Brand Activation in Below the Line Marketing
Market Access Group is now one of the biggest marketing agencies in Bangladesh. It is an one stop marketing solution firm that deals with almost every kind of marketing activities that is available right now, not only about marketing it is now dealing with HR issues and Public Relations as well. It started with Market Access Providers Limited Only but then it went bigger.
Major companies in Bangladesh, Multinational companies, Local companies both are frequently working with Market Access Group. Television commercials, Audio Visuals for the B2B businesses, Events, Direct marketing and other marketing activities all are available in market access. It has connections all over the country.
Market Access Provider Limited has two key departments direct marketing, Service marketing and One another linked SBU Integrated Rural marketing.
They each have different playgrounds to play. They play with different issues of marketing. Direct marketing goes for direct customer interaction, direct promotions, service marketing is more of a event oriented department, it arranges event based activations whereas integrated rural works in the rural, semi urban areas where people can get little knowledge about brands. Making them aware about brands.
Every marketing needs a plan, strategic planning team does planning for all the three above mentioned departments. It generates ideas and makes a proper activation plan that the operation team executes.
Market Access Group
Market Access Group started as Market Access Providers Limited in the year 2000. It was only about below the line activities first, but slowly it grew and now it has 6 SBUs to give the Brands a one stop solution. Be it advertising, direct marketing, events, B2B audio visuals, Market Access Group has it all for a Brand. Since its inception it has tried to come up with new marketing ideas in the market. It is pioneer in direct marketing, trade marketing, service marketing and rural marketing in Bangladesh. It has 11 area offices and 187 field offices around the country.
Market Access Providers Limited
It is the mother business for Market Access Providers Group. It has the control of 2 departments (Direct Marketing and Service Marketing) and another SBU Integrated Rural.
It does Brand Activation and Events. Activations like Road show, consumer experience, consumer engagement, one to one communication.
- Close Up 1
- Nescafe Get Set Rock
- Lux Channel I superstar 2006
- DITF (Unilever, Banglalink, Symphony, Eurosia, etc)
- Aarong 30 years celebration
- Banglalink Corporate night
- Sprite Clear challenge
Targeted Consumer Activation Campaigns
- One to One Consumer Interaction
- Nationwide Logistical Support
- Household Channel Marketing & Sales
- Data Management
- Nationwide Brand Promotion
- Database Marketing
- Nationwide Field Force Network
- BL PCO Rural Channel Development
- BATB TSA Monitoring
- BL D2D Marketing & Sales
- BL Disaster (Sidr) Recovery Support
- FAL D2D & Product Sampling
- BATB Retail Classification System
- Nestle Superstore Consumer Contact
- Maggi School & Shopping Mall Act.
- Brand Communication and Promotional Activities / Campaigns
- Behavioral Change and Social Communication Campaigns / Outreach
- Alternative / Last Mile Distribution, Direct Sales and Marketing
- Alternative Electronic, Print and Outdoor Media
- On-ground Activities and Nationwide Field Work
- Awareness, Penetration, Consumption, Sales and Distribution
ENGAGING / MOBILIZING
- Related Target Groups in the Rural and Semi-urban Areas of the Country
- Brand Communication and Promotional Activities / Campaigns
- Banglalink’s “DESH Utshab & Mobile Film Unit”
- Unilever’s “Clear Campus Confidence Campaign”
- Reckitt Benckiser’s “Mortien Baul Utshab”
- Unilever’s “Fair & Lovely Chander HAAT”
- BD Edible Oil’s “Meizan Rural Activation”
- Behavioral Change and Social Communication Campaigns /
- SMCs “Shukh Pakhi” Campaign
- SMCs “Jotone Roton” Campaign
- Alternative / Last Mile Distribution, Direct Sales and Marketing
- Bangladesh Edible Oil’s “Project Runner”
- Banglalink’s “Rural Activation for PCO Package”
- Reckitt Benckiser’s “Mortien Mystery Shopper”
- Western Union Money Transfer’s “Field Force Monitoring”
Future vision of the Company
“To be the most preferred Complete Marketing Solution Provider in the markets we operate”
The Company Values
- Winning Attitude
Brand Activation in a brief
If marketing is the heart of a business then obviously branding is the soul of marketing, branding and marketing is very important for a business because it helps to show whatever the business does for the consumer and in a broader perspective for the society. Without showing off any business cannot run for a long time. Branding has become a very important issue because today we have a lot of media to show or highlight the brand. Branding is very important also because without branding products loyalty can never be enhanced. During my job period as earlier mentioned Brand activation played the major role so the main topic of the this section is how Brand Activation is done, what are some important ways of doing brand activation in Below the line marketing.
