Are old companies open to new techniques in marketing?
Can an old dog learn new tricks? Here’s a scenario- The founders of the company are now old but have their beliefs set on how a company should be run. Then comes along the new generation and they try to push the boundaries by adopting the latest tricks of the trade they’ve learnt at their fancy B-schools in the UK or US. And more often than not, they turn out to be successful. Is this common practice from an Indian standpoint? How receptive is our traditional business community to fresh ideas and new-age techniques?
Experiential is one such term that belongs to the fast-food eating, Facebook generation. EE got talking to industry experts to understand how traditional companies are dealing with the need to give experiences to their customers – is it just a fad or the need of the hour? Does everyone really need to go all out experiential? EE finds out.
According to industry experts, over the next 2-3 years the split between BTL and ATL (above-the-line, or advertising) spends will be equal. Currently, companies spend more on mass-media advertising than on events and promotions – but that’s changing. Overall spends on BTL will significantly rise as people begin to see its impact.
Mayank Shah, Group Product Manager, Parle Products, says the idea is to engage with the consumer despite the higher costs. "In case of traditional advertising on television or print, cost per contact is very low," says Shah. "BTL activation is costlier, but it's the quality of engagement with the consumer that makes a lot of sense. He feels, it is very important to generate trials in food products, which is the company's main product category. "Sometimes it's necessary to make consumer sample your products," says Shah. "And where there's a big rural and semi-urban opportunity, we need to go BTL."
Dabur India too has been relying heavily on BTL activities in tier-II and tier-III towns. "With rural consumers increasingly moving towards branded products, just leveraging mainstream media is not enough to connect with them," says George Angelo, Executive Director-Sales, Dabur. With the company’s Dabur Amla 'Banke Dikhao Rani Pratiyogita', a rural beauty and talent hunt where rural women are groomed by trained beauticians. Another of its BTL activities was the Dabur Gulabari Miss Rose glow contest -- a regional model hunt from state capitals, with the eventual winner receiving a wildcard to the Femina Miss India contest. "A BTL initiative involving Vanya Mishra (a wildcard who was one of the winners at the Miss India contest) resulted in Dabur Gulabari reporting its highest ever monthly sales in April," says Angelo.
“Traditional or non-traditional, everyone is getting into experiential. Everyone is being forced to join the gamut. The question is not about them being traditional or not anymore. Earlier yes, that used to be the case, but not anymore,” says Rajesh Verma, Director, CRI Events. But do all companies really need to go experiential? “Currently it is a fad, people are experimenting with it and they are realizing that it actually gives a good return as compared to ATL activities. ATL has a very robust ROI model in place. The minute our ROI model gets into place our numbers will start to look very sweet for experiential marketing. As of now it’s just a claim, but as soon as we get the right model to judge the ROI it will be a different ball game altogether,” says Rajesh.
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