Xiaomi India head Manu Jain explains ‘zero cost marketing’ claim

zero cost marketing

How come Xiaomi’s marketing spend and budget is “zero” when Xiaomi phones are advertised on social media, YouTube, newspapers, TV and other platforms…

Xiaomi India is constantly talking about their innovative social media marketing strategies and being a trendsetter. Company executives, along with Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi vice president and managing director of Mi India, often brag about how Xiaomi has become the leading smartphone brand in India thanks to “zero cost marketing.”

In a recent LinkedIn post promoting the upcoming Mi 11 Lite smartphone, Manu Jain shared how Xiaomi’s marketing innovation, rather than marketing costs, makes all the difference for the company.

In the post, Jain wrote, “How do you do marketing with zero costs? Many people wonder how we became the #1 brand in India without spending a single marketing dollar. This post is a classic example of the same thing. We are about to launch a new smartphone, the Mi 11 Lite, which is the thinnest and lightest phone. To emphasize this, our wonderful marketing team sent an invitation with a helium balloon. This was done to show, “The phone is so light. So is the invitation.”

zero cost marketing

While this post generated a lot of praise on a professional social media platform, people were quick to point out how it was possible that Xiaomi’s marketing spend and budget was “zero” when Xiaomi phones are advertised on social media, YouTube, newspapers, television and other platforms.

In fact, in 2017, Xiaomi even announced Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif as an advertiser for its new Redmi Y series in India. Also, in 2019, Ranveer Singh endorsed the Redmi Note 7 series smartphones. So, how can Xiaomi’s marketing spend be zero when they participate in similar marketing campaigns that all brands do.

zero cost marketing

Xiaomi has already started its promotions for the upcoming Mi 11 Lite smartphone. One user wrote on LinkedIn, “Manu Kumar Jain, come on already. I can’t watch a single YouTube video in peace just because of the repeated Mi 11 Lite ads.”

To this, Manu Jain replied, “Currently, we have started to spend a little money on advertising. However, for the first three years, we spent ZERO marketing dollars and still became the #1 smartphone brand in India. Frankly, even today our marketing budget is the smallest in the industry. Hopefully that clears things up.”

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