Media Strategy: What Tools Will We Use?
Today, we need to consider these channels along with online marketing, which includes (among others):
- Social media
- Search engine optimization
- Mobile marketing
And of course, there are a myriad of miscellaneous areas that can be considered. For example, closed-circuit TV at health clubs, word-of-mouth, events and seminars, bus wraps, Power point presentations, demonstrations, etc.
So you’re probably wondering, “how do I choose?” Consider your target market, and what types of media they may be using. Consider your budget—how much do you have allocated to spend on marketing? Be realistic. To make something happen, it takes time and/or money.
Social media is considered “free” or low-cost, but does take time to keep up-to-date. Some companies have an employee or group of employees who can dedicate a block of time on a daily or weekly basis to updating social media sites, blogs, and other digital media. This can indirectly save money, but needs to be weighed against actual availability of these employees.
Pay-per-click ads can be priced according to your budget—creating and placing the ads and measuring the success will cost more in time or dollars to make this part of the strategy a success.
Traditional media can seem expensive, if compared to the seemingly “free” aspect of online, yet when adding up all the costs of time and expense, you may find that it’s quite comparable. And, research shows that consumers still use traditional media1 and trust traditional media more than online ads2.
Perhaps surprising, direct mail is still an effective way to communicate, with a response rate that is competitive with, and can out-perform, digital media.3
In most cases, it’s important to combine traditional and social media, to communicate with target markets on several levels. People respond to each type of media differently, remember them differently, engaging with them differently. As Tom Doctoroff says in his article Why Traditional Media Isn’t Dying, and 4 Other Myths of the Digital Era Dispelled: “Top-down shapes preference. Bottom-up deepens engagement—or time spent with an idea—that leads to loyalty.”
The ability to engage interactively with digital media makes it an essential tool in your media strategy. And digital is not just for the young. There’s a high percentage of 45+ year-olds who are active on social media sites like Facebook. Yet the numbers who see and trust media like television and newspaper over online show how important it is to retain traditional forms of advertising. The adage “it takes seven ‘touches’ to make a sale” may not hold up in today’s fast-paced environment, but repeated connection with a customer, using a consistent and identifiable brand strategy, is important in building trust and creating a relationship with each customer.
When deciding on a media strategy, research will help to guide the way. Hiring a company that specializes in audience research, through a marketing company or stand-alone, will help tremendously. You can also use the internet to handle preliminary research, and/or the research to guide a small marketing plan. Whatever route you take, it will be an interesting and exciting experience as you discover how your target audience responds.
Other sources for the 7 Ms of Marketing: