Small Business Advertising

Selecting an Advertising Medium

Written by Samuel Muriithi for Gaebler Ventures

In selecting an advertising medium certain decisions must be made. Firstly, the general type of medium must be identified. Secondly, the class/category of the media must be chosen. Thirdly, the specific medium must be settled upon. What are the factors that aid in making these three decisions?

There are several factors that must be assessed in order to supplement the three levels of decision making that have been highlighted:

Selecting an Advertising Medium

The advertisement's objective

In selecting an advertisement medium to go with you have to have to consider the purpose of the advertisement and the goal that the entire campaign hopes to achieve. For example, radio and newspapers are the best media to use when an ad that must its purpose within a day or two is to be issued.

The nature of circulation

It is crucial to identify the circulation patterns of the specific medium you intend to use. This circulation must be in tandem with the distribution patterns of your product/service. The circulation must reach the geographical scope that your product/service targets and this reach must be such that only a bare minimum of wastage is realized.

The message requirements

Selecting an advertisement medium is also about identifying one where the intended message can fit perfectly. There are some ads that can only be presented effectively in a pictorial form. Some other products/services ads just require a brief mention and will as such fit perfectly in the classified ads or in the yellow pages. This is the same consideration that results in a company opting to use both television and billboards as the media of choice when launching a new product/service.

What does the advertising media cost?

The costs to be incurred must be analyzed critically in selecting an advertising medium. These costs are often assessed on two bases i.e. depending on the amount of funds available and depending on a particular medium's circulation. The first assessment is what will rule out the possibility of using television and settling for radio instead. The second assessment is a basic consideration that any advertiser must look into - at a given expense for a given medium, what size of audience will be reached?

Location and time of making the purchasing decision

It is paramount that an advertising medium reach the targeted customers at the place and at the time when they need to make a decision to buy a given product or service. This is the reasoning behind plenty of ads being placed in the papers on Fridays calling for patrons to visit a certain club, or indeed the numerous ads placed in the papers and on TV near the school reopening dates to reminding parents where they can buy school uniforms and other school supplies.

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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