I once used to work with an independent owner of a company that was of the philosophy that more is better, meaning, buy the cheaper spots on TV because I can get more commercials. What he didn’t take into consideration was that those spots are cheaper because less people are watching that particular station or at that particular time. Are you one of these people?
I try to instill in my clients that for an effective campaign there are three things that that you should look at when buying television; target audience, reach and frequency. So why do I need to look at these three things you ask? Luckily I just so happen to have an answer for you!
Target Audience – It seems like a no-brainer, but, you’d be surprised. Some advertisers will buy spots during a specific show just because they like it, not thinking that the numbers say that it only reaches 5% of their target audience. Determine who it is you want to see your message. You can buy TV in two ways, by network, or even more granular, choose a specific program. Your TV rep can provide you with demographic information for these.
Reach – Once you’ve established your target audience, you should have an idea of what TV networks and shows fit your demographic. This is where the more bang for your buck theory comes in. Let’s do a for instance. You’re trying to reach women ages 25-34 and the top networks, let’s say, are the CW and Bravo TV. How do you determine which one is better? In this case look at the reach for each station. Reach is the number homes you want to expose your message to. As far as dollars go, the cost may be a little higher on the station that has the higher reach. But it’s worth it for increased exposure. Look at it this way; do you pay a little extra for a Starbucks coffee just to do it? No, you do it because the jolt is better than your office coffee. (at least in my case it is) Point is, spend a little extra, get that extra bang.
Frequency – They say it takes and average of five repetitions for a viewer to remember the message. Smart advertisers know that to reinforce a message it must be done frequently. Your TV buying schedule will tell you how many times, on average, your target audience is exposed to your advertisement. (Averages are based on the budget you have set for the particular network/show)
Yes, it may cost you a little more money overall to have an effective television campaign, but I’m of the philosophy of go big or go home! Okay, maybe a little extreme and not everyone has a huge budget, but I guarantee that if you dive a little deeper into the statistics of your campaign that your return will be better in the end.
An added bonus for your viewing pleasure: