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ATL vs BTL Marketing

A common question asked worldwide in the marketing field,

'What is ATL (Above the Line), BTL (Below the Line), and TTL (Through the Line) Marketing?' OR 'Which one is better for a brand or company?'.

Well, the answer to the second question is with the brand, considering who its consumers are.

Today we precisely have two categories of marketing strategies - a massive campaign to raise more brand awareness to reach more or a bigger group of people, or a smaller campaign aimed at a smaller group or an individual, respectively called ATL and BTL.

And finally comes TTL or Through the Line, which, of course, uses both these approaches.

Now on to the first question.


Most marketers use this approach to build brand awareness and establish goodwill by providing core information about the brand or company to customers. It is highly untargeted and has widespread campaigns as the communication is more focused on a huge number of consumers.

The main goal is to expand a brand's horizons by reaching out to more people and identifying themselves more clearly and with a unique identity.

ATL is a good approach to promote your business, but the exact impact and return on investment are tough to quantify. That's why ATL is more untargeted; the goal is to raise client awareness of your brand or product, not to observe the conversion rate.

ATL methods can be implemented through traditional media such as television, radio, print, and the Internet.

  • Television: Advertising campaigns aimed at a regional or national audience

  • Print media: Promotional messages in newspapers, internet articles, and adverts

  • Radio: Broadcasts from all around the country or city


Now BTL here is used just the opposite way of ATL. This marketing is aimed at individuals, identified as potential consumers. BTL marketing's goal is to create targeted relationships between the marketer and the final consumer.

One of the major advantages of BTL marketing is the ability to track its results. It is far more concerned with maximizing return on investment (ROI), increasing user conversions, and determining success. Furthermore, marketing strategies can be tailored to different types of consumer categories. For niche target markets, BTL marketing is the best option.

Outdoor advertising, such as billboards and flyers, direct marketing, such as email and social media, and event sponsorship are all popular BTL techniques.

  • Outdoor advertisements: Billboards, fliers, banners, sandwich boards, and so on

  • Direct marketing: SMS, emails, social media posts, pamphlets, and booklets

  • Sponsorship: Events, Competitions, and Trusts

  • Public Relations: Press conferences, viral marketing

  • In-store promotion: Visual merchandising, retailer pop-ups, sampling, sales promotions


The following are the main factors of differences between ATL and BTL marketing:

  1. Meaning: ATL marketing is a strategic move aimed at the general public to raise brand awareness. While BTL marketing is a strategic move that is directed towards a precise set of customers to communicate and build a relationship.Target audience: ATL marketing focuses on a broad audience, with promotional efforts designed to reach a large number of people. BTL marketing, on the other hand, focuses on a specific location or a specific group of customers.

  2. Objective: The goal of ATL marketing is to raise brand awareness and visibility, whereas the goal of BTL marketing is to increase conversions.

  3. Mediums used: ATL marketing employs high-reach platforms such as television, print media, radio, and the internet to showcase the brand and its linked products to a diverse audience. However, in BTL marketing, more direct advertising methods are utilized to reach a targeted group of consumers, such as direct mail, telemarketing, public relations, sponsorships, and so on.

  4. Aim: The goal of ATL marketing is to convey fundamental product information to customers to compel them to actively seek a product, i.e. to drive consumer response. BTL marketing, on the other hand, strives to build direct relationships between the company and the client.

  5. Cost: When compared to BTL marketing, ATL marketing is the most expensive.

  6. Measuring outcomes: It's difficult to assess the results of ATL marketing since determining the increased sales caused by mass advertising campaigns is difficult. However, because the effects of a targeted campaign can be determined, the outcomes of BTL marketing can be measured.

  7. Communication: In ATL marketing, there is one-way communication, with a generic message being broadcast to the market. However, in BTL marketing, communication is a two-way street, resulting in a deep bond between the marketer and the customer.

There is a line that separates ALT and BLT, but nowadays it seems like the line is blurring. For example, the massive use of social media in the last years especially during the pandemic, here we get a broad exposure from it (ATL) and it's also highly targeted (BTL). So, in which strategy does social media lie, ATL or BTL?

That's where TTL (Through the Line) marketing comes.


This strategy includes efforts to boost brand awareness and target specific potential customers, intending to convert those leads into measurable and quantifiable sales.

The goal is to gain a comprehensive picture of the market and engage with customers in whatever way possible. The obvious advantage of a TTL strategy is that you're assaulting two fronts at once, increasing public awareness while also attempting to drive traffic and sales. TTL, on the other hand, is more expensive to utilize than ATL or BTL alone.

As a result, it is typically used mainly by larger, more established firms with the financial resources to support such a large strategy.

  • 360-degree marketing: Using combined ATL and BTL strategies, such as a television commercial accompanied by product leaflets attached to newspapers.

  • Digital marketing: Online banners and buttons, social network posts, blog articles.


When it comes to marketing, there are always many different approaches to all queries. While ATL works for some companies, the others will then have to boost it with BTL. These strategies have their own set of advantages and disadvantages and are best suited for the requirements of customers. Take time to consider what your brand's true needs are, and if you need any additional assistance, we're delighted to help you find the type of marketing that's ideal for you!



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