A COVID-19 Dilemma in India: Calibrating a Downsized Automobile Marketing Budget


Expecting a drastic slump in its automobile sales when India put COVID-19 restrictions in place in March 2020, Contana India reduced its marketing budget by 70%. Nonetheless, the marketing general manager was expected to deliver outstanding performance, drive immediate sales, and maintain brand awareness and image. He saw three practical options: distribute the budget between brand awareness and performance campaigns; dedicate it to one or the other; or commit to a seasonal approach. With high uncertainty about the 2020 market, Dilip was under pressure to decide quickly and provide data to objectively justify his budget allocation strategy to anxious internal stakeholders.

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