Every business has a vast array of media options available, which includes both Traditional Media such as TV, magazines, radio and magazines and New Media which includes the internet, emails, search engine marketing, viral campaigns and link building strategies.
But no matter what product or service you offer, you must do a decent amount of research to determine how best to spend your advertising budget. This includes researching the target market and understanding what type of medium will work best to reach the largest amount of customers using the most effective method.
But as this blog is part of a direct marketing series, I am only going to concentrate on effective media buying from the most popular direct marketing channels which tend to fall under the ‘traditional media’ umbrella. But due to the importance of the internet marketing nowadays, I’ll have to dedicate a separate blog to this essential marketing medium down the track.
I would have to say that direct mail is the most important DM medium. The reason why it’s so good, is that unlike other forms of marketing channels, you don’t have another medium carrying your message for you. With direct mail, you have total control over the branding and communication of your message.
Direct Mail is the perfect blend of both advertising and sales. It allows you to present your product and service in a non-competing landscape, communicate directly with your target market while making an attractive offer, which helps to close the sale, all in one convenient envelope or package.
The key aspects to remember before you spend too much on your direct mail campaign are as follows:
Match your existing customer profile as closely as possible before you rent a list. These include psychometric, geographic and demographic factors. If you don’t have any customers, then you need to undertake some basic marketing research.
Always rent your marketing lists before purchasing them outright. This allows you to test and measure the effectiveness of the list before roll-out. There is also no harm in asking for a discount when trialling a list. Many list rental companies may even waiver the set-up fee as a once-off.
Make sure you only select the most important criteria for testing the campaign. Don’t just test for the sake of testing, but look at key factors which provide the most effective means of getting a sale from your target market.
Magazines and Newspapers
Here are some general guidelines for choosing and buying the right magazine for your business:
Overall, I believe that frequency is a key driver in generating direct sales. Expect a good discount if you ran multiple ads in a publication.For newspapers, you need to consider the ad size and section of the newspaper. For example, an obvious choice of a travel product would be to go into the travel section. Although I have had previous success advertising a travel product in the business section of The Age, as there is no other competition to consider in this space.
You should test to establish the best publication. A scenario has been outlined for a Travel Insurance product in the attached spreadsheet so you can follow the calculations used to ascertain how much profit you can obtain from a publication: Measuring the Profit Index. You can even use this as a negotiating tool when buying advertising space in similar publications based on past results.
Measure the success by the response generated from the magazine circulation, not by the people reached. I feel that a publications reach can be somewhat over inflated, but circulation is exact.
Competitors who consistently appear in the same publications give a good indication that the publication is working for them. You can learn from your competitor’s experience.
Think about getting some bonus space to run a phone number or call to action message within the same publication to help lift response rates.
Consider audience lifestyle and the reading habits. For example, you don’t want to put a coupon into a magazine that people are going to keep – it just ruins it!