Objective of the report
Branding for the strategic planners is an important issue, for making an effective plan for the brand activation is very important. As the job role was making plans for the local and foreign brands, the choice was not there to make a research based report, so after having gathered some information from the work and doing some readings the decision was taken to make a report on market activation or more specifically the brand activation. The main objective is to let people know about the concept that has become a popular marketing activity in below the line activities.
The methodology contains both primary and secondary data collection
During the internship period the activity was actually based on planning for the brands, as I have worked under Services Marketing, Direct Marketing and Integrated Rural all these three SBUs are under Market Access Providers Limited. Strategic planning unit works for these three SBUs. So for Direct Marketing the planning has to be effective so that we can reach directly to the consumers, make quick interaction with them and direct sales can be taken place.
The Ideas for Integrated rural is similar but it is a timely process, it has to be a long run process to ensure that the people from the rural areas are well aware of the program or campaign. On the other hand Services marketing is different than the prior two, the planning for service marketing needs more innovation because every brand wants different ideas every time they go for any event or activation. As Market Access works with so many brands even in the same industry the ideas ought to be different each time. It is very to look things differently at the same time it has to be from the consumer perspective, because the service or the product finally has to attract the consumers. So the main Brand Activation part is totally taken from my own experience.
Secondary data mainly refers to the theoretical parts, definitions of some important terms and some results and figures.
Brand Activation is a vast concept but as the report is based on Brand activation in BTL (Below the Line) marketing so the major part would be related to BTL Brand Activation. But before going there are some key issues to know, the theoretical parts of Branding and Marketing.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
What is a Brand?
A brand is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
What is Branding?
There are several dissimilar definitions of a brand, the most effective description however, is that a brand is a name or symbol that is commonly known to identify a company or its products and separate them from the competition.
A well-known brand is generally regarded as one that people will recognize, often even if they do not know about the company or its products/services. These are usually the businesses name or the name of a product, although it can also include the name of a feature or style of a product. Largely „branding‟ of a company or product can also stretch to a logo, symbol, or even design features (e.g. regularly used colors or layouts, such as red and white for Coca Cola.) that identify the company or its products/services. i.e.- The Nike brand name is known throughout the world, people can identify the name and logo even if they have never bought any of their products.
However, not only is the company name a brand, but the logo (The „tick‟ symbol) is also a strong piece of branding in its own right. The majority of people that are aware of the company can also identify it (or its products) from this symbol alone.
The clothing and running shoe company Adidas is well known for using three stripes on its range of products. This design feature branding allows people to identify their products, even if the Adidas brand name and logo is not present.
Now before going to Brand activation we should know what ATL (Above the Line) marketing is and what is BTL (Below the Line) marketing.
Above the Line Marketing
Above-the-line activity in marketing refers to marketing practices making use of the mass media where, given a firm’s use of an advertising agency, the agency would make a commission on advertisements which are placed in media including television, newspapers, billboards, radio, magazines, and cinema, and where the commission charged by the advertising agency typically appears „above-the-line‟ on the ad agency’s bill to the firm.
Thus, Marketing comprised of activity that, traditionally, entails commission charges by advertising agencies which, mainly, comprises mass media advertising is said to be above the line marketing.
Below the Line Marketing
BTL is an activity as used by marketers to bring in awareness to a specific target market, by following a conventional marcom approach that lays emphasis towards using various Direct Marketing tools. This includes road shows, placing stalls in malls, participating in exhibitions, undergoing door to door selling, test marketing, in-house public awareness campaigns and many more. This type of marketing activity is often more cheap than ATL and is more focused and rather more quantitative then as compared to ATL that can be more expensive and more qualitative, since it focuses towards attracting the mass market in general.
It’s about engaging consumers at an emotional level and driving them to take action. Brand Activation a relatively new “term” in the industry, there is much debate around the exact definition of Brand Activation. It’s pretty simple really; it’s all about bringing the spirit of brands to life. The objective of Brand Activation is to make brands active in their markets, building their reputations along with results. Most fundamentally, brand activation contributes in creating trust between the customer, the society and the brand (i.e. company).
