After the U.S. and China, India ranks as the 3rd largest consumer market in the world! That being said, it is not surprising that there lies enormous profit potential for companies looking to market to the people of India IF done correctly.
One key insight that brands should consider when looking to use social media to market to India is the ever-growing population of the “Middle-class”. Some have reported an estimated 350 million “Middle-Class” people in the country while other experts report that that figure is a myth and in fact, (by American standards) there is only approximately 60 million “Middle Class” people living in India. At any rate, McKinsey and company predicts that by 2025 there will be 500 million middle-class Indians. These reports offer a significant enough figures for any company or brand to seriously consider when proposing a marketing plan for their product or service in India.
Wikipedia defines middle class as:
The broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socioeconomically between the working class and upper class. This socioeconomic class encompasses the sub-classes of lower middle, middle middle, and upper middle, and includes professionals, highly skilled workers, and management. As in all socioeconomic classes, the middle class is associated with a shared and complex set of cultural values… In other class societies, middle class refers to people between the laboring masses and the ruling class.
Focusing on the right target audience and researching the behaviors and interests of that market will be the first step in any brand succeeding in marketing in India. Companies who focus on this target group from a marketing standpoint will be positioning themselves for success, but what is the BEST approach to take to appealing to this audience?
The Middle Class has proven to be the drivers and innovators of changes in India and what they like and prefer is clearly setting the precedence of what is demand and what is not in this country. The acquisition of credit, cars (in which they can be chauffeured), condominiums and vacations are a few elements that are driving forces among this demographic group.
Appealing to these interests in such away that promotes Indian culture and values is what is fast proving to be the most effective strategy. In other words, products that cater to the needs and interests of the people and making them “Indian-friendly”. For example: Instead of chicken Nuggets, market Chick-pea nuggets. 🙂
On a final note, the readings suggest that Indians appreciate subtly and indirectness in their consumer marketing/advertising. Using Social Media platforms, particularly those that an be accessed by cell phone, can prove to offer the subtly and indirectness that is most appreciated in Indian culture as opposed to traditional media tactics because the content will be created and accessed by the people who are interested instead of being force fed to everybody at once.