Unconventional marketing strategies can be a start-up’s best friend
In today’s cut-throat competition, below-the-line promotions have become indispensable tools for both start-ups and large organizations, thanks to the low cost factor. “At least 70% of the decisions on whether to buy something or not is made at the shop floor,” says Vijay Singh, MD & CEO of 141 Sercon, a below-the-line (BTL) promotion agency. DARE explores the possibilities and limitations of this powerful tool.
What is BTL?
It is everywhere and almost everyone is doing it yet to define the scope of BTL is quite a difficult task. While some include everything that is not mass media advertising in BTL promotions, others include only activities that are done for a certain class of consumers or target audience. It helps marketers establish one-to-one relationship with consumers while mass promotions, by definition, make it difficult to gauge consumer-response, except at the time of sales. Examples include tele-marketing, road shows, promotions, in- shop and shop-front activities, display units and entertainment events.
Purists like Singh insist all micro promotions, in which a narrow group is targeted, do not qualify as BTL marketing. “All agencies that were small startups, event companies, promotion companies etc. have suddenly become big BTL houses. But that’s not all what BTL is,” he says, emphasizing the two-way nature of the process. “BTL is about ensuring interaction. You need to define new consumers and do activities where there is an experience of interaction. BTL, by definition, has to be a long interaction and it has to be told. You need to tell the consumer something and the consumer needs to experience it and ask you question”.
BTL and the Start Up
“Given the proliferation of media and brands using them, the media market has become extremely cluttered,” says Pankajj Chaturvedi, Executive Director (South Asia), Baskin Robbins. “This has made addressing your core target audience a difficult and expensive task. As a result, BTL advertising is increasing its share in marketing budgets. Even the larger brands are spending a fair share on BTL,” he points out.
|Above-the-Line Media…||Below-the-Line Media…|
|Are tailored to reach a mass audience||Are targeted at individual consumers, based on their expressed needs and preferences|
|Establish brand identity or reinforce emotional concept surrounding a product or brand||Issue a “call-to-action,” inspiring specific customer activity or tailored messages about a product or a brand|
|May or may not drive customer response||Drive individual responses|
|Are difficult – if not impossible – to measure with any accuracy||Are highly measurable, allowing marketers insight into their return-on-investment, as well as those tactics that are (and are not) working|
|Cater to the mass market||Establish one-to-one relationships between consumers and marketers|
|Source: V12 Group|
While most big consumer brands like LG, Samsung and Nokia have a range of BTL activities; this method of promotion is especially suited to newer companies and products. For a new product, consumer interaction and feedback during a BTL campaign helps in fine-tuning the offering and positioning of the brand.
written by marketing strategy, June 14, 2010
written by marketing strategy, May 18, 2010
written by Quantama, January 31, 2010
written by Vijay Singh, November 06, 2008
written by Anil Malik, October 27, 2008
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