Why Infibeam Shifted From Neutral To Fifth Gear On Advertising With $4M Marketing Budget

10 Apr, 2012

It seems there's a wind of change at the camp of the four-year-old general e-commerce firm Infibeam. The company, which has not spent much till date in advertising, has caught our eye as it has suddenly started splurging on mainstream media ad campaigns that typically costs a lot.

Of course, Flipkart, which started at around the same time as Infibeam, has been pretty active with mainstream media advertising. It has also been able to build the right kind of traffic, making it the largest player in the e-commerce business in India. So how would one explain Infibeam's move to mainstream marketing and that too for a company which has not raised external funds till now (more on that here)?

Speaking to Techcircle.in, Vishal Mehta, CEO of Ahmedabad-based Infibeam, said, "The new strategy is a part of our extension of focus. Earlier, we targeted the larger brands and retailers. Now we want to bring in smaller shops, lesser-known brands or even somebody who wants to create a shop of his own at our hub. We would essentially have a wider reach, making regional brands scale up nationally.

Otherwise, any campaign does help one with branding and a better recall value. We are also aiming to reach out to more users with newer products beyond the existing ones," he added.

Infibeam has allotted up to Rs 20 crore as marketing expenses for the year, of which 30 per cent will be spent on print media marketing and the rest on the digital media.

Its recently launched Build A Bazaar campaign is expected to continue for 3-6 months, depending upon the ROI. Right now, the e-tailer is doing some heavy advertising in the print media, on radio and also on social media. "Although we haven't launched any TVC and out-of-home campaigns, we are contemplating it and will launch it soon," said Mehta.

But the ratio of spends just might change depending on the ROI. "Whichever medium yields better ROI, we will invest there more," he said.

The campaign, rolled out three weeks ago, has already started yielding results for Infibeam, with the number of retailers on its marketplace shooting from 3,000 to 10,000 in just three weeks. But Mehta insisted that the advertising had nothing to do with the upcoming (and maiden) fundraising programme. A couple of months ago, Infibeam hired global securities and investment banking group Jefferies to help raise private equity capital in its first round of external funding.

Be prepared to get more surprises from Infibeam. "We will come up with newer innovations in a couple of weeks' time, based on the Pure and Play model. Which means innovations will be made around the platform to make it more customisable for users. There will be more specific, customisable features around digital fulfilment of products," signed off Mehta.