Cement is something so all-pervasive and fundamental to urban existence that it often becomes easy to take for granted. However, Ambuja Cement has made some remarkable marketing strategies to make a mark in customers’ minds. There are several marketing strategies like product/service innovation, marketing investment, customer experience, etc. which have helped the brand grow.
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The company is a leader in cement manufacturing in India, lets figure out how the AMbuja Cement marketing strategy works.
About Ambuja Cement
Initiated in 1983 as Gujrat Ambuja Cements Ltd. and acquired by Holcim Ltd. in 2006, Ambuja Cement is the top choice of the Indian market which is visible in their annual revenues worth a whooping ₨ 9638 crores.
Though the Indian market is very diverse, Ambuja Cement has eased its job with segmenting the market on variables such as income group, number of members in the family, region, and others to get to the right target audience with its differentiating targeting methods. We can see in their customer benefit-based positioning strategies that they want to highlight the customers’ features and value of cash to lure the consumers.
Overall, with defining strategies and standards of the cement industry, Ambuja Cements aims to lead cement and clinker manufacturing for domestic purposes as well as for export purposes.
Now that we have a brief knowledge about the company, let’s look into Ambuja Cement’s marketing mix.
Marketing mix of Ambuja Cement
A good marketing strategy helps companies achieve business goals & objectives. For a better understanding of strategies used by Ambuja Cement we will now look at their 4P model of Marketing Mix:
Being a leader in its well-suited core cement and clinker manufacturing unit it also provides construction materials for infrastructure projects such as RailCem, mineral admixtures, Dirk Pozzocrete, Powercem, and cement grout for specific requirements in large projects under govt. and other private institutions. Apart from this, Ambuja Cements provides individuals, builders, architects, and engineers with customized services.
With the foundation in Gujarat’s soil and belief in the rapid expansion, they have quickly set up a good base of users. A network of 48000+ retailers and dealers, 4 captive ports, and 4 bulk cement terminals helps them to supply efficiently nationally and stand out in situations of stiff competition. It also is providing technical help with the help of 300 civil engineers and 30 Ambuja Knowledge Centres which work closely with the contractor, masons, and individuals to know the market better.
This sector has competitive pricing and cement not being a one-time one unit buy product Ambuja Cement follows varied pricing strategy based on demand, product type, industry trend, and competition. Having a dedicated team to keep an eye on this cut-throat competition as prices fluctuate on govt. policies, demand, price of raw materials, depend heavily on bulk orders thus the prices vary accordingly from as low as Rs. 245/ bag to Rs. 325/bag hardly ranging from Rs. 5- Rs. 20 per bag and hence quite less to differentiate.
From a tagline to remember to series of ad campaigns that aim to touch hearts, from creating ads that showcased the rift between siblings to enrolling the great Khali for an emotional advertisement, Ambuja Cement not only beats competitors but also emerges as a brand that loves its country, values relationships and strives for development.
They also recently sponsored Jaipur Pink Panthers as Kabaddi represents qualities like focus, flexibility, and strength which are in line with their products. Market share of Ambuja cement stands at 7% PAN India.
Ambuja Cements is one of the companies that realized the potential of brand building as a differentiator and thus from very early started to navigate on these grounds.
Now that we deeply understand the business model of Ambuja with the help of the 4p marketing mix, let us look at how this fares against competitors.
Competitive Advantage & Analysis
Competitors analysis helps you recognize you can revamp your strategies and how you can out-do your competitors to retain your consumer’s attention.
Firms operating in this industry differ based on factors such as market penetration, manufacturing capability, brand value, price range, and product portfolio. Let’s analyse Ambuja’s competitive position.
- With over 70 % capacity utilization they seem to have dominated their pan India presence also giving them cost leadership with a wide scale of operations such as manufacturing, supplying, procuring raw materials, transportation, warehousing, and such
- Being a large-scale manufacturer they require a huge supply of fuel and rather than just depending on one source they have effectively use a well-balanced fuel mix with 65-70% Petcoke & domestic/imported coal to cut the cost
- Being part of such a reputed group also helps them get an edge over competition in the export market, LafargeHolcim, is a well-known name of the world-wide construction materials industry. It has effectively built and kept the brand reputation in check with quality supplies, efficient support teams, and product promotion
There is not a defining factor that can differentiate the companies here as the industry itself is heavily dependent on outer environmental factors and thus how much resources you procure and how you are using them becomes the differentiation factor in the sector.
