35% of CMOs are hopeful of V-shaped industrial recovery: Report

More than one-third of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are hopeful of V-shaped recovery of their industries on the back of performance of the agriculture sector and increasing demand of the FMCG products, said a report from Octane Research.

The report titled ‘Digital 2021: Adapting to the New Normal’, said that technology has played an important role in bringing about recovery and growth among industries as companies used it to proactively reach out to consumers online and encouraged purchases.

Octane Research engaged with 250 plus of India’s leading Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Leaders – as part of its research study to gain first-hand insights and perspective on outflanking the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The report also highlights that India CMOs responded to the challenge of the lockdown by steering their mindset and strategy to a “Digital First” approach. They also invested in post-purchase redressal systems in order to better serve consumers and resolve their issues.

As many as 35 per cent of India CMOs are hopeful their industry will have a V-shaped recovery and further boost the economy, the Octane research report said, adding, this relatively positive sentiment for their industry is based on the farm sector’s performance, coupled with a reliance on industries catering to essential commodities and FMCG that experience a comparatively inelastic demand.

“Our secondary research reveals exports of certain commodities have indeed gone up. For instance, spice exports from India saw a rise of 34 per cent in rupee terms in June. The automobile sector has also seen an increase in exports. Total exports across categories increased 2.95 per cent to more than 4.76 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31,” said the Octane’s annual online marketing report published on its 10th anniversary.

The better sentiments of Indian CMOs on the recovery of their industry may also be driven by increased internet penetration, which is opening up new avenues for marketers to cost-effectively increase consumer reach via e-commerce in urban and rural markets amidst limitations imposed by pandemic, it said.

These positive signs come in the backdrop of Indian economy suffering heavily on account of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic which resulted in 23.9 per cent contraction in the GDP during the first quarter (April-June 2020) of the current financial year. The contraction in growth, however, narrowed to 7.5 per cent in the second quarter (July-September 2020).

“COVID-19 indeed threw us a curveball (either that or a flighted yorker). It seems Indian marketers have dug in their bat, converted it into a full toss and played a helicopter shot towards the fences. There are lot more twists and turns to this story of how marketers from India took on the COVID-19 challenge and pivoted swiftly,” said Punit Modhgil, Chief Research Officer, Octane Research.

The survey, which is based on the response of CMOs of leading multinational and domestic companies, revealed that less than 10 per cent of India CMOs are skeptical that the Indian economy will have a sluggish L-shaped recovery and growth post-lockdown.

And even less than 3 per cent of India CMOs are skeptical of their industry expecting a sluggish L-shaped recovery and growth post lockdown. “India CMOs are more hopeful of a faster economic recovery for their respective industry when compared to the economy as a whole,” the report said.

The report further said that about 23 per cent of India CMOs expect the economy to likely rebound in two years with a W shaped recovery, i.e. a cycle of sharp decline-short recovery-another decline-then full recovery. Whereas, only 15 per cent of India’s CMOS expect their industry to have a delay in rebound with a W shaped recovery. “CMOs are likely pegging hopes on consumer demand fuelled by both FY’20 festive season and favourable performance of the agriculture sector post the FY’20 monsoon,” the report added.