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What are the opportunities and challenges in below-the-line-marketing?

posted 4 Aug 2013, 00:54 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 30 Aug 2013, 08:50 by Manish Abraham ]

1.     Introduction

This blog assesses the opportunities and challenges of below-the-line-marketing activities with special reflection on the  Jeans production firm “Gebrüder Stitch” in Vienna, Austria.

2.     Definition and Research

Below-the-line (BTL) Marketing

Below-the-line marketing activities generally refer to those marketing practices which use such measures for promotion of products and services that do not involve use of mass media.[1] Other definitions describe below-the-line marketing activities as those that are based on direct and often personal communication to the target audience.[2]

Below-the-line advertising can involve the use of any form of non-mass media promotions including sales promotions (e.g. premiums, price reductions, displays, and related point-of-sale activity), direct marketing, public relations activity, sponsorship, etc. Below-the-line marketing activities are often used to encounter a less cluttered communications environment to communicate directly with the target audience.[3]

The characteristics of below-the-line marketing activities are also the advantages:

below the line marketing
Organizations may use below-the-line marketing activities for a variety of reasons. Marketers are required to understand their competitive and regulatory environments in addition to consumer buying behavior so as to be in a position to evaluate the potential benefits and costs of BTL marketing approaches. In a marketplace filled with advertising clutter, BTL marketing efforts may be potentially more cost effective and provide marketers with opportunities to use more sophisticated approaches in comparison to mass media-based ones.

Below-the-line marketing strategies are used when the target audience for the particular products and services is limited and a direct reach of the customers is particularly beneficial. BTL marketing activities give the customers the firsthand experience of a product/service and actively create brand value.

BTL marketing is one of the most appropriate tools for small business enterprises because of the following reasons:

·         The impact of BTL marketing is more measurable as compared to other modes of marketing as the emphasis is more on selling units rather than building brand value.

·         As BTL promotions are targeted at groups having unique needs, they create a bigger impact in terms of customer satisfaction, and ultimately, in terms of revenue. [4]

·         In an era where competition in tough and customer loyalty is essential, being able to directly address existing or potential customers is key. Benefits include prospect profiling, depth explanations of product solution, ability to capture information and enable follow-up communications. [5]


3.     How does Gebrüder Stitch use below-the-line marketing?

Summary of the relevant presentation?

In the presentation we were shown how they started with their idea and used the concept of below the line marketing in order to penetrate into the market. Since they were a start up they needed to find a different inexpensive method to market their product. 

How did the presenter answer the question provided above?
Mouth-to-mouth propaganda
They always ask for direct contact on the homepage
But also used mass media: youtube, local television, news papers (however not in classical way of public advertisement)

4.     Group opinion

 BTL marketing is the appropriate tool for a niche product like gebrüder stitch jeans.

 Capacity is 100% used -> decline orders -> raises exclusiveness

  Brand value is individual, exclusive, personal, seen as an insider’s tip

 However: expansion potential, growing plans -> mix of Above the line and below the line marketing suggestive.


5.     References

·         Kalpana, Samata, Ravindra, Urmilla (2012), TECHNICAL EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS AND BTL MARKETING STRATEGIES, in Arth Prabhand: A Journal of Economics and Management Vol.1 Issue 9, December 2012, ISSN 2278 0629, p. 59 - 66

·         Kingpin Intelligence (2009), BELOW THE LINE MARKETING – DIRECT & PERSONAL, in Kingpin technology online research panel,, p. 1 - 4


[1] cf. Kalpana et. al (2012), p. 60

[2] cf. Kingpin Intelligence (2009)

[3] cf. Kalpana et. al (2012), p.61-62

[4] cf. Kalpana et. al (2012), p.61-62

[5] cf. Kingpin Intelligence (2009)

Team: Johanna Schauerhofer, Manish Abraham, Stefan Ortmair, Dasha Zuyeva, Klaus Allerstorfer. 


 manish abraham

About Me (Manish Abraham):
I am pursuing MSC in Engineering in Innovation and Product Management from University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, which involves Holistic integration of marketing, design and technology, combined with strategic thinking in order to develop product innovations in a sustainable way. Specializing in Development Process Engineering, Mechatronics, Business Economics and Marketing, also complemented by Industrial Design know-how. 
To Read More about me Click Here or just view my Video Resume. If your company is  looking for someone with the all the above mentioned qualities do Contact me