This is what Xiaomi India head Manu Jain has to say on ‘zero cost marketing’ claim

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Xiaomi India has been vocal about their innovative marketing strategies on social media and how they are a trendsetter. The company’s executives along with Manu Kumar Jain, vice president, Xiaomi and managing director, Mi India often boast about how Xiaomi became a leading smartphone brand in India with “zero cost marketing”.
In a recent post on LinkedIn, while promoting the upcoming Mi 11 Lite smartphone, Manu Jain shared how Xiaomi’s marketing innovation and not marketing costs makes all the difference for the company.
In the post, Jain wrote, “How to do ZERO cost marketing? A lot of people get amazed by how we became the No. 1 brand in India without spending any marketing $$. This post is a classic example for the same. We are about to launch a new smartphone – Mi 11 Lite, which is the Slimmest & Lightest phone. In order to emphasise this, our amazing marketing team sent the invitation floating with a helium balloon. This was to show – “The phone is so Lite. So is the invite.”

While the post garnered a lot of praise on the professional social media platform, people were quick to point out that how come Xiaomi’s marketing cost and budget be “zero” when ads of Xiaomi’s phones are visible on social media, YouTube, newspapers, TV and other platforms.
In fact, in 2017, Xiaomi even announced bollywood actress, Katrina Kaif, as an endorser 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 cost be zero when they are taking part in similar marketing campaigns that all brands are doing.
Xiaomi has already started its promotions for the upcoming Mi 11 Lite smartphone. A user wrote on LinkedIn, “Manu Kumar Jain come on now. I am not being able to watch a single video peacefully at YouTube just because of repeated ads of Mi 11 lite.”
To this Manu Jain replied, “Nowadays we have started spending a bit of advertising spends. However for the 1st three years, we spent ZERO marketing dollars and yet became the #1 Smartphone brand in India. Honestly speaking, even today our marketing budget is the smallest in the industry. Hope this clarifies.”

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