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Fetch Agency staff review targeted groups for 'Above the Line' (ATL), 'Below the Line' (BTL) & 'Through the Line' (TTL) marketing practises.
Duel Marketing Marketing Agency - Above the line Vs Below the line Marketing

Above the line Vs Below the line Marketing

  • September 10, 2018
  • 2:22 pm
  • Duel Marketing Editorial Team

There are two marketing strategies commonly used today, known as Above the Line (ATL) and Below the Line (BTL) marketing. The line was used as a way of differentiating between those marketing strategies that were aimed at mass targeted groups, known as ‘Above the Line’ and specific groups, known as ‘Below the Line’.

Both marketing strategies are designed to work in a specific ways and use different methods to deliver results.

What is Above the Line Marketing?

Above the Line marketing is also known as ATL. The aim of this promotional strategy is to reach a wide audience without targeting a specific group. The purpose of ATL is to enhance brand awareness while informing the customer about the product that is available to them.

With this form of marketing, conversions are not so much of a priority as it is a case of implementing mass marketing strategies that are designed to focus on brand building. This untargeted marketing method is aimed at a mass audience with the aim of conveying a message to all that have access to the specific medium used.

The use of mass media methods as part of this strategy involves the use of Television, Radio, Print Ads and Outside Advertising.

When you consider that people watch around 5 hours of Television a day, it means that Above the Line advertising is a great strategy to potentially reach millions of people in one go. This type of advertising enhances the connection between brands and users. Of course, the advertisements get repeated over time and so, the brand is constantly in the minds of users, enhancing brand awareness.
Radio is also a very effective mass media tool because listeners are exposed to adverts several times an hour and this exposure makes ATL marketing a very effective method. In the same way as Television, it can reach a local audience, national audience and even a global audience.

Print Ads can also reach a wide audience, particularly in newspapers as they have fixed ad-slots that make it possible to educate customers about the brand and what it can offer them. When it comes to magazines, they fall into categories and this also makes it easier for marketers to reach their audience directly through these. Outside advertising is also a very effective ATL marketing tool because millions of people can pass billboards and signs on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

While above the line marketing has its advantages such as reaching wider audiences, connecting with people and building a brand it can prove difficult to measure and the costs can be high. When you consider that the cost of a Television advert can run into millions of pounds and with the high cost of radio adverts, a lot of money has to be spent.

Below the Line Marketing.

Below the Line marketing is also known as Below the Line Promotion or BTL and consists of direct advertising that is aimed at specific groups of consumers. It is often referred to as direct marketing and it is made up of promotional strategies that are aimed at enhancing conversion rates as opposed to brand building, as with ATL.

This type of marketing involves the use of a number of channels that are designed to target specific audiences. This can involve promotional strategies such as phone calls, social media marketing, content marketing, search engine marketing and paid searches. All of these can be utilised in a way that enables marketers to target specific audiences.

These methods are designed to make direct contact with customers in order to encourage them to make a service or product their preference when it comes to their needs. As BTL advertising is aimed at certain audiences it helps to create healthier relationships between brands and consumers. It can, therefore, be measured and tested to determine the effectiveness and conversion rates as a result of the campaigns.

Marketers can measure BTL very easily through identifying website visits and traffic figures, engagement with customers, conversion rates, cost per click, cost per acquisition as well as likes and follows on social media. There are many tools available that provide marketers with a greater insight into what works, what doesn’t and what they need to to do to achieve a significant return on investment.

The costs of BTL marketing are also a lot different to the costs associated with ATL marketing. The costs are generally a lot lower with Below the Line methods. This is because marketers can allocate budgets in the right way depending on who they want to target. Unlike ATL, which uses a medium that reaches out to a mass audience, BTL is very focused and that means that costs are lower and easier to monitor.

Difference Between Above the Line and Below the Line Marketing.

Above the Line and Below the Line marketing are both clearly different in the way that they are utilised, while they both work in different ways. In the world that we live in, brands need to do everything in their power to reach as many prospective customers as they possibly can. Some brands need to reach a wide audience, which makes ATL the better choice. On the other hand some brands need a more personal approach that is tailored to a targeted audience, this is where BTL can be an effective marketing method.

When it comes to deciding which is the better of the two between ATL and BTL, it all comes down to the requirements of the brand and business. Above the Line marketing is used by large companies that rely on channels such as Television and Radio to reach their audience. This can prove to be costly but it can create brand awareness that delivers significant results. However, the results are difficult to measure, which means that brands can find it difficult to determine what works for them.

In contrast to this, Below the Line marketing is used by companies who want to penetrate a certain market while targeting specific customers. The results are easily measured, giving marketers more control over the channels they use and the results they see. This targeted form of marketing helps to drive conversions and achieve a significant return on investment, something that matters to every business.

Final thoughts.

As an alternative marketing strategy ‘Through The Line’ (TTL) refers to a method involving both above and below the line channels. The benefits of TTL marketing are that they all the audience to engage through multiple channels. The key to through the line marketing is to keep messaging consistent throughout to strengthen brand perception and awareness as much as possible.

Typically businesses these days are opting for a mix of both ATL and BTL marketing depending on their market and target audience. At the end of the day the business should choose the most applicable methods and channels for their proposition. At Duel Digital we provide ways to measure marketing channels so a business may gain insight into each of their marketing channels performance levels and help them make these decisions.

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