Microsoft Silverlight Customer Solution Case Study Rural Marketing Software Helps Marketers Tap Potential Markets and Manage Efficient CampaignsOverview “Our goal was to tap markets that cover the lengthCountry or Region: IndiaIndustry: Advertising and Marketing and breadth of rural India. We were able to achieve it with Linscan, the world‟s first rural marketing softwareCustomer ProfileLowe Lintas & Partners is one of India‟s present on both Internet and mobile platforms,largest and most storiedcommunication groups. Incorporated thereby enabling marketers to effectively plan in realin 1939, the company is headquartered time.”in Mumbai, India. It has a brillianttalent pool of over 650 people across Kevin D‟Souza, Executive Director, Lowe Lintas & Partnersseven divisions and nine cities all over Linterland is the specialist rural communication and marketingIndia to manage its 250+ clients. arm of Lowe Lintas & Partners. Aiming to help marketers gain aBusiness Situation thorough understanding of rural markets, Linterland felt theLowe Lintas & Partners wanted tolaunch a new tool that would help need to update and upgrade to a tool that could span itsmarketers tap the potential of rural network across rural India. Working with Microsoft GoldIndia for its customers. Certified Partner, Prosares Solutions, the company chose toSolution build its new offering, Linscan, on Microsoft Silverlight 4.0.Linterland, the rural marketing andcommunication division of Lowe Lintas Linterland believes this to be the worlds first rural marketing& Partners used Microsoft Silverlight software. It revolutionizes planning and execution. Compatible4.0 to develop Linscan, a strategicsoftware, designed to exploit rural across all widely accepted mobile platforms, it offers field forcemarkets. management, and, enables surveys, in real time. Additionally, itBenefits continuously updates feedback from the rural sales force to Delivers accountability to rural create a more robust, relevant, and up-to-date information pool. marketing campaigns Secures proprietary information Also, it provides information security and offers scalability to Offers scalability to accommodate accommodate growth. growth Improves market prioritization Facilitates effective execution Reduces transportation time and costs
“Linscan ensures Situation Disposable income is not comparable Lowe Lintas & Partners is one of India‟s to urban centers, and agriculturaleffective protection of largest and well-known communication income is cyclic, erratic and groups. Headquartered in Mumbai, India, unpredictable. As a result, theLintas intellectual the group has seven divisions and is purchasing decision process is veryproperty and data. Since spread across nine cities all over India to different from that in urban markets. manage its 250+ clients.this is a system with Vernacular and cultural heterogeneity: Linterland is the specialist rural Today, marketers invest in ruralrobust control on data, marketing and communication division programs without specific knowledgethe information cannot of Lowe Lintas & Partners. Its main on where to find consumers who are objective is to help marketers gain a more inclined to buy their offerings.be syphoned out of the thorough understanding of rural Marketers are also unsure of the most markets, thereby enabling optimal and effective way to communicate with thesystem for use effective marketing, communication, and rural audience. Most follow a trial andelsewhere.” activation strategies for brands to error approach. connect with their target audiences. Pravin Savant, Chief Technology Officer , Lowe Lintas & Partners Owing to the above complexities, it Linterland houses a workforce of over 40 becomes difficult to ensure adequate members and through its partnerships, it returns on marketing investments. extends to hundreds of trained However, the Indian rural market is vast, personnel on the ground, who execute with roughly 790 million consumers and its various programs. represents the largest potential market in the country. As a result, no consumer The rural markets have stepped up on company can afford to ignore the rural the priority list of marketers in India and markets while crafting its overall abroad too. While the quest to dominate marketing strategy. these markets has been strong, the dynamics and size make it difficult for In the current scenario where the market companies to take full advantage. The is becoming more varied and complex, sector poses a variety of challenges. Linterland felt the need to revolutionize Physical distribution is difficult due to the face of rural marketing in ways never high costs involved, non-availability of thought possible before. retail outlets, and the widespread nature of rural geography. “Distant markets have low audience density,” Solution says Sharad Varshney, Senior Vice Linterland decided to create Linscan, a President, Lowe Lintas & Partners. strategic rural marketing software that “Plus, rural market places like haats would help marketers tap the most (weekly markets where people from potential markets across rural India. A surrounding villages conduct trade on revolutionary knowledge-based fixed days) and melas (fairs where both intelligence system, Linscan is used as a entertainment and sale and purchase tool for effective rural marketing― of goods and services take place) do planning, logistics management, not have a far-flung reach.” information gathering, and implementation. “Our goal was to tap markets that cover the length and
breadth of rural India,” says Kevin Silverlight brings a high degree of usabilityD‟Souza, Executive Director of Lowe and rich interaction of geographic andLintas & Partners. “We were able to analytic functionality to Linscan. Bing mapsachieve it with Linscan, the world‟s first and APIs allow the solution architecture torural marketing software present on both remain lean and performance efficient, asInternet and mobile platforms, thereby opposed to traditional GIS architectures based on proprietary map servers.enabling marketers to effectively plan inreal time.” Developed over a period of Linscan is compatible across all widely12–14 months, the tool went live in accepted mobile platforms such asMarch 2012. Windows Phone 7.5+, Blackberry OS 5+, and Android 2.2+. Using the mobileLinterland chose to work with Microsoft platform, it offers real time field forceGold Certified Partner, Prosares management, accessed by the geo co-Solutions, because of its expertise in ordinates of the field staff. This ensurescreating innovative solutions. The that planned activities are actuallydecision was made to build the solution carried out in the right areas andusing the Microsoft Silverlight 4.0 web according to schedule. In addition, withdevelopment platform for rich and live surveys it offers real time feedback ofinteractive presentation and also because consumers across rural India.it protects on-screen content. Thesolution architecture was designed with a The newly launched software enablesSilverlight based presentation layer. This Linterland to prioritize markets at a microallows users either a browser or a level based on quantitative anddesktop-based „client‟ layer that would qualitative analysis. It also helps to plannot expose the URL of the solution. distribution points across geographies,“Microsoft Silverlight offered a powerful, and identify the right media options thatstraightforward set of tools for creating will lead to cost-effective marketingfully interactive business applications,” initiatives.says Arun Mathew, Vice PresidentTechnology, Systems Technology, Lowe The tool also allows users to overlayLintas & Partners. “Also, we have location specific considerations, forpredominantly remained on Microsoft example, dates when congregationstechnologies from a user interface (mela, haat, mundi, a vegetable and fruitperspective. So we realized it was the market etc) are held in these locations,best choice.” and their proximity to logistical points (stocks and storage, highways, availableLinscan was architected as a centralized accommodation for campaign staff, etc).server-based solution with all the dataand intelligence residing in a single Pravin Savant, Chief Technology Officer,secure location. Overall, Linscan uses a Lowe Lintas & Partners sums up, “Linscancontemporary architecture comprising is a web-based GIS plus analyticalMicrosoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (for solution that can be replicated acrossGeospatial, Analytics and Reporting international geographies and is highlycapabilities), Microsoft Bing Maps and secure and compatible across all widelyAPIs (for presentation of geographical accepted mobile platforms. It is versatileshapes and information), and ASP.NETFramework 3.5.
