Blended Media …Huh? The term blended media translates into a mix of traditional print, radio, television and digital (Online) advertising strategies. Granted, they’re not a new tactic by any means and have, in fact, been around for quite a while. What they provide is a multi pronged approach to your advertising and with the speed of todays technology, their synergy can provide a well timed boost for flagging sales. So, which ones are the best fit for you?
As Business owners, we often find ourselves inundated with sales pitches and for many, the choices far outweigh the reward. Everyone in business has a budget to work within, from $5 to $5000 it makes no difference, you only have what you have and obviously, those dollars need to show maximum returns. A blended media campaign may be just the answer you have been looking for.
So how should you choose where to invest? Newspapers, Magazines, Flyers, Brochures, Radio, Television, Vehicle signage, Online – which would be the best fit for a business and how can you start to narrow it down? Well, let’s take a deeper look :
- Newspapers – When was the last time you read the newspaper? What about your customers? Newspapers have a good local reach and are fairly inexpensive for small ads & classifieds but you need to know where your customers are first.
- Television – Great reach at a great cost and for most small businesses, simply out of reach.
- Radio – Great local market reach and if you’re selective of plans and not too picky on time slots, a bargain or two can easily be snapped up. Airtime can be expensive though and radio loves contracts…
- Flyers / Brochures – Great handouts, mailers and for one-on-one introductions. Many local businesses do some form of direct mail through Canada Post. Some with great success and others, literally with none. In our experience, we’ve seen many clients try these methods with very mixed response overall.
- Vehicle Signage – A truly great medium. Real local reach that just never stops, it’s like having an moving billboard up and down the highway every day. Even when strategically parked in town, these mobile ads just keep on giving! Full vehicle wraps can be expensive but with magnetic decals now the cost has also come way down.
- Online – Websites, Blogs, Social Media, Newspaper Digital editions – while it’s true that not everyone is on Facebook, an ever growing percentage of the population are online daily in one form or another. Are you?
Weighing the options…
With blended media campaigns, the choice, ultimately begins with understanding your consumers and where they get their information from. Simply stated, there’s no point placing ads in magazines or newspapers if your audience isn’t reading them. Once you have defined 1) who your consumers are and 2) what motivates them to purchase you will have a better idea of which media will work best for you.
There is still a large percentage of the population who is not active on Facebook! Start with asking your current customers where they get their information about products/services. Did they do some research before buying? If so, where did they look and why did they choose that particular medium?
A Realtor client was recently “obligated” by his firm to place an ad in the local newspapers’ Real Estate section at a cost of $500 a pop! Over the course of a year (the contract term) he tracked only one single response to that ad. Needless to say, he did not renew the term.
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Integration is key
Print media can still be very effective for some types of business but is even better when it’s fully integrated with your online or digital marketing efforts too. By integrating the message across different channels you can easily and affordably amplify that reach. Even today, there remain so many companies we see that still have no direct connection between sales, marketing and digital media. It’s no longer an option folks, these three branches must be integrated in this digital age for true, lasting success.
The Final Decision
When it comes to blended media advertising, everything hinges on your existing customers and your target demographics. Investing advertising dollars into the right medium and ad copy for your targets, will produce results. However, the flip side of that coin is simply that should those targets or the ad copy itself be off, even a little bit, you’ll see diminished returns.
If you’re not sure, then talk to your customers. #1 question should always be “Where did you find us?” Perhaps the #2 question should be “Why did you look there?” If you’re still not sure, reach out for advice, initial consultations are free!