If you’ve been keeping up with my articles, you know that I am a fan of marketing to highly targeted audiences because I believe that’s the smartest uses of limited marketing dollars. When monies are more abundant, however, I do believe that using marketing mediums that reach broad audiences—such as television and radio—can be beneficial. A word of caution though: To increase your chances of a decent ROI, you will need to be even more strategic and thoughtful than usual when it comes to choosing the Who, What and Where for your marketing message. Here’s what to keep in mind:
When using television or radio versus print advertising, who you want to speak to with your marketing should not change. Therefore, you should, as always, refer to your list of the characteristics and demographics that your ideal consumer possesses. The only exception: If you are launching a new product or service that’s designed for an audience other than your usual target market; in that case, you will need to create a list of the characteristics and demographics of your ideal customers for that product or service.
The message that you create for your television and radio advertisements is critically important. Therefore, you must spend the time determining precisely what that message should be. As you craft your message, keep in mind that the message—unless you have a significant budget to produce and air multiple commercials over an extended period—should be one that can be used now, six months from now and a few years from now. That way, you will get the most “bang for your buck.”
Another factor to consider when crafting your marketing message for radio and television is that consumers beyond your intended, ideal target market will be exposed to your ad. Therefore, the message itself as well as how you communicate the message should invite your target consumers to purchase your product while effectively exposing fringe customers to your brand…hopefully converting them into customers as well.
Finally, the message must be highly engaging. Remember: We live in a society where there is always something vying for our attention. If you fail to make your advertisement memorable and your message clear, all of your work in creating the commercial will have been in vain. So, take the time to get it right!
Since radio and television are such broad media, you must do your due diligence in determining where on the television or radio you will air your advertisement. Now, in this instance, “where” means two things: (1) which station / network and (2) what time / with what programming.
In order to decide which station or network you will advertise on, you need to find a station or network that targets an audience that’s similar to the audience you desire based on your target consumer list. For instance, if your goal is to reach teens and you want to advertise on television, you should seek out television networks that target teens. If you want to reach Christian churchgoers via radio, advertising on a Christian radio station is ideal. NOTE: In some cases, you will find entire television networks or radio stations that focus on a specific audience. In many cases though, you may need to drill down further and look at a station’s / network’s programming to determine which stations / networks have programs that are designed to attract the audiences you want to reach. For example, FOX television network as a whole is not targeted to teens but it does air shows that are specifically geared towards teens; not all markets have a religion-focused radio station but many radio stations do have special shows that play certain days or at specific times that may be religiously-based.
Once you have identified the radio stations or television networks on which you want to advertise, the next step is to determine what time / with what programming you want the advertisement to air. See, unlike print advertising, you will have the option of the time of day that your ad will air. This is an important consideration because it can directly affect the number of customers who have the greatest chance of being exposed to your marketing message. So, when making this decision, ask yourself: “Which programs on the network or station are designed to attract audiences similar to my ideal customer?” and “Which times would my ideal customers most likely be watching a program or listening to the radio and therefore hear / see my commercial?” Your responses to these questions should help you to narrow down the ideal times at which you want your advertising to air. Here is an example:
If your goal is to reach white-collar professionals through radio advertising, the ideal times may be when they would be driving to and from work. So, you know that 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. will be good time slots. Meanwhile, if you want to reach stay-at-home parents via television advertising, the ideal times to advertise may be 10 a.m. through 2 p.m.—because they are less likely to be chauffeuring the children to school and after school practices at that time.
If you take the time to think things through, you will find that advertising via a broad medium can be an effective means to promote your business. It’s just a bit more complex than marketing to a target market that you control. So, with that said, here is my final advice for you today: Don’t jump into TV or radio advertising. Instead, slide in, making sure that you are 100% (okay, at least 98%) sure about the Who, What and Where for your commercial. That way, you can tell the radio / TV salesperson exactly what you want and buy air time that meets your needs as closely as the available air time and your budget will allow.
Tanisha Coffey is a professional writer and marketing consultant based in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. She provides her services through the strategic marketing consulting, professional copywriting and independent author services firm Scribe, Etc.