Below The Line advertising refers to the advertising strategy in which the product is promoted in such a way that it reaches a smaller, more focused audience. BTL advertising is accomplished by email marketing, direct mail campaigns, trade fais, catalogs, search engine marketing, social media marketing, loyalty programmes and so on.
Unlike ATL advertisements, BTL marketing focuses on a particular group and delivers targeted ads which have a greater chance of resulting in sales. ATL marketing is focused on big and popular things in mainstream media, and it occurs through mass media channels like radio and television. Hence, it costs a great amount of money and this cannot really be afforded by businesses struggling to come up. BTL marketing on the other hand, is cheaper and happens through non mainstream channels.
The advantages of BTL marketing are:
- Direct Response: BTL marketing is focused on a certain objective. It targets a group of people and delivers ads that appeal to them. Placing ads on social media, for example, is a BTL method where the targeted ad is placed on a social media platform to promote the product and learn the audience response. Unlike ATL marketing in which audience response cannot be identified, BTL ads directly engage with your consumers to elicit a response. Thus, BTL marketing has a greater chance to get higher conversion rates.
- Measurability: Audience response can often be quantified and measured against pre-existing values to gauge product and marketing performance. Audience reaction towards ATL ads cannot be measured accurately as people may remember things differently. In BTL, marketing data like what links were clicked, what the open rate is, click through rates etc can be collected and correctly analyzed.
- Consumer Engagement: BTL marketing is defined and targeted. Hence, consumer engagement with the ad content will be more than that with a TV/radio ad. In-person demonstration, targeted marketing, social media marketing, personalized messages and other BTL techniques elicit more response and thus have more consumer engagement. Greater consumer engagement would increase the familiarity of the brand among people and they would be more likely to pick your product when they come across it.
- Consumer Loyalty: Greater consumer engagement leads to greater loyalty. Consumer satisfaction is the number one priority of businesses. In BTL marketing ads are personalized with respect to the usage pattern or character of a particular group of people. BTL ads increase conversion rates. They get direct responses. This would help in forming a meaningful relationship with the consumers and would lead to greater loyalty. This has great value in today's market that is thoroughly saturated by competition.
- Lower Costs: Needless to say ATL marketing costs a large amount of money. Many businesses, especially small ones and startups may not be able to invest that much money in advertising. BTL marketing is more focused, relies on more accurate consumer data and above all is much cheaper than ATL marketing. Investing a small amount of money in BTL marketing would help people know your brand and make them form a connection to it.
Both BTL and ATL marketing have advantages. BTL marketing is cheap, targeted and efficient. It relies on consumer data and customized advertisement techniques. ATL marketing promotes brand recognition, and BTL marketing fosters consumer engagement and loyalty.