Are you happy with the results of your advertising investment? Are you convinced that your media buying strategy reaches the maximum amount of your target market for your money? Do you want to increase traffic to your store without increasing your budget?
If you’re like most window treatment retailers, deriving the
greatest value from your marketing program is a constant challenge.
Many window treatment retailers do not get the maximum value for
their ad dollars, and that translates into a loss of store traffic
and possibly sales.
The reason? Many window treatment retailers do not take a scientific,
strategic approach to media buying. As a result, their ads do not
reach the maximum number of potential customers.
The following are a few tips on how to get the most value for your
• Select the correct advertising medium. Although print
is a valuable form of advertising, you shouldn’t overlook other
media that will let you break through the clutter. Less saturated
alternatives such as radio, television, movie theaters, billboards
and even bus shelters can help you stand out from the competition.
Remember, however, that your advertising medium should always remain
consistent with your overall image and message. If you position
yourself as a high-end retailer, for example, bus advertising might
not be the wisest choice.
• Know your target audience. In order to choose the
most efficient medium to reach your target audience, you must first
know as much about them as possible. How old are they? Where do
they live? What type of music do they listen to? Identify as many
common characteristics as you can. The more you know about your
customers, the more you can understand how to make yourself visible
Good media buying agencies use sophisticated software programs that
enable them to define a client’s target market and determine
the proper advertising outlets to reach them. Be careful not to
evaluate the effectiveness of your media plan based on your personal
preferences. People who buy their own media often tend to buy what
they watch, read or listen to. Remember, you might not belong in
your target audience.
• Establish objective criteria for measuring your plan’s
effectiveness. Perhaps your media plan contains a mix of print,
radio and television ads. How do you know if this mix is giving
you the biggest bang for your buck? If you don’t know how what
you’re buying works together, you can’t properly evaluate
the effectiveness of your plan.
Media buying agencies use sophisticated procedures for determining
a plan’s reach (the percentage of people you are reaching in
your target market) and frequency (how often you are reaching them).
If you’re buying media yourself, ask your ad rep for reach
and frequency information for each ad. These are important elements
of a plan that must be carefully balanced for maximum effect.
• Don’t limit your buy to just one station. People
watch programs, not stations. Therefore, buying ads on appropriate
programming across multiple stations is the most effective way to
reach the broadest target audience.
And, when comparing the value of one station to the next, do it
on the cost-per-person reached, not the absolute cost of the spot.
An ad that has a higher total cost can often be a better value because
you are reaching a larger target audience. After all, a cheaply
priced ad that doesn’t reach anybody is hardly a bargain.
• Once you’ve planned your media buy, monitor it.
The best media plan in the world will not work if it is not executed
the way you intended. Close monitoring of the plan will ensure that
you receive what you intended, and will alert you to problems that
Keep a close eye on the placement of your ad. If it’s a newspaper
ad, did the ad fall in a good location within the paper? Is it in
a section that is heavily read, as opposed to one that might be
tossed aside? Is it too close—or too far—from other similar
ads? With TV, is your spot separated enough from the competition?
Did it appear at a time that attracts the maximum viewers, or was
it, for instance, tacked on at the end when many target customers
might have already switched off their sets or changed stations?
An important thing to consider is that in TV and radio, advertising
rates are based on the number of people expected to be watching
or listening. If the actual viewership turns out to be less than
90 percent of that estimation, you have the right to negotiate free
ads—or make goods—as consolation. However, if you do not
monitor your buy and ask your ad rep to be clear on what’s
promised and what’s actually delivered, you will have no way
of knowing if you are getting what you are paying for.
By implementing the above suggestions—and adding a scientific
approach to your media-buying plan—you can increase your target
market reach without increasing your budget.
Cindy Rippner Kurtz is president and co-founder, along with
her husband Brad, of Media Placement Group (MPG); (561) 988-2181;
MPG is a Boca Raton, FL, based marketing and media management company
that places media in virtually every market in the United States.
MPG places advertising in more than 500 newspapers and on 400 television
and radio stations across the country.