Small Business Advertising

Advertising Options for Entrepreneurs

Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures

In determining the type of medium or media that will be used in an advertisement campaign the management must seriously consider the inherent characteristics of each medium. What are these characteristics that serve to set one medium apart from the others and thus form a basis for the selection of one and not the other?

Entrepreneurs are expected to get up to speed on a host of issues: suppliers, real estate, accounting and marketing. Here we discuss the basic advertising options for entrepreneurs. This overview will inform you of the advertising options open to you and your new business.

Advertising Options for Entrepreneurs

Radio - As a type of advertising medium, the use of radio is greatly advantageous with regards to the relatively cheap rates charged. You can opt to use a local radio channel instead of one with a nationwide reach and get an almost 100% coverage success. Radio also makes use of special interest programming and as an advertiser you can take advantage of this to pinpoint certain segments of a target market. The lows of using radio include the inability to make visual impact and the fact that the exposure period for a given ad is relatively short. Many people are of the opinion that radio ads are boring.

Television - Television can be considered as a most versatile type of advertising medium owing to the fact that ads placed have both a visual and audio impact. Television coverage is spread nationally and even internationally depending on the specific channel being broadcasted. It is extremely expensive to use television as an advertising medium and this means that small enterprises cannot possibly take advantage of its versatility. Owing to these expenses it is rare to find lengthy worded messages being advertised - everything must be kept very brief.

Newspapers - The newspaper is a very effective type of advertising medium in terms of reach, timeliness and flexibility. Virtually everyone has the ability to read a newspaper, at least one written in an easily comprehendible language. As has been observed, newspapers are a great medium to use when optimal reach is required. This is certainly possible given that most dailies have excellent urban center coverage while some are distributed nationally. Another advertising option is the online publications which can be presented daily and can be read from any part of the globe.

Magazines - While both newspapers and magazines are excellent in terms of reach, magazines are a step ahead in terms of the quality of ads presented with regards to print and color quality. With magazines it is possible to target a national audience with minimal wastage especially when special-interest publications have been selected as the type of advertising medium of choice. Again, compared to newspapers, magazines are read at a more leisurely pace which means a reader will often take time to go through a given ad even when it is quite detailed or lengthy. Magazines are however quite ineffective when one considers their frequency of publication and subsequent infrequent market reach.

Outdoor - Another advertising option for entrepreneurs is billboards. Using outdoor ads is a great advertising strategy especially when the product/service is well known and only requires some brief wording to get through to the target audience. The ads placed on this type of advertising medium are often large and colorful and will therefore attract attention from afar. Setting up an individual ad is quite cheap but national coverage can be quite prohibitive.

Samuel Muriithi is a business owner in Nairobi, Kenya. He has extensive international business experience in the United States and India.

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