Spends on BTL all set to surpass ATL: Lintas IMAG study

By , agencyfaqs! | In Advertising | August 25, 2006
As per research conducted by Lintas IMAG, spends allotted for through-the-line communication will be around 50 per cent or more of the marketers' total ad spend by the end of 2007

Going by

research conducted by Lintas IMAG, the integrated marketing arm of the Lintas Group, above-the-line media (ATL) may face stiff competition from below-the-line or through-the-line (TTL) media in the near future. This is already a trend abroad and it is fast catching up in India.

The study, called the Lintas IMAG TTL Research, has thrown up the following: From 2006, the Indian marketer's communication spends have been tilting from ATL, or the traditional mass media, to through-the-line media. So much so that by the end of 2007, TTL media will contribute 50 per cent or more of the total marketing spend pie, thus becoming equal to, or even overtaking, mass media. As per the last Lintas IMAG study, TTL contributed to around 35 per cent of the overall marketing spends in 2003.

Lintas IMAG has identified eight key TTL areas which are set to boom: DM and Web development, out of home, PR, entertainment marketing, event management, healthcare marketing, strategic design and rural marketing. The key objective of the study this year was to project the growth rate for each of these areas by getting inputs from marketers, industry experts and consumers.

Some interesting inputs were gathered with reference to each sector. Rural marketing, for instance, has emerged as a big need for marketers, but more often than not, they don't know how to go about it, or they don't get the right kind of partners who can help them tap this segment.

To evaluate the growth of Indian design (packaging, logo designs and corporate identity), a blind test of sorts was conducted. The respondents were handed out a judicious mix of international (European) designs and Indian designs, without disclosing the origin of the designs. Indian designs were rated high by Indian marketers and consumers. It was concluded that outsourcing of packaging design from India is a huge potential growth area.

With respect to Web development and CRM, it was learnt that marketers feel there is a big need for people who understand their brands and have the specific skills to use that understanding effectively. Thus far, clients have been getting either the technology aspect from agencies or the creative/brand building part, but rarely a synergy of both.

Healthcare marketing, too, was declared a high growth area and clients preferred to work with healthcare marketing units that have a medical professional as its head because that adds to the unit's credibility.

PR was identified as one of the fastest growing elements of TTL, but here again, clients felt that reliable partners were few and far between. With respect to events, it was discovered that brand-related events such as seminars, exhibitions, brand launches and dealer meets were fast growing areas as opposed to other events such as music shows, which, the study pointed out, could transform completely into branded events, too.

Clients had an unhealthy opinion of out-of-home or outdoor as a medium because they found it unprofessional. Lack of research, monitoring and measurability were the key issues in this area. Malls, multiplexes and signages are high growth areas for catching consumer attention.

The study was conducted by talking to 120 respondents, including various marketers, 25 consumers in the design area and industry professionals such as heads of agencies operating in the eight key areas.

The ATL information and quantitative part of the research was gathered through secondary research data from published sources such as TAM.

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