Traditional Advertising Media Pros and Cons
Most businesses use some form of advertising as part of their promotion plan. The beginning of planning any advertising is to define the business' target audience and then make the selection of the medium, or combination of media, that reaches this target audience in the most cost-effective way.
Because every business has different marketing requirements it's not possible to state definitively which advertising options are the best for any particular business. Here are the most popular media and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each that are worth considering.
The advantages: A medium with high impact where it's possible to purchase airtime in a slot that can be finely selected to be at a time when your targeted audience segment is most likely to be viewing.
The disadvantages: TV is an expensive medium - the cost of airtime, of producing commercials, and difficulties in getting quality time slots for budget advertisers often rules it out. However, depending on what you're trying to sell, you might be able to promote on cable or satellite television using a show that's viewed primarily by members of your target audience. It might also be possible to present your own show on a smaller station if you can come up with something interesting each week.
The advantages: Radio can be affordable enough to allow repetition of your offer. You can select a station pretty accurately by its demographics and home in on your target audience. Commercial production costs are low. It's an immediate medium and so works well for promoting events, such as a special sale, on the day.
The disadvantages: The audience of any station is geographically scattered and may not be able to take advantage of your offer. There's also a lot of 'clutter' when four or five different ads are run one after another. Radio impact is limited in that you can't show your product, nor can you expect to get across a lot of detail about it.
The advantages : You can look at a newspaper's audience figures and demographics to choose the right paper and the right feature or section for your product; in the right section an ad can work very well. Production costs can be low but you need the smarts to design an ad that grabs and holds attention.
The disadvantages : You're likely to be upstaged by bigger advertisers whose ad can be placed right next to yours. Careful selection of the newspaper, section and day are essential - even the same newspaper can have different readerships on different days.
The advantages: Magazines are highly targeted so it's possible to purchase ad space in a magazine that will be read by your target audience no matter how specialized it may be.
The disadvantages: Most magazines are issued monthly so it can involve a long lead in time to getting into print and getting responses. Smaller advertisers don't get the best positioning in magazines and are usually crowded together in the back. And be careful to verify the stated circulation figure of the magazine.
The advantages: Your advertisement lasts for an entire year and is placed in such a way that your prospects can find you at the time they want to buy.
The disadvantages: Most Yellow Pages advertising is expensive. Bigger advertisers and those who've been advertising longer than you will be at the front of the section.
There are very few bargains in advertising spending. You get what you pay for here. But to maximize the return on what you are paying for, keep two questions in mind: is my ad going to capture interest?; and have I chosen the right channel for reaching my target audience?