6 IPL route-to-market strategies that can accelerate your sales and marketing efforts

by Harshit Bora

September 3, 2020 | 01 min read


IPL 2020 is around the corner, and not even Coronavirus and Suresh Raina can dampen our enthusiasm. However, we strongly support and recommend social distancing even when cheering madly for your favourite teams. 

While working out our TV schedule and afternoons to play hooky at work (kidding), we wondered at the enduring popularity of IPL. Even in a cricket-crazed country like India, what are IPL’s RTM strategies to scale consumption? How are they using digital platforms to augment the distribution of their content? How are they reinforcing consumer loyalty? How are they forecasting demand from different channels? What category is bringing the maximum returns?

IPL Route To Market Strategies to Adopt
The IPL 20-20 series, much like many of our favourite consumer brands, is a monument to mass consumption. Despite their acclaim, they continue to consolidate their presence through clever marketing and distribution strategies. Their route to market strategies borders on genius, and we cannot help but be deeply enamoured. Here’s what your brand can learn from IPL’s Route to Market strategies:

1. Consumer Orientation

Consumer focus is, perhaps, the most important lesson that we can learn from IPL. Despite the cynicism of analysts and experts, no other gaming event has gained as much popularity in such a short duration as IPL has affected. It is because the makers believed in one thing: to give consumers an entertaining and thrilling experience. 

They found different channels to engage their consumers. They streamed the matches online on various platforms and in cinema halls as well. For consumer goods companies, it is an essential lesson in consumer centricity – to innovate products to change consumer needs and find ways to engage with customers continuously. 

2. Gamify and Incentivise the Work

IPL has always focused on bringing out the best in their players. They introduced purple and orange caps along with the Man of the Match and other match awards. It was an innovative and transparent way to motivate and recognise players which brought out the hidden talent in teams. To make the game more attractive among the youth, they also introduced after-match parties. The “Work hard and party harder” approach has made the work more fun.

Consumer brands like Hershey and Thirumala Milk ran gamification campaigns for their field teams and were able to harness their enthusiasm to create deeper synergies with their key retail outlets. Predictably, gamification had a massive impact on their market share. Salespeople and retailers are vital talents for consumer brands, and gamification is a powerful tool to engage their talent creatively and meaningfully.

3. Retention of Talent 

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians are considered the best IPL teams. One would imagine that their teams consisted of highly-paid players. Yet, their strategy has never been to bid for star players. Instead, they chose young, promising talent and over the years, nurtured them to become among the world’s best-performing cricketers. Hardik Pandya and Bumrah are classic examples of this mentorship. Similarly, you don’t need to hire expensive salespeople to make great sales. Instead, nurture and embrace the talent who are already in your organisation.

4. Strong at Home

For teams to reach finals, they need to play strong games at home locations. CSK and Mumbai Indians both have solid records at home. For CPG companies too, it is imperative to have strong distribution networks and seamless supply chains at their home turfs before venturing into newer regions. At home, you know the market, can reach consumers quickly and maintain low operational costs.

5. Consistency is the key

Which team will you bet on to reach the playoffs? Ten out of ten times, we’d imagine it would be the Chennai Super Kings. That is how retailers look at brands. If they want to bet on a brand that is consistent in meeting their demand 10 out of 10 times, would it be your brand? Brands get placement in retail outlets because of the quality of products, marketing and margins. However, at the heart of building brands, consistency leads the play. Sachin Tendulkar was a star player but whom did Australia fear the most in test matches? It was VVS Laxman, because of his consistent performance and ability to take India to victory in any situation.

6. Never Give Up

We have so many examples of matches turning around in IPL. Teams have defended low scores of 116 and 118 runs and have chased high scores of 215 and 209. There have been innumerable times when matches have swung away from the winning team to the seemingly losing team. It happens because players and their captains believe that they can pull it off. What’s your resilience game?

Write to us all about what makes your teams resilient and any favourite IPL RTM strategies to marketing@mobisy.com.

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