ITC, also known as India Tobacco Company Limited, is one of India’s oldest and finest conglomerates, having made fame on the back of its marketing efforts. It provides consumer goods, travel and hospitality, technology solutions, healthcare, and services to enterprises across industries.
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This case study focuses on the marketing strategy of ITC. We will take a deep dive into the different aspects of its marketing strategy- which includes ITC’s marketing mix, marketing campaigns, digital marketing strategy and SWOT analysis.
Let us begin this case study with a brief overview of ITC.
ITC Limited is an Indian multinational conglomerate company that was incorporated in 1910 under the name Imperial Tobacco Company of India Limited, later the company was renamed in 1970 as India Tobacco Company Limited. Since then, it has emerged as a multi-market conglomerate with business and is associated with several industries like Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), hotel and services, information and technology, agri-business, and packaging.
The company is among India’s 10 most valuable and most admired companies. Its mission is to enhance wealth by delivering superior value. It is a customer-focused company and thus believes in gaining trust for the organization that creates value for its stakeholders. They innovate in pursuing new better products, services, and management practices.
After getting a brief over of the company, let us now look us begin taking a closer look into what made ITC so successful- their Marketing.
First up, we will learn about their marketing mix.
Marketing Mix of ITC
Marketing Mix is the set of actions that a company follows to promote its brand or product. The firm uses such tactics to pursue its objectives in the target market. Let us have a deeper understanding of it.
ITC is known as one of the topmost valuable brands. It has a diversified portfolio of businesses, including. Here are some of the ITC products that contribute the most to its business:
- It sells cigarettes, which includes gold flake kings, wills navy cut, gold flake superstar, and India kings are some of its major brands.
- In terms of packaged foods, it has ranked in the first place and some of its food brands are Bingo, Sunfeast, Aashirvaad, and Yippee.
- The company sells lifestyle clothing under brands like Wills Lifestyle.
- They also provide skin and hair care products related to personal care.
- It is also involved in the stationary industry which includes classmates and colour crew.
- It manufactures and sells safety matches.
- The company is engaged in the hotel and service industry and ranks as India’s second-largest hotel chain.
- It is involved in paperboards and produces high-quality paper.
- The business provides global and domestic markets with services such as printing and packaging.
- ITC Infotech Limited is a subsidiary and operates the company business sector
ITC being a multi-market conglomerate with business and is associated with several industries it covers various products as above.
ITC Price Strategy
The company is involved in several business interests and thus faces a lot more competition in the market. Therefore to boost its market segments the company tries to create its presence all over India with reasonable pricing policies. The company has adopted premium pricing policies for luxurious products and reasonable pricing for the middle-class segment which will eventually help in generating sales and ultimately will lead to better revenue figures. They follow different pricing strategies for different products.
For instance, as Bingo was entering the market, it had adopted a very clever aggressive pricing strategy that captured the market. As they had maintained a reasonable pricing strategy as per the market but offered more quantity and more margin to the retailers which gave them a competitive edge.
ITC Place Strategy
The company’s distribution channel is widespread and thus its products are available in every retail store. It has a strong distribution channel as it delivers the product quickly as possible. It also has a well-established manufacturing and logistics distribution network. The company has four manufacturing units and more than 60 dealers in India. The food products are also exported internationally in countries like North America, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa.
Promotional Strategy of ITC
The promotion strategy of the company has something unique keeping in mind its brand proposition and its target audience. It promotes its product on various social media platforms also through print, television, and radio. The brand presence is well-diversified due to its extended product portfolio, they also have different brand ambassadors for different brands. It has implemented an aggressive marketing strategy and has taken advantage of any promotional medium available to sell its products.
Several ad campaigns have been launched, which are seen on popular TV channels, broadcasted on the radio, and shown by hoardings. It has also roped in prominent personalities such as Kareena Kapoor and Shahrukh Khan for better visibility.
Let’s take a look at their latest ad campaign for its brand Dark Fantasy, which features rapper and music producer Brodha V, who is well known amongst millennials and Gen-Z. This unique approach to marketing their cookies to both millennials and older generations has benefitted them in the long run. In contrast to ITC’s main competitor, Oreo biscuits, which usually direct their ads towards children. Check out the ad here –
These were some of the marketing mix strategies implemented by the company.
ITC Competitors and Analysis
It is a multinational conglomerate company and thus they face huge competition in the market. They have competition from all sides, we have shortlisted some of the main competitors in all these distinct fields that it faces. Let us take a look here.
ITC Competitors In FMCG segment
4) Godrej Consumer Products
5) Godfrey Phillips India Ltd
ITC Competitors In Hotels
1) Leela Hotels
2) Taj Group of Hotels
3) Oberoi Group of Hotels
4) Sarovar Group of Hotels
ITC Competitors in Cigarettes
1) Philip Morris International
2) Golden Tobacco Limited
3) Godfrey Phillips India Ltd
4) Raghunath Tobacco Company Ltd
5) Vazir Sultan Tobacco Company
As we see ITC has major competition in all segments of the market and thus they boost their market share they come up with various marketing strategies.
