Demonetisation was the only thing talked about across India in November-December, 2016. The brand that shares top of mind recall with ‘Demonetisation’ currently is ‘Paytm‘ digital wallet. There are many digital wallets in India but Paytm was one of the first movers and a heavy ad spender. This ensured everyone KNEW brand Paytm but demonetisation has ensured everyone TRIES the product atleast once.
Between Nov. 10 and Dec. 20, Paytm added over 20 million new users, taking its total user base to 170 million. Within two weeks of the demonetisation announcement, the company, which is backed by China’s Alibaba Group, was racking up over seven million transactions per day—more than the combined average daily usage of India’s 24.5 million credit cards and 661.8 million debit cards.
But the company’s dream run over the next few weeks wasn’t quite the fairytale.
This sudden success stirred up some trouble for Paytm and its CEO. Over the past few weeks, Sharma and Paytm have come under fire for everything from insensitive advertising and technical glitches to allegations of an alleged copyright infringement and incidents of fraud and cheating- Quartz
Paytm’s Branding and Marketing
Technical issues aside, from a purely brand positioning and brand recall point of view, it scores beautifully. From the time it entered the market, it has been trying to make Paytm a verb, a la Google. Hence, the tagline ‘Paytm Karo’. These days, people usually say ‘Let me Paytm it to you’ when they mean ‘let me pay you digitally’. So…mission accomplished…….almost!!
The brand team at Paytm seems to be in a perpetual overdrive, trying creative brand partnerships (like marketing maestro Uber), active social media presence, heavy marketing spends, innovative media tie-ups like placing the Paytm logo under the NDTV logo (unmissable and in-your-face), awareness camps, advertising boards with Vegetable Vendors, scholarships for offline merchant onboarding, et al.
The Potential Problem
Even though customers are flocking to the app right now, there are chances that once the cash situation in the country eases, they will revert to offline payments instead of digital payments.
Fitch Ratings believes that once the cash crunch subsides, some merchants and customers will go back to business as usual, using notes to pay for transactions…. “We’re still not sure if this shock per se is incentive enough for them to completely change the way they do things.”- Reuters
The company has spared no expenses in making most of the serendipitous situation.
We don’t expect that newspaper front page advertisements and television marketing come cheap for Sharma. Although the company had announced earlier that the advertisement and marketing budget for this financial year was Rs 600 crore (Rs 50 crore per month), it was reported that it expanded this by 300 percent this month- Your Story
The brand will now have to ensure that it does a good job of retaining the customers gained due to demonetisation and continue with the growth momentum. With this brand background,
If I Were Marketing @ Paytm Digital Wallet…
My Marketing Objective- Customer retention + up-sell/cross-sell and new customer acquisition.
My Target Group- All adults, with a skew towards 18-30 yr age group.
Sticky Marketing Ideas
Retention of existing customers (Give them reasons to use Paytm even when cash is available):
Safety Angle- Infographic
Create an infographic showing how Paytm is safer than Debit or Credit card. Since the amount allowed in the digital wallet is very limited and unconnected with your bank account details, your bank account is not threatened or exposed or open to fraud. Even if the Paytm digital wallet is hacked, your exposure is limited to the wallet limit, which is lower than Debit/Credit card limit.
Safety Angle- Protector of Bank Account
A Spartan warrior wearing the Spartan cap and carrying a shield with Paytm logo appears at checkout page of every major e-commerce platform, just before the person chooses payment method, with the message-‘Use Paytm, Protect your Bank Details’.
Safety Angle- Facebook Live and Periscope
Safety Angle- Paytm Soldier Mobile Game
Every Paytm user can download the Paytm Soldier Mobile game from the Paytm digital wallet mobile app. The game will be a war game between Spartan type Paytm Soldiers and hackers/ fraudsters. It will be about how Paytm soldier deflects attacks by the hackers and fraudsters. They would be fighting the war for protecting bank account.
Start of the month SMS
Paytm Parenting Workshops
Conduct Lifeskills and Parenting workshops in the four metros, sponsored by Paytm. The workshops would talk about how parents can ensure their teenagers are not spending on illicit things or getting into bad habits, which is very easy to do with cash. This will encourage more usage amongst the teenage children and parents.
Dabbawalas of Mumbai
A free of cost, high impact activity- Hold a viral video contest for MBA first year students (they are the correct TG). Teams of 4 students have to create viral videos regarding the features of Paytm. The team whose video gets the maximum views gets a chance to do a winter/summer project with Paytm. MBA students are always looking for live projects to work on. The brand can get a lot of virality with this at no cost
Acquisition of new customers:
Pocket Dance- TVC
Everytime anyone reaches the payment counter offline- they start checking their myriad pockets/purses- and do the checking in the form of a dance – so first they check bottom pockets, then front pant pockets then back then shirt- looking for wallet. Then as a final dance move- they pull out their phone with the Paytm app on it- The text on screen says- Why do the Pocket dance everytime looking for money? Just Paytm Karo.
- Pocket Dance- Shiamak Davar/ Remo D’souza TVC Take some famous dancer like Remo D’souza or Shiamak Davar doing the Pocket dance in the TVC.
Pocket Dance- Internet
Pocket Dance- Interactive fun app
It could be turned into an interactive fun app like Talking Tom. Instead of Tom, you have famous people’s animated images. And the commands would be – right bottom pocket/ left bottom pocket/ back pocket etc. So you are making famous people do the dance. You can adjust the speed and choose the song too.
Gabbar Singh Viral Video
Gabbar sends his dacoits to the loot the village. The dacoits return empty handed. Gabbar asks ‘kyu khali haath aaye’ and his men say ‘kisike paas paise nahi hai, sirf Paytm hai’. This is the basic plot. Humor can be added using Gabbar’s famous lines and voice etc; showing different characters all with mobile phones. Example: A K Hangal wearing denim dhotis and becoming cool n using Paytm to book movies with Ramu Kaka, etc
Paytm for All- Print/ Magazine Ad
This is it, folks. Which of these ideas did you like the best for Paytm marketing? Let me know in the comments below…