Here are three key tips for creating an effective media plan that gets your ad message out to potential customers:
- Never assume you are the customer.
- Don’t buy media to reach customers for your company based on your own habits.
- Don’t buy media based on your family’s media habits, particularly your mother’s.
The first two tips were recently re-emphasized in a study presented by the Media Behavior Institute (MBI) during Advertising Week. As reported in Media Daily News, it found that “media pros are much more likely to be heavy users of digital media – particularly mobile and social – and are much less likely to use traditional media such as TV and radio than average customers.”
Since media pros are frequently those making media buy recommendations to business owners, it’s important to always look at data when evaluating a media plan. Can you define your core demographic and geographic reach? Is the media buy based on reach numbers targeted to your potential customers where they live and work?
Unfortunately, entrepreneurs are more likely to shoot from the hip and buy media that is either inexpensive or matches their own viewing habits. It’s the key reason behind so many car dealers pitching themselves and their families on late night local TV. It’s an ego buy, not necessarily an effective buy — hence tip 3. Just because your mother saw you, doesn’t mean a potential customer did, nor was necessarily motivated to buy.
When buying media keep in mind this quote from MBI’s executive director of marketing Mike Bloxham:
“We all view the world from our own eyes. If we find as a community that we are markedly different from the communities that we are trying to communicate with and engage for our brand clients, that is a real challenge.”
The only antidote is data. Ask for it from any media or ad agency representative and then make your media buy accordingly. The key is objectivity. Keep your ego and mother out of it and you’ll increase your chances for an effective decision.
The Walk-away: As your mother used to say – Never judge another person until you’ve walked in his or her shoes. Advertising is the same. Write an ad from the customer’s point of view and place it based on the customer’s media habits not your own.