Ambuja Cement faces tough competition from ACC, Ultratech, JK Lakshmi, and yet due to its scale of operation and reaches in the local markets of India holds its status as the industry leader.
SWOT Analysis of Ambuja Cement
Understanding the internal and external factors of a company help in gauging its current status, along with providing valuable insights into its future position. This is achieved by conducting a SWOT analysis i.e. an analysis of a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Let’s dive right into Ambuja’s SWOT Analysis.
Strengths of Ambuja Cement
- Leading cement manufacturers
- Strong dealer network
- Extremely strong in the west
- Cost advantage through infrastructure
- Excellent financial backing
- Marketing consistency
- Listed on NSE and BSE
Weaknesses of Ambuja Cement
- Lack of product diversification
- Largely dependent on the Indian market
- Known for small works
Threats to Ambuja Cement
- Intense competition
- The cartelization of the industry
Opportunities for Ambuja Cement
- Make in India
- Benefits due to GST
- Investment on infrastructure
- High growth in the cement industry
A company needs to analyse its internal factors to turn its weakness into strengths. Also, to understand the opportunities and plan accordingly. Let’s now take a look at Ambuja Cement’s marketing campaigns.
Ambuja Cement Marketing Campaigns
Marketing campaigns promote products through different types of media, such as television, radio, print, and online platforms. They not only promote the product but also send a meaningful message to connect with the customer. Marketing campaigns of Ambuja Cement are quite humorous and relatable.
The innovative and simple advertisements Ambuja Cement banks on has helped the company in increasing customers’ TOMA (top of mind awareness), thereby increasing their share in the customer’s wallet as well as space in the heart.
- From the tagline “Giant compressive strength” they have run very successful campaigns appealing to the ultimate users’ side of the industry.
- Signifying the tag line, they have ultimate one-liners in the TVC which hardly one can forget, “Bhaiya ye deewar tootati kyu nahi” in the ‘Bhai-Bhai’ ad.
Apart from TVC’s we can almost see an Ambuja ad painted over walls of side houses and buildings in a friendly neighborhood way. They also sponsor some teams in sporting events like Kabadi, Cricket, and such which helps them in having a mental space of every Indian.
Another masterstroke was the ‘I Can’ initiative, it empowers an individual in sales teams with the opportunity to come up with their ideas to implement and increase sales. There are also other performance-linked incentives such as providing shares and international holidays, giving extra beneficial transactions to retailers and wholesalers, giving them the choice to combine two schemes and such.
Such schemes tie the retailers to the company and drive a notion that you own the company, work hard and earn more.
Having a digital presence is imperative for any brand in today’s times.. You need to be alert, adaptable, and executive on the trends. Having a digital presence makes it easy for consumers to browse through your portfolio even when you are sleeping. It facilitates easy access without labor and rent. Let’s take a look at Ambuja’s take on the same.
Digital Marketing Presence
Ambuja Cement primarily leverages its online presence via an assisting website, GRIHA-SHILPI which customers can refer for different aspects and processes when building a home. It also provides a list of contractors and their contact numbers across different districts in India.
They do have a fully optimized website with social media handles all blazing the CSR activities they are doing and how their products are superior to their competitors.
- LinkedIn – Having around 85 K followers they usually post how they are working towards society as a change maker. The average engagement rate is around 3-5%
- Youtube – Here they share their short videos and ads which also signify the acceptance and inclusion of various sectors of society put together with some humorous and some emotional appeals. The average engagement rate depends highly on the video content as it varies from 125 K + views to a mere 1K view as compared with their 18 K subscribers
- Facebook – Here they have the leverage of posting long captions with inspiring stories and videos of their employees as well as TVC’s and the general public. The response and average engagement rate here also seem to take a backseat with only 1-2% as compared to 130K + followers.
- Instagram – This seems a mere formality of today’s world with not more than 7000 followers and a 3-4 %engagement rate. The posts are more or less the same as other platforms.
The target market they cater to does not have an impact on the digital standings of the company, it does not affect the buying decision hence they are least bothered to check them here. Their competitors are also on the same grounds, without much digital hassle. What they are doing is pretty good and they can continue with some more efforts.
Ambuja Cement is a brand with a strong rural presence and core values which are also visible in their marketing strategies. However, with this, they also need to upgrade themselves with changing times to stay ahead of the competition. Being an Indian brand that is recognized globally comes with certain responsibilities like maintaining standards not only in products but what you stand as a brand for, Ambuja Cements has time and again showed us their zeal to deliver the best to the customer which is the best marketing strategy any brand can adopt.
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