and can operate from low bandwidth Secures Proprietary Informationlocations.” Linscan serves as an extensive repository of information insights on every state, district, tehsil (sub district), town, andBenefits village in India. This information is drawnThe company has created a competitive, from a variety of sources, for example,specialist solution that compiles census, other surveys, and Linterlandsinformation on rural markets by studying own knowledge base collated over themarket potential and trend indicators, years. “Linscan ensures effectiveaudience profiles at town or village level, protection of Lintas intellectual propertyand their consumption patterns. These and data,” explains Pravin. “Since there ishelp clients prioritize their markets and robust control on data, the informationunderstand what kind of communication cannot be siphoned out of the systemworks with rural audiences. Sharad says, for use elsewhere.”“Linterlands extensive expertise andreach in rural areas enable its clients to Offers Scalability to Accommodatetap this market for product promotion Growthand sampling. In addition, its exhaustive Linscan is able to increasingly absorbknowledge on rural India helps it to track new data and insights without impactingand exploit more opportunities in these its performance. Though designedmarkets. We‟re confident that we‟ll specifically to cater to Indian markets,continue to grow and support our the solution architecture is capable ofcustomers with a competitive and scaling across countries. Kevin D‟Souzaintelligent solution.” says, “The tool has geo-coded census information that can be updated as andDelivers Accountability for Rural when newer data is available. It is a firstMarketing Campaigns of its kind proprietary tool in India, whichLack of planning and accountability tools is adaptable to any country in the world.”have inhibited marketers from targetingrural populations, unlike the urban, which Improves Market Prioritizationis easier to reach. “The top management With Linscan, multiple planners in variousin any company seeks accountability of cities can now plan and work on themarketing and media bucks. Linscan same project without hassles andconvinces the management that iterations. They are able to identify fairs,accountability can be delivered even for festivals, and other high spendingdistant, culturally and linguistically windows in which to launch targeteddiverse rural parts of the country.” campaigns. With data from multiple sources, Linscan can collate and create aThe launch of Linscan has already holistic picture of any selected rural belt.attracted enquiries from other From cropping patterns to watergeographies like Pakistan that have availability, bank savings, and local fairs,similar challenges in rural marketing. hundreds of other parameters coupledKevin explains, “Linscan will find an with demographic data give planners aappeal in Asia Pacific, African, and Latin true depiction and potential of the area.American geographies, where ruralpopulations outweigh the urban.”
Facilitates Effective ExecutionPrior to Linscan, updates and feedbackwere done depending on access to anInternet café. These are few and distantin rural India and this resulted in poorreporting systems and clientapprehension.Linscan now helps manage the executionof all projects with real time on theground updates and feedback. In theshort period, the solution has been inuse, Linterland has been receiving dailyreports from the field, thus ensuringbetter control and, productivity, andthereby adding to overall clientsatisfaction. For example, fairs that havefixed dates, can sometimes change dueto unforeseen local causes. Thisinformation is immediately entered intoLinscan, a mobile device, and updatedfor future planning.In addition, the twin barriers of access toan Internet café and availability of anInternet point have been overcomethrough mobility, as reports andfeedback can now be done at anyconvenient place and at a preferred time.All this has made costs of commuting toan Internet café and then waiting to finda free terminal, a thing of the past.Reduces Transportation Time andCostsDistribution and logistical issues plaguerural marketing with high costs andtransportation expenses. Optimizingroute planning to deliver productsquickly and at lower costs is nowpossible with Linscan.
For More InformationFor more information about Microsoft Microsoft Silverlightproducts and services, call the For more information about MicrosoftMicrosoft Sales Information Center at Silverlight please visit:(800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the www.microsoft.com/silverlightMicrosoft Canada Information Centreat (877) 568-2495. Customers who aredeaf or hard-of-hearing can reach About Prosares Solutions Pvt. Ltd.Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) Prosares Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (Prosares) is aservices at (800) 892-5234 in the niche company, offering softwareUnited States or (905) 568-9641 in development and implementationCanada. Outside the 50 United States services. It has stayed rigorously focusedand Canada, please contact your local on its chosen service offerings. Based atMicrosoft subsidiary. To access Mumbai, India, Prosares has a team ofinformation using the World Wide trained and certified consultants,Web, go to: business analysts, solution architects,www.microsoft.com developers, testers, and support professionals.For more information about LoweLintas & Partners products andservices, visit the website at:www.lowelintas.in orwww.linterland.com/. Or contact Mr.Kevin D‟Souza, Executive Director,Linterland Rural Communication at (91) (22) 3025 3667,Kevin.Dsouza@loweandpartners.com Software and Services Partner Microsoft Silverlight 4.0 Prosares Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Microsoft Bing Maps Microsoft ASP.NET Framework 3.5This case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published October 2009 May 2012