Factors Influencing Media Selection:
In making media selection, we have to consider the following factors:
(i) The financial allocation for advertising.
(ii) The nature of the product and the demand for it.
(iii) The type of prospects, their location and other characteristics,
(iv) The nature of competition and the extent of coverage required,
(v) Cost of media, co-operation and promotional aids offered by media, media circulation.
Right media of advertising will enable the advertiser to deliver the message effectively to the intended markets or prospects.
Media choice is determined by a number of factors such as Number of viewers, readers, listeners, characteristics of audience, education, sex, income, family size, relative cost of various media. Media selection helps the advertiser to find out which type of media to be used.
Media of Advertising:
(i) Print Media: Newspapers, Magazines, Trade Journal and Periodicals.
(ii) Direct Mail: Catalogues, Leaflets, Pamphlets, Brochures, Price Lists, Sales Letters/Circulars.
(iii) Transit Advertising: Railways, Buses, Aeroplanes, Trams, Taxis, Auto Rickshaws, Cars.
(iv) Broadcast Media: Radio, T.V., Film, Screen Slides, Internet.
(v) Out-Door or Mural: Posters, Hoardings, Sky advertising, Electrical
(vi) Other Forms: Window displays, point of purchase, Exhibitions, Directives, Showrooms, Trade fairs, Advertising specialities such as calendars, diaries, pen-stands, ball-pens Key-rings etc.
Characteristics of Important Media:
Mural or outdoor advertising has long life. It has a general and wide appeal. It can attract attention of numerous people; it is good to remind prospects. An advertiser has ample scope to use his skill and art in advertising.
However, outdoor advertising has certain limitations. It cannot .have a long message. It is not useful in selective advertising or for specialised products. It has a low retention value. Its effectiveness cannot be accurately measured and it may lead to considerable wastage also. Bill boards and hoarding are not welcome today on the highways due to adverse public opinion. (They spoil the natural beauty and environment).
Newspapers have a general and wide appeal. It is very common method of publicity. Newspapers are flexible and timely. Repeat advertising is possible. Periodical change in size and contents is also easy. Selective advertising to some extent is available. Effectiveness of advertising can be estimated by having keyed advertisements. Newspapers offer promotional assistance. They cure the best source of market information.
Newspapers are truly a way of life to most of the literate people. They have short closing times. Closing times refer to the period before publication when the copy must be submitted. For newspapers, this period is only 24 hours. The adage ‘seeing is believing’ is applicable to press advertisements. It offers greater prestige and believability.
However, newspapers have short span of life. We cannot have coloured and attractive advertisements. Waste in advertising is considerable. Illiteracy affects its utility. Magazines and trade journals are other means of press publicity. They are best for coloured and attractive advertisements.
They have longer life, greater retentive value as well as reference value. Selective appeal is possible. We can approach particular, market segment only. Waste can be reduced. However, they need advanced planning, do not facilitate repetitive advertisements. They have limited circulation; they have higher unit cost per contact.
It has a wide appeal. It can overcome language barriers. Audio-visual (sound and sight) technique has maximum impact on audience. Sound and sight both are employed for communicating our message. Repeat advertising is possible. However, both cost of production as well as cost of distribution of slides and films are quite high. Selective advertising is not possible. Effectiveness cannot be measured. Waste in film publicity can be considerable.
Of all the media, radio has the shortest closing times. Radio uses only an audio (sound) signal, the copy can be submitted up to air time. Announcements can be made very quickly. It can secure dealer support. It has a very wide appeal. It is suitable even for illiterate people. Repeat message is quite common. Spoken word has greater impact than written word.
However, radio cannot permit selective advertising. It cannot give detailed information. It has low memory value. People remember far more of what they see than of what they hear. Its cost is high. It may not be very effective as listeners may not like it. Many a time, they are bored by repeat messages. The length of time media is momentary. The message may be lost, if the radio is not tuned.
Television uses both video (sight) and audio (sound) signals. Television has all the advantages of radio, namely, sound and explanation, plus the additional advantage of sight. It can appeal through ear as well as eye. Products can be demonstrated with explanation. Television reaches the audience almost like personal face-to-face contact. To that extent it is just like personal salesmanship.
Full opportunity exists for product demonstration and amplification of selling points with audio presentation. It is really a wonderful means of mass communication for creating market. Television combines all of the elements of communication:
(3) Spoken words
(4) written words. We can have short commercials as well as sponsored programmes combining entertainment with advertisement. It represents typical combination of salesmanship and advertising.
However, television has limited market coverage. Advertising on TV is expensive. In addition to time costs, the costs of producing TV shows are considerable. Both radio and TV messages have no life span like the messages in printed form. TV cannot have a long advertising copy.
Transit advertising consists of car-card advertising, which is located within buses, subways, railways, and outside displays, which appear on the fronts, sides, and backs of buses or other public transport and at transportation terminals. Transit advertising is the lowest-cost media.
It gives geographic selectivity and seasonal selectivity. It has high readership. It can reach pedestrians and travelling public. However, non-riders are not exposed to car-cards located inside the vehicle. Car-cards have small size and they can carry only short copy. Transit advertising is limited in quantity by the number of public vehicles in operation.
Direct mail is any advertising sent by mail (postal transmission) including sales letters, folders, pamphlets, booklets, catalogues, and the like. Direct mail is the most personal and selective media. It reaches only the desired prospects. It has minimum waste in circulation. The advertising copy can be very flexible. It has maximum possible personal features even without personal contact.
It can provide detailed information about the product or service, creating lasting impression. Its effectiveness is measurable. It can be timed at persuasion advertiser’s will. It has maximum personal appeal. It can take any size, shape or form permitted by the post office. It is not in direct competition with the rival’s matter. Extensive testing can be done on the product, price, appeal or other factors before the entire mailing is sent out.
The results of direct mail advertising can be checked by means of an offer incorporated in the mailing list. However, direct mail is costly. We may not have proper mailing list. Receiver may consider it as junk mail as it may not have entertainment value. It is not a good means of mass communication.
These include a wide variety of items, such as calendars, books, matches, pens, pencils, knives, key rings, diaries, memo pads, cigarette lighters, blotters, paper weights, purses, rain-hats and so on. They are given to advertising targets without cost or obligation. Advertiser’s name, address, phone number, and a short sales message are imprinted on the item.
The advertiser can choose from among 5,000 specialties in the market. Advertising specialties are reminder type of promotion. It is hoped that they will lead to customer’s orders and re-orders. However, they have limited space available for sales message. They are also costly.
It really represents sales promotion devices. It covers the display material used in advertising programme. Such point-of-purchase material may include advertising on the package, window banners, shelf-talkers, merchandise tags, package stutters, information folders and booklets and such other displaying materials.