What is below-the-line or BTL marketing? By below-the-line marketing, we mean a very specific, memorable and direct form of advertising activity, which focuses on targeted groups of consumers. It is a form of on-ground activity that helps a brand build a trustful relationship with their target audience. It’s not just about creating a sell-buy relationship. Instead, it aims at establishing an emotional connect with the consumers and giving them a chance to experience your brand by physically getting a touch and feel of them.
BTL marketing activities allow brands to know their audience in a more refined way, while increasing brand awareness and bringing in loyal customers. But, to do this properly, one requires a combination of innovative strategies, a comprehensive understanding of consumer behaviour and aggressive communication of the company’s message to bring about sales success. This is what we, over at Abybaby aim to do with our BTL marketing strategies. We have done various successful campaigns, such as the Vodafone Mini Utsav or the NEXA – Showroom on Wheels for our client Maruti Suzuki, where with the help of the communication channel created through BTL, we were able to develop a private relationship with the customer, and inspire them to speak to us.
A business can have amazing products and a supremely talented management team, but what ultimately determines its success, is whether it has been able to persuade significant numbers of customers to select their company’s products or services rather than buying from someone else. Growing a business comes down to the ability to sell, and that is where BTL plays a very important role.
When Vodafone came to us after their launch of several Vodafone mini-stores, they wanted to exponentially increase customer foot-fall, brand awareness and customer engagement in these stores with a recurrent and persistent campaign. This required innovative thinking and a carefully laid out plan, so that we could execute a campaign on such a large scale and over such a long period of time. Abybaby decided to execute a year-long campaign for all Vodafone mini-stores in Kolkata with events, competitions, fairs, exhibitions, giveaways, festival-centric programmes, specialized programmes, etc. to target different demographics. Both existing and potential Vodafone customers were targeted through a memorable and systematic series of campaigns. As a result, brand awareness and footfall in the primary and mini stores quadrupled, and the duration of the mega-campaign ensured long-lasting impressions and brand awareness like none other.
NEXA – Showroom on Wheels was another such campaign which really had us put our thinking caps on and required our entire creative team to brainstorm together and come up with an innovative idea. Abybaby was tasked with the job of marketing and branding of the product in the Eastern India. The client wanted an initiative to enhance connectivity to customers and offer them the NEXA experience in those parts of the country where they do not have a presence. Abybaby came up with the NEXA – Showroom on Wheels, where we would take the showroom directly to the customers in a mobile van and offer customers the same experience, as one would find in a regular NEXA showroom. The van was accompanied with various kinds of engagement activities to further draw a crowd, who immersed themselves in the NEXA experience. People were overwhelmed with the entertainment and seeing something of the sort for the very first time, which led to a lot of test rides and spot bookings, making the campaign an overall success.
We can see that BTL campaigns can be very beneficial and has a lot of advantages to it as opposed to other forms of promotion. They let you engage directly with the customers and have a one-on-one conversation with them. They provide flexibility in terms of time, cost and messaging components, are easy to track and help make the campaigns more cost effective by getting rid of intermediaries and external agencies.
But, they do not come without their own set of challenges. With increased availability, the consumer today has become more critical and only selects the product after careful consideration of all the available choices. They cannot be enticed through ‘irresistible’ sales and promises which are not real. Their wants have become more demanding, and as a result they want tangible experiences that go beyond the media clutter. Thus, marketers need to come up with fresh and creative ideas. It does not need to be innovative all the time, but it has to be done in a different way so that the audience can differentiate the brand from the others.
We, at Abybaby, have been the facilitators of BTL marketing for various brands for a number of years, and have learned about a number of factors that one definitely needs to keep in mind when engaging in BTL.
Playground Firstly, it is very important to know about the playground. Before entering, one needs to carefully consider whether they can generate creative ideas consistently or not, as innovation is the key to success.
Provider Most industries are very competitive and one needs to consider whether there is any chance for them to grow in the future. It is important to understand what the providers want and plan the marketing efforts accordingly.
Experience Learning from your mistakes is important in BTL promotion. One must use the experience they have gained, to carefully develop future activation strategies, so that the next campaign bears more fruit than the previous one.
Being smart One needs to realise that people do not have endless time to see the brand. This is why we have to be smart in the way we grab attention and speak for the brand. The communication needs to be direct and well-thought, so that it instantly strikes the audience and makes a lasting impression.
Giving quality time Lastly, it is very important to provide the target audience with a good experience. One needs to ensure that the time potential customers spend with us, is used properly, and they go back with a positive outlook for the brand and the product. If they do not have a good experience, they will not go ahead with the purchasing of the product.
In conclusion, having worked in this industry for a very long time, taking into consideration all the factors, we at Abybaby, have realised that BTL marketing is essential, and extremely important in the process of branding. It can massively help in driving the sales of the company, but to create successful campaigns, one needs creativity, innovation and a thorough understanding of the market. Through our immense experience, we are certain that If done properly, it can be a great asset to the company, and can really help them make a name for themselves, while also increasing their reach and profits in an efficient and cost-effective manner.