Evaluating Media Choices

Media Choices

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all the media choices available at your fingertips? How do I know which channel will be the most “effective”, will I reach the right target audience? If so, is it enough to offset the costs of the marketing campaign. The answer is maybe. There is no right or wrong answer in marketing, it is about research, trial, error and… more research.

Media Choices - Beaverton Oregon

 

Media Options

Because different media are effective for different purposes, it is important to research which media form will truly target your audience market. In recent years we have seen a shift from newspaper, magazine, radio, and billboard advertising to digital ads. Now, this is not a reason to think digital advertising is the way to go. As a small business owner, it may be more beneficial to advertise in your local newspaper, magazine, or radio. For an advertising campaign to be effective, it needs to reach the right target audience, your audience could be a daily city commuter who passes by a billboard multiple times a day or someone who enjoys reading the newspaper instead of surfing the internet.  Media sources should be selected based on your audience’s preferences to maximize your marketing investment.

Nevertheless, with media buying, there will be a “waste factor.” The key is to minimize the waste factor, meaning the percentage of the marketing which is not your intended market. For example, a newspaper ad can have 20,000 impressions but not everyone reading the newspaper may be a potential customer (Maybe you have a pool company and certainly there will be some people who don’t own a pool who reads the newspaper.) If the target reach is 50%, then the real value of advertising in the newspaper is 10,000 impressions. Understanding real value is as important as knowing the full reach a specific media may tout.

 

Budget

While choosing a media outlet, keep your budget in mind. If you have a substantial advertising budget, allocating your budget across different media platforms can be beneficial. If you are a smaller business, be mindful of your budget and compare prices. Looking to advertise in a newspaper? Call and research multiple newspapers, and don’t be afraid to negotiate fair prices to display your media! This is certainly an area where we may be able to help with.

 

Media Evaluation

Whichever media outlet you select, create a plan that will measure the success of the campaign. Disappointed in the results? That’s ok! Keep researching and improving the campaign, if it isn’t yielding the results you want, try another form of media. Measuring data will tell you what can be improved and what you should continue to market. Let us know, what media form is most effective for your business?

Be the Ball (Setting Realistic Objectives)

Measuring Marketing

Sure, it’s a great idea. The artwork is great, the media chosen is perfect, the sales person who signed us up was a great person and said it worked for everyone else they work with. Sound familiar? And then you wonder after a few months if this was good money spent. This is not an uncommon thought, no matter the size of the business.

Where to start

Agreed, all those things are perfect BUT results need to be measured. Should we do more? Should we do less? Should we keep it the same? The starting line begins with defining the objective as clearly as possible. What do you expect to happen three months after the advertising begins? Are you looking for direct sales or improved brand awareness? Increased repeat business or increased spend?

Close up hourglass on wooden background,vintage color tone

Direct marketing is easy to measure, like a Google ad (PPC) or a phone book ad. Use a tracking phone line to help easily identify the results of these types of campaigns. When at all possible, use a tracking line where the calls are recorded and you own the phone number. If you stop a campaign you may still need access to that tracking number for a while afterwards. For example in a phone book which may be lying around potential customers homes for sometime.

Magazines are a bit tougher. Do you expect direct calls, a bit of branding or both? Direct Mail can be the same, people seeing your message over and over may remember you when it is time for your product or service and not reference the media they have seen you in.

Unless you are a multi-million dollar company with a huge marketing budget, you probably won’t be able to afford a marketing study to see your brand’s awareness in the marketplace. You might not even have enough marketing to improve brand awareness. So the question is “How do you measure?”

Answer sheet

We always look at where the media is being advertised, as well as a target testing area where results can be measured. If you use direct mail in a specific city or zip code and other marketing in that zip code, you can see the results from this area compared to other areas you service. If the targeted city has 10% of your customer base and it grows to 15% after your ad campaign you’ve succeeded, well maybe. There are other factors which can influence the results that may be determined before, or upon review of the campaign.

This sounds like it could be a bit complicated. However, if you start with clear objectives, have some measurements in place, and take time to review the results, possibly even half way in to the campaign, you will be ahead of the game. It may not always give you the answer you want but it will be better than nothing at all.

Last note, when a campaign doesn’t seem to be working it may not be the media. There are many factors to consider and you should not discount the media on its own accord. It could be the message or offer, the time of year, or some event which effected the results. If you ran a campaign and there was a road closing you didn’t know about, a national/world event which changed people’s buying habits, or possibly a competitor jumping in to the same media/campaign outspending you, then your results could be better or worse for it.

Marketing & Advertising

Is There a Difference?

The real answer is yes. There is a difference between marketing and advertising even though these two terms get intertwined in their use. For many, they are used interchangeably without any problem in context to the conversation.

Our tag line: “Better Marketing for Better Business” is a part of our mission statement, and then we further identify ourselves as an advertising agency. This is because we do both – marketing as well as advertising. On a high level, marketing is the overall process – the strategy for growth for the coming year(s), identifying the target customer, as well as market research. Advertising is about the campaigns and decisions about which media to purchase (media planning), as well as the purchasing of the media, and the creative, which includes the words and graphics to be used.

Below you will find a definition of both, if this interests you. Keep in mind, people may use these marketing and advertising synonymously.

Bright idea for business growth
Marketing & Advertising – What’s the Difference?

Marketing is……

Marketing is the big umbrella, which everything else falls under. It is the overall process and involves first identifying the objectives of the business, and then planning the strategy to meet those objectives. Marketing then will establish metrics, when possible, on how to measure the results to see if the actual plan is accomplishing what it is intended to do. Is it driving the desired/anticipated results? Specific functions in the marketing arena may include market research, content marketing (what is the message), and then working to purchase the media – which may be done in house or through an advertising agency.

Advertising is…..

To put it simply, advertising is to get the end user (consumers) to purchase the product or service. To get them to buy something, or buy something more often. It facilitates the brand awareness, and depending on the company, will either purchase the advertising within the company or utilize an advertising agency to make the purchases on their behalf. Media planning, media buying, and artwork creation may fall under the responsibilities, as well as finding ways to creatively get the message out to consumers. This could be television, radio, newspaper, or the internet.

TV and Radio – is it right for you?

Both of these have been around for many years. The invention of, and more importantly, the popularity and growth of cable and satellite TV, as well as satellite and internet radio,  has changed the landscape for those media.

With fewer people listening to traditional TV and radio, and the abundance of stations to choose from, this has made advertising in this media more challenging.

With the changes, has come some positives. With so many channels to choose from, the industry has had to lower prices to match their audience based on the rating systems from Nielson (for TV,) and Arbitron (for radio.) In 2013, Arbitron was acquired by Nielson, making Nielson the measurement of both ratings for TV and Radio viewer and listeners.
In addition to lower prices (to match a lower audience by channel/station,) TV specifically has changed with the cable and satellite industry. A business can now place advertising in a specific area of the coverage area, and not the entire coverage area, making this even more affordable. If they matched up to your client base, then it is even better. If it doesn’t, then the cost of advertising for these stations may not make sense. Radio has changed with many people listening via a computer or other internet connection and now affords the opportunity to better target the market that makes sense for a business and not the entire market area the radio station may reach.

Old Classic Television In A Room

Is TV or Radio right for your business?

Like any other media decision, this is going to be based on many factors, if we can take out the ego/cool factor. Of course it is great to see your business on TV or listen to the ads on radio, but is it the most effective spend of your advertising dollars?

The benefits of these two media are:

  1. They allow businesses to deliver a 15 to 60-second message and can gain trust in consumers.
  2. Trust is gained by consumers who believe what they see and hear on TV and Radio is credible, so these two media can add credibility to your business.

It is not the first place a business should look to advertise unless they have deep pockets for marketing. It should work in conjunction with a blend of other media so when someone sees the message, if they are looking for the business later, they can easily find it when looking for it by name, whether online or in a local phone book.