Smart & Low Cost Below the Line (BTL) & TTL Marketing Activities – for Retailers

Store Promotions and marketing is one of the most primes and must-do activities for any retailer. The more is promotion the more walk-ins you will attract to your retail business. Customer mid share is the prime objective of these marketing activities & can be classified as – ATL, BTL & TTL.


What is the difference between ATL, BTL & TTL?

All of the above marketing activities can be used to shape brand awareness, bring customers to your door, improve personal bonding with shoppers, to improve loyalty among the customer base, sales building through small promotional activities. The following example will explain the difference:

Market Coverage: ATL will use mainstream or mass media, so the coverage will be wider than BTL and TTL. TTL is an amalgamation of the other two approaches put together. Cost-wise ATL activities are quite heavy and mostly executed and planned centrally by brands targeting a wide consumer base.


Above the line (ATL)

Above The Line (ATL) meant for marketing activities done at the national level. It is prepared by brands at national, regional, or at least bigger territory level and bulk TG audience is targeted in such kind of advertising campaign.


Below the line(BTL)

Here are the marketing activities in which small retailers can focus and actually get fantastic results basis right and focused strategy. Below The Line (BTL) communication is spontaneous in nature & executed at the local level by shop owners and retailers, practices less-media communication. BTL promotions are targeted at a specific level according to the needs and preferences of the marketer.

Data & MIS Based telemarketing

These, Majority retailers have the customer data based available within the bulk. They can use this to promote their business, New arrivals, and ongoing offers. This really creates an impact in the mind share of customers and improves loyalty.

Regular leaflet distribution

One the old but still effective marketing and promotion tool, the impact is heavy and get executed at very low cost giving no burden on the opex of the store.

Shopping centre stand/Mall stand

One of the emerging trends among the retailers these days focuses on generating heavy conversions as usually executed in mall atrium space where footfall is in abundance. This also gives the brand a unique connection with its TG and chance to increase and upgrade customers by liquidating old stocks by giving discounts and bringing brand in their reach.

Sale to Door selling (watsapp, Small E-comm site etc)

A new concept pops up during the lockdown era, here brands decide to reach to its clientele base by giving them a small virtual store interface by clicking on a link. This gives the customer an option to buy his favorite brand while sitting at home and delivered at his convenience. Some retailers are doing it via WhatsApp calling and live video tour of stores. “where there is a will there is a way” … isn’t it? 🙂

E-mail marketing

Email marketing is another fantastic tool being used for long now. Still, a precise tool to reach your customer base with a bang on information about Product, features, Price, Lead time, Channel, etc. Moreover, it is very cost-effective and can be done remotely and with quite ease.

Sales coupons/ Promo GV/Loyalty Benefits

With increasing competition among the brands, it becomes quite a fast pace scenario now for retailers. Most of the time retailers have to invent something new to keep the consumer interest in the brand/shop.

GV promotion & Loyalty schemes have become another handy tool for retailers to give shoppers one reason to come down to store and shop. The cost of the same is huge as the discounts go directly from their pockets and giving a dent to the net profit margin.

SMS Blast

The very common but still effective promotion practice. The SMS reaches consumers directly in the mobile handset by providing complete ongoing offers of the shop with new arrivals in place. The hit rate and conversion are poor but if continuity is there, results are bound to happen.

Through The Line (TTL)

TTL is an amalgamation of the other two approaches put together. As mentioned above this new approach is actually an extension of BTL activities and a road map before the ATL approach. TTL activities mostly an upgraded version of BTL activities where marketers want to build a strong and long term connection with its TG. Let’s discuss some really effective TTL activities:

Tradeshow/exhibition Events

The most popular among business goers, this activity is a seasonal or less occurrence kind of effort where you take space in particular premises or shopping event. Usually held for 4 -7 days giving decent business plus new customer base for future endeavors.

Social media ads & Promotion.

Social Media Marketing is a perfect example of a TTL activity, here the cost is minimum and impact is wide and precise. Retailers can connect with their customers base in a short time with the right message. Though the channel is quite volatile and handles with care as the direct reach might get some passionate customers really close to the brand and increase the expectation. This creates a really huge following with concrete sales leads, improve loyalty, and connect.

The most preferred Platform these days are – Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Pinterest. It knocks even television, audio, magazines in crafting the perceived value in terms of numbers for your business.

Start A Blog

A very unique but effective way to communicate about your business and increasing its reach to a wider audience. This takes time but a strong way to build the brand and gradually could be game-changer giving the number of followers you have and its reach to them directly in their handset. As they say “slow and study wins the race”.


Evaluating Performance of your ATL BTL & TTL promotions

Subject to the type of promotion you choose, there will be various ways of measuring its performance, as follows:

Sale Conversion rates in Store – from your websites/blog/direct mail campaigns/discount offers, Range selling in new categories, etc.

A number of repeat customers – Can be judge through reviewing big-ticket size sale.

L2L sales growth rates – Very effective way to check the performance of BTL activities.

Followers and subscribers – Increased followers on your social media page, email lists and blogs, etc.

Word of Mouth in surroundings – More discussion among the customers, more social shares, visits from the competition in your store to check.


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