In today's day and age, ads are all pervasive. Marketers are getting increasingly creative when it comes to discovering new touch points to reach consumers. Swiggy is an example of a new age brand that has come up with zany marketing techniques to reach their consumers and the latest in that line of thinking is to partner with brands to deliver ads on the app itself.
So far, we've spotted ads for Kingfisher's non-alcoholic beer, Netflix's Sacred Games and Citibank credit cards. We reached out to the brand to find out more. Sandeep Mina, vice president - Supply at Swiggy answered the questions over an e-mail interaction. He told us that for most campaigns, the creatives are designed and customised by Swiggy themselves to leverage the context of food using creative word play. Mina also mentioned that these ads go back to when they started working with credit card players in late 2018.
A user can see these ads after they have placed an order through the Swiggy app. The ad shows up below the order status map. We asked Mina about the logic of the ad placement and he shared that the positioning is decided based on the fact that once the user has placed the order and is waiting for their food to be delivered, he/she comes to the track screen to track the order and has enough time to engage with the brand's ad. “This gives brands a much better engagement rate compared to in-stream content platforms where users usually skip ads or view the ads with limited attention, as they are intrinsically concerned with the content piece that comes after. This placement also works for Swiggy’s users as it does not take them out of their ordering journey while engaging with the brand."
What's interesting is that there's more to come as far as these brand partnerships are concerned. "We are talking to all the leading advertisers and brands across categories, with OTTs, F&B, e-commerce, BFSI, being the leading ones. Besides pure advertising, we are working on multiple fronts with brands to drive their marketing objectives. For example, we have recently launched a solution called ‘Moneta’ for F&B and FMCG brands to have their products trailed by relevant users in a very targeted manner, and then gathering feedback on it," stated Mina.
We asked him how this has helped the cause of brand visibility and he tells us - “Brands which are looking to target young, digital-first, transacting audience have seen results with Swiggy's ad platform. Swiggy gives these brands a safe and contextually relevant environment to place their ads with guaranteed audience quality. We also work closely with brands and advise them on how to tailor their communication to leverage the platform's food context.”
To understand the nuances of cross platform advertising on the food delivery app, we spoke to Anand Chakravarthy, managing director, Essence, a media buying and selling agency.
According to him, it was logical that Swiggy initially carried ads for credit cards as it could facilitate ease of payment during the food ordering process. He further observes that Swiggy didn't have an inventory of ads that were being bought from an exchange, but the ad content on the app were more along the lines of the respective brands partnering with Swiggy to gain visibility.
“A lot of apps that had a closed consumer ecosystem were more focussed on being D2C, and did not look at advertising models. As they grow, they’re becoming more and more open to partnerships,” Chakravarthy tells us. He took the example of Netflix and Swiggy and points out that when binge watching, consumers desire to eat something – “there’s a symbiotic relationship between food and watching content. That makes for a logical partnership ” he offers.
If a customer sees an ad for Citibank online, it’s likely that they will also receive a mailer with a Swiggy coupon code, he points out. “As much as Swiggy is promoting Citibank on their platform, Citibank is also promoting Swiggy through other ways. That’s how you get new audience,” Chakravarthy says.
He also mentions that this is a way for both parties involved to gain insights on their consumers – “Maybe Swiggy has low volume of Citibank users on their platform, hence the ads," he speculates.
“Swiggy can offer brands to do customised campaigns only for a particular region. For example, if Netflix wants to do a campaign only in the top eight metros cities, Swiggy can ensure that only users who log in from these geographical locations see the ad,” Chakravarthy explains. "Based on the user profile, Netflix can target affluent, urban audiences. This way, Swiggy can target audiences in a way that’s tailor-made to fit the needs of the brand they’re partnering with,” he further adds.
He gave the example of Swiggy partnering with a brand like Flipkart for a special event such as Flipkart’s Big Billion Days sale. "A brand like Swiggy can be used to create buzz and interest around the sale. You’re talking about two brand ecosystems that have access to a lot of customer data and are trying to reach their base. This partnership allows one platform to target another platform and tap into a new consumer base, opening up new opportunities. Swiggy can very well do a survey among its users to find out how many of them are light users of e-commerce versus heavy e-commerce users. An e-commerce brand would be interested in targeting the ones who are light users and converting them into heavy users. These are ways to leverage the data you possess to create interesting opportunities for partners,” he signs.