Know the media channels and their audiences: No matter what your objective is, you have to reach the right audience. So when it comes to developing a media strategy, the most important factor is understanding who is viewing your ad. As you are both a business person and a consumer of advertising media, you can be a test market yourself.
Ideally you have some budget set aside for market research but we're not always in an ideal world. If budgets are tight see below:
Ask Yourself These Questions:
What is your favorite media?
Be careful with this one. If you are a VP at WalMart you probably follow different media than your clients. If you are one of the skateboarding founders of Airwalk you probably have a similar set of interests to your customers.
What media do you spend the most time with?
Where are you exposed most to Internet / TV / radio / newspapers / billboards?
Where do you see your competitors advertising, especially repetitive advertising?
If they keep promoting at one media, it's likely that the media channel is working for them, or they have lots of money to burn. Ever notice how a McDonalds will open on a corner and within 6 months one of their competitors is across the street? Not every company is able/willing to spend the money McDonalds does on market research so they watch for where the big guy is putting the new store and they follow them in. You can do that with your advertising dollars too, the catch is you have to be capable of going head to head with your competition.
Get The Rates
Contact the local sales director to check on information and rates of TV stations or radio media groups. If you are advertising in newspapers or magazines, check their websites or call the sales department to get a media kit or a rate card, which details advertising information with rates, deadlines and guidance. If it is a website, usually there is a tab where users can obtain basic advertising information and contacts for further information. This process sounds simple enough but to get the best deal you're better off hiring a professional ad firm to do your media buying for you. Remember the station rep's job is to get you to spend money on their station whereas your agency's job is to get you on the right station to reach your audience. The best part is that the media company, not you, pays your ad guys to get you the best deal. Like when buying a home and the seller pays all closing costs.
Work On Your Content
The content of the proposed media should be of great consideration. As you may or may not notice, a lot of ad placement doesn't make much sense. Depending on the business type, you may select the local weekly newspaper, rather than a Rock&Roll afternoon radio program. A billboard ad for a personal investment business may reach its clients more effectively in a downtown area; while a billboard ad for a fashionable saddle company would be more reasonable to place in a beach town, popular with teenagers.
Who is going to put together the content?
The content needs to be consistent with the information on your website and other media ads. It should be able to attract and hold people's attention by communicating directly, clearly and creatively. Don't forget to add your contact information such as an email address, website links, or phone numbers. You may be tempted to do the work by yourself. However, is it worth hiring an agency to do it for you if your response rate goes up? Your ad will be more relevant and targeted at the market by hiring a professional. Always look for the agencies that put client's business goals first. The better they serve their clients, the more effective the campaign will be.
FiG Advertising and Marketing (Focus Identity Group, LLC) is a client-orientated marketing and advertising company that is dedicated to providing results-driven brand marketing communications and campaigns to businesses just like yours.