Media Matters

What’s the matter? Not enough people know about your company? Your service? Your product? (For simplicity’s sake, let’s just call all of them “product”). You know you need to get the word out but you don’t know how…

To start off, the world of marketing is divided up into two major subsets: The Message and The Messenger. You know the old saying “Don’t shoot the messenger”? Well, in this case, sometimes that’s called for. That’s because the Message is what you’re saying about your product while the Messenger is how you’re getting the word out, and boy, are there many ways to do that…

There are the “old classics”: TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, direct mail, window signs and billboards. And there’s the vast array of “new stuff”: geo-targeted cable TV, geo- and demo-targeted EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail), transit ads (planes, trains, taxis and buses), bus shelters, train stations and platforms, airport displays and pillars, grocery store shelves, floors and carts, Google ad words, web advertising, website SEO, Facebook ads, Facebook Boosts, mobile device ads, webinars, podcasts, blogs, YouTube channels, info-videos, going viral, emails, texting, RedStamps, Evites, product placements in TV shows and movies, guerilla marketing tactics. That’s still not everything…and there’s always something new emerging.

Good grief, what’s a body to do? Don’t worry…we’ve got you covered!

First of all, get professional help. Seriously. Because this is where you can spend (and waste) a great deal of money if the media is not carefully selected. Your marketing firm will (or should) help you determine your audience. Who are they? What are their ages, interests, stomping grounds and income levels? Where do they live? How do they get around? What media are they most likely to interact with?

Secondly, you’ll need to establish a budget. It’s like going out to shop for a house—your realtor can show you anything and everything, but if it’s not in your budget, it’s a waste of your time. Budget is especially critical with media because you’re juggling three things: reach, frequency and impact.

Reach is essentially your geographic reach or how many people you’re reaching. Frequency is how often they’re likely to see your message and for how long and Impact is how noticeable the message is—ie you can’t miss it (like that plane flying over a beach with the banner that everyone looks up at, or the city bus that’s completely wrapped, or that billboard that repeats 5 times in a row down the expressway). To have all three can be very expensive so you and your marketing partner will need to decide which is most important—which one will give you the most for your money.

For instance, you choose a small geographic area over a limited period of time so that you can have high frequency and maybe some high impact. We’re doing that now for a university that has a program for disadvantaged youth. We had a limited budget so we knew we needed to target specific areas and specific media that would be the most likely to reach our audience as they move about. We chose mass transit (CTA trains, buses, platforms and shelters), and junior posters (those small neighborhood billboards that are at street/eye level). Because of the highly targeted nature of the campaign, we’re able to blanket the areas with high frequency and even a few moderately-high-impact hits. We’re confident our audience is going to see our message!

Another young, trendy product was promoted strictly online: website, Google AdWords and hyper-targeted FB boosted posts and ads. Another product is so unusual that we’ve come up with fun, high-impact, guerilla marketing tactics that are as innovative as the product.

Always keep this in mind: if you’re spread to thin on reach, frequency or impact, it’s like you don’t even exist out there. Remember, the average consumer is bombarded with over 4000 (and growing) marketing impressions a day so it’s a tough world to break through that takes thought, creativity, planning and yes, money.

By now you can probably see that the media you choose really does matter.  But it’s a complicated matter–a left brain/right brain challenge that requires both creativity and analytical skills for numbers, charts and graphs and all that. Just the kind of complex puzzle-solving stuff that gets us excited.

So bring it on—let’s see how we can help you with your challenge!