Below the line marketing is one of the types of direct marketing strategies that target specific consumers or groups of consumers. Instead of brand building, these strategies are used to convert bypassers into customers as quickly as possible.

Some below the line marketing tactics include:

  • Outdoor banners – custom banners make the advertisement stand out.
  • Billboards – prominent imagery next to highways attracts attention.
  • Wraps – wraparound advertising on vehicles.
  • Flags – advertising that is constantly on display and in motion to attract attention.
  • Sponsorships – providing financial support to events for exposure.
  • Brand activation – interacting with consumers to increase engagement and create positive emotional experiences.
  • In-store marketing – making use of point-of-sale interaction with customers to market products and services.
  • Direct mail marketing – personalized messages catered to each customer or group of customers.

Below the line marketing focuses on shaping the advertisement to suit the specific target audience. For example, this can involve setting large video displays in public areas where the target audience spends the most time in. When combined with another below the line approach, such as social media advertisement, the same audience becomes exposed to the same advertisement which increases the chances of a conversion.

Often times, below the line marketing is reserved for small companies and startups. The term itself originates from the lack of use of mass media, such as radio and TV. Since an ad agency would typically not charge commission on the application of these methods, they would appear titled as “below the line” within an invoice.

Tracking return on investment for each below the line outlet allows the company to gather data and tweak marketing campaigns as needed in real-time. By combining traditional and modern advertising techniques, below the line marketing is bold, cheap, and effective.

While mass media holds a significant place in marketing, smaller advertising avenues can also be worth the investment. In all cases, research and data analysis are needed to focus on methods that produce results.

Have another view, an anecdote that you would like to share, or just a question for the author? Feel free to comment below!

in General Marketing Definitions
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