Every day we are faced with advertising messages that are broadcast through posters, banners, videos and even personal recommendations on social networks. Wherever we go, a grocery stand, sign or promoter is always in sight. Alexander Efimenko, managing partner of the BTL-agency EVA, talks about the development of BTL advertising, as well as its impact on culture and economy.
People around have already learned not to pay attention to advertising, and this leads to the fact that direct methods of influencing the consumer stop working. Every year you have to become more creative and persistent in order to sell a product and increase its recognition. Fortunately, technologies come to the rescue, which we have learned to implement in completely different areas of business. But with all this variety of opportunities and offers, the consumer is lost and simply does not understand what is really necessary for him. In turn, the agency helps to facilitate the choice and determine the desires of not only the consumer, but also the company.
New ways of BTL advertising
Earlier, at the peak of popularity, there were promotions like: “Collect 10 caps and get a prize!” or “Buy two T-shirts and get a third one for free!” Today it is extremely difficult to surprise a client. Of course, the pandemic has made serious changes in the development of BTL advertising: companies have discovered many new opportunities for promotion in a virtual environment. Despite the obvious advantages of the digital space, some tools were not so easy to adapt to the new reality: it took a lot of effort.
So, due to the restrictions on holding events and exhibitions, the idea of working in an online format has received rapid recognition and development. Therefore, during the period of self-isolation, the indicators of the former resources became only more effective.
It is worth noting that holding promotions using the Internet is in no way inferior to offline: it is possible to directly influence the consumer through social networks (Instagram, VKontakte, Facebook, YouTube), using up-to-date digital tools. For example, the integration of QR codes works great to increase brand awareness, when the user reads them automatically goes to the page with information about the promotional offer.
It is necessary and important to be on the “agenda”, to follow the development of digital communications in the industry, then you can quickly integrate innovations into your work. Adapting to the situation means being able to adapt in time to any difficult conditions and competently continuing to work.
The most popular types of BTL advertising
Firstly – branding… Now the use of various elements of the brand and their integration into the media space have become a mandatory rule of the game in any field of activity. The concept of branding goes far beyond just creating a sign, entrance lobby and logo posters. Branding also includes the selection of materials, both finishing and auxiliary. All this together forms the brand space with its individual character.
Secondly, they remain relevant POS materials… However, for a qualitative impact on the audience, it is necessary to develop a concept and take into account the peculiarities of its adaptation to the final POS materials. In the fashion segment, especially in the middle and high prices, it is often customary to create concepts taking into account their exclusive, complex decoration. An example is one of our last works for the jewelry chain Uno de 50: the showcase had to be made with a special idea – huge metal needles.
Collaborations… They are gaining more and more popularity in the eyes of consumers. The creation of any materials in conjunction with creative individuals (artists, designers, writers, actors) has a positive effect on the branding of the company.
New technologies in BTL
Any choice of an advertising strategy is based on the specific tasks and situations that the client sets for the agency. Next, a strategy is developed based on various promotion tools – from classic to modernized ones.
In recent years, it has become popular in the advertising world to use a product with augmented reality capabilities. For example, the game Pokemon Go caused a public outcry, during which it was necessary to catch characters using the phone’s camera. Using the user’s geolocation, the application shows a map of the area with the location of the heroes of the game. Enterprising companies quickly adopted this principle in order to attract customers to their own points of sale.
Now virtual reality tools are at the peak of popularity – this can be clearly seen in the fashion segment. So, the Hanifa brand from Congo presented a podium on Instagram, along which invisible models defiled, and the Celine show moved from the usual format to one of the French castles – it turned out to be a real art performance. The shooting was carried out from a bird’s-eye view, models were walking on the upper terrace. It looked extremely bewitching. The impression was that the castle was created using computer graphics.
Thanks to modern technologies, it is possible to expand the segments of potential customers and maintain the loyalty of an existing audience. However, do not forget about the time-tested tools: they work just as well in the existing reality.
Differences in advertising in different areas of business
Each area of business presupposes its own set of tools for the final impact, but the benchmark is the same everywhere – the target audience. It is necessary to take into account in which segment the client’s product is located, since each segment has its own rules and settings.
Let’s look at an example of StreetBeet, a multi-brand sneaker chain that includes 100 stores throughout Russia. Their main product is sports shoes of famous brands: Nike, Puma, Converse, VANS, Asics, Adidas, Reebok. The target audience of the store is mostly young people, so the brand must match their pace and rhythm.
Advertising for the FMCG sector looks a little different. For such products, the seasonality of consumption will be taken into account in order to choose the optimal time for product promotion. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the peculiarities of the individual network in which the product is presented. It is important to understand what each chain has to offer for the campaign: checkpoints, toppers, shelves, the ability to install individual designs or conduct tastings.
The automotive business is more likely to invest budgets in the use of modern technology. An example is VR glasses with the ability to feel like driving, as well as the use of POS materials in the form of a full-size car installation.
To a greater extent, the differences in the advertising approach always depend on the context of the presentation and the areas of business. Everywhere there are nuances, and this must be taken into account even at the stage of developing the concept of POS materials and preparing the project.
The most popular form of advertising among clients
Choosing the right tool for creating an advertising campaign is not difficult, because everything becomes clear at the stage of working out the marketing task that the client sets.
For example, in offline stores, POS materials play an important role: what color, shape, pattern will be, is decided during the discussion of the brief, based on the company’s branding. Technologies such as virtual reality (online fitting, moving through 3D space) will be important in online stores.
VR, AR and MR technologies are all virtual reality tools that complement the already existing position of brands. Any physically real space – a company office or a point of sale – needs a special final design. It should include both a brand with its elements and specially created concepts that can be adapted for various media.
Augmented reality technologies are just beginning to be used in the BTL advertising industry, but they are already gaining leadership in exploitation. They simplify the choice for the consumer, and are also automated, so customers are happy to use such a tool for purchasing goods.
Instead of a conclusion
Summing up, it should be noted: in order to correctly convey information, it is important to be attentive to the consumer. Emphasizing the uniqueness of the brand, it is worth using a combination of various tools, taking into account the features of the product, as well as the reaction the advertising campaign will cause.
The modern consumer does not give particular preference to advertising, but makes his choice in favor of a brand that supports the same values and interests. The concept of “brand” is broad and includes a product, company policy, corporate solutions, prices and tools with which the end consumer can identify this brand. The main work of the agency is to complete the tasks of creating quality brand identification products using BTL tools.