Below the line advertising is a means of brand promotion & communication that uses less conventional methods of advertising. BTL advertising focuses on one – to – one communication between the brand and the target audience.
In this day and age of competitive brands, an increasing number of brands have started recognizing and opting for BTL advertising so as to engage & communicate with their audience personally. Gone are the days when BTL activities were considered to be an add-on to mass media activities. With the fragmentation of media space increasingly rapidly, communicating by “contacting” only isn’t enough anymore. The key is to be able to connect with your audience.
WHAT BTL COMPRISES OF?
BTL activities offer a wide scope of activities for any brand in any industry, and more often than not, all of them seem to be lucrative. However, the decision of what activity to go for and what to give a miss can easily be measured by the CPC & ROI that your brand will get by conducting each activity. Every BTL activity has its pros and cons and works differently for different brands given their category and the target audience segment. Largely, below the line activities can broadly be classified into:
Brand centric – Collaterals such as product brochures, inventory catalogues, annual reports, etc, that pass essential information about your brand / product to the relevant audience easily.
Direct communication – Direct mailers, e-mailers and SMS marketing make for direct communication in the BTL activities segment. Communicating directly with your consumers lets you customize your message with every recipient and give them only information that will be relevant. This makes your communication even more targeted and fool – proof.
In – store promotions –With the growth of modern retail in India, the opportunities to promote your brand at the POS has increased manifold. Right from store danglers to retail shelf space, in – store events, to in-store radio, store boards to accessories and visual merchandising, your brand can be present anywhere you want when your consumers are most vulnerable to spend money.
Events – This includes all sorts of on – ground activation (malls, residential locations, schools / colleges, kiosks), product promotion events, sponsored events, road-shows, etc. More often than not, on – ground events work well for tangible products since it satiates the Indian consumers’ need to “Touch, Feel & Experience” a product before they purchase it.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOING THE UNCONVENTIONAL WAY
With competition increasing fiercely and very little differentiation in products being the story across industries, it is important for you to not just create awareness, but, build a context. BTL activities lets you go a step forward in terms of brand building and allows you to “tangibilize” not just your product / service but the brand itself for your consumers.
BTL activities have 2 clear benefits for brands across industries and categories:
Customization: You can customize your communication not just by the “target group” but also on an individual level. By way of direct mailers, e-mailers, brochures, what you want to communicate can be specific to every particular user. Albeit a little more time consuming when it comes to being thorough for each member of your audience, the impact that a brand creates in the consumer’s mind by being customized results in positive brand perception and eventually, sales.
Deep Impact: To set itself apart from all competition in the market, it is essential for a brand to go beyond the usual techniques and engage your TG meaningfully and frequently. The fact that BTL has the potential to give your consumers a more physical touch and feel experience to your brand, you are able to create stronger conversions and develop a more long term relatioship with your target. BTL activities lets you target your consumers base through multiple touch points – be it at the point of sale, or when your consumers are at home via direct email; while they are shopping by way of in-store promotions or by simply handing out brand / product information for their better decision making, usually in your favour. Establishing a brand presence at multiple touch points combined with an innovative tone of communication lets you leave a deep seated impact in your TG’s mind.
In recent times, below the line marketing strategies have gained importance in the market given their unique & personal ways to achieve cut – through, in the otherwise saturated advertising environment. Today, BTL advertising makes for an integral part of the consideration set right at the media strategy stage.
HOW IT WORKS?
We, at Foolish believe , regardless of the medium you advertise on, the point of all brand communication towards consumers is to be able to create stories and conversations that your TG would want to engage in. Trust us when we say, today, no brand leaves a single stone unturned to come up with innovative ideas and ways of connecting with their consumers directly.
However, we are faced with the existential question yet again. Consumer relationship or not, is BTL the right thing to do for your brand? The answer to this question is what makes all the difference in achieving an optimum CPC via BTL activities.
For example, for an FMCG product, with the expansion of modern trade in the retail sector, brands are willing to spend on in-store merchandising, POS and promotional campaigns. Barring exceptions, the cost per lead and further more the cost per customer acquisition that these forms of advertising deliver are lower as opposed to some other forms of traditional advertising.
BTL often turns out to be a low cost method of reaching out to a niche target group and also avoids spillage to other consumer segments in the market, which generally occurs in mass media.However, BTL activities are varied in implementation, execution and even coverage. Often brands overlook the variety that BTL activities encompass and employ it as a singular activity. This is where brands go wrong. Any BTL activity, be it a direct mailer or an event in a residential colony will deliver different results for different brands.
“Foolish” OUR WAY
BTL is not all about thinking of innovative on – ground activities, or making a beautiful looking product brochure. The first step is the science behind analyzing and evaluating if a particular activity will work for your brand and whether or not it will help you achieve your marketing objective effectively. Often, all your brand requires is widespread awareness, and we as an agency never shy away from telling our clients that BTL should not be your medium of choice. However, if BTL does make sense for your brand, we start by setting very clear definition of ‘success’, be it leads, sales or just product demonstrations. Our role at Foolish begins with consulting your brand to identify the field of activity that your brand should embark on and then get to the implementation & execution phase.
Below the line advertising activities are capable of making your TG & consumers feel important and differentiated from the rest. And all this is achieved via customized and specially crafted messaging and execution. Foolish’s unique approach to planning BTL activities, coupled with breakthrough creative ideas for a brand allows them to find ways to fill the gap that exists between strategic and tactical goals. What makes BTL as a medium efficient is the technique of using BTL to contribute to building your brand and not just as a one – off tactical campaign.