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What gives BTL the edge?

Any time you've received an email or social media message addressed to you from a company, you've been the target of BTL advertisement.

By interacting with you directly, the company hopes to create a personal bond with you and drive you to making a purchase.

As a business, BTL is great for advertising to consumers who have a direct need for your product or service, and if done right will leave them with a lasting sense of loyalty and an increased likelihood of repeat business.

BTL has grown exponentially over the last decade, and since 2006 digital-based BTL has accounted for over 50% of all advertising spending³.

From a business standpoint, there are two clear reasons why BTL is now the favoured marketing option: measurability and controllability.

BTL has tons of modern, often automised options for measuring the success of an advertising campaign.

For example, if you've recently done a social media campaign, you can very easily access your website's Google Analytics data to see how many people clicked through from your campaign. From this, it's easy to break down the data across even more metrics, such as conversion rates and cost per acquisition.

The only realistic way to measure the success of an ATL campaign is to manually ask your customers where they've heard of you - comparatively clumsy and time-consuming.
Keep control of your marketing

A crucial flaw of ATL marketing is that it's 'always-on' - a campaign is always given a fixed running period that can't easily be altered. Say, for example, that you've taken out a newspaper advert that will run for a week. As soon as those newspapers go to print, there's no turning back. If you need to make alterations or respond to a drastic shift in the market, it's already out of your hands.

BTL gives another advantage here - in the digital form, it can quite literally be turned off at the click of a button, allowing you to make any changes needed. I'm sure Burger King wishes they could have 'turned off' this advert before it was too late⁴:

One last selling point of BTL is that it shows care - you as a company care about the potential customer enough to directly address them, and by proxy you clearly care about your product.

It's this attentiveness that will really make a customer take notice and form a favourable opinion of you, encouraging them to make a purchase and, more importantly, establish brand loyalty.

There's still a place for ATL in the modern market, but when budget and measurability is key, BTL should be your priority.

If you'd like advice on what your next marketing step should be, get in touch.


  • ¹ Kantar WorldPanel
  • ² Graph of UK Daily Newspaper Circulation, 1950-present
  • ³ MyAdPsyche Report on BTL Marketing, April 2010
  • ⁴ 19 incredibly embarrassing fails in advertising