Ramakrishnan, Shilpa runs a company called VShilpa Education Services that is involved both in the handicraft sector where it provides provide business skills and in the broader education sector providing creative , academic and soft skills. She has in the past worked in organisations of repute like Shoppers Stop, Welspun Retail, TATA Group and Career Launcher. Her interests lie in working with artisans at the grass root level , children and young adults.

May 2009, Craft Revival Trust

Promotion is one of the key aspects of the Marketing Mix. It is used in the many stages of the product life cycle depending upon the objective at each stage.

For example when a new product is introduced the objective is usually disseminating information about the new product and its arrival in the market.

There are two types of promotion above the line (ATL) and below the line (BTL). The latter is more subtle in nature and is suitable for hand crafted products. It is becoming increasingly important in all industries and can be found in various sectors.

BTL activity is the best way to achieve communication objectives more efficiently in a limited budget and is a good cost efficient way to communicate with the target market.

The following BTL activities can be carried out effectively in the craft sector that can enhance the sale and also bring out the value of the workshop

Craft Workshops
Educational workshops that clearly highlight product details and the craft activity behind the production of the craft. The skills specific to the region and the specialty of the product can be effectively communicated via these workshops

These workshops not only bring awareness but also help increase sale of the product.

Craft Exhibitions
This is the best way to assimilate different regional products under one roof. Diversity of craft techniques under one roof reach different kind of customers with diverse needs and can help product affinity.

Point of Sale Displays
Any retail outfit having craft products can use point of sale displays to highlight the craft and also give information about the product. It not only serves the purpose of education and increased sale but also is an effective visual merchandizing technique

Gifts with Purchase
Even a small handmade card can go a long way in communicating the importance of a craft to the person buying another product. It adds a personal touch and brings the customer to understand the craft. It can be a reason for him to buy the next time he comes in.

Cost effective and informative; these can be used to disseminate information and inform about the various products that are ready for sale.

Thus these small techniques go a long way not only in enhancing sales but also educating the customer about the beautiful handicrafts of the country.

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