Between the Lines Advertising

A good friend of mine Brendon Barnard and I have been working on developing the LightSpeed brand that we launched on 1st September 2007. He and I worked hard on this project together, which produced a Corporate ID that has had an overwhelmingly good response from the people who have come into contact with the new brand and message.

During our creative brainstorm sessions I relayed my message to Brendon to try to give him a better picture of what we are really about. What happened was completely unexpected! Brendon’s extensive Advertising experience spawned some interesting new ideas, one of them being the title of this blog post (which you are probably wondering about the meaning of).

Let me start by outlining where the concept’s roots lie. Above the line (ATL) is an advertising technique using mass media to promote brands. Major above-the-line techniques are pushed to the target audience through channels like TV and radio. The message is normally generic brand awareness.

You can compliment your ATL strategy with a Below the Line (BTL) strategy or rely solely on the latter. Generally ATL is cost inhibitive for the SME Market as an advertising technique. A BTL Strategy will be more focused and therefore effective for your average small business. This type of advertising can also include a web presence and emarketing. It uses less of the conventional methods of advertising to promote products, services, promotions, etc. than Above the Line (ATL) strategies.


There are so many niche markets to target in today’s global village that you cannot rely solely on traditional above or below the line. The lines now represent a vast array of available media channels. We are now forced to read between the lines in order to understand what message is needed to quench the consumer’s thirst for media in today’s web driven media rich society.

I like to think of LightSpeed 2.0 as a Social Media Marketing Agency that deploys Between the Line tactics through using tools like social media, blogs, wikis, RSS, tagging, etc. Times are changing quickly which has caused the relevancy of old school “push” advertising to become less appealing. A “pull” model has evolved, which Seth Godin has explained the well in his eBook “Flipping the Funnel“. We have seen cutting edge social web technology emerge that enables us to communicate our message through multiple targeted channels. We are able to gauge the response to the message that is put out there through analytical tools (Feedburner and/or Google Analytics) and optimize the message for social media (Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr). We look at this approach as being a silver back guerrilla approach drifting down from misty mountains.

A Between the Line Strategy helps you “Flip your Funnel” by putting the choice of how to best utilize the huge variety of online marketing tools into the your own hands. The web affords a powerful vehicle that suits this type of thinking or strategy. You optimize your message by reviewing the feedback coming from the multiple channels used and redistribute for consumption. Thats where I got the idea for the name FeedMyMedia.

The channels of communication are totally message and target market defined. We believe that this is the essence of our Between the Line strategy. You can use web based channels and tools to get your message out to the target market. We live in a time where there is such a diverse range of media technologies, this kind of Between the Lines strategy can be applied Across the Lines.

The ultimate Between the Lines web strategy uses a mashup of plugins that connect you to third party social media sites to extend your web presence. Another method of sourcing content for mashups uses Web feeds, like RSS, to feed additional content into your Bliki website. Many people are experimenting with mashups using Microsoft, Google, eBay, Amazon, Flickr, Yahoo and many other third party APIs.

Your content determines what target market finds you so focus your message in the right channels and “Flip your Mother Fukkin’ Funnel” (Tribute to the legendary Dave Duarte for that one). Between the lines might even “Flip your Lid” or even your target market’s lid if you are lucky. Understanding what the metrics are of your lines or channels will help you read between the lines. These metrics can aid you in determining what your Return on Investment (ROI) is.

Social Media Marketing is a great method of delivering the message to many people in many different forms, but you must maintain a constant stream for it to be effective. I have used this strategy extensively to promote the launch of LightSpeed 2.0. The feedback has showed me that you can effectively get your message out through multiple channels to market ideas, products or concepts.

New markets are becoming more media and web aware. These new channels we have spoken about have evolved over the past 3-4 years. More people are moving towards the web every day. Bandwidth has become cheaper and more plentiful except in SA). Rich Media dominates the Web 2.0 world that we are exposed to through social media channels. Of course we still believe in the traditional media paradigm, we are only saying that one needs to evolve these strategies and cater for the new dynamic arena we are presented with online.

I hope that you have enjoyed my post. Try out some of these ideas and start “Flipping your Funnel” with your own version of a Between the Lines strategy.

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LightSpeed WordPress Development

Traveller, extreme sports fanatic, entrepreneur, trance head and WordPress / Open Source geek.

11 thoughts on “Between the Lines Advertising”

  1. Very cool Ashley and thanks for keeping us informed. Stephen and I have made great strides in developing a niche market social media site which will be launched during the course of October. It is heavily loaded with functionality and it will run parallel with my friends magazine with a readership of over 40 000.00 monthly. It will also include my personal daily video Blog, personal and business profiles, and of course public video sharing. See you in Cape Town in two weeks time.

  2. Hey Ashley. Good post. The idea of mashups is a good one, serves a purpose. I totally agree that the use of social media is a legitimate and effective way of marketing “between the lines” as wittily coined by you.

    [edit] I typed a whole long comment here and realised I went way off track, so I whittled it back.

    Wiki’s, blogs, YouTube, FaceBook, Flickr, StumbleUpon etc. the list is long, and getting longer. They are great marketing conduits, and the only thing I’d say is that not every site needs every one of them.

    Wikis for example. I’d personally rather contribute to the giant (Wikipedia) than start my own, unless I had a piece of software that I’d like to be collaboratively document.

    Blogs are great, often under-utilised though. Develop a great blog site for a client and they carnt spel too lekkr, then they’re going to make bigger arses out of themselves than without a blog.

    Flickr, or the like. Great web software. Great integration into your site. But do your clients want to see your dog at the beach, or your family lunch? I think not.

    I guess my point here, is that jumping blindly into using these mediums without prior research could prove to be harmful too. Always the cynic hey Ash?

    I gotta go. Blog posts to write 🙂

  3. The comments that have been coming in have been really great, especially when from the ones who understand how it all works better than most.
    I just want to say to Ross that I totally agree with (some of) what you say 🙂
    You highlighted some of the core channels that are being used. Our idea behind the Wiki concept, is that while the Wikipedia giant may be seen as the answer to all reasons to have a Wiki, we want to build niche wiki’s. The bonus we see here is that a) one doesn’t have to conform to the Wikipedia laws and b) one can have a more focused wiki about a certain topic…for instance the Social Media Wiki that we are launching soon.
    People who as you say ‘carnt spel too lekkr’ should learn to use spell checker in Word for writing their blog posts. And as for Flickr, I would definitely privatize my dog at the beach pics, whilst only feeding in the relevant pics.
    One should definitely not jump blindly into using these mediums, but we like to think of LightSpeed as the solution to this, as we can show you how to use the mediums, and our new Wiki will play a big part in this!

  4. Well put Dianne! Thanks for responding.

    Ross, the Social Media Strategies we talk about are not going to be easily adopted by clients yet. I can see that many people will not and are not understanding the message. We have tailored our FeedMyMedia CMS to cater for simple to advanced needs all built in from the start. It depends on what you want to achieve with your Website Tool, based on that we will activate and utilize the appropriate channels of communication for that client.

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