BTL Baatein with Ahmed Rahimtoola, Allied Blenders and Distillers… Powered by VISCOMM

19 May,2017

In line with the rules and regulations governing alcohol advertising in India, we do not advertise any of our alcobev brands in mass media. It does constrain us from reaching out to consumers but that is where BTL comes into play and allows us to present the full glory of our brands to consumers, says Ahmed Rahimtoola, VP-Marketing, Allied Blenders and Distillers in this edition of the BTL Baateinseries powered by VISCOMM

 

How important is BTL to your overall marketing plan?

The retail environment, both off-premise and on premise, is the ‘Moment of Truth’ where consumers make the actual purchase. It is at this point that consumers can be influenced by a variety of ways to switch/retain loyalty to our brands. BTL activities are aimed at the retail environment and thus form a critical part of our overall marketing plan.

 

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

BTL activities cover a broad spectrum which can be bucketed under the following heads:

 

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

As an organisation, our total A&P spends are equally split between ATL and BTL. There are variations when it comes to individual brands but BTL is equal to, if not more than, ATL spends at a brand level as well.

 

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

The choice of agency, either specialist BTL agency or existing creative agency, to execute our BTL activities is dependent on the nature of the activity and the capabilities required. As a guiding principle, we would want to appoint the best-suited and capable agency to execute the activity and not get bogged down by whether it is our creative agency or specialist BTL agency that is the ideal candidate. Thus we have examples of both types of agencies executing our BTL activities.

 

Since there are various rules and regulations attached with promotion or displaying alcohol in public in India, how difficult is it for brands like Officer’s Choice to advertise and market them in public spaces since alcoholic brands are only allowed to advertise and market in pubs and clubs?

In line with the rules and regulations governing alcohol advertising in India, we do not advertise any of our alcobev brands in mass media. It does constrain us from reaching out to consumers but that is where BTL comes into play and allows us to present the full glory of our brands to consumers.

 

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

It is very difficult to make a judgement of the effectiveness of BTL over ATL but the impact of BTL on sales is easier to measure and is more tangible.

 

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?

In addition to sales and market share, we conduct routine brand health tracks for our key brands. The success of BTL can be gauged from the improvement in key metrics like awareness, consideration and trial measures.

 

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

The ultimate objective of ATL or BTL is to reach the target consumers and deliver the message. The choice of medium i.e. ATL or BTL or both is governed entirely by how effectively and efficiently this objective is attained. There are consumer segments where a BTL-led launch plan supported with outdoor/digital can work and it is the marketer’s prerogative to make that choice. | As far as rising media costs are concerned, marketers will employ the same metrics of effectiveness and efficiency to make precise choices of media selection. We already have instances where brands esp. regional brands spend on BTL activities alone since ATL may not be regionally isolatable.

 

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