Today’s media world is increasingly fragmented. The golden era of being able to book TV ads on one of only 2 channels and be guaranteed a 20 million audience is a fond memory and one that anyone under 30 has difficulty believing. It sounds like a rose tinted spectacle tale doesn’t it? But it isn’t! In the 60’s Coronation Street regularly delivered over 20 million viewers and was the ad agency’s dream – or nightmare if they couldn’t book advertising slots!
Now we don’t have just the one, we have three main commercial terrestrial channels and about 200 via sky, freeview and freesat amongst others. Whilst reality shows like X Factor and classic dramas such as Downton Abbey will still pull in over 10 million, the average Coronation Street audience now falls significantly short of this figure leaving advertisers and their agencies with a problem. A problem that is compounded by those that channel hop during adverts and those that record and start watching the recording 12 minutes into the broadcast in order to fast forward through the ad. Yes, it’s a tough old world for TV advertisers today.
Radio went the same way as TV, as did both paid for newspapers and free newspapers whose life span, in the whole scheme of things, has been remarkably short with the first ‘freesheets’ appearing in the 1970’s spawning a boom by the entrepreneurs of that era that was unsustainable. So it has proved as the entrepreneurs sold out for handsome sums to the more traditional newspaper publishers who fought each other for market share and carried on against the odds before being beaten into submission by the most recent recession. Circulation figures almost halved during the recession as costs rose and advertisers found other, less expensive and more focused marketing channels.
Advertising budgets are now being made to work smarter. Niche and targeted marketing has become more popular. A multitude of hyperlocal magazines have sprung up to service the local advertiser previously neglected by the not so local free newspaper. These new magazines have proved that it is still possible for local media to deliver good ROI to local advertisers with a local audience. Regionally and nationally the picture is a bit more complicated.
It has never been more important than it is today for companies to ‘know their customer’. With sophisticated geodemographic targeting techniques this is very straightforward to the organized company who maintains organized customer records. Experian’s MOSAIC and ACORN are two of the market leaders and their ability to provide accurate profiles to today’s advertisers is very valuable.
By knowing your customer, and where to find more of them you are nearly there. Now you will need to build a promotion that appeals to them and identify a means of reaching them. Dependent upon your profile it might be cost effective to reach them by targeted door drop, by specialist magazine, by direct mail, by niche tv or radio channel, by advertising on web sites or using email marketing. The choices are down to the advertisers’ judgment and if trying something for the first time do a small test, evaluate, improve and repeat until all the marketing mix is working to best effect. At that stage it’s time to review it and improve upon it because effective marketing is a never ending search for perfection.
If you like my blog and have any queries about the content or need advice about marketing, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org I would be pleased to help.