ATL vs BTL: Which is better for my Business?

Deciding on where to allocate your marketing budget? Think about how Above-The-Line (ATL) and Below-The-Line (BTL) marketing works and which medium will work well for your business.  So here I am going to explain how ATL and BTL marketing works and which can be relevant to your business.

ATL Marketing:

In Above The Line (ATL) advertising, mass media is used to promote brands and reach out to the larger & more general customers. This includes conventional media such as television, radio advertising, newspaper ads, billboards & signages.  In this medium, communication is targeted to a wider spread of audience and is not specific to individual consumers.

BTL Marketing:

Below the line (BTL) advertising is one to one or reaching out to the more targeted audience.  It involves the distribution of pamphlets, handbills, stickers, brochures placed at the point of sale, email campaigns, telemarketing etc with targeted groups of potential clients. The other way BTL activities could be roadshows, moving hoardings on the vehicles, product demo etc.

TTL Advertising:

TTL (Through the Line) advertising is integrated marketing approach which uses both ATL and BTL activities to reach out to more relevant & wider audiences.

ATL vs BTL which one is better?

ATL & BTL both have some advantages & disadvantages. So decide your goal and marketing objective before making any decision. Think about following factors before deciding the medium of advertisement:

  • How is your product positioned in the market
  • Is there a need to educate the customers
  • Is the market highly price sensitive
  • Who are your target audiences
  • Intent of promotion Branding/Conversion

Decide your goal and intent of advertisement:

ATL: More of a brand building + Sales Conversion
BTL: Direct & ROI driven
TTL: ATL campaign designed to feed leads into BTL campaigns

They all would be relevant to businesses depending on the product or services they have.  For example, BTL marketing can be the best option for small businesses having local catchment areas whereas ATL & TTL will be the best option for an FMCG company. but when budget is an issue BTL has better ROI.

I hope you enjoyed this article, do share your feedback in comment section or write me at


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