Overview

Below-the-line advertising is an advertising strategy where products are promoted in media other than mainstream radio, television, billboards, print, and film formats. The main types of below-the-line advertising systems include direct mail campaigns, trade shows, catalogs, and targeted search engine marketing. Below-the-line advertising methods tend to be less expensive and more focused versus above-the-line strategies.

Understanding Below-the-Line Advertising

Below-the-line advertising seeks to reach consumers directly, instead of casting a wide net to reach mass audiences. Rather than airing a national commercial during a hit network television show, a below-the-line campaign might instead focus on an in-store demonstration of a product, that consumers may wish to investigate in person. This allows for a more high-touch experience, where a salesperson can answer direct questions and better explain the products. Some examples of below-the-line advertising include:

  • Targeted Online Marketing
  • Direct Mailing

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Targeted Online Marketing

Companies can target specific demographics with their advertising campaigns, such as the age of a consumer or the industry of a company. LinkedIn, for example, allows marketers to target specific people with sidebar advertisements based on their profession or groups that they belong to on the website.

Direct Mailing

Companies still engage in direct mail advertising, especially the older demographics that are not online as often as, the younger generations. Catalogues and postcard mailings are still popular and effective marketing tools.

Key Takeaways

  • Below-the-line advertising is an advertising strategy where products are promoted in media other than mainstream radio or television.
  • Below-the-line advertising campaigns include direct mail campaigns, trade shows, catalogs, and targeted search engine marketing.
  • Above-the-line methods are ideal for general brand awareness, while below-the-line tactics are preferable for fostering direct relationships with potential customers.

Advantages of BTL Advertising

  • Lower costs are arguably the biggest advantage of below-the-line advertising. While TV and radio ads tend to be pricy, direct mailing and search engine marketing are far more economical. And below-the-line methods can be more cheaply and easily scaled up or down.
  • Furthermore, below-the-line methods make it easier to track conversions with intended consumers. Case in point: though there are multiple strategies for tracking the effectiveness of TV and radio ads, it's hard to gauge overall impact.
  • Asking customers how they heard about a company, for example, can yield unreliable responses because people sometimes recall their experiences inaccurately. On the other hand, email and search engine marketing precisely track the links consumers click, in order to provide businesses with more exacting details.
  • Below-the-line marketing fosters superior customer engagement, which is critical in today‚Äôs modern business landscape. While above-the-line methods are ideal for spreading general brand awareness, below-the-line tactics are preferable for fostering more meaningful relationships with potential customers.