BTL Baatein: Swati Rathi, Godrej Appliances

11 Jun,2015

A postgraduate in marketing from the Xavier Institute of Management, Swati Rathi has been with Godrej Appliances for over nine years after a stint at IMRB and Polaris Software. Given the wide range of products that Godrej Appliance has, Ms Rathi’s experience ranges from driving a 1000+ team of frontline customer advisors to directing the ATL and BTL of Godrej Appliance products. Ms Rathi takes questions from Dyanne Coelho on how vital BTL is to her company’s over marketing plan and the attributes she looks at to measure the success of a BTL campaign philosophy


Swati Rathi, Senior General Manager and Marketing Head, Godrej Appliances

1. How important is BTL activity to your overall marketing plan?

BTL communication is extremely critical to the success of any marketing plan. It not only helps in building awareness, creating interest and driving imagery for the brand but also helps in providing a deeper level of understanding to the consumers by giving them information and by connecting with them more closely. It is a down-to-earth, hands-on approach that is more direct and helps the brand in establishing a relationship with the consumers. For a consumer durables brand, product understanding and demonstration plays a very important role and purchase decisions continue to get influenced at the shop floor and therefore, BTL communication plays an even more crucial role for brands like us.

At Godrej Appliances, BTL activations play a crucial role in the overall marketing plan. Through our BTL activations, we try to ensure that there is consistent brand presence in the market and a high visibility at the shop floor. We do nearly 1000 BTL activations throughout the year ranging from participating in premium exhibitions such as IITF to improving shop floor visibility through clutter-breaking visual merchandising concepts.  All our activities are targeted at driving brand imagery and conversion at the shop floor level by letting the consumers experience the products and offerings up close.


Can you give a broad idea of your spends pie of ATL v/s BTL?

Approximately 25-30 % of our marketing spends are on targeted BTL activations.


Can you also specify the range of activities that you undertake as part of the below-the-line advertising and promotion?
At Godrej Appliances we undertake a wide variety of activities as a part of our BTL communication. These include:


:: Shop level product launches and retail promotions> demonstration focused activations at shops or in mobile canters around the city
> cookery classes for Microwave Oven promotion
> product stacking/usage demonstrations for refrigerators etc.

:: Festival specific activation

> tactical offer centric promotions at or around the shop floor through inserts and visual merchandising

:: Exhibitions of different scales

:: Van branding and activations
:: Office/ Mall/RWA activations
:: Clutter-breaking visual merchandising led promotions
:: SMS and email campaigns


Do you prefer to do this through BTL agencies directly or via your existing creative/media agency?

While we work with our creative agencies for creative development, the execution is taken care of by our BTL agencies.


In terms of generating results esp from consumers and in B2B, do you find BTL a more sureshot avenue than ATL?

For improving marketing effectiveness, we typically combine ATL and BTL techniques in a single, integrated campaign for communicating consistent messages across all media.

BTL activations work as reinforcement and are more driven to effect conversions. BTL is very successful in upcountry locations and the results are also easily measurable.


While sales and salience are good indicators of its success, what are the attributes you look at to measure the success of a BTL campaign?

The number of leads generated, footfall and sales are important parameters that are measured to assess the success of BTL campaigns. What is also positively impacted through a well executed BTL campaign is the confidence of trade partners, motivation of the sales force and reassurance to consumers, feedback from trade partners etc.


There are many organizations who often do new launches almost entirely on BTL aided with an outdoor and/or digital blitz? Your view on this. Given rising media costs, do you see BTL managing on its own, without ATL?

Both ATL and BTL have their own defined role to play and the media mix depends on the objective of the campaign and nature of the product being launched. Further, with consumers’ media habits getting more and more fragmented, it is important to have a sharply targeted mix with the role of each media vehicle being defined very carefully.


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