Where should you advertise? Here’s your answer.
I’m contacted a few times each week by friends or people who have found me online asking specifically where they should advertise – TV, mail, digital, etc. The answer is that it completely depends on your audience.
There are common themes and big messages that resonate with a large swath of the population. These can be formatted into ads delivered across mass media such as television, radio or billboards, or across all digital channels. Basically, places where everyone sees them, a shotgun approach that provides a large bang for the buck. Think McDonald’s. Everyone loves cheeseburgers, so their audience is everyone. Mass media makes sense for them.
There are more specific themes that resonate with a more specific audience, say women and cosmetics. These ads can be placed on mass media platforms such as television, but should be targeted to channels and shows watched mostly by females, or in female targeted publications such as Cosmo. In today’s media environment, the most optimal platforms to place these ads are digital because of the ability to receive instant feedback on performance, allowing you to change and perfect messaging, creative and targets. We call this optimization.
Lastly, there are very specific messages for niche audiences. These messages are best delivered over digital channels or perhaps in the mailbox. Aside from Runner’s World magazine, there isn’t a great way to reach a small audience such as marathoners. Or Star Trek fans. This is where you really utilize digital. You can get insanely granular using millions or data points. Want to reach 41 year old white dudes who run marathons, love Star Trek, listen to the Wu Tang clan, have three children, and run marathons? Yeah, me. You reach me across digital platforms. Good luck coming up with that creative.
The best media plans use a little bit of each, which is called a media mix. Let’s look at a political campaign as an example, because that’s where we are the best in the nation.
We are a converged media company, meaning we do marketing across all platforms. We may have five big television ads in rotation across different media markets across a state with big messages that resonate with everyone, ie this guy is an honest and ethical family man. Then we may have 200 niche ads running across digital platforms, including connected televisions, targeting pro-lifers, gun owners, hard fiscal conservatives, moderates, moms, and many, many more audiences.
In the current iteration of the internet, referred to as Web 2.0, we are hyper-focused on media mixes based on television, connected television, and all digital platforms. Occasionally we run mail, billboards, and other print ads, but those are mostly done for local races.