here and there, this was a development that no one could have foreseen two decades ago. It has significantly changed the way we now interact and connect with the consumers.
Connecting with consumers:
Through social media we have a way to connect with consumers like never before. Today a marketing campaign sees SMO as a critical part, not an option revolutionary tactic. The truth is that we can no longer afford to miss the way many people today choose to spend their free time — on social media. Social media is hence, used to connect with people in many ways. We can also run a much targeted marketing campaign through social media where we the campaign targets people who search for similar products.
Tying up with bloggers:
One of the hottest developments in social media is the emergence of bloggers. What started as a means of self-publishing and random musings of every man or woman, it is now a highly specialized space where people are writing and publishing specialized content. So, now we have bloggers who specialize in cosmetics and personal care.
These bloggers have massive online communities. Increasingly now, skin care products manufacturers are tying-up with these bloggers to reach their followers. This is a highly targeted market where we know that the listener is already interested in our product category. Endorsement form an expert blogger only adds to the marketing weight. In fact, many companies today hold one-on-one events or special promotions for bloggers to attract them.
Using pictures boards:
In a glamour or lifestyle product segment like cosmetics, pictures can tell a thousand words. In real life, we have limited avenues to show this. Print ads can carry only so much and the same goes for TV. But on internet, it is almost unlimited. Best of all, it is free. So, whether it is a Pinterest board or an Instagram account, cosmetics companies are using these as their marketing and communication tool.
Creating informative content:
Social media gives one an opportunity to create informative content which can be used as marketing tool or as a simple tactic to connect with the user. This includes videos on YouTube or other videos uploaded on Facebook or campaigns launched on micro blogging sites like Twitter.
Using forums for market research:
Social media is also a useful tool for market research. Many researchers use special forums to form special interest group. These are highly focused group that commit to the time-frame of the research. The internet gives research the access to a really wide pool which is not constrained by geographical boundaries.
With a changing market, cosmetic manufacturers India are using the social media in many interesting ways, such as connecting with consumers, conducting market research and reaching out to high interest groups.