In the times of an overcluttered digital marketing landscape, it is difficult to stand out among thousands of brands competing for the same set of customers. Different forms of BTL marketing comes to the rescue and help brands make personalized and interactive connections with their customers.
While digital is the buzzword around the retail market these days, the need for personal connection and a social shopping experience is the need of the hour. Vanguard brands who went the D2C approach through virtual retail mediums now find themselves alienated from the festivity of offline customer engagement. While online marketing feels like a shot in the dark, offline or BTL marketing allows brands to engage on a personal level with real-time response and feedback.
The significance of BTL marketing has grown because of its ability to reach the target audience and influence brand positioning through personal interaction. The customization of product engagement and trials is very high, having a direct impact on sales and an indirect impact on brand perception and buzz.
BTL activities allow brands to tailor their messaging and cut through the clutter to generate tangible returns on the campaigns. Such experiential marketing services allow customers to experience the product, making an immediate connection between them and the brand. Let’s look at the top BTL marketing activities that can shape a brand’s go-to-market strategies and generate tangible business results:
It is a direct marketing technique that involves the delivery of promotional material to a defined list of known at their residence or organizational premises. It is among the most leveraged BTL activities and has tremendous outreach amongst manufacturers and customers.
One of the challenges with direct mail is that majority of customers discard or disregard promotional mail as they don’t see them as relevant or desired. However, if targeted to the right set of customers with the goods or services that they might be interested in, the chance of direct mail getting desired response will increase significantly.
Brand activation is a form of experiential marketing service through which a brand generates awareness and builds long-lasting relationships with its customers. It is one of the crucial BTL marketing techniques to get a brand off the ground and generate engagement at the right place with the right target audience. Brand activations are interactive in-person events and experiences that forge long-term emotional connections between the brand and its target audience.
Today, personal connections have become extremely important to modern business success. Hence, brands need to collaborate effectively with a brand activation agency to cultivate deeper, experience-driven connections with their target audience.
Experiential marketing services
Often referred to as engagement marketing, experiential marketing is a below-the-line marketing strategy. Here brands create an immersive, real-world experience for the purpose of connecting and engaging with their audience. These experiences go beyond a brand’s exclusive products and involve the values a brand believes in and sentiments it wants to relay to its prospects and customers.
B2B experiential marketing campaigns are executed to drive awareness for the brand and generate interest in the products, all while providing a fun and engaging experience to the target audience. Most of these campaigns involve live participation as part of the event or show. In recent times, AR/VR technologies have opened up new avenues for digital, experiential marketing.
Samples and free trial activities
Sampling and free trial or demo are among the most tried-and-tested BTL marketing campaigns. The goal here is to get people to try a product for free with expectations that they will like the product and want to purchase it. Whether it is in-store sampling, mall activations, or doorstep sampling events, brands must ensure not to force the sample on the customers. They must gently nudge the consumers toward the sample products by talking about their features and the pain points it resolves for customers.
Brands can also choose to send free samples via direct mail. They can enclose a message which asks the recipient to post a picture of a free sample on social media channels. This way, traditional BTL marketing campaigns can be digitized for wider reach and word of mouth.
In-store brand activation
This method of BTL advertising campaign is popular among retailers and B2C brands. It is one of the most effective brand activation solutions as it targets customers who are already in the store, and hence the chances of making a sale increase. These events are hosted at the stores that allow the audience to see and sample products in person. The goal is to develop a newfound appreciation among customers for products and the brand itself.
Visual merchandising- in-store branding & outshop branding
Visual merchandising in retail is a vital cog in the BTL marketing mix that maximizes the aesthetics of a brand’s products. It is the art of presenting products in a unique and meaningful manner that invites customers to make a purchase at the point of sale. From window display to shelf display and signages to point-of-sale material, visual merchandising services have a direct impact on driving impulse customer buying behaviour.
Visual merchandising not only helps brands to showcase their wares to the customers but also creates a long-lasting brand impression on them. It engages all the senses and also supports the overall communication strategy of the brand.
Industry events & trade shows
Lastly, offline events such as trade shows and industry expos offer ample opportunity to activate the brands. These events are an ideal platform for both buyer and seller to converge face-to-face and engage meaningfully about products and services. Brands can also study competitor activities at these events and understand their customers up close. Companies can also leverage trade fairs to launch new products and elicit a response from potential customers.
To sum it up, BTL marketing campaigns help form a direct point of contact between customers and brands. Modern brands need a comprehensive mix of below-the-line activities to build personalized engagement with their target audience and enhance brand visibility and credibility.
Contact our BTL activation agency to schedule a free consultation and get answers to your retail marketing woes.
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