Dimon Hu, Chief Marketing Officer (Huawei Brand), Consumer Business Group, Huawei India, shares interesting insights on the marketing strategy for the brand, Huawei India community, and more.
How has the first quarter been for the brand in terms of Market share and sales in India? What are the major consumption trends you observed in the Indian Market?
Huawei’s business has remained robust in the first half of 2019. We generated CNY401.3 billion revenue in the first half of 2019, recording a 23.2% increase over the same period last year. The company’s net profit margin for H1 2019 stood at 8.7%.
In Huawei’s consumer business, H1 sales revenue hit CNY220.8 billion. Huawei’s smartphone shipments (including Honor phones) reached 118 million units, up 24% YoY. The company also saw rapid growth in its shipments of tablets, PCs, and wearables.
Huawei is beginning to scale its device ecosystem to deliver a more seamless intelligent experience across all major user scenarios.
This growth in demand and supply warrants a multi-channel sales strategy to be able to be present where our consumers are in India. The multi-channel strategy calls for seamless synergy between various stakeholders in the consumer electronics segment. Buoyed by such requirements, we partnered with retail giants Croma and Poorvika and now we have a presence in more than 200 stores.
Huawei recently launched its ‘Huawei India Community’. What is the strategy behind this step? How do you plan to leverage the platform on digital media to expand your customer base?
To let users share their valuable feedback, suggestions, and complaints easily and ensure that they had been followed, we have launched an exclusive ‘Huawei India Community’.
This is an initiative to encourage discussions, invite ideas, engage, involve and deepen the connection with Huawei fans across the country on a single platform.
Here, the website would give the Huawei fans and followers the chance to interact with the brand directly.
We intend to make the webpage a safe and private space for the fans to discuss, share thoughts, talk about what they like and ask questions. It will offer a fast and intuitive interface to post ideas, reply, read news and interact with others.
Please tell us about your expansion plans, if any, on your product portfolio in India.
India is one of the fastest-growing smartphone markets globally, it grew by 10% in 2018 in terms of total shipments, this, even as the global market has been shrinking, according to a new report by Singapore-based industry tracker Canalys.
Expansion plans are built upon innovations that would conquer new markets and attract more customers in the existing ones. Same goes for our product portfolio in India. We spend around 10% of our revenue in R&D and last year the amount was over $15 billion. We aim to be available across all major locations in India.
India is a very important market and henceforth we expand our presence in a phased manner. Delhi. Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad will be in the first phase.
In the second phase, we will target 15 tier-2 cities in Gujarat, Uttrakhand, West Bengal, and Rajasthan. In the third phase, we will expand our presence in the tier-3 market
We have our retail presence through our Croma and Poorvika at the moment. We aim to reach 1000 stores by the end of this year.
With premium brands such as Apple and other brands like One Plus and Samsung occupying major shares in the Indian market, tell us the top 3 ways in which you plan to advertise Huawei in India, especially through Digital and social media platforms?
Our customer-first approach has played a pivotal role in helping us become the second-largest smartphone maker in the world. We use digital, traditional and OOH mediums and try to reach out to all our existing as well as potential customers.
Not just with traditional and digital mediums, we plan to connect with people through our innovative products and experiences.
What are the major digital trends you foresee on the road to 2020?
Voice-search technology, vernacular and video content will rule the digital ad segment with more of AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) technologies in mobile phones.
With higher penetration and wider base of the internet in rural areas, higher percentages of rural consumers are expected to join in, contributing an internet boom in vast areas across the country. This would mean a higher share of regional content in ads or shows.
Hi-tech mobiles and consumer engagement are driving growth in content platforms and it is expected to grow further. Wider internet spectrum, speed, and improved mobile technology will be the key factors in sustaining the growth and demand for content.
Where do the influencers stand in the scheme of things for Huawei?
We believe in showcasing our products well and ensuring each customer about the product quality. This is a global practice by Huawei. To promote a product, influencers are surely instrumental, but other mediums too are important.
The aim is to highlight the product in the best potential on whatever medium we use. We believe our technology prowess overshadows everything.
What is the idea behind #RewriteTheRule campaign for #HuaweiP30Pro and #Popupking for Y9 Prime 2019?
The idea behind #RewriteTheRule was to bring forth the camera capabilities of Huawei. Expanding on that thought we launched the digital campaign with the hashtag #FullMoonByHuawei, posting full moon pictures taken by the HUAWEI P30 Pro.
Likewise, #Popupking was to highlight the brand new feature of the HUAWEI Y9 Prime 2019. The front camera automatically pops up in a second when you are taking a selfie and retracts when you are done.
– One advertising jargon, the industry should do away with
While I don’t believe the word ROI is jargon, I believe it can be adjudged more qualitatively. Creativity and positive human impact are things that can’t always be equated in numbers.
– One marketing tip to the brands and advertisers
Always encourage creativity in your team. Ideas will always maintain absolute rank.
– One secret sauce to social media marketing
Content is king.
– One social media channel you can do away with
All of them have their own unique place.
– One marketing myth
Word of Mouth Marketing: If you have a great product or service, word of mouth alone is sufficient marketing. It’s not. In today’s day and age, you need aggressive outreach in this competitive market to highlight each and every strength of your product.