What does Below the line mean in marketing terminology?

Below the line

"Below the line" marketing is a term used to describe marketing activities which are employed to encourage customers, clients and potential customers to interact more closely and directly with products or services. It is designed to influence behaviour by promoting the target product or service without relying on traditional advertising techniques such as television, radio or print advertising.

Below the line marketing activities can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect. Direct activities are those that are specifically tailored to engage with customers, clients or potential customers. This could include direct mail campaigns, door-to-door marketing or even telemarketing.

Indirect activities refer to activities that focus on a target audience who may not be actively seeking interaction with a product or service, but are instead exposed to the promotional material through a variety of channels such as billboards, mobile adverts, social media posts, etc.

Below the line marketing also encompasses a range of different techniques and strategies, from traditional to emerging, which can be used to influence buying behaviour. These include relationship marketing, whereby existing customers and relationships with clients are used to cultivate new sales, and re-marketing, which is the practice of targeting customers who have previously visited a website or product page on a platform.

No matter which type of activity is selected, there are certain best practices and guidelines when it comes to developing and implementing a successful Below the Line marketing campaign.

Firstly, it is important to identify the target audience and develop a carefully thought-out plan of action as this will determine the type of activities that are most likely to be successful. In some cases, this may mean launching campaigns across multiple channels; in others, a more targeted approach may be beneficial.

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Next, it is important to ensure that the activities selected are suitable to the message being promoted. For example, direct mail campaigns or telemarketing are ideal if there is a specific product or service to be highlighted, whereas social media campaigns would be more appropriate for building brand awareness.

The third step is to create content which will appeal to the target audience. This could include ads, presentations, articles or event invitations that are well-written, informative, visually appealing and interactive. As the aim of the campaign is usually to engage customers more closely, the content should be tailored towards their interests and evoke an emotional response.

Fourthly, it is important to measure the success of the campaign and optimise where necessary. This could include scheduling follow-up emails or calls to existing customers, retargeting potential buyers on social media platforms, or conducting surveys and feedback sessions to gauge how customers perceive the product or service.

Finally, while it is important to remain focused on the objectives being pursued, it is also essential to stay flexible and adaptable in order to adjust to changing customer requirements or behaviours.

By following these best practices and guidelines, businesses should be able to develop successful Below the Line campaigns that engage customers more closely with their products or services.