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Brands explore below-the-line options

17-November-2000
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Brands explore below-the-line options

More and more companies are closely monitoring their mass media budgets and have started shifting focus on below-the-line activities which is growing at 150-200 per cent per annum. It includes direct marketing (DM), promotions, events and sponsorship etc. Efforts in the rural marketing area have also been stepped up. Brand promotions through Bollywood films is catching up too. So is Internet-related viral marketing and E-customer relationship management. Below-the-line activities such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and telemarketing are becoming increasingly popular. The reason why companies are looking beyond mass media are: 1. Consumer interaction is the key. 2. Mass media is becoming increasingly expensive. Space in leading news papers and magazines grows 15 per cent more expensive every year. Spot rates on top rated programmes on popular channels are priced between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh for 10 seconds. 3. Visibility and brand registration for companies on mass media may not be very heartening, thanks to media clutter. While mass media may not be swamped by below-the-line media and rural marketing, this non-traditional media has definitely arrived. And, taking a cue, FMCG major HLL has taken a lead in starting a dialogue with the consumer through its various direct marketing efforts rather than just speaking to him through its ads. Discovering consumer through below-the-the options. Consumer interaction is the key. Therefore, direct marketing (DM), events, promotions are becoming popular. DM may overtake mass media ad spends by 2006. The direct marketing industry is growing at 150 per cent HLL has increased its DM budget by 300 per cent in the past two years The brands war are now being fought at the retail stores rather than in the minds of the consumers. In-shop kiosks are becoming popular. Signanges are becoming popular amongst FMCGs as they provide customer contact point at low cost Rural marketing is growing at a rate of 150 per cent. Players like HLL, Eveready, Asian Paints, ITC and Kelvinator have entered the arena. Rural marketing spends may double in two years. Ration between above-the-line and below-the-line activities have changed from 90:10 to 60:40 in the last 2-3 years.

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