This time, we are going to cover a very common phrase in marketing: Above and below the line.
Above the line (ATL) – this refers to paid advertising where a commission is paid to an advertising agency – typically television, radio and national press advertising fall into this category.
However you look at it, this approach tends to be a more mass market approach – giving the same message to thousands or even millions of people at the same time, and hoping it will resonate with those you are trying to attract.
Below the line (BTL) – this covers promotion where no commission is paid and includes exhibitions, direct mail, free product give aways, discounts etc.
This approach to marketing does enable you to be more targeted and give very personalised messages to your potential customers.
However, more recently there is a new term that has joined the ranks:
Through the line (TTL) – this refers to a crossover between the two, and is typically covering an integrated marketing approach that uses both advertising and direct mail, promotions etc. Social media has helped to blur the lines here (excuse the pun!) – in effect allowing you to advertise but without the associated agency costs.
These terms are still commonly used, particularly when looking for skills and experience in job vacancies, but it is generally recognised that a more holistic approach to marketing is more effective.
Using a range of these tools in your marketing is the best approach.
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