How BTL Marketing Can Engage Customers and Boost Sales

How BTL Marketing Can Engage Customers and Boost Sales

3 mins read798 Views Comment
Syed Aquib Ur
Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager
Updated on Jan 25, 2023 14:46 IST

When you have narrowed down a specific group of individuals from the target audience as your potential customers, leverage BTL (below-the-line) marketing to boost sales faster. Highly targeted ads are more interactive and work in your favour when the customer has crossed the awareness and consideration stages of the marketing funnel.

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BTL (below the line) and ATL (above the line) marketing are two different promotional strategies. These originated in the 1950s when American consumer goods corporation, Proctor & Gamble, began distinguishing between targeted (BTL) and generalised/mass (ATL) promotional activities. 

The corporation paid ad agencies differently for these two lines of communication. The agencies that did not take commissions for ads appeared as below the line on the corporate’s expenses bill. On the other hand, the ones that took the commission, in case of TV ads were the above the line expenses. Hence, the names. 

The importance of BTL marketing today should not be ignored, especially by small businesses or startups. They remain highly cost-effective as it the promotional tactics revolve around a specific niche audience. 

Also, consumer attitudes are shifting towards developing a personal connection with any brand they purchase from. It is a basic expectation of over 70% of consumers (McKinsey). 

While targeted PPC ads and double-opt-in emails are online forms of BTL marketing, in the offline space, you have door-to-door marketing, trade shows, etc. 

What is BTL Marketing?

BTL (below-the-line) marketing is a customer-centric promotional strategy that engages a specific group of customers to generate more conversions. The communication is highly targeted and never generic. 

BTL vs ATL Marketing

BTL marketing is not directly used for increasing mass awareness, which ATL marketing does. It focuses on improving conversions by reaching out to a specific target audience group at the bottom of the marketing funnel (BOFU) – the ones ready to make a purchase. 

Below-the-line marketing can increase the brand reach when the customers are satisfied with their purchase. Customer satisfaction can also lead to repeat purchases. 

BTL marketing also differs from ATL marketing in that the former is direct and creates a dialogue between the brand and consumer, as the message is tailored to their preferences. ATL marketing is a one-way communication to the mass audience. 

Examples of BTL Marketing Done Offline and Online

In-Store Promotions

In-store promotions after customers make a purchase can lead to more consecutive sales. Typically, BOGO (buy one, get one) promotions, test samples, etc., work. 

Ambush/Guerilla Marketing

Guerilla marketing shocks audiences and generates an instant response. Publicity stunts, graffiti, etc., are quite popular. Burger King taking jabs at McDonald’s every chance it gets, both online and offline. 

Read – Burger King Digital Marketing Strategy

Sponsoring Large Events

Sponsoring large events, so the audience positively associates with the brand. Coca-Cola has been sponsoring the Olympics since it started. 

Read – Coca-Cola Digital Marketing Strategy

Trade Fairs

Trade fairs to meet with potential customers individually. The NAMM Show is the world’s largest stage for ‘uniting the global music, sound, and entertainment technology communities.’ 

Various brands put up their stalls in this show and connect with potential customers and influencers, take their feedback, and encourage them to film the conversations to put them up on YouTube or Instagram. 

Targeted PPC Ads & Emails

Running PPC ads based on customer segmentation to show up on local searches or finding products for specific genders and ages are basic online examples of this kind of marketing digitally. 

The welcome emails and personalised vouchers you get from some brands are also popular examples. 

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BTL Marketing Benefits

There are several benefits of BTL marketing.

Improves Conversion Rates

So far, in this blog, you have learned that BTL marketing is contextual. When running marketing campaigns for a niche, chances of converting leads to costumers go up. 

The ROI from mass ads or ATL marketing is lesser as it does not appeal to everybody. It is also difficult to measure the ROI from mass ads. That’s why choosing a niche audience and focusing on converting is a better strategy. 

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Lets You Be Innovative Without Spending Much

One of the major advantages of BTL marketing is about finding innovative ways to communicate.  Tactics such as guerilla marketing are cheaper and marketers can save up to 90 percent on advertising costs. 

Increases and Sustains Brand Awareness

When done right, BTL marketing raises awareness of the brand through word-of-mouth. Now, word-of-mouth leads to 54 percent of purchase decisions, according to Sendpulse. 

Parting Thoughts

BTL marketing is one of the best ways to engage customers and drive sales. But it also creates brand awareness in several unique ways without spending a lot. 

About the Author
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Syed Aquib Ur Rahman
Assistant Manager

Aquib is a seasoned wordsmith, having penned countless blogs for Indian and international brands. These days, he's all about digital marketing and core management subjects - not to mention his unwavering commitment ... Read Full Bio