Exciting changes in the pulp & paper industry have paved the way for new opportunities. However, for a business to succeed, the products must be known to potential buyers. Hence, it is the appropriate time for paper manufacturers to develop marketing strategies and use them to create product awareness.
The pulp & paper industry is witnessing interesting times. While there has been a rapid decline in the demand for newsprint over the last few years, the packaging segment is doing phenomenally well. Growth in FMCG products like packaged beverages & personal care products, evolving e-commerce sector, and the ban on single-use plastics are some of the major demand drivers. According to the latest report released by Mordor Intelligence, the Indian paper and paperboard packaging market was valued at USD 10.77 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 15.69 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 6.63 percent during 2022-2027.
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Besides the inclination towards online shopping & food delivery, the COVID-19 pandemic has also brought a focus on cleanliness creating new opportunities for tissue and toilet paper. Even, the facial tissue and kitchen towel market has increased substantially. Anti-viral facial tissue papers and recyclable facial tissue papers are comparatively new entrants in the global tissue market.
Talking about the scenario of the tissue market in India, Mr. Saikat Basu, Head-Marketing & Sales, Orient Paper & Industries Ltd. says, “Health and hygiene segment recovery is partial since institutional buying has still not reached pre-COVID levels (Work from Office yet to reach full potential) – hence tissue growth is moderate. We are designing new products successfully and working in close coordination with key customers. Being a market leader in tissues in India, we plan to develop new categories for both domestic and export markets.”
Branding Experience for a Successful Marketing Ecosystem
All these exciting changes in the industry have paved the way for new opportunities. However, for a business to succeed, the products must be known to potential buyers. Hence, it is the appropriate time for paper manufacturers to develop marketing strategies and use them to create product awareness. Marketing helps to boost brand awareness; it provides life to each and every department by tackling an array of functions such as research, advertising, public relations, digital, data analysis, customer service, and communications.
“In our view, brand experience is built over time through a series of experiences across the whole life cycle of the relationship. We have to create long-term experiences to make a differentiation over a period of time. Also, we need to have a curiosity to hear feedback on an ongoing basis from the customers. Branding is all about creating a sustainable and differentiated experience and ensuring customer delight,” added Mr. Basu.
Diversified Customer Engagements
Marketing is not only about selling a product or service, it is also about developing the right product and providing the right kind of support to the customers. Talking about the importance of customer engagement, Mr. Santosh Wakhloo, Executive Director (Marketing), Tamil Nadu Newsprint & Papers Ltd. says, “In the paper and packaging boards industry, the main role of a CMO/ marketing leader is to marry the available technology to the needs of the customers/markets. The ideal fit needs to be designed. In addition, understanding the evolving customer needs & requirements and offering products & solutions are the essence of it. A keen understanding of the mill’s technical capabilities is essential for developing new products and building long-term relationships. Today, the word ‘Team’ includes the customers too. We need to take all of them together to get the best outcome. Trust, humility and sincerity are important elements for any leader to be successful.”
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Mr. Soumyajit Mukherjee, Jt. President (Marketing & Sales), Emami Paper Mills Ltd. added, “Engaging with customers, understanding product quality, and providing good services are the three marketing mantras. The more, you are aligned with the customer’s requirements, the more are your chances to be successful in your field. Communication is a very important tool for marketing personnel. Providing real-time information regarding new products & service quality will create a difference. A relationship between the customer and the vendor does not happen on the basis of commercials, but an understanding between them. Hence, apart from the business proposal, one should also carry empathy. A salesperson should be a solution provider to the customer.”
Intertwining empathy and marketing is extremely important. When marketers know their customers, they are able to connect with them on an emotional level and develop a product as per their requirements. This will be a win-win situation for both the businesses as well as the consumers.
Paper Mart interacted with a few marketing leaders in the paper industry to know their success mantras and the pathway to successful brand experiences.