Riding high on the renewed interest in BTL marketing spend by corporate, Theme Ventures, a Delhi-based BTL marketing agency, is in active talks with US-based BTL marketing agencies for a strategic alliance.
Theme Ventures is currently signed up with clients like Godrej, Mahalaxmi TMT Bar, Paras Milk, Priya Biscuit, Floatel Group, BCC Cement, Refill Cartridge Engineering and Linc Pen, among others.
Several global American BTL marketing agencies are eyeing the lucrative and emerging India BTL marketing space. Though company sources refused to divulge names of the US-based agencies with whom Theme Ventures is in talks, it is learnt through reliable sources, that the heads of two US-based BTL agencies had been in India last month for giving shape to an alliance with Theme Ventures.
In the process, Theme Ventures may be split into two separate units – one handling FMCG and consumer durable marketing of various Indian brands in partnership with a similar agency from the US, the second division shall be an assortment of functions ranging from consumer scheme to media communication, CRM, neighborhood marketing, etc.
Meanwhile, Theme Ventures has been signed up by Llyod Electronics for various BTL marketing functions, including corporate sales and neighbourhood marketing in key metros.
The agency will hold a series of consumer connect programmes inside big residential complexes. Rajan Guha, Chief Executive, Theme Ventures, said, “AC repair camps are a favourite among residents during peak summer season. And that’s a surest recipe to find way into a consumer’s home to replace an old AC. Most product marketers miss out on these small nuances, which make a huge difference to product sales. Thankfully, companies like Llyod have started looking beyond conventional advertisement for consumer connect. BTL marketing is finally evolving in India.”
Theme Ventures has also been signed up for similar BTL marketing functions by brands like Godrej Interio Furniture, real estate conglomerate Jaypee Group, mid-sized real estate companies like Design Arch, RPS Group, and FMCGs like Denver Perfume and Midas Hygiene, among others.
The American agencies, which have a footprint in Singapore and South East Asia, are yet to be represented in India. They want to take strategic non-equity position in start-up Indian firms before they become too big for a sellout. India currently doesn’t have too many professionally run full-fledged BTL marketing firms specialising in complicated functions like distribution, channel sales and visual merchandising and consumer connect programmes. Outside the WPP conglomerate, the large US-based BTL agencies have a rather narrow access to the rapidly burgeoning outsourced marketing communication market in India.
Theme Ventures, a mid-sized BTL marketing firm with nationwide operations and practically no competing entity in its domain, offers alliance and eventually buy out proposition. Though the company steadfastly refutes an equity participation from the alliance partner and terms it strictly as a technical and strategic alliance with overseas agencies, it is not long before Indian agencies in the BTL space would start selling out their start-up ventures to larger global conglomerates.