Twenty years ago, a company could run an ad for a product or service on any one of the three television networks in existence and reach a large segment of the population. Today, with the multitude of media options available, advertisers must be savvier if they want to hit their target markets.
Thanks to the proliferation of niche cable television networks, the Internet, iPods, satellite TV and radio, video games and a host of other media options, advertising to your target market is more difficult than ever before. That’s why smart marketers are now using a multi-media direct marketing approach to leverage their advertising dollars and reach more potential buyers.
What is multi-media direct marketing? It means that you’re utilizing an integrated media buying strategy for TV, online, print and radio and tracking the performance of each medium. The fact is that multiple media help you maximize your profit from direct response advertising because you’re combining all the available options and tracking response in order to determine which medium will be most effective for you.
Depending on your product offering, you may find that TV and online ads work best, for example, or that print and radio is the way to go. Such an approach enables you to take advantage of new media you might never have considered, which in today’s rapidly changing media environment are essential for reaching your target audience.
Realize that buyers today are more sophisticated than they have ever been in the past. They’re more educated and have more options when it comes to what they watch, listen to or read. That’s why you need to get creative with your advertising and attempt to reach your target buyers with multiple approaches.
So if you’ve always relied on one advertising medium in the past, now is the time to take a look at how a multi-media marketing approach can work for you. Here are two concepts you must learn:
• Use multiple points of contact to maximize your advertising dollars.
Today, we have highly fragmented audiences due to all the viewing, reading and listening options consumers have. People no longer just watch television or only listen to one radio station. Rather, people watch TV and surf the Internet at the same time. They may not hear your radio ad because they subscribe to satellite radio, which airs much fewer ads than terrestrial radio. Or, even if they do read The Wall Street Journal, they may only read the online version and not the traditional print version, meaning that they never see your print ad.
Knowing this, advertisers can no longer rely on one advertising medium to spread the word. Doing so in today’s age is simply a waste of money.
In order to leverage your advertising dollars, you need to implement a multi-media marketing approach. For example, we know that about half of homes these days have a high-speed broadband Internet connection. As such, TV and online are converging. People now can watch videos and commercials on the Web. So rather than simply create a television ad for your product, also consider running the commercial online. You can stream the commercial on your Web site (you do have a Web site!) or run it as a video ad on other Web sites. Or, in your direct response television ads, don’t just have a phone number for people to call; also include a Web address to maximize sales opportunities.
• A multi-media approach keeps you ahead of industry trends.
When you use a multi-media marketing approach you’ll be an empowered advertiser because you’ll be better able to understand and take advantage of changes happening in the marketplace. Why is this important? Consider what happened in the music industry. Consumers started downloading music from the Internet for free, which severely hurt the music industry. Had the music executives been on top of trends, rather than merely reacting to them, they could have been prepared for the download revolution and had a plan in place to profit from it.
That’s why savvy marketers need to understand what’s going on in the marketplace and figure out ways to reach these more fragmented audiences. We’re not living in a one-dimensional world anymore where you have three network television stations and a handful of radio stations. If you want to succeed, you have to be more creative nowadays and go after niche audiences.
So identify the exact markets you want to target and then determine all the media those groups utilize. Be prepared to let go of any past mindsets that lead you to believe that one particular form of advertising is the only way to go. You may discover that your target audiences respond best to online and radio advertising rather than television, for example. If that’s the case, have the courage to abandon your old views of marketing and adopt a new marketing mindset for the new marketplace you’re doing business in.
THE CUTTING EDGE OF ADVERTISING
As you implement a multi-media marketing approach, it’s important to work with a media buyer that is capable of managing such a campaign. Experienced multi-media media buyers know the networks, stations, day-parts, magazines and online media that perform best for various products, services and target audiences. Since multi-media marketing is a new and cutting edge advertising approach, rely on your buyer’s expert guidance to make the most of your time and money.
In the end, by tapping into and testing multiple types of media, you’re going to experience a greater return on all your advertising dollars. You’re also going to stay ahead of the competition as you keep abreast of industry trends and have the insight to be proactive rather than reactive to your customers’ new buying patterns. Eventually, the more you use this multi-media approach, you’ll find you have easier access to your ideal customer, thus causing your company’s recognition and profits to grow.
Peter Koeppel is a Wharton MBA and is founder and president of Koeppel Direct, a direct response media buying, marketing, campaign management and creative strategies company. With more than 25 years of marketing and advertising experience, Koeppel has helped Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and entrepreneurs develop marketing campaigns to increase profits. For more information on his work, visit: www.koeppeldirect.com, or call: (972) 732-6110.