Media advertising; sounds like a great way to get your message across. If you look at large penetration vehicles, such as television, radio, or print then you could reach a very large percentage of the population – the media industry figures will confirm this – ask any of them.
But will your message benefit from a more select demographic?
If you product or service is better suited to a particular customer type, then maybe being a little bit more selective might be the way to go. The media companies will provide demographic and time slice breakdowns which will go some way towards deciding if you should use them, but their real strength is in wide geographic penetration.
This can work very well for you if you are an online entity or offer online products and have a cost effective distribution network in place (Australia Post is a good service provider for everything, provided it is not too big or is not a food item).
How about if you are a trade provider? Or a food retailer? Will the mass media broadcast help you if the message consumer is 2 hours away? There are no options for you to restrict the television advertisement to “South of the river” only. You will be forced to broadcast to everyone, and by extension, pay for those broadcast services. Your marketing costs have just doubled, or your marketing effectiveness has just halved.
Unless you meet the mass media broadcast parameters required for your goods and services, then look for alternatives.
More localised activities may provide some tangible benefits not available with the more mass-market options:
The cost of advertising is lower.
You are better able to target your customer areas.
You can tailor your ads to aligned better with specific demographics.
There are better cross- and complimentary-promotion opportunities.
Message impressions can be higher because of the initial lower cost.
Customers consume many messages, sometimes these messages are invited (subscriptions or searches) and sometimes the messages form the general white noise that consumers have evolved to largely ignore. The reality is that for a message to make in impact, it needs to be seen more than once. Low frequency equals low absorption, and low absorption equals low sales.
If you have the choice, always chose repetition over range – your wallet will ultimately appreciate it.