Difference Between ATL and BTL Marketing

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: October 07, 2023


Difference Between ATL and BTL Marketing

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Marketing has drastically changed over the years, along with its strategies. Advertising is a form of marketing products and services to a customer and has evolved drastically over the years. There are two types of strategies mainly used by advertising, which are ATL Marketing and BTL marketing strategies. ATL is the abbreviation of Above the Line marketing, and BTL is the abbreviation of Below the Line marketing. ATL marketing involves using mass media to reach a wider number of audiences. BTL Marketing involves targeting a specific group of people for advertising and so the reach is limited.

ATL vs. BTL Marketing

ATL Marketing uses mass media as the medium of marketing, and so it focuses on a wider range of people. It can be also called conventional marketing as traditional marketing involves advertising through newspapers, magazines, television, billboards, posters, and radio. Moreover, since it involves mass media for advertising, the results cannot be measured as to how effective the marketing strategies are. BTL marketing, on the other hand, is a more focused and targeted advertising where it targets a specific group of people for advertising. In this form of marketing, the results are measurable, and so the effectiveness of the marketing strategies can be understood. This marketing strategy is not conventional and is like digital marketing, where also the targeting option is available and where the results can be measured.

Difference Between ATL and BTL Marketing in Tabular Form


What is ATL Marketing?

The full form of ATL Marketing is Above the Line marketing. It is a kind of marketing strategy where the advertisement of products and services of a brand is done through the medium of mass media which includes newspapers, television, billboards, radio, and magazines. This type of marketing primarily focuses on brand awareness, promoting the brand image in front of the audiences, so it has a wider reach. It does not focus on any particular group of people and the scope of influence of the advertisement is very wide as it is especially made for the general public to let them know regarding the existence of a brand. This type of marketing is also called mass marketing since it uses mass media to focus on a massive number of people for marketing. The advertisement message of this kind of marketing strategy is usually simple to understand since it is targeted to the general public and not to any particular group of people of any particular age group. Easy and simple to understand messages can be grasped by all kinds of audiences, and then they will be able to connect with it. 

Thus, this kind of advertising is done at the macro level to create a brand image in the minds of the people. First, the people get to know about a brand through ATL marketing, and then BTL marketing is done by targeting particular groups of people. So, this is how it works step by step. ATL marketing can be also referred to as conventional marketing since like conventional marketing, it uses mass media forms to market products and services to a large amount of people. However, in this kind of marketing, the final results of the marketing cannot be measured, such as how effective the marketing strategies are. Moreover, since, the scope of this marketing is very wide, so there is the possibility that people who do not have any potential to become customers also view the advertisements along with people who are likely to become customers. So, this kind of marketing is not cost-effective which targeted marketing provides. It is difficult to track ROI here.

Some of the merits and demerits of ATL Marketing are: -


  • The reach and influence of ATL marketing are very widespread. Banks and brands that have showrooms for retail selling use ATL marketing strategies for advertising. Moreover, new brands also follow ATL marketing to make people know about the brand because the reach is very vast as it caters to all sections of people and is perfect for brand promotion.
  • A blending of the audio and visuals makes everything more appealing and attention-grabbing. Advertisements through ATL marketing are very creative as they have both audio and visual parts, especially for television. Newspapers are also engaging to read, and advertising there also grabs reader's attention. People will come to that a new brand has opened up or about the products and services of an existing brand.


  • ATL Marketing is not cost-effective. Advertising in television, newspapers, and radio is highly costly as it is not target-oriented and focuses on the general public of society. So, because of its wider scope, the amount charged for this type of advertising is also huge.
  • ATL Marketing is useful for brand promotion but when it comes to the effectiveness of ATL marketing, it is much less effective in comparison to BTL marketing in driving conversion, especially the sale of products and services. The final results of advertising in ATL marketing cannot be measured, and so the effectiveness of the marketing strategies can also not be understood. Moreover, because it is not target-oriented, it also reaches people who are unlikely to become customers of the brand. Finally, because of all this, the ROI is also difficult to track in ATL marketing.

Examples of ATL Marketing

  • Television Advertisements
  • Newspaper Advertisements

Television Advertisements

Television is an example of mass media. Television is widely viewed by different types of audiences. The advertisements on television are highly visually appealing. So, it is an effective method of promoting the brand image of a particular brand and brand awareness.

Newspaper Advertisements

Newspapers are daily read by everybody and are an example of mass media. People, along with reading news in newspapers, also view the ads. So, newspapers also offer a wide reach like television and are an efficient way of making people know about a particular brand and its products and services.

What is BTL Marketing?

