Sunday, June 18, 2006

Is BTL all tactical?

It is more prone to more quicker and measurable success and hence I think it is more tactical then some of the mass media options. However, in a recent meeting with a brand owner, I observed the brand owners dilemma – where-in the “awareness” of his brand is on a high, however, the conversions at the last mile is what was missing. This is where he requires tactical approach and he turns to a BTL agency like ourselves.

His challenge is not about positioning or awareness – is challenge is about conversions and success.

Awareness (read ATL) for the top 3 to 5 brands in any category across most geographies is very high and is similar. While there could be a favored brand – however, it would be touch to get a brand which is “way far out”. The brands are cluttered together at the top without any specific reasons for one being far better than the other.

Take a classic case of a Coke vs Pepsi – which is better, which one is so special that the customer will move out of a restaurant if he is not served his favored option – unfortunately unless the customer is a mystery shopper J, he or she is willing to switch based on the salesman’s pitch or availability. While this is true for the 50 cent cola it is also true for high end televisions, shampoos and soaps.

I believe this is when advertising needs to shift towards tryvertising. The brand owner needs to re-think on percentage allocation towards brand building or awareness – when does the spend become an unnecessary burn and hence waste.

Strategically using tactical promotions, activations and campaigns ensure wins at the last mile – at the point when the decision is being made and at the point when choosing between “the top few brands” is not an earth shattering decision for the customer as it is for the brand owner.

The one on one connect at the last mile, where-in the concerns of the customer are highlighted and addressed, the brand proposition translated to product proposition and where the interaction move away from the 30 sec TV spot to a 3 minute interaction can change the customer’s current purchase and make him loyal for at least the next few purchases (esp. in case of small ticket purchases)