Below-the-line advertising refers to the use of targeted and measurable media to present marketing messages to customers. It differs from traditional, above-the-line advertising, which generally occurs through media platforms like television and newspapers.
Below-the-Line Media Formats
Direct mail, email and social media channels are examples of below-the-line media. Unlike broadcast and mass print media, audiences targeted typically are smaller and the delivery more efficient. The messages are more engaging and often customized to the particular needs of the market. Companies use email software programs, for instance, to created campaigns specific to buyers with certain traits, interests or buying behaviors. Direct mailers often are aimed at certain neighborhoods based on income.
Goals of Below-the-Line
One motive for below-the-line advertising is making the most out of limited budgets. TV and magazines are among the more expensive traditional media formats. Small companies often can't afford these platforms. More importantly, companies need to optimize efficiency with their advertising dollars, and traditional above-the-line practices just don't cut it as much as they used to in that regard.
Precise targeting and measurable results are other core benefits of below-the-line tactics. Companies use analytics software to study the preferences of customers and analyze their buying behaviors. Data allows for more precise, efficient and effective message delivery. Measurability provides the company more data to study and allows advertising agencies to better account for the investment in advertising for their clients.
Tracking Below-the-Line Data
With email marketing, you can track the number of emails opened and read, as well as the number of link clicks. Social media analytics are used to evaluate engagement through such actions as user replies, retweets and shares. With direct mail, responses to offers are compared to mailers distributed. Tracking these results contributes to the ongoing nature of precise and customized messaging.