Printer Friendly

Does your advertising direct or intrude?

Does Your Advertising Direct or Intrude?

You have determined that advertising should play some part in your marketing program and now the big question is "where should I place my advertising dollars?"

In small markets, where one or two media predominate, this question may seem simple; but in fact, it is often when there is limited choice available to the advertiser that the task of selecting the correct medium to take your advertising dollars and message becomes most critical.

In a single newspaper town, for example, the tendency is to assume, immediately, that this publication is the best vehicle for your business. In fact, there may be other more valuable and effective advertising outlets available to you: the trick is to know what each different medium can do for you, and what it clearly cannot do.

Marketers will tell you that there are two kinds of advertising: intrusive and directional.

Directional advertising quite literally directs you to what you want to buy. The yellow pages are the most classic example of directional advertising. The key here is that the prospective customer has already made up his mind to buy; directional advertising points him in the right direction.

Other examples of directional advertising are the weekly foodstore supplements that usually appear on Wednesdays. The shopper has already made up her mind to buy groceries: the supplements tell her where to buy and what is a "good deal" this week. Catalogues and even church service advertisements are other examples of directional advertising.

Intrusive advertising, on the other hand, literally intrudes into your