What is 'Below The Line Advertising'

Below-the-line advertising is an advertising strategy in which a product is promoted in mediums other than radio, television, billboards, print and film. Types of below-the-line advertising commonly include direct mail campaigns, trade shows and catalogs, and targeted search engine marketing. This advertising type tends to be less expensive and more focused.

BREAKING DOWN 'Below The Line Advertising'

Below-the-line advertising seeks to reach a consumer, instead of a mass audience, directly rather than through an intermediary, such as with a commercial during a television show. This type of advertising is often centered on specific localities and is used to promote products that a consumer wants to see in person. It can be coupled with in-store sales to help explain the features of the product.

Above-the-Line vs. Below-the-Line Advertising

Above-the-line advertising is designed to reach a mass audience, typically through mediums that reach large numbers of people at various levels of engagement. Perhaps the epitome of above-the-line marketing is a Super Bowl television ad, which costs millions of dollars for mere seconds of airtime. While this type of advertising reaches a lot of people, it is not focused, and many of the ad's recipients are likely not target customers.

Below-the-line advertising, by contrast, reaches fewer people but is more selective about the people it reaches. In most cases, extensive market research is done first to identify a target niche of hungry buyers. Once these potential customers are pinpointed, below-the-line advertising reaches them directly in a more personal manner, such as direct mail sent to their houses, face-to-face contact at a trade show or a paid search engine result when they enter a specific query.

Below-the-Line Advertising Advantages

Perhaps the biggest advantage to below-the-line advertising is the cost. While TV and radio ads tend to hit the pocketbook hard, direct mail and search engine marketing are not only more reasonable but can be scaled up or down in cost much more easily.

It is also easier to track conversions with below-the-line methods. When relying on TV or radio ads, the only way to gauge effectiveness is to ask customers how they heard about the business. Responses are often unreliable. With email and search engine marketing, a business can track link clicks and email opens with precision.

Below-the-line marketing allows for better engagement with customers. This is critical in a 21st century business landscape where reputation matters more than ever. Above-the-line methods are great for getting a name out there and developing brand awareness, but below the line is preferable for fostering actual relationships with potential customers.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Flighting

    An advertising scheduling strategy in which a business alternates ...
  2. Advertising Appropriation

    The portion of the total marketing budget that is allocated to ...
  3. Advertising Elasticity Of Demand ...

    A measure of a market's sensitivity to increases or decreases ...
  4. Advertising Federation Of America ...

    A regional advertising group based on the U.S. East Coast that ...
  5. Comparative Advertising

    A marketing strategy in which a company shows how its product ...
  6. Advertising Costs

    A category included in financial accounting to represent expenses ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    Bye, Mad Men: How the Net Is Changing Advertising (FB, TWTR)

    The Internet and digital media are changing the way companies advertise and market themselves. More targeted, varied and faster advertising is possible.
  2. Small Business

    How The Internet Web Ad Industry Works

    Over the past 10 years, advertising strategies have evolved as a result of technological development as the internet has provided new channels for advertisers to reach a larger audience.
  3. Small Business

    How is Programmatic Advertising Changing Media?

    Understand what programmatic advertising is as well as the technology that drives it. Learn about the top four ways programmatic advertising is changing media.
  4. Investing

    Why Facebook Is Free to Use (FB)

    Learn why Facebook is free to users, and understand how the company makes more money by charging advertisers than it would if it charged users.
  5. Small Business

    Trends And Growth In The Digital Advertising Industry

    The rapidly expanding digital advertising industry is leading a shift towards content and demanding forced innovation.
  6. Insights

    How the TV Advertising Industry Works

    Things have definitely changed since the early days of “Mad Men,” when one TV ad could change the world—or at least change a company’s sales numbers.
  7. Investing

    Mobile Advertising to Surpass Desktop in 2017

    Arriving a year earlier than previously predicted, mobile advertising will overtake the desktop advertising spends in 2017
  8. Small Business

    Advertising, Crocodiles And Moats

    Memorable advertising is a brick in the fortress that keeps competitors at bay.
  9. Small Business

    P&G Finds Targeted Ads Not Worth It (PG, FB)

    Proctor & Gamble Co has stated that it plans to scale back on targeted advertising on Facebook Inc., citing its limited effectiveness.
  10. Small Business

    Why Direct Marketing Is Used

    Businesses of all sizes can practice direct marketing. Companies with less brand recognition and smaller marketing budgets use it most.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are the key differences between marketing and advertising?

    Understanding the role advertising plays in the marketing mix will help business owners define their promotional strategies ... Read Answer >>
  2. How important is advertising revenue in the Internet sector?

    Learn about the importance of advertising revenue in the Internet industry. Find out how much Internet firms rely on advertising ... Read Answer >>
  3. What are some of the ways that a company can improve its brand equity?

    Learn why brand equity is so valuable in business. These strategies for gaining high exposure and a great reputation will ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the "bait & switch" technique?

    The bait and switch is a advertising technique which can be considered illegal, but in most cases is merely looked upon as ... Read Answer >>
  5. Can I make money advertising on my car, or is it a scam?

    Are car wrap advertising companies legitimate? Some companies are scams, but some car wrap companies offer legitimate ways ... Read Answer >>
  6. Michael Feinberg sends a memo to his star investment advisor ...

    The correct answer is a). Consider the intended target audience when deciding if a communication constitutes advertising. ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Graduate Record Examination - GRE

    A standardized exam used to measure one's aptitude for abstract thinking in the areas of analytical writing, mathematics ...
  2. Graduate Management Admission Test - GMAT

    A standardized test intended to measure a test taker's aptitude in mathematics and the English language. The GMAT is most ...
  3. Magna Cum Laude

    An academic level of distinction used by educational institutions to signify an academic degree which was received "with ...
  4. Cover Letter

    A written document submitted with a job application explaining the applicant's credentials and interest in the open position. ...
  5. 403(b) Plan

    A retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations and certain ministers. Generally, retirement ...
  6. Master Of Business Administration - MBA

    A graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates ...
Trading Center