Major Festivities of Diwali and Christmas are around the corner and one and all is gearing up for celebrations. Retailers have pulled up their socks and are set to bridge the direct link with their customers, which is a task in today’s highly competitive market scenario. The attitude of the consumers is changing as they now demand to be engaged in a dialog, this also is leading the marketers towards BTL activities. BTL (Below the line) activities are indeed a buzzword in the Retailers agenda as around 35% of the total promotional budget is slated towards these promotions.
ATL (Above the line) is very expensive and companies are looking for expenditure cuts. That is the main reason that below-the-line spending has added impetus in the market today and has become a preferred choice in the list of the retailers. If the target group is limited and specific, it is always advisable to use BTL promotions for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. BTL techniques ensure recall of the brand while at the same time highlighting the features of the product.
The rise in the use of integrated campaigns by marketers is driving the use of BTL campaigns, also the penetration of modern retail formats such as malls, convenience stores and supermarkets is driving the uptake of BTL activities, as it increases the number of venues and audience catchment areas available.
Another popular concept in the market is experiential marketing, experience means that the customer is personally involved and engaged with the brand, product or services. Like, a memorable experience with a brand can occur with a strong high-impact event, which creates higher recall. BTL activities play a very important role for this marketing as they are highly suited for product launches and concept testing for consumers, as well as for the increasing number of complex and luxury products, which need lengthy and skilled sales interaction. BTL activities hold significant scope for innovation in brand communication and for unique positioning vis-à-vis competition.
BTL is a more focused approach strategically driven toward generating results where one to one contact with the customers is a must. BTL activities are driven towards a selective target audience, giving you an opportunity to have a direct interaction with the customer. Retailers must not forget to email or text their regular customers and remind them of their exclusive initiatives during the celebration season. They must also send out wishes to their customers, in today’s faster than wind competitive scenario, a personal message bridges the gap between the customer and the brand builds a healthy and long lasting relationship.
BTL activities keep your pockets happy as they require very low investment. Another advantage of resorting to BTL is that effectiveness of each penny spent can be easily monitored and evaluated. Promotion becomes important especially prior to the festive season as there are a number of similar offerings in the market and the customer has limitation of time. Here it becomes indispensable for the brands how they manage to pull the customers towards them. Brands can spend on roadshows, discount offers, billboards, mall activation and point of sale promotions.
Introduction of exciting festive offers will boost up the mood and purchasing power of the customers. New launches and offering free gifts along with product purchase will add to the sales as word of mouth will begin its wonders. Around half a month before Christmas, shopkeepers can keep a person dressed as ‘Santa Claus’, who can play with the kids coming into the shop and can offer little goodies to the kids and the adults after shopping. It is low cost (compared to more traditional forms of advertising) and very much under-used method of promotion. Such activities offer novelty, excitement and humour at the Point of Purchase to the customer and also establishes goodwill.
A uniquely designed entrance arch design that highlights the brand almost always enables brand registration and positioning can be one idea for the BTL campaign. Decorate your shop and the entrance with the exclusive designs of the festival. Offer small colour packets during Holi, Diyas during Diwali and Santa keyrings during Christmas to the customers around 15-20 days before the festival. An engaging activity with the help of an emcee interaction with the customer directly along with distribution of goodies can ensure superior brand loyalty.
An organized procession with human placards / banners will always attract audience and will register the brand in the minds of the Target audience. Example during Diwali, Diyas and sweets can be distributed to the customers; this will provide super brand recognition and loyalty.
Another important BTL activity can be tasting, at festivals when we sit down with family and friends to eat, one can get the specialties on the table at home, which can be reviewed by them.
Roadshows, standees and hoardings are some branding collaterals, which act as constant brand reminder for the buyer. Uniquely done outdoor hoarding always serves the purpose, it educates the probable buyer about the brands, tells them where they can be accessed from and reinstates the brand visibility and adds value to the perspective buyer’s decision making process of selecting the brand.
Author is Loe Limpens, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Yellow Dress Retail
Yellow Dress Retail is a specialised agency under Umbrella company, Brand Dialogue