It’s never an easy task to find a balance between two requisite aspects of any subject matter and similar is the case when it comes to marketing functions. In layman terms, standard and localised are two macro-formats that define the purview of marketing in general. In typical marketing verbose, they are above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) activities respectively.
With the competitive landscape becoming further competitive and with overlapping differentiators everywhere, localisation and customisation have lately become even more crucial from the point of view of incremental sales. There had never been a debate around the importance of direct consumer connect when it comes to brand permeation to the bare ground level. For such connect, organisations are required to localise their marketing activities, hence, BTL marketing initiatives are chalked out with great detailing.
After all, it is imperative to reach out to the grass root level consumers in order to know their expectations, so as to ensure that the brand’s investment plans are in alignment with the market sentiments. The eventual goal is always to meet the RoI while achieving the sales targets.
Inception of localised marketing strategies
A localised BTL strategy offers an opportunity to impact the audience thoroughly as it promotes cultural integration and management reforms in line with the demography. It reads the consumers in the context of their culture; thereby, enabling the sales team to leverage the consumer sensitivity in the milieu of accruing the desired profits, capable sales force and loyal customer base for the organization. This is more like leveraging the resources to the maximum in this era of customization and hyperlocal marketing.
When it boils down to ensuring the brand message transmission to its target audience, the grass-root level BTL manoeuvres such as distributing brochures, flyers or reaching out through telemarketing and direct mailing certainly prove to be successful. To begin with, a research-based strategic plan is communicated clearly to the entire sales team; it provides a clear vision of the purpose and objectives of the enterprise. With this, a localised strategy catering to the indigenous population of the region, cohesive with the company policy, is born. With a wider scope of reach, such customised and targeted activities enable the brand to leverage the customer sensitivity to the direct interaction with the brands.
Impact and Advantages of Focused Marketing
The primary goal of any enterprise at its onset is to incur profit. It begins with a set financial target statement whereby the marketing team is expected to provide a ‘bull effect’ on the company’s balance sheet of profit and loss. However, this is only possible when the company bolsters its ability to target the right set of audience in a focused manner. When customised and localised set of sales plans are put into the execution engine, customer’s psyche is leveraged successfully. Such a customised reach-out approach enhances the organisation’s chances of minting profit for a longer time-period with a loyal customer base since the local requirements and a set of circumstances are well catered to.
While helping the brands to accrue more return on investment for the enterprise, such approach also provides the ability to bridge the gap between strategy formulation and its execution, given the thorough understanding of the market. It further optimises the performance of the sales representatives, enabling them to deliver the set profit goals of the organisation. It also helps in capturing the instant reaction of the target audience, thus, enabling the brands to devise the future course of customised strategy well in time. It further gives a quick recipe for swift customer acquisition to the company, thereby boosting their balance sheets promptly.
Therefore, it will not be wrong to say that localised strategies, in reality, are, a major breakthrough for driving effective sales enablement strategies.
No matter how important and critical, the hyperlocal extension of marketing is, its encompassing activities still have its own fair share of challenges. Localised sales and marketing tactics, time and again face hurdles such as proper execution and management of activities. There can be a gap in terms of planning or execution or in the alignment between the range of sales and marketing activities.
Another very pressing concern is customisation of the messages. One falter on the part of apt message creation and all efforts miss their target and ultimately the campaign is termed as a failure. Apart from impeccable messaging, localised or BTL activities require dynamic execution of activities at various fronts starting from the first phase of research and development, to the last phase of implementation and results; as it has to keep in purview the sentiments of the local populace, wherein the timing plays a critical role.
The mantra for all organisations who intend to continue the progression trail can certainly be coined as - Going Global by Going Local. Following this mantra, many industrial giants have increased the extent of localisation in the realm of marketing activities. Localising content for specific markets in line with the geography-specific cultures dramatically multiplies the desired effect. In a bid to win over the customers, organisations are increasingly adopting a bullish approach on localised sales and marketing strategies, which is helping their target customers feel more like an integral part of the brand. This trend is here to stay and the future is certain to see this trend getting bigger and better.
To sum it all up, till the time the localised element is being given its due importance by the marketers in the formulation of dealing strategies, we are bound to see increments happening on brand engagement as well as, on sales and profits front.
This article has been authored by Sunil Munshi who is the CEO - India for Denave.