The full form of BTL Marketing is Below The Line Marketing. BTL marketing is target-oriented marketing, where a particular group of people are selected who are the target audience for advertising a particular kind of product or service. It is an unconventional marketing technique and is more like digital marketing, where the option of targeting a particular group of people for ad campaigns is available. The main aim of this kind of marketing is to drive conversions, specifically the sale of products and services. So, it focuses on those individuals who have a high chance of converting into customers. This is more possible due to the narrow scope and the targeted option of advertising, targeting only the required audience. 

BTL marketing is done at the micro level and is based on direct conversation with the customer. The results of BTL marketing can be measured, which is very useful as due to this, the effectiveness of the marketing strategies can be measured as to which marketing strategy is most effective and which one is not working. So, the ROI is easy to track here. The various mediums of BTL marketing are email campaigns, which once again is also an example of digital marketing, tradeshows, and sponsorship programs. 

Some of the merits and demerits of BTL marketing are: -


  • BTL marketing is more focused on driving conversions, mainly the sale of products and services, which is why targeted advertising is a very beneficial strategy of BTL marketing because it targets only those people who are more likely to become customers. Thus, the option of targeting leads to higher conversions and higher sales of products.
  • BTL marketing is also very cost-effective due to its targeted marketing feature. It targets only relevant audiences for advertising, thus making it budget-friendly. Moreover, the option of analyzing the final results is also there in BTL marketing to find out which marketing technique is most effective.


  • BTL marketing is based on direct communication with the customer, so understanding customer behavior and culture and building personalized relationships with each customer can be very time-consuming.
  • The scope of influence of BTL marketing is not so widespread as ATL marketing, and only particular demographic regions and groups of people can be targeted.

Examples of BTL Marketing

  • Door-to-door selling of Products
  • Demonstration of Products

Door-to-door selling of Products

BTL marketing is very personalized marketing, and because of this, it becomes time-consuming. Door-to-door selling of products is an example of direct communication between the seller and the customer, where the seller gets to know about the customer's behaviour and culture. They try to persuade the people to try their products which leads to higher chances of conversions, mainly lead generation and sale of products because it is personalized and targeted.

Demonstration of Products

This is also an effective BTL marketing strategy because here the seller tries to persuade the customer face to face that they should try their products and they also give product demonstrations which helps the customer in decision making. It is also personalized and targeted and helps to generate higher conversions in terms of the sale of products.

Main Difference Between ATL and BTL Marketing (In Points)

  • ATL and BTL have different marketing strategies of advertising. ATL stands for Above the Line marketing, and BTL stands for Below the Line marketing. ATL uses mass media to reach out to a huge number of people, mainly the general public primarily because of brand promotion. BTL marketing, on the other hand, is more target-oriented and targets a particular group of people mainly to influence the audiences to buy their products and services.
  • ATL marketing is like conventional marketing because, like traditional marketing, it uses mass media like newspapers, radio, television, magazines, and billboards for advertising. BTL marketing, on the other hand, is unconventional marketing and is more like digital marketing because it uses the feature of targeting to advertise its products and services. The marketing mediums of BTL marketing are email marketing, sponsorship programs, and door-to-door advertising.
  • ATL marketing is very costly because its scope is huge due to the use of mass media which makes it cost ineffective as this marketing strategy also targets those people who are not likely to become customers. Moreover, the final results of ATL marketing can not be measured. So, one cannot understand which marketing strategy is more effective than the other. BTL marketing is budget-friendly and cost-effective as it targets only relevant people who are likely to become customers. So, its scope is narrow, but it is like a long-term investment. Moreover, the final results can be measured here to find out which of the marketing strategies is the most effective. 
  • The conversion rate is lower in ATL marketing since it uses mass media to focus on a wide range of people and so influence gets spread out. It influences all types of people, those who are likely to become customers and vice versa. This leads to lower conversions in the case of ATL marketing because it is not as focused and targeted as BTL marketing. In BTL marketing, the influence falls in the right place because it is targeted. So, this leads to higher conversions. 


Hence, ATL and BTL are nothing but two different kinds of marketing strategies that advertisers use for advertising. ATL marketing uses mass media forms for advertising the products and services of a particular brand, whereas BTL's marketing strategy of advertising is much more target-oriented as it advertises to only those people who have a higher chance of turning into customers. Due to the use of mass media forms like television, and newspapers for advertising, ATL marketing is naturally very costly, whereas BTL marketing is very budget-friendly marketing because it does not use mass media for marketing. BTL marketing ultimately turns out to be more efficient than ATL marketing because it brings more conversions as it is target oriented so, it is like a long-term investment, although it is true that BTL marketing takes much time to build up relationship with customers.


  • https://testbook.com/key-differences/difference-between-atl-and-btl
  • https://www.niit.com/india/knowledge-centre/types-of-marketing
  • https://www.admybrand.com/blog/2022/07/09/the-advantages-challenges-of-atl/
  • https://www.marketing91.com/above-the-line-marketing/


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"Difference Between ATL and BTL Marketing." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 20 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-atl-and-btl-marketing>.

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