Kicking off BTL Baatein Series 3: Interview with Eddie Udagawa, Canon India… Powered by VISCOMM

08 Dec,2017

Canon needs no introduction in India, given that its leadership in the world of imaging and cameras. In the first of the third series of BTL Baatein, we bring you an interview with Eddie Udagawa, Vice President, Consumer Imaging and Information Centre, Canon India. The BTL Baatein series is powered by VISCOMM, a leading BTL and marketing services company headquartered in Mumbai.


Canon has been a leader amongst cameras and the imaging space in general. How important are below the line marketing promotion to reach out to potential and current customers?

Below the line activities are intrinsic to our business and forms an integral part of the marketing strategy. While we strive to create awareness and build wider reach around the brand through ATL activities, BTL led activities are important to provide an experiential purchase to the customers.

Canon’s BTL activities displays the comprehensive range of products and services which are accompanied by professionals to help customers experience the brand and its wide ranging portfolio.

Through BTL, our aim is to delight customers by giving a personalised experience through the touch-and-feel experience with the products. BTL activities depicts on understanding the customer’s need and viewing things from their perspective. On-ground events always make us closer to customer as they share their feedback insights on our services and offerings.The training and workshops has helped our customers to make informed purchases and help us in gaining more market share in India.


How important is BTL activity to your overall marketing plan?

BTL activities are core to our overall marketing activations. BTL activities focuses on one-to-one communication between the brand and target audience thus building a stronger customer base. Communicating directly with the consumers lets you customise your message with every recipient and that is the key for us to be able to connect with our target audience.

We conduct various workshops and training modules, promote photo tours and so on which keep happening all over the country. We reach out to Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV cities in the country to engage with consumers, as we believe in promoting the art of photography and the power it entails. We tap each kind of target audience through various kind of BTL activities.


Can you give a broad idea of your budget division of ATL v/s BTL?

Both ATL and BTL for man intrinsic part of our overall marketing plan including the digital communication. Our budgets are skewed to ATL activities since it reaches to larger audience at multiple touch points. BTL activity is too important but since it reaches to targeted customers at specific locations, the overall cost involved is far less than the ATL activities.


Canon has a range of products – from the lower to higher end. Can you specify the range of activities that you conduct as a part of your BTL activities plan?

We undertake a lot of BTL activities to ensure that we touch each segment of our market, whether it be for entry level users, amateurs, high end users or even any photo enthusiasts.

For all the photography enthusiasts we recently concluded the Canon Photo Marathon.This is an annual event and is being organised across 12 Asian regions. This year it was held in two cities – Mumbai and Delhi. Deemed as one of the largest photo competitions, the event brings photography enthusiasts closer, while challenging them to push their boundaries and showcase their photographic creativity through their own perspective. Participants click photographs from different cameras whether entry level, mid segment or high end cameras to capture the best shots. The day-long photo competition offers a memorable experience and attractive prizes for various category winners. The grand winner wins Canon Photo Marathon Asia Championship which is an all-expenses paid photography tour specially organised for the grand winners of respective regions.

Another way to reach out to photo enthusiasts is the roadshows. Canon flagged off a 60-city roadshow, to strengthen customer connect across the country early this March and is still on-going. With this initiative, Canon brings the product portfolio to the forefront and creates mass awareness about the technological innovation that we house within our imaging solutions.This activity has helped Canon reach Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV markets, thus creating a new customer base and providing an accessibility for instant purchase.

For high end users, the company focuses and invests into various photography workshops under a unique Canon property called EOS Nation for professional photographers. These seminars are delivered by industry leading professionals and aimed specifically at professional photographers.


This year we initiated with Pushkar Service Camp under Canon Professional Services for high end users where service depot was there for maintenance of the camera and demo set up was created for touch and try experience for customers. Approx 500 customers visited the demo zone and 200+ units of equipment’s were serviced during this 6 day long CPS camp.

Targeted specially at women photographers, Canon organised ‘I Click’ photography workshops, with an aim to empower beginners, hobbyists or amateur photographers to develop and enhance their photography skills. We started this in 2015 on International Women’s Day and this time we conducted this activity throughout the year reaching out to key 12 cities which saw a participation of over 1800 female audience.

There are lot of other BTL activities which we keep doing like complimentary workshops, users master classes for various genres of photography etc. All these activities not only bring customers closer to the brand but also entice them to click more and more thus building and promoting photo culture in the country.


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

We have specialised agencies that help us execute various kinds of BTL activities based on the brief and requirement given by the internal sales and marketing team. The agencies play an important role in activation and post-activity analysis and our internal team keeps a check to improvise the work.


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

Both ATL and BTL are complementary to each other and both are important to be well connected with the consumers. Neither is complete without the other.


Would you say that for products like those that Canon offers where the experience of using it helps in purchase decisions, BTL is a must-do activity for sales?

Both ATL and BTL are equally important for the consumers to make any purchase decision. Working in tandem, ATL generates awareness and reach and BTL generates customer touch and feel experience of the products. We also have our exclusive retail outlet called Canon Image Square where the staffs at the store are professionally trained and are efficient in assisting customers in selecting products in accordance to their specifications and requirements. All of these equally help customers in making an informed purchase thus satisfying there overall needs.


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?

Delighting our customers is the main objective when we plan any BTL activity. The impact that a brand creates in the consumers mind and the overall experience which the consumer have taken away from various kinds of activities conducted is very important for any BTL activity.

Our endeavour is to consistently keep coming up with novel ideas to havea good brand and product experience and also increase the footfall so that we build relationship with more number of customers.

Eventually the sales number at various workshops and events help us judge the success of the activity.


There are many organisations that 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?

In this digital era, organisations rely a lot on digital blitz. Everything is going online since that is the need of the hour. But, at the same time, in a developing country like India, we also need traditional ATL activities to tap our customers. The customers today are very well read and aware, they do not wish to spare even a minute for something that couldn’t catch their attention.

Establishing a brand presence at multiple touchpoints combined with an innovative tone of communication lets you leave a deep seated impact in the TG’s mind. Keeping this in mind the marketing activities is planned in such a manner that the message is communicated to the relevant target audience in a precise and effective manner.  This ensures extensive market research, latest trends and updates and reaching out through relevant media vehicles so that the brand remains at the top of mind.

BTL marketing strategies becomes important to give a personalized touch and experience of the products to the customers in its own unique way.



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