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ITC's Marketing Wizard: Shuvadip Banerjee, Chief Digital Marketing Officer The FMCG giant's successful campaign #MyFantasyAdWithSRK broke the Internet and in just a few weeks of launch had 10 lakh participants

By Shrabona Ghosh

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Shuvadip Banerjee, Chief Digital Marketing Officer, ITC Ltd

Who doesn't want to share screen with Shah Rukh Khan? For most, it's a distant dream or perhaps a Genie's miracle! In the fall of 2023, FMCG behemoth ITC, became the Genie for millions or perhaps billions of SRK fans. What did it do? Elevating expectations to a new level – ITC on-boarded superstar Shahrukh Khan as the brand ambassador of Sunfeast Dark Fantasy -- Leveraged Gen AI and launched #MyFantasyAdWithSRK campaign where consumers had the opportunity to share screen with SRK in the TVC brands with just a selfie!

The campaign broke the Internet; gained traction across the country and in just a few weeks of launch, 10 lakh individuals participated in it. Mavericks behind innovative campaigns often remain unacknowledged, however, they keep the legacy going. In 2022, when Shuvadip Banerjee was shouldered with the lead role of ITC's digital marketing, his mantra was resilience, agility and innovation. "Communication should be a two-way exchange of information, therefore, it has become imperative for brands to design communication that will easily connect with the target audience. We have been increasingly focusing on customization and personalization to craft our consumer engagement and that's what we did with the SRK campaign," said Shuvadip Banerjee, Chief Digital Marketing Officer (CDMO), ITC Ltd.

Being a market leader in a consumer sector needs constant innovation, the needs are ever evolving and these are shaped by myriad factors including taste, quality, product safety, price etc. The marketing chief makes sure to connect, engage and interact with customers to craft products that address their needs. As a challenger organization, ITC has launched several first-to-market products over the last two decades. In order to understand preference, the company consistently monitors evolving trends. ITC Sixth Sense, a sensing engine constantly listens to social conversation and gathers insights. Its customer data hub, a central repository of first-party data, helps understand demands and drive new communication and product innovation.

Understanding how consumers think and make a decision is the secret sauce for any FMCG company's success. Sharing an example of a first time mover experience, Banerjee said, "There is a growing appetite among people to try and experiment with Korean cuisine and culture. Based on our market and consumer research, we realized that Korean snacks are not readily available in the market. Now, as an organization which is committed to offer differentiated products, we launched Korean snacks in three variants under ITC Bingo! making us the first entrant in the category."

Along with leveraging digital tools and technologies to understand consumers, the company has a robust product development team. Post-pandemic there has been a significant shift among consumer behaviour when it comes to buying packaged products. "To empower our buyers and to take their usage experience a notch higher, we have taken the route of being transparent, for instance, we have a facility where consumers can come and visit our wheat farm."

Customer-centricity is at the core of efforts and interventions at ITC. "We have been committed to delivering superior and differentiated world-class offerings and experiences to the Indian consumer leveraging innovation, technology and enterprise synergies," the CDMO explained.

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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