The aim of every advertising effort is to carry on the ad message to the prospects economically and effectively. This crucial task rests in identification of potential market for the product in terms of the number of customers, geographic spread, income pattern, age group, tastes, likes and dislikes and the like.
If the message is to reach the people with high income group, magazine is the best. If local area is to be covered, newspaper and outdoor advertising are of much help. If illiterate folk is to be approached, radio, television and cinema advertising are preferred.
The nature of product:
A product that is needed by all will encourage mass media like print, broadcast, telecast, outdoor and the like. A product needing demonstration warrants television and screen advertising. Industrial products find favour of print media than broadcast media. Products like cigarettes, wines and alcohols are never advertised on radio, television and screen.
The advertising objectives:
Though the major objective of every company is to influence the consumer behavior favorably, the specific objectives may be to have local or regional or national coverage to popularize a product or a service or the company to create primary or secondary demand to achieve immediate or delayed action to maintain the secrets of the house.
If it wants immediate action, direct or specialty advertising fitting most. If national coverage is needed, use television and news-paper with nationwide coverage.
The type of distribution strategy:
The advertising coverage and the distribution system that the company has developed have direct correlation. Thus, there is no point in advertising a product if it is not available in these outlets where he normally buys. Similarly, the advertiser need not use national media if not supported by nationwide distribution network.
The type of selling message:
It is more of the advertising requirements that decide the appropriate choice. The advertisers may be interested in appealing the prospects by colour advertisements. In that case, magazine, film, television, bill- boards, bulletin boards serve the purpose.
If the timeliness is the greater concern, one should go in for news-paper, radio, posters. If demonstration is needed there is nothing like television and screen media. If new product is to be introduced, promotional advertising is most welcome.
A shrewd advertiser is one who studies carefully the moves of his competitor or competitors as to the media selected and the pattern of expenditure portrayed. Meticulous evaluation of media strategy and advertising budget paves way for better choice.
It is because, whenever a rival spends heavily on a particular medium or media and has been successful, it is the outcome of his experience and tactics. However, blind copying should be misleading and disastrous.
The problem of media availability is of much relevance because; all the required media may not be available at the opportune time. This is particularly true in case of media like radio and television; so is the case with screen medium. Thus, non-availability of a medium or a media poses a new challenge to the media planners and the people advertising industry. It is basically an external limit than the internal constraint.
The budget available:
A manufacturer may have a very colourful and bold plan of advertising. He may be dreaming of advertising on a national television net-work and films. If budget does not allow, then he is to be happy with a low budget media like his news-paper and outdoor advertising.
Instead of colour print in magazine, he may be forced to go in for black and white. Thus, it is the resource constraints that decide the choice.
Characteristics of media:
Media characteristics differ widely and these differences have deep bearing on the choice of media vehicle.
These characteristics are:
- Consumer confidence and
‘Coverage’ refers to the circulation or the speed of the message provided by the media vehicle. Larger the coverage, greater the chances of message exposure to the audiences. Advertisers prefer the media vehicles with largest coverage for the amount spent.
The vehicles like radio, television, news-papers, magazines and cinema are of this kind; on the other hand, direct advertising and outdoor advertising are known for local coverage. ‘Reach’ is the vehicle’s access to different individuals or homes over a given period of time.
It refers to readership, listenership and viewership. It is the actual number reading than the persons buying or owning these.
For instance, one need not own a television set to have advertising message so also a news-paper and a magazine. ‘Relative cost’ refers to the amount of money spent on using a particular vehicle. It is one that involves inter vehicle and medium cost analysis and comparison.
This cost is expressed with reference to the time and the space bought, in case of news-papers, it is milline rate; in case of magazine, it is rate per thousand readers; in case of radio and television, it is per thousand listeners or viewers per minute and ten seconds. ‘Consumer confidence’ refers to the confidence placed in the medium by the consumers.
This consumer credibility of a vehicle is important because, credibility of advertising message is depending on it. Speaking from this point of view, news-papers and magazines enjoy high degree of credibility than radio and television commercials.
Outdoor medium is considered the least credible. ‘Frequency’ refers to the number of times an audience is reached in a given period of time.
Limited frequency makes little or no impression on the target audience. Thus, news-papers, television, radio and outdoor media are known for highest frequency while, magazine, screen, display and direct advertising the lowest.
In a nut-shell, the advertiser, to get the best results for the money spent and the efforts put in, should consider all the above nine factors that govern selection of a medium or media and media vehicle. Media selection is a matter of juggling, adjusting, tailoring, filling, revising and reworking to match to his individual situation.