Resolve to Balance Your Media DietOptimal portions deliver the most conversions
The new year brings with it a renewed beginning and the opportunity to start fresh. In your personal life, you may have made resolutions to better or refocus yourself—and just as you may benefit from resolutions, so too might your local business. Are you using the same methods to take your product to market today as you were a year (or more) ago? Have you updated your strategy and tactics to reflect the ever-changing consumption habits of your consumers?
Thinking specifically about your media mix, resolving to balance your media diet may be a worthwhile and necessary resolution. You need to feed your consumers the right message in the right place at the right time, and a balanced media diet is critical for moving consumers through their purchase cycles.
But, much like balancing your own nutritional diet, in order to develop the best mix, it’s imperative to understand the strengths of each medium.
Television: Put your message in motion.
There is an inherent sexiness to television: the celebrity, the massive audience. The ability to use sight, sound, color and motion creates a compelling opportunity to deliver a powerful message in an engaging medium, if done effectively.
Key Benefits: broad reach, dynamic and visual medium
Constraints: cost, inventory, production investment, time-sensitive
Newspaper: Take ad-vantage of a trusted source.
Print continues to deliver the most local connection to consumers, and local newspapers trump other media in terms of trustworthiness, community connection, advertising efficacy, and overall engagement. Given the daily nature of newspapers, ads “expire” and have an enhanced sense of urgency in print.
Key Benefits: broad reach, local connection, timeliness, visual medium, inventory
Digital Video: Engage a more targeted audience.
Much like television, digital video offers the ability to showcase products and services in a compelling, creative manner. However, digital video is more targeted and cost-effective than television, which means it delivers a more qualified (though notably smaller) audience.
Key Benefits: targeted reach, dynamic and visual medium
Constraints: production investment
Radio: Get your message in tune.
Like other media, radio (digital, satellite, and terrestrial) continues to evolve in terms of how consumers take control and program their channels. That said, the strength in radio remains in frequency: the medium is used habitually (morning routine, evening commute) and provides the opportunity to conjure grand images in advertising by relying on listener’s imagination.
Key Benefits: frequency, power of imagination, local connection (terrestrial)
Constraints: cost, inventory, time-sensitive
Digital Display/Retargeting: You’re on the right track.
Display ads put your business in the right places: contextually, behaviorally, geographically and / or demographically. They push back to your website, which allows you to understand their effectiveness and track how consumers move through your digital channels more closely.
Key Benefits: targeted reach, trackability, direct connection to site
Constraints: inventory, limited creative space
Search: Get results.
While seemingly a simple advertising channel, search is a complex and nuanced medium to master. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are among the most cost effective, given the delivery of impressions at no cost and payment only for consumers who actively click on ads. Search is the perfect environment for testing different copy executions and understanding what resonates best with consumers. Finally, search pushes consumers directly back to your site.
Key Benefits: extremely cost effective, dynamic copy, direct connection to site
Constraints: no visuals, competitive, limited creative space, personnel investment
Social: Let your message mingle.
Oftentimes social is heralded as the darling child of media for local businesses because it is “free.” While creating social media accounts and populating them with content can be done without charge, there is significant investment required for developing, programming and managing content. Social channels are also limited in that platform algorithms deprioritize organic content, so it has evolved into a pay-to-play space. Still, the inherently opted-in audience and conversational nature of social creates an opportunity to connect with consumers on a personal level and in an authentic way that cannot be replicated in any other medium.
Key Benefits: audience targeting, engaged / opt-in audience, showcase for content
Constraints: limited creative space, personnel investment
Email: Send it special delivery.
Email continues remains a strong medium because of its portability and personalization. It is best used when it can be tailored to a customer’s history and their position within their purchase cycle. This requires database management and some degree of marketing automation, both Herculean efforts onto themselves, but the results warrant the effort. According to a recent email perception study by Fluent Inc., interesting marketing emails will result in an online purchase, a site visit, or an in-store purchase nearly 75% of the time.
Key Benefits: engaged / opt-in audience, customization
Constraints: limited creative space, platform investment (for serving and / or automation)
Mobile: Get your marketing on the move.
Mobile advertising is a broad category with many ever-evolving formats, including in-app advertising, text messages, geo-fencing and beacons, search, social, digital banners, and native apps. The common thread across formats is personal targeting at or very near the point of sale. This affords a broad range of messaging opportunities and an avalanche of consumer data that can inform broader marketing strategies.
Key Benefits: immediacy, hyper geo-targeting, proximity to point of conversion, data availability
Constraints: limited creative space, platform investment (for native app / texts / beacons), personnel investment, data management
Outdoor: Put your message out there.
Outdoor media is about making a statement and a big splash. It is limited in terms of creative (very little room for copy and visuals must carry the message), but there are considerable reach and frequency benefits associated with the outdoor medium.
Key Benefits: broad reach, impact, frequency, visual medium
Constraints: limited creative space
Your media dietician.
Need help balancing your media mix? We can help. Contact us today or call 334.261.1553.
Sources: Katz, Helen. The Media Handbook; “2013 Nielsen National Cross-Media Engagement Study” Nielsen. 8 Jan 2013; “The Inbox Report: Consumer Perceptions of Email 2015” Fluent Inc. 15 Dec 2015;