>How to Buy Advertising on Local Media – Part 2


It’s been a week, so let’s refresh. In Part 1 of buying local advertising, we covered The Medium & The Media Rep.

The Review

Choose the right medium determined by:

  • It’s Strength
  • Your Target Demographics
  • Your Budget
  • Your Purpose

Build a relationship with a media rep who spends their time teaching you how to get results rather than selling you advertising.

Now, on to the final two factors.

Compose Your Message

You should create your ad before you buy your schedule. And here is the most important thing you should know about the message: trying to sell something in your advertising is a road to nowhere.

Advertising is courtship. When you view your advertising as part of building a long-term, meaningful relationship, you can start getting a return on your advertising investment. The reason is fairly obvious.

Customers are not sitting around waiting to buy from you. And here’s what they think about your advertising:
You're a Liar

Your potential customers already have a life and they have established buying habits. Changing those habits requires more than an ad, it requires intimacy. You must tell customers something important about you. Just like in courtship, your customer has to get to know you and trust you before they start handing money over to you. And just like in courtship, you must have patience.

Constructing the Message
It starts with insight, the understanding of the true nature of your business. Move past the superficial in your ads and let people into your heart, or at least your personality. Instead of trying to make a sale, make a promise.

What are you going to provide your customer beyond the product or service you happen to sell? It’s not quality, it’s not service, it’s not caring (see the graphic above). It’s how the customer will be better by doing business with you.

Each of your ads should be about only one thing, and that thing should have meaning. Don’t try to cram too much information into a message. Consumers are bombarded by advertising and you need clarity to break through the clutter.

Buying Your Schedule

Really, it’s about impact. The impact of your well-composed message will be multiplied by an effective schedule (or placement) of your advertising. Your goal is to reach a sufficient number of people a sufficient number of times so that your message will have impact. It’s about reach and frequency

Reach & Frequency
Reach is the number of people touched by your message, frequency is the number of times your audience receives your message. The more powerful your message, the less frequency you need. The more powerful your message, the more reach you want.

Here’s the dilemma, the greater the reach and frequency, the more your schedule will cost. So your schedule is going to be a function of your budget. But there is a work around, it’s focus.

Narrow your target demographic. Narrow your media. Focus your schedule. Here’s how you might do that:

  • Newspaper – Run one section only, and the same section every time. Change your copy frequently.
  • Broadcast Television – Run in one show only and rotate a few different ads.
  • Local Cable – Run on only one network and rotate a few different ads.
  • Outdoor (billboards) – Show on only one board, or in one geographic area. Have at least two ads, and rotate the artwork frequently.
  • Direct Mail – Mail to one highly-focused list repeatedly.

Do not unfocus your schedule. Namely, do not buy a run of schedule, total audience plan, space available, or any pre-packaged sales piece that forces you to unfocus your schedule.

In Sum:
– Compose an ad that makes a promise, creates intimacy, and gives insight.
– Buy a focused schedule that maximizes reach and frequency and creates impact for your ad.

For more reading on how to effectively buy local media:
Madscam by George Parker
The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising by Michael Corbitt & Dave Stilli

Related Posts on local advertising:
Be Interesting or Don’t Advertise
More Bad News for TV Advertising
There’s Your Ad

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