Racold and WATConsult turned mispronunciations into sales in India

WATConsult was highly commended the ‘Paid Media Campaign’ category at The DADIs 2019 with its ‘Mind your language’ campaign for Racold by Ariston Thermo. Here, the agency reveals the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this successful project.

The challenge

India is home to 22 major languages written in 13 different scripts with over 720 dialects. While it is an enormous spread of diversity, the one unique insight we found was most of them speak English words in their own mannerism. This results in Indians being phonetically influenced by their native dialects when pronouncing and spelling common English words, leading to English being mispronounced, misspelled and mistyped.

Racold is India’s most trusted brand of water heaters from the house of Ariston Thermo Group. Unlike the other players in the category (who are home appliances brands) Racold's products are specific to water heaters. As such it often does not enjoy immediate recall as water heaters are a low involvement category. Discovery of the brand especially on eCommerce becomes important yet difficult.

The target audience for Racold was non-metro markets, where the consumers had a strong native phonetic influence on their English usage. The cultural insight led us to discover that the word "Geyser" (a common word for water heater in India) is often misspelt while looking for one on Amazon, thus leaving us with a huge vacuum on unattended searches.

The strategy

Amazon is the largest single eCommerce platform in India and has a spread of audiences from all parts of the country, including an increasing share from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities/towns. During the winter season, the central, the northern, and certain parts of the southern regions of India see a rise in the demand for water heaters.

The target audience for Racold was non-metro markets, where the consumers had a strong native phonetic influence on their English usage. We observed that this audience used Amazon to search for geysers wherein their keyword input was misspelled basis their pronunciation.

We therefore deployed a phonetically influenced keyword strategy based on the search input of our audience. The strategy was expanded to include keywords and variations basis not just audience input but also regular keywords from the brand, competition and category.

The campaign

We launched the first ever eCommerce campaign that turned misspelled searches into sales. The idea came from the insight that Indians (especially in Tier 2 & 3 cities/towns) tend to type as they speak. As such the keywords they input are often misspelled due to pronunciation used.

For example, the word ‘geyser’ is often misspelled as ‘gijar’ and ‘geezar’. Hence, we targeted these misspelled keyword searches made by a newer set of audiences on Amazon by serving search ads in accordance with the vernacular influenced dialect of consumers.

Over the course of three months, more than 2500+ keywords variations were used to reach out to audiences using category, brand and competition keywords. This was done in an attempt to ensure that, regardless of the misspelled searches, the consumers found a Racold product that met their requirement and alongside built the brand discovery to a newer set of audiences too.

The results

In just one month:

• We hit over 1.5 million high-intent searches with 526 misspelled keywords and delivered a 200% increase over planned sales.

• We achieved sales worth 33,264 USD with an optimized spend of 2026 USD. This resulted in an overall cost of sales that was brought down from 22% to 6%.

• We were able to achieve a 16X return on investment against an industry benchmark of 6X.

Additionally, in the first 3 months by using we managed to get sales worth 104,127 USD with a spend of 11,493 USD.

This project was highly commended at The DADIs 2019. Click here to register your interest in 2020’s event.

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