Vivek B Srivatsa On Effective Digital Engagement

BW Autoworld caught up with Vivek B Srivatsa, Head-Marketing, Passenger Cars, Tata Motors to talk about digital engagement, influencers and of course, The Harrier.

The Tata Harrier SUV launched in January 2019, has seen over 10,000 cars sold till date. The latest accessory introduced for the car is the electric sunroof that consumers can get at the Tata Motors Dealership. BW Autoworld caught up with Vivek B Srivatsa, Head-Marketing, Passenger Cars, Tata Motors to talk about digital engagement, influencers and of course, Harrier. 

What are your thoughts on brands using influencers?

What Influencers do is similar to what a brand-ambassador or celebrity endorsements do in the offline world. Basically, help you piggyback on somebody famous who has a lot of fan-following so that your brand can shout from a higher roof-top. I think it is a way of life given that the digital world has democratized people’s choices. However, there are negatives to this also, the first point of concern for me as a marketer is how to assess their authenticity.

Initially, like all companies, we went all out with influencers but over a period of time we have learnt the game better. We focus and work only with genuine influencers.

How do you engage with consumers?

We approach engagement at Tata Motors in a calibrated manner. Too much engagement is a bad thing. You need to be present when your brand is relevant, being available always and in the face belittles the brand completely. You are reduced to a spammer. Having said that, it is very easy in today’s world to be a spammer but more difficult to be selectively available.

Brands need to build filters to reach out to people only when they are needed, but also be in their mind when not needed. It is this very aspect of creating that balance, which becomes challenging. How do you create situations where you can still remind them of your brand when they are not looking for you and still be relevant? I think this is the code to crack in reaching- out online. A continuous learning process, I believe creative content development married with the right kind of data slicing is the secret.

For instance, safety is one of our biggest pillars. Tata cars today are among the safest cars in the country. There is one particular product of ours- Tata Nexon, which is the first five-star safety car. How do we promote it? We make use of every opportunity to keep making interesting content about Nexon, which fits with the customer who prioritizes safety.

What did the Harrier engagement strategy entail?

For Harrier, we invested heavily in digital. We started almost a year before the launch. Harrier was launched in January this year, but it was in February last year that the concept car was showcased at the auto-expo. Harrier is a product for which we created engagement using only digital, before the launch we did not hire influencers, we did it purely on the quality of the content and Instagram helped us a lot. After the launch, we went offline into television and also partnered with IPL. 

We have a large focus on experiential. The more we get people to touch and feel, the easier it is for them to understand the product. We are a design-led organisation and invest a lot in the design of our cars.  

Harrier Engagement parameters :

  • The Auto Expo Concept Showcase resulted in 10K+ conversations across platforms
  • The name reveal activity for the Harrier recorded the highest number of interactions for the brand, for any single activity outside IPL i.e. 19,60,759
  • Post the name reveal of the Harrier there was generally a high buzz for the car with news/blog mentions being very high as well as a healthy influx of queries from users about the price, launch, availability and features of the SUV
  • The ‘Discover The Harrier’ program, which involved on-ground customer previews of the vehicle generated a strong engagement online. The campaign reached an audience of 15.3M+
  • The brand was successful in garnering a total of 81,67,668 interactions from its pre-launch campaigns and innovative videos
  • Prior to the launch of the Harrier, the number of followers on the Tata Motors Instagram account was 37,650. Immediately after the launch, the number of followers increased and reached 54,620. The current followers on Instagram stand at 92,270.
  • Celebrity associations during IPL worked very well for the brand resulting in high audience engagement. The activities also helped Harrier to reach to more than 9.7M+ audience


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