Below the Line marketing (BTL) – Definition, Meaning, Benefits and Examples

BTL Marketing’ is short for ‘Below the Line Marketing ‘. Below-the-line advertising tries to directly reach out to consumers. In this approach, products are marketed in alternative media. This is different from marketing using film formats, print, billboards, television, and radio.

Below-the-line marketing systems entail catalogs, trade shows, social media marketing, targeted search engine marketing, and direct mail campaigns. This strategy doesn’t cost much. Focus is also better than above-the-line strategies.

Why Below the Line Marketing?

BTL creates an experience with a high-touch. In this, a salesperson can solve queries directly. They can describe the products in a better way. This marketing strategy focuses on particular groups of people who are of interest. This method is best suited for direct response and conversions.


Above-the-line (ATL) marketing

Above-the-line marketing is employed if the target is mass media promotion. The aim is to reach out to a large audience. This includes various media. These are billboards, print media (like magazines and newspapers), TV, and radio.

Below-the-line (BTL) marketing

BTL is different from ATL in many ways. It targets a small audience. BTL uses marketing methods like email campaigns, sponsorships, flyers, direct mail and brochures.

Benefits of Below the Line Marketing

1. Allows segments to be focused on

In BTL, it is easier to target specific sections of the audience. The target market can be reached out to more efficiently.

2. A good way of measuring

BTL marketing strategies can be easily measured. It gives marketers a lot of information about their audience. This increases the campaign’s ROI.  Example- Tracking click-through rates is a great way to measure advertising.

3. Helps Build Lasting Relationships

Marketers can design engagement with consumers in a way that increases brand loyalty. These steps will make it look as if the firm is communicating with the audience personally. BTL marketing helps improve the relationship between brand and customer. It gives space for a more one-on-one, intimate, personal point of contact.

4. It allows a brand to go viral

This format of marketing can be very specific and thus ensures value for money.

Below the Line Marketing Methods

1. Direct Mail Campaigns

Direct mail is a direct marketing strategy. This requires promotional material to be passed on to select people at their residences or workplace. These people are chosen from the customers’ list.

2. Trade Shows

Trade fairs allow a business to cater to individual consumers as well as to conduct trade. It allows a business to understand what rivals are doing. It lets them know about newly launched products and innovation.

3. Public relations (PR)

The main objective of the PR department is to improve a business’s brand image. Publicity is much more cost-efficient than advertising.  This is because, in PR, the businesses don’t fund the message. This is different from advertising, where the firms must fund messages.

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing employs social media to reach out to the audience. It is used for increasing website traffic, improving sales, and creating a brand image.

5. Catalogs

Catalog marketing is a strategy in sales. Firms print information about many products together. The information can also be published on a website.

6. Targeted Search Engine Marketing

This is a marketing method that promotes a business through paid advertisements which show up on result pages while searching online.

7. Telemarketing

Telemarketing a type of direct marketing. Goods and services are promoted for prospects online or by using calling them up.

8. Personal selling

In this strategy, firms use a sales team to push their products to prospects directly. The selling is done by meeting the consumer face to face.

9. Point of sales terminal

The point of sale is the location where a purchase is made. This applies to retail outlets. In these outlets, staff may promote a product or service to a customer.

10. Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing employs methods that are not conventionally or unique. This increases sales and draws attention to a business or brand.

Below the Line Marketing Methods Examples


Below the Line Marketing Examples

For the UK market, Snickers came up with a unique idea of filling Snicker bars with another chocolate – ‘Bounty’. Those with the misfortune of finding the wrongly packed chocolate took to social media to express their grief, leading to #SnickersGate getting viral.

The campaign extended the brand’s rhetoric of ‘You are not you when you’re hungry to ‘We are not us when we are hungry’ by revealing the hoax on social.

Domino’s loyalty program – ‘Points for Pies’

Domino's loyalty program - 'Points for Pies'

This pizza delivery giant launched a new customer loyalty program – ‘Points for Pies’ wherein the Domino’s app allowed customers to earn points for every pizza they scan on the app.

Vodafone 4G Internet slide

Vodafone 4G Internet slide

To depict Vodafone offering faster internet, they added a slide next to a mall escalator for a literally faster experience. The campaign ran for 12 weeks and bought in good sales.

Volkswagen: Piano Staircase

Volkswagen Piano Staircase

As the automotive industry started to take big leaps into environmentally friendly products, Volkswagen wanted to help make people’s personal habits healthier to go along with it.

According to Volkswagen — and its partner, DDB Stockholm, an ad agency — “fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.”

According to the video, 66% more people chose the stairs over the escalator at that particular subway terminal, as a result of Volkswagen’s piano staircase.