The competitive advantage of ITC
1. Vast experience
As the company has a long market presence it has developed a strong base. This has allowed the business to recognize the customer’s needs and expectations to make it financially strong and competitive ahead of its peers.
2. The X- Factor
Through the social initiative, ITC’s E-Choupal initiative aimed at making the internet accessible to Indian farmers and their families in the rural part of the country, thus increasing brand presence to the business.
3. Big Conglomerate
Over the years, they have become a massive conglomerate providing a wide range of goods and services in the FMCG market, IT solutions, from agri-products to food products. Experience in such a diverse range of products and services has enabled the business to emerge in the market.
Thus, the competitive advantage of the company has been achieved by the consistent work of ITC which helps them to stand out in the market.
SWOT Analysis of ITC
SWOT Analysis identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the business which helps us to assist you in making strategic plans & decisions. It also helps you to move in a balanced way throughout your program. ITC is a unique organization with many strengths, but it suffers from its own threats and problems. Let us have a deeper look.
- It has a strong brand presence in various businesses
- They have excellent research and development facilities.
- It has a deep distribution channel.
- ITC is still recognized as a tobacco company.
- There is an increase in tax on tobacco and cigarettes.
- The company has the opportunity to get into the untapped rural market.
- Mergers & Acquisitions to strengthen the brand.
- More publicity to hotel chains to increase market share.
- Increasing purchasing power of people thereby increases demand.
- Growth in purchasing power and improving lifestyle.
- Growing personal hygiene as well as food processing industry in India.
- It faces major competition from both domestics and international players.
- Strict regulations and increasing taxation in the cigarette business
- Slowdown growth in the rural market.
ITC has grown immensely and has also received some great opportunities in the market. They are consistent in their work and therefore the company manages to overcome threats.
ITC Marketing Strategy
A marketing strategy refers to an overall business plan that helps to target the consumers and, therefore turning them into potential customers of the goods or services. Let’s look further into the specifics of their strategy.
Segmentation, targeting, positioning of ITC
As a brand, it serves the needs of a diverse range of market groups by segmenting the population based on common types of features. A mix of regional demographic and psychographic segmentation factors such as occupation, income level, gender, age, area, behaviour, etc. are used by ITC.
Distribution strategy of ITC
The company operates with its own distribution channel, goods are made available to wholesale distributors through carried & forward agents (CFA’s), which are then transmitted directly or through small, wholesale, dealers to retailers in cities to meet customers in the most remote areas of the nation.
Target Audience of ITC
With its diverse range of goods and services, ITC caters to consumers from the 5-60 age group with its products ranging from Candyman, Mint-o to Aashirvaad, etc. ITC meets the needs of different companies in the B2B market, as well as ITC Infotech in the IT sector and ITC Hotels in the hospitality sector.
Therefore the marketing strategy of ITC has implemented various strategies to boost their market segment.
ITC Marketing Campaigns
The company has taken initiative to create brand awareness on various social media platforms. It came up with the #proudly Indian campaign and #Sab Saath Badhein campaign. Let us have a look at what this campaign means.
1. #proudly Indian campaign
Source – ITC Youtube
Here the brand showcases how the products reflect the spirit of making in India’s campaign runs across various social media platforms which generate considerable interest in citizens. The campaign was initiated in 2020 with the philosophy of vocal for local.
2. #Sab Saath Badhein campaign
Source – ITC Youtube
‘Sab Saath Badhein’ is a corporate campaign that comprises a series of four TVCs (Television Commercial ) Sab Saath Badhein is an expression of ITC’s sustainable & inclusive growth.
These were the various marketing campaigns initiated by the company which created huge brand awareness.
ITC Digital Marketing Strategy
A digital presence simply refers to how your business appears online and how you manage your brand on various social media platforms. Following is the social media presence of ITC on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Source – Twitter of ITC
Source – Twitter of ITC
Source – Twitter of ITC
From the above images, we see the company profile on various social media platforms has a huge presence and thus has a strong base in the market.
ITC Ltd has been upscaling its digital marketing game and establishing its presence in the digital market the company has a strong base and thus its evolving over years. It is also one of the leading producers in various sectors of business. Though it is difficult for the company as they’ve got multiple competitors across various businesses they need to maintain their reputation and be consistent with their great work and initiative took by them.
As you see in this blog how ITC implemented its digital marketing strategy and if you also want to learn such skills and techniques, start learning digital marketing today. You can check our Free Masterclass by Karan Shah CEO of IIDE and get hands-on experience on digital marketing. Also, do check out our website for various other courses [email protected]
What do you think of ITC’s approach and initiatives for online marketing? Please let us know how you can contribute to the improvement of it and leave your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you so much for taking your time to read and go through the blog.