BTL Baatein: Vidur Patney, Maxus… Powered by VISCOMM

18 Sep,2015

After this education in India and the UK, Vidur Patney, National Director, Maxus Experiential Marketing, has worked for nearly 20 years across the marketing spectrum. Recently, he has worked with Encompass, Dentsu and most recently Globox until joining Maxus earlier this year. In this edition of BTL Baatein, Vidur Patney speaks on the importance marketers give to BTL activity in their overall marketing plan, and more.

What is the importance of BTL in the world of advertising and promotions?

Experiential marketing has over the last few years moved more centerstage as a tool to promote and engage with consumers. Advertising has been the medium of choice for years and has largely worked, but today consumers are smarter, more aware and crave personalised interaction, that’s why more and more marketers who want to have one-on-one conversations with consumers are looking at experiential marketing as the medium of choice.

What would you say is the importance marketers give to BTL activity in their overall marketing plan?

Brands that need localised solutions are far keener on going down the BTL route, as are brands that need to provide specific personalized information to consumers. The lines are however a bit blurred and the need is defined by the information to be delivered. Having said that, BTL spends are on the rise. But it’s not just BTL, digital solutions are also gaining popularity.

Are there are certain types of marketers who have a greater affinity for BTL? (eg FMCG, durables, auto, etc)

Any marketer who wants to engage with consumers will by and large look at BTL solutions as the way forward. FMCG brands use BTL as a tool not just to promote products but also for sampling new products. Auto brands, use BTL to expose the physical car or bike to a larger audience and give them a 1st hand touch and feel of the vehicle beyond a showroom. So, yes, different brands use BTL in for different needs and to achieve different results. BTL is also a great tool for influencing consumers at the point of sale.

Typically what is the break-up of spends…. ATL v/s BTL?

Varies from industry and brand, but is fast growing. For some it’s close to 30-40% for some even higher.  But as mentioned, looking ahead, a BTL – Digital solution is the way forward. Consumers will demand it and brands will have to follow suit.

Can you also specify the range of activities that you undertake as part of the below-the-line advertising and promotion for your clients?

Ranges from localised promotions to mall displays to school and college contact programmes to modern trade activities, events internal and external, roadshows, conferences and exhibitions. Quite honestly just about everything and everywhere.

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

A tough one to call. BTL solutions provide more focused results as compared to traditional spray and pray advertising. So if the need is to engage with consumers one-on-one, BTL is the way. But here again having a digital layer is critical.

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

It depends on the requirement. If it’s a new product launch and sampling, then that’s measurable, but if it’s just promoting a product to drive sales, it’s very tough to work out the math on how many people bought a product after any sort of BTL engagement vis-à-vis an ATL campaign. The only other measurable element is cost per contact. Participation and experience delivered are tough to quantify.

There are many organisations 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?

Some brands do launch with BTL as their marketing backbone, but that’s not a one-size-fits-all model. A combination of ATL, BTL and Digital is in my mind critical and the most effective.

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