And trust is one of the key factors to create loyalty between consumers and brands.
“Brand Activation a natural step in the evolution of the Brands” Brand Activation, is the Marketing/Brand activity that enables the consumers to live the life in the Brand Way.
Every brand has a core identity and extended identity. the brand also stands for proposition. You take the brand identity and the proposition and blending those two you develop a brand activity/program in which the consumers get to live their life in the way the brand promises life to be.
Let’s have an example to clarify brand activation.
Example can be the LUX beauty contest. Lux is a beauty soap. its proposition is to increase your beauty and the brand personality is the young successful beautiful women. The brand identifies itself with beautiful celebrities, i.e. film stars like Aishwaria Rai of India.
Combining all these brand elements you develop and implement Lux beauty contest. you select the most beautiful girl of the nation and she gets her crown from Ash. She wins loads of prizes from Lux, gets her cosmetics and other beauty products courtesy of Lux and lastly she gets selected for the new-face of next upcoming film of Yash Chopra as the new debutant. If she really can prove herself then the tinsel-world is all hers and she becomes a STAR.
So you are taking an ordinary girl and making her a star courtesy of Lux. this is Lux Brand Activation. Making one girl live the life in the Lux way while stimulating the aspirations of million other girls, who dreams to be the star. they start to think “if she can be star why not me”. Well not every girl who uses Lux becomes star but they strive to be. at the end of the day, all this is done to increase brand sales, awareness and loyalty. Have a look at some interesting Brand Activations in the recent times.
Brand Activation stages in below the line marketing
Meeting the client
Normally for agencies it is the first stage where they meet their clients to know about their demand different brand has different essence, value, demand for their consumers, some brands want to target the youth, some want to target the school going kids, some target mid aged people, clients then represent what they want their objective for the activation and how much they can support the agency to do the activation. Clients sometimes even do not know what is there to do with the brand, so in the first meeting they share each other’s point of view and settle for a general demand.
Planning is the most important part of activation, it is very important to understand each and every factor regarding the brand, it is also important to understand that the playground has a boundary and they have to be creative within the boundary. It is very difficult for the planning team to come out with a new plan every time, but it is kind of compulsory in this field. It is not possible to follow others and survive. Planning team takes the project and then they start thinking normally a formal or informal meeting that consist a few members, when the plan comes out most of the time it is scripted, major clients demand a formal power-point presentation of the whole plan, after presenting the plan in front of the client the project finally gets locked.
Sometimes there clients want more or lessen the activity so after that the plan again gets revised and then it gets locked.
The planning team then explains the idea to the operational team, operational team normally knows the plan from the first hand but there are a lot of people who works in a project so after the project gets locked the operation team starts its business, it is the operational team who recruits the Brand supervisors, brand promoters. They collect all the POSMs (Point of Sales Materials) and necessary stuff for the operation from the vendors and then they go to the operation directly.
Some operations need training for the Brand supervisors and Brand Promoters so it is the operation team who actually makes the training program.
In every operation there will be one or a set of personnel from the clients to monitor, even if they are there, a formal report needs to be done for the client.
It includes some pictorials of the campaign.
Why Brand Activation?
There was a time when people used to know about a product only by TV commercials, newspaper and billboards but now the scenario has changed, now brands want difference in marketing, even in marketing there are a lot of changes happened lately. So it is quite difficult for a brand to survive if it is not taking a leap and go for creativity. The playground demands more improvisation than ever before. This is where the BTL marketing comes. There are some specific reason why people would go for Brand activation in the below line.
More and more organizations are relying on non-media communications for growing the internet among the target market, awaking them about the product as well as B2B marketing.
They may offer less exposure, but these „behind the scenes‟ campaigns are gaining momentum in companies both large and small.
Brand activation in Below the line marketing activities are broadly defined as those that offer direct, often personal communication to the target audience.
Email, direct mail, events/exhibitions and telemarketing form the basis of below the line communications. Connected to these activities are often preliminary marketing efforts including market research, audience/market segmentation and public relations.
A mix of above and below the line marketing has traditionally been seen as essential for sales and branding campaigns. However with decreased media spend and the evolution of email and digital communications, below the line marketing is becoming a impartial approach in Brand activation.
