Aishwarya Ramesh
Marketing

BMW's Pallavi Singh on the future of the auto industry in India

In the latest Twitter session #ConversationStarters, BMW's marketing director Pallavi Singh discusses the way forward for the auto industry in India.

Since the Coronavirus began spreading, many individuals have had to work from home (WFH) in order to curb its spread. Earlier, many people used their vehicles to primarily commute back and forth from work. Now that the commute has been eliminated from most people’s lives and the movement outside is heavily restricted, what is the future of the auto industry in India?

This was the premise of Twitter Marketing’s conversation with BMW India’s marketing director Pallavi Singh. The discussion was moderated by Kanika Mittal, the business head of Twitter India. The session was a part of Twitter’s series of discussions titled #ConversationStarters, which look at different facets of marketing across industries.

Singh revealed that WFH has thrown quite a few challenges her way. For her, the demarcation of the home and work space was quite important. She mentions time-blocking as an important time management tool – one that helps her maintain work-life balance.

She agrees that COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation in many companies, and that for some events, virtual will be the way forward.

Singh stresses on the importance of staying connected – both with your industry and other industries. “We get so immersed in our own industry, we forget that customers also consume, across industries, across categories.”

Pallavi Singh
Pallavi Singh

Singh also spoke about how BMW India launched its 'Contactless Experience' program within two weeks of the lockdown’s initiation. She highlighted how the conversational nature of Twitter is a major support for brands and businesses, especially to have more personalised conversations with customers. As an example, she elaborated how Twitter polls can help brands gain insightful customer feedback and opinions.

With customers relying on online sources and information to make buying decisions, Singh believes that 90 per cent of their purchase journey is already happening online right now.

Elaborating on this point, she says, “I think there is going to be a paradigm shift where online will become about consumption for everybody, but on-ground experiences would become exclusive. This exclusivity paradigm is going to shift in some ways. That’s going to drive a model which is going to be interesting to see.”

Singh emphasised the importance of consumer centricity in building experiences. With the changing times and simultaneously evolving customer expectations, both the experts believe that keeping the customer at the heart of their business is what is going to drive impactful innovations in the times to come.

"The thing is, for the next six months, people are going to be very paranoid when it comes to stepping out of their homes. You have to convince them that it's worth taking that risk of stepping out and coming to your event," says Singh.

She also spoke about Twitter as a medium in information gathering. It's her go-to source for information, and she says news disseminates fast on the medium. "If leveraged right, it can be an important listening tool that marketers can use to get a pulse of the audience, since trends catch on quickly on Twitter," Singh signs off.