Digital Internet Marketing

We foresee a strong sentiment around the future of digital gold: Arti Saxena, WGC

Arti Saxena
Written by publisher team

To increase awareness, relevance and adoption of gold jewelry amongst young Indian consumers, the World Gold Council (WGC) launched a flagship multi-media campaign ‘You are gold’ in partnership with Gem & Jewelery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC). The nationwide, integrated campaign was rolled out in different phases through 2021 with the aim to attract millennials and gen-Z by building a meaningful context of the role that gold jewelry plays in their contemporary expressions. Arti Saxena, Head of Marketing, India, World Gold Council talks about the flagship campaign, marketing initiatives, the millennial connect with gold, evolving consumer sentiment and more.

Edited Excerpts:

Please tell us about your flagship campaign ‘You are Gold’ and the response that you have garnered from consumers? In terms, of RoI and metrics what has been the response?

The essence of the campaign ‘Every moment that makes you, YOU, deserves to be celebrated with gold’ reflects in the phrase ‘You are Gold’. It delivers a modern meaning and narrative on gold without letting go of its classic relevance passed down to generations. The idea is to create a new age culture that respects and embraces tradition while reinterpreting it in contemporary ways – akin to a true millennial approach.

The campaign has received an overwhelming response from the industry and looks to inspire more millennials and Gen-Z towards gold jewelry. In terms of the impact, the campaign garnered a reach of approximately 20 million viewers via TV, 30 million viewers via OTT platforms like Hotstar, 356 million through digital medium and another 4.3 million via key digital influencers.

Tell us about other marketing initiatives by the World Gold Council to raise awareness?

The World Gold Council has launched several initiatives in recent years to benefit not just consumers but retailers and investors in the Indian gold industry. For example, ‘My Gold Guide’ is an online content platform developed by WGC to spread awareness and education around gold. My Gold Guide has been developed to answer all those queries and guide consumers in making those gold buying decisions. Our global initiative ‘Swarna Adarsh ​​Abhiyaan’ is an Indian adoption of the global Retail Gold Investment Principles (RGIPs) to bring inherent trust in retail gold business practices. It was conceptualised by the World Gold Council and developed by an industry steering committee of over 40 members representing every section across the value chain for the gold industry. It suggests a Code of Conduct along with a self-assessment guide for various business streams in the gold industry, the idea being to promote and publicise transparent, sound business practices.

Another initiative ‘The Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs)’ is a new framework that set out clear expectations for consumers, investors, and the downstream gold supply chain as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. Finally, Qaurum, is an innovative web-based tool designed to deliver a robust quantitative approach to analyze how gold may react under diverse macroeconomic and geopolitical conditions. Behind its user-friendly interface, Qaurum is powered by the Gold Valuation Framework (GVF). GVF and Qaurum were developed in response to research suggesting that institutional investors cite the lack of an approach to valuing gold as a key barrier to investment.

What is the current sentiment towards gold jewelry among the younger target audiences? What are the challenges?

Indians today are the world’s largest holders of gold, accumulating more than 25,000 tons. While gold jewelry remains central to any social occasions and celebrations for Indian families, the horizon of celebratory moments has expanded for millennials, as they embrace moments of self-expression and individuality and spontaneous celebrations. These generations form a large part of the country’s demography and are redefining India’s consumption story. In such a scenario, gold is competing against other categories such as gadgets, electronics, and luxury experiences that are vying for millennials’ attention and wallet share. Of late, the industry has seen an emotional disconnect from gold among the Millennials and Gen Z and that is exactly why we came up with our flagship campaign.

Many brands offer 14 kt gold jewelry at pocket-friendly prices aimed at the millennial TG, how will these offerings change the gold consumption scene in India?

The majority of Indians continue to prefer 18kt or 22kt gold jewellery, as the jewellery is also considered an investment asset. Recently, there has been some uptake in 14kt gold jewelry as price points make them more affordable, but the market size continues to remain relatively small.

The Millennial TG are becoming financially aware of stocks, MFs and blockchain as investment options. How do you see Gold panning out as an investment option? What is the future of digital gold?

Today’s millennials are not afraid to experiment with different investment funds and are excited about investment tools that can help them generate money in short-to-mid-term with instantaneous liquidity and the least amount of collateral. Thus, over the past few years, we have seen a wave of new entrants in the investing scenario for millennials. Keeping these preferences in mind, gold continues to be a reliable investment option for this generation as well. Especially now as the risk-free, storage proof option of digital gold has entered the market. Moreover, India’s retail investment market is witnessing a significant upsurge in digital gold investing, fueled by innovative Fintech and Wealth-tech applications which make the process quick and convenient. Therefore, we foresee a strong sentiment around the future of digital gold. The essence of investing in gold as an auspicious asset and a safe haven remains the same in India, even though the ways to acquire and hold it may differ across generations.

What are some key marketing trends in the Indian gold industry and how do you plan to leverage them?

One of the key trends that we’re witnessing in the Indian gold market is that of millennial consumers’ desire for self-expression and prestige in the jewelry that they purchase. The WGC’s ‘Retail Gold Insights: India Jewelery’ report reveals that young Indian women are active gold jewellery consumers (33% of women aged 18-24 years bought gold jewelery in the 12 months preceding the survey in 2019). However, it also highlighted their future purchase intent could be potentially higher in case retailers offer options that suit their aesthetic preferences. This is especially true in urban areas. Apart from this, the trend of purchasing digital gold has also increased manifold, as tech initiatives and tie-ups with UPI based platforms by leading jewellery retailers have brought about a substantial increase in the volume of buyers and investors preferring online and digital purchases.

Please tell us how your communication strategy has evolved in the new normal? What is your current media mix?

At WGC, we’re committed to leveraging customer insights and constantly evolving the narrative around gold to align with the changing mindset of the Indian consumers. The same has helped us to increase awareness, relevance and adoption of gold in India. As part of the campaign, we release multiple high-impact films across different channels over the last year. The media mix includes television, digital, social, OTT platforms (for example, Disney+ Hotstar) and relevant influencers to ensure that the campaign reaches and inspires the millennials and Gen Z audiences.

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