All sales and marketing efforts should be based on sound market and audience intelligence. Market research and segmentation activities allow organizations to understand and accurately target audiences with relevant campaigns and messaging. Market forces, social perceptions and economic needs will differ from audience to audience and country to country.
Investigating market trends and tendencies in new areas or locations is essential when planning how to sell effectively. Segmenting your market or audience means that you are able to target potential and existing customers with information and promotions that are relevant to them.
Engage directly with the customers Be it telemarketing or events or direct marketing it directly connects to the audience. It enables organizations to have one-on- one conversation with prospects. Benefits include prospect profiling, depth explanation of product/ solution, ability to capture information and enable follow-up communications.
Lead generation through telemarketing is perhaps the quickest, cleanest and most cost effective way of selling high-end solutions and services.
Telemarketing has evolved over the years so that it is a more intelligent tool that is responsive to market forces and changes in the economy. Events are also important as it gives the audience a pleasant experience they go home with a joyful mind. There is also some Modern trade activations where the audience get to play some interactive games, quizzes etc. all of them are done actually to engage the audience directly.
These campaigns or brand activations has to be flexible for both parties, it should be easier for the audience to understand the meaning of the brand and easier for the activation operators to make the operation successfully in a cost effective manner. Campaigns offer flexible time, cost and messaging components that make them more attractive than large media campaigns.
Unlike multi-media campaigns where budget is committed to messaging and media for a fixed time in advance, below the line campaigns allow businesses to test the efficacy of a method before deploying full budget.
Easy to track
These campaigns are easy to track like the feedback or the response should be quick enough for the marketers to understand the value of the campaign. It is important to know about the how the activation is going, if there is something wrong then it can be tracked easily.
The Brand Activation in below the line marketing is indeed a cost effective approach because if we look at the ATL marketing activities it targets the huge market at a time but the result is really unknown in ATL activities because you do not know whether your message has been reached to the audience or not even if it has reached are they really got your point of view. So ATL activities where companies also spend a lot of money the output depends, but in a BTL Brand Activation it connects directly to the consumers. Interaction is very important in Brand activation.
Some Important factors in Brand activation
- Ideas- you need fresh and creative ideas, it may not be innovative all the time but it has to be done in a different way so that audience can differentiate your brand.
- Going Digital- now a day’s everything is related to technology; it helps to connect quickly, saves time and entertains.
- Being smart- people do not have endless time to see the brand; we have to be smart to grab the attention and speak for the brand.
- Giving quality time- giving a good experience is very important to the target audience, providing them a quality time is very important.
It is a stage where we make an interaction with people talk to them, making them aware about the Brand There are some drivers to interact or to make an effective interaction:-
- First we have to pretend that consumers actually do not know anything about the product or do not even care about the brand, but we have to attract them, explain them.
- As it is a direct interaction with the audience, it is very essential to show them the proof that whatever we are saying is true, we have to explain who we are, what we do, most importantly it has to be authentic.
- Making a connection between the Brand and their daily life or luxurious life so that they feel the need of the brand.
In Brand activation there are four important things –
It is very important to know about the playground first, before entering in this playground we have to reconsider the fact whether we can generate creative ideas consistently or not
The experience should be used to develop the activation strategy in future, learning from the mistakes is important in Brand Activation.
The industry is very competitive and is there any chance in the future for growing, important to understand what the Providers want.
Facilitators are very important here, they make sure that whatever you want to do they are possible or not.
Advertising has always been seen as main weapon to build brands by the brand managers. Excessive reliance on this form of communication has resulted in “over communication”. Ad clutter has been increasing gradually and the future shows no sign of relief. Not only has this, advertising also lost its credibility if we compare it to what it used to be decade back.
Reasons are many: More knowledgeable customer, comparative advertising, internet etc.
Therefore, marketers are exploring new ways of supporting their brand. One such method is called Brand Activation. Brand activation can be defined as marketing process of bringing a brand to life through creating brand experience. As consumers have become more knowledgeable than ever before, they know everything about a brand via technology, so it is very difficult for the brands to compete with only advertising. Which actually pushes the consumers to know about the product. But on the other hand BTL activities are very much interactive to the consumers; consumers prefer to know if they are pulled by the brand.