How Experience Commerce Is Using Content Marketing To Build A Community Of Food Lovers For MTR

MTR and Experience Commerce have built Dishcovery - a content platform housing authentic vegetarian recipes from all across India, while #SundayHoTohAisa is helping build conversations on Twitter

A South Indian born in Kolkata, lived in three states – West Bengal, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The plus point of living life in a suitcase helps you grow an appetite for good food.

Having lived in Gujarat and Maharashtra I found one dish quite common in both cities – Pav Bhajji. A spicy preparation with a mixture of vegetables, consumed with crispy fried bread or pav dipped in butter. But did you know that this popular street food goes back in history to 1850, as a quick fix meal for Mumbai’s textile mill workers. Add to that: pav or small breads were introduced as it was difficult to cook too many chapatis or Indian breads.

These interesting food stories are being sautéed on Dishcovery, a platform housing authentic vegetarian recipes from all across India. Owned by a legacy brand in the food and hospitality industry - MTR, the portal is more than just uploading food recipes.

Conceptualized and executed by Experience Commerce, a Mumbai based digital agency, Dishcovery isn’t about quick-fix breakfast ideas or the mix-n-match Indo-Western menu card prevalent in every household. Instead, it is an effort to record and safe-keep the authentic secrets of Indian cuisines that have invigorated taste buds for centuries.

Through this platform, the brand aims at bringing the multi-cuisine India to your kitchen. “Be it ingredient history or an old earthen pot recipe, Dishcovery—the tell-all of kitchen tales—is just what you need by your side when you are cooking to please,” informs the About Us section on the portal.

The portal shaping into a community platform is a food lover’s delight with its authentic Indian cuisine stories. The egg shaped dolls give you a cursory glance of different cuisines from different states. Click on any doll to get a sneak peek of the dishes, for more click further.

For a change I explored Rajasthani cuisine which is known for Pakode wali Kadhi and Dal Baati Churma. Rajasthan is known for its unique array of snacks giving me enough reasons to learn the recipe of Kalmi Vada - a quick recipe powered by the spices from MTR and explained well with the much needed tips. However it would have been interesting to have some more pictures of the making process or may be a quick video would be of help.

Moving back to the home page, one still has a search option and the tempting ‘featured meal of the week’. The home page is worth a mention as it makes discovery of food very easy on the site even for a layperson.

Meals section on the portal is a complete delight for a food lover who also loves to cook for others. I’m all set to give a new twist to my Sunday cooking which is mainly dominated by meat or fish.

Getting that perfect taste comes with patience and those small tips that most cooking bloggers or celebrity chefs either ignore or don’t share. For instance how do you make your rotis/Indian bread soft or how to get the crispy fried potatoes? These small things, if gotten right, can make your kitchen and tummy both a happy place. Dishcovery gets it and has addressed it in the Get It Right section.

Finally, the Community section reminds you of the good old focused and dedicated interest based groups that more or less eroded away after social networks took charge of the virtual world. MTR is trying to bring back old school community building where fans own, drive and protect the community. It is a work in progress already with social integration.

#SundayHoTohAisa on Twitter

In addition to content creation for Dishcovery, the agency took over Twitter in a very interesting way by making Sundays nostalgic. As a kid and even now, I wait for Sundays, one because it’s a holiday and second you can eat at your comfort. Sundays were also special as a kid because my mother prepared special breakfast on the day.

Taking a cue from this, MTR rolled out the #SundayHoTohAisa initiative on its Twitter channel. The brand asked fans how they would want Sunday mornings to be.

Fans and food influencers joined the early Sunday morning breakfast party.

And this was the creative response by the brand to its fans.

The activity has been going on every Sunday and goes beyond saying that the brand has been trending on Twitter. Additionally, the kind of conversations driven by this initiative made the brand go for many more Sundays. There is a second Twitter account which focuses on promoting and creating awareness for the content that is being created on Dishcovery. The Twitter handle has been busy sharing interesting visuals of the popular recipes by giving the recipe link from the portal.

Additionally, there are tweets that intrigue a food loving mind with smart questions. Finding the right answers will land you on the portal.

Content Marketing, an ideal choice

MTR has been quite popular in the food industry for its spices and masalas at least in the southern part of the country but even then we perceive it more as a traditional brand. However things are changing, the brand wants to associate with today’s voice by becoming their healthy breakfast choice and also hoping to find a space in their kitchen.

With this vision, MTR Foods unveiled a new advertising campaign for its Masalas category last month. The new campaign demonstrated how authentic homemade dishes made with MTR’s masalas help a woman bring the family together.

On digital the brand has trusted content marketing - a long, ongoing and slow return process but one that leaves a long term impact with its target audience. Quite encouraging to witness MTR walking the content marketing way where the brand is not forcing its products but associating itself in the consumers’ choices.

Today if you want to learn about some dish the common habit is to either call up someone you trust or Google it. With every passing day, the second option is becoming a natural choice led by the growing digital and smartphone penetration in the country. The smart folks at MTR and EC know it very well and hence they have chosen the content marketing route with a long term systematic investment in content.

Besides EC has a past that is loaded with case studies on building and nurturing various digital communities that have been reaping profits for years now. The RCB community building for more than half a decade is an excellent example.

This is just the beginning for MTR and going forward it is being said that the brand wants to land up in your kitchen via smartphones.