BTL – BTL –Below The Line (BTL) communication is unconventional in nature, done at micro level and forms part of non-media communication. Measures include direct mailing, distribution of flyers, brochures, and usage of sponsorships, public relations, tele-marketing and point of sale.
Interestingly, ATL and BTL terms were coined at Proctor & Gamble in 1954 where accountants differentiated advertising agencies’ payments vis-à-vis who undertook promotional activities other than advertising for fixed fees. Gradually, marketers started to differentiate activities other than advertisements as separate marketing practice called Below the line (BTL).
Today, ATL is used for branding effect, to generate mind share while BTL is used to generate loyalty and repeat sales. ATL is tailored for mass audience while BTL promotions are targeted at individual level according to their needs and preferences. ATL promotions are difficult to measure while BTL are measurable in terms of sales and feedback and it gives marketers valuable insights on their return on investment (ROI). Since BTL focus is targeted and customer centric, it is efficient and cost effective, apt for start-ups.
Social networking sites such as face book, Instagram, Twitter, My space, You-tube help generate leads and enable companies to develop eCRM and use data in a varieties of ways. Though, social media is an integral part of BTL activity today, but it beats even television, audio, magazines in creating brand value in terms of numbers and is way more rewarding.