Ride hailing company Rapido, that provides bike taxis in more than 80 cities across India, will be spending nearly Rs 200 crore on marketing in 2020. This is a marked jump from the Rs 50 odd crore it spent on marketing activities in the past.
This year will see Rapido launch its first above-the-line campaign with presence across traditional and new media. This includes a television commercial, print ads, and radio spots. The five year old company is not new to marketing strategies as it has so far released numerous digital videos and localized communication assets to reach its target audience. So why the need to splurge now?
Aravind Sanka, co-founder, Rapido explains, “2020 promises to be a key year for us. We’re currently at 15 million downloads. We feel the time to expand the reach has come. With the new campaign, we want to reach 50 million downloads, and 100 million users. ATL is the way to go for this. The marketing mix will include different media platforms, with a focus on regional communication since we have a strong presence in tier 2 and tier 3 markets.”
Rapido will work with multiple agencies for its 2020 campaign since it feels different agencies will be suited for different forms of communication it has in mind. Sanka is playing his cards close his chest though. “We are yet to finalise the plan (for marketing), but we’re looking to scale up in a big way. So a high reach, high RoI strategy will be adopted. The campaign will go live in the next quarter,” he says.
So far, the digital and out-of-home campaigns carried out by Rapido have focused on the ease of use, convenience, speed, and safety aspects of the service. It has partnered with traffic police in cities like Vijayawada, Mangalore, Mysore, and Kota to drive awareness about road safety with helmet distribution campaigns. The main motive behind these campaigns was to make people aware of the importance of abiding by the traffic rules and wearing helmets while riding two-wheelers.
Currently, Rapido is running a social media campaign for the road safety week, #BackToBasics. With this campaign, it is trying to reach out to people talking about the most basic road etiquettes and why safety matters in a more fun and quirky manner.
In June 2019, Rapido launched a six month online specific campaign, #GoRapido, across the country educating people about bike taxis and encouraging them to take a ride via Rapido. This campaign helped it reach more than 70% of its target audience across cities and bring around 6 million users under a year with a budget of around Rs 4 crore.
Rapido currently commands almost 70% of the bike taxi sharing/ hailing market. It has raised total funding of Rs 558 crore from various investors including Westbridge AIF, Nexus Ventures, Konark Trust, Sabre Investment, Skycatcher LLC, Bace Fund, and Integrated Growth Capital among others. It has closed its Series B funding round at Rs 390.11 crore ($54.9 Mn). Post Series B it has been valued at Rs 1091 crore.
#GoRapido was a multi-platform campaign reaching out to users across social, web and app using multiple touch points. Rapido followed a regional language approach where the creatives, ads, communication point were created in multiple languages to reach larger set of audiences and build affinity with the message. The thumb rule set here was that everything that a user is shown should be in the regional language. This drastically reduced the cost per result and improved user interaction with the campaign. These videos were scripted, produced & edited to fit various formats such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and OTT platforms.
The new campaign is expected to amplify this positioning, and rope in a wider base of users. Sanka reveals that the firm may or may not use a celebrity endorser, but will definitely look at big media properties like the Indian Premier League, Kaun Banega Crorepati, and/or Bigg Boss to partner.