Difference Between Above the line vs Below the line
Marketing or Advertising activities mainly involve two types of activities namely: Above the line vs below the line marketing. These terms were coined in order to eliminate the difference between the items that had to penetrate among the masses and the items that were specifically made for a consumer group. But because of factors such as increasing competition and fast emerging technology have reduced the intensity of line between the two modes.
Above the Line
Above the line or ATL consists of activities (advertising) that are not targeted at a specific customer and covers a wider territory. The main focus behind adopting ATL activity is to make the people aware of the product. In this case, the people buying the product weighs less compared to the awareness raised.
Different ways in which companies use ATL:
As per a statistic, there were around 197 million TV-owning households in India as of 2018. This clearly exhibits the power of advertising the product through this channel. The impact of advertising via TV is huge. It has a reach right from the local to the national level. Sometimes it may also reach up to the international level. Also advertising via TV has an added advantage of a video that gives the users a real life like experience.
Forgetting is a human instinct. Hence in order to leave a long lasting image in the minds of the customers, it is imperative to expose people to the product several times. But since the mediums such as TV are very expensive hence Radios come to the rescue here. Also, the reachability of the radio ranges from the local level to the national level.
- Printing (Newspapers and Magazines)
Newspapers are also a mode of advertising. In this case, the marketers go for images or text. And this mode has very high reachability as compared to others. Also, this is a relatively less expensive mode as compared to TV. The added advantage is that the image remains with the person as long as the newspaper is retained hence people can diligently check the advertisement. Similar is the case with the magazines. Through magazines, the marketers can reach out as per the specific niche to the masses.
Advantages of Above the Line marketing
- It has got an absolutely wider reach
- It is an easy and effective way to connect with people since it involves either images or videos that convey the message well
- It really helps marketers to build the brand value by reaching out to the masses and raising awareness about the product.
Below the Line
Below the Line or BTL advertising consists of activities that create a real emotional connection with the targeted customer. In this case, it is imperative to convert the target segment into a buyer as opposed to building a brand. Sometimes these activities are also called direct marketing activities.
Below are some of the Below the Line activities:
- Out of home (OOH) advertising
The main rationale behind this advertising method is to target the customers while they are outside their homes. This can be seen anywhere outside your home. Maybe on a large wall, on buses, billboards etc. This attracts a lot of attention partly because of the huge size of the advertising and also because of a long time for which it is displayed.
- Marketing via mail
This is more on a personal side where marketers go for a one on one communication with the customer. For instance, we get emails from e-commerce websites such as Amazon, Myntra related to ‘coupons especially for you’, or customers also bought ‘this’ are some examples.
This is also a method that is adopted by the companies. This can be seen in the case of sports such as cricket, Football etc. In football, for instance, there is always a cut-throat competition between Pepsi and Coke.
- Brand Activation
The main objective of this method is to create a long lasting relationship with the customer by interacting and providing a soothing experience. For instance, the companies resort to the introduction of a product by reaching directly to the target groups in an exhibition.
Advantages of below the Line
- This mode of advertisement is extremely target oriented
- The returns on the initial investment are better and also the leads can be tracked better as compared to the ATL activities.
- In this type of advertising, the companies can Customize as per the requirement of the target segment.
Head to Head Comparison Between Above the Line vs Below the Line (Infographics)
Below is the top 6 difference between Above the Line vs Below the Line
Key Differences between Above the Line vs Below the Line
Let us discuss some of the major differences between Above the Line vs Below the Line:
- ATL is an activity that has no specific target whereas the BTL consists of activities targeting a specific target group.
- The modes used in case of ATL are TV, radio, print(Newspaper and magazines) whereas in the case of BTL we use out of home (OOH), digital marketing, sales, and promotions
- ATL is generally adopted by large company whereas BTL is adopted both by large and small companies
- The investment required by ATL is high as compared to BTL activities
- A flow of communication is unilateral in case of ATL but in case of BTL the communication is bilateral
Above the Line vs Below the Line Comparison Table
Let’s look at the top 6 Comparison between Above the Line vs Below the Line
|The Basis of Comparison Between Above the Line vs Below the Line||
Above the Line
Below the Line
|Who is it for?||Mass market||Specific target customer|
|What are the ways?||TV, Radio, Printing||Out of home(OOH), Digital marketing, sales and promotions|
|Adopted by||Large companies||Large as well as medium and small companies|
|Investment required||Investment is huge in ATL||The investment required is low as compared to ATL|
|Flow of communication||Unilateral (single way)||Bilateral (Both ways)|
|Leads measure||Leads are hard to track||Leads can be measured (especially in one to one communication)|
Based on the requirements of the business, either of the advertising methods can be used by the companies. If the companies have to go just for raising awareness about the product or service at a huge mass level then the company can go for Above the line advertising otherwise if the requirement is targeting the specific customer and converting the leads then go for Below the line advertising.
This has been a guide to Above the line vs Below the line. Here we also discuss the Above the line vs Below the line key differences with infographics and comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –