How Do I Know What Type Of Ad Is Best For My Business?

Dear M&M: How do I know if I should buy a radio ad, a TV ad or a newspaper ad or a yellow page ad? -Bert

Dear Bert:

Someone once said, “half the money I spend on advertising is a total waste. The problem is, I don’t know what half?” You need to do several things before you determine what medium to use in order to deliver your message to your audience. Radio, TV, newspaper, social media, billboards, flyers and the yellow pages can be a very important part of your marketing plan. The most important fact to remember is the radio, TV, newspaper, social media, billboard, flyers and the yellow pages’ job in your marketing plan is to deliver your marketing message to a desired audience for a specific purpose.

There are a number of things you need to think about before you decide the best medium for your message, so let’s hold off on deciding who is going to deliver the message until we figure out four things: the geographic region for your message, who you are trying to reach, what you are trying to accomplish, and the message you are trying to deliver. Let’s take a look at the geographic region first. Are you trying to reach Sierra Vista, Cochise County, the state of Arizona, or planet earth?  Each of the various mediums can cover different geographical regions more effectively.

Second, determine who you are trying to reach. Let’s say your targeted customer is between the ages of 21 and 30. What do you think the chances are that targeted audience is using the yellow pages? I bet the radio station can tell you what station your targeted audience listens to.

Third, determine what you want your message to accomplish.  Do you want to inspire your audience to buy something, become aware of a new product, or attend an event?  Maybe they are a current customer and yiou want to have them tell their friends about something you are selling or doing. If you’re trying to get an existing customer excited about a new product or service, you may want to use social media so they’ll tell their friends online. Maybe you just want to increase existing customer sales. Offering them a coupon in-store on their next trip could get them back.

Lastly, you want to figure out what message you’re trying to deliver. Maybe you have figured out your potential customer really responds to coupons. A newspaper might be the best place to deliver that message or coupon to either an existing or a new potential customer.

So, before you decide the medium to deliver your marketing message, you must do a few things first. Think about what you are trying to accomplish:  make a sale, increase traffic, do business with a new customer, or do more business with an existing customer.  Once you have determined the marketing message, determine the geographic region to cover and which medium best reaches that region. Finally, determine your target audience and what medium would best deliver your message- video, sound, or print.

Once you have determined all of the above, you then must consider the frequency of the advertisement. How often will they broadcast or deliver your message- twenty times a day, every hour, once a week? How long will you continue to deliver this message? When does it start and when does it stop? Remember, keep in mind return on investment, ability to track, and other customer acquisition costs.



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