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Nielsen’s ‘Three R’ framework to Rev-Up India’s Marketing Mix

3 minute read | November 2013

Using Reach, Resonance and Reaction Strategies to adopt amidst ever changing market in India

Indian media and retail markets are rapidly evolving—marked by increasing media fragmentation, the spread of advanced mobile devices, higher connectivity, and huge growth in product options at retail outlets. All these changes present a challenge for marketers to reach and resonate with consumers for the all-important reaction—a sale, according to a new analysis from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy.

Nielsen’s information shows that India has more than 800 television channels, while 51 million urban Indians own smartphones, up 89 percent since 2012.  Eight times more products are available on retail shelves now than six years ago.

“With more and more products being advertised across the country’s growing media, the average Indian consumer sees over 3,000 marketing messages per day,” said Gayathri Swahar, director, Nielsen NeuroFocus. “At the same time, while economic growth in India is still strong by global standards, it has slowed. This has driven marketing budgets down across fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), challenging marketers to think differently about how to make brands stand out.”


To get the right messages to the right audiences and drive all-important sales, Nielsen’s “Three R” framework is an effective way to evaluate advertising campaigns.

·         Reach measures whether the campaign was relevant

·         Resonance determines if the campaign message influenced the audience, help in improving the             consumer’s opinion of the brand

·         Reaction looks at what the consumer did after seeing the ad—influencing a purchase decision.

As per Nielsen, across the global media landscape the first seven seconds of an ad are the most crucial in capturing a consumer’s attention and can boost a consumer’s opinion of the brand by 15 percent to 20 percent. With Indian consumers barraged with 3,000 marketing messages per day, optimal ad frequency is also paramount. Contrary to conventional wisdom, too many ad runs can sometimes hurt effectiveness—also known as the “wear out” effect. In fact, as few as 15 percent of the ad campaigns Nielsen evaluated actually benefited from increased frequency.

Similarly, Nielsen’s research on distribution also shows that when planning distribution strategies across India, reaching the right stores is critical. Out of eight million FMCG retail outlets in urban India, 2.3 million drove 80 percent of sales. In rural India, 11 percent of outlets across 600,000 villages drove 60 percent of sales.

“For brands to stand out in India, retailers should appeal to their consumers’ desire to leverage life’s little moments of luxury and connect with how their customers are shopping,” said Nitya Bhalla, executive director, Nielsen India. “In-store promotions and deals are a long-favored strategy, and for good reason. Half of all Indian shoppers search out promotional items. But, premiumisation is also critical in this market, with 40 percent saying they actively seek out upgraded products.”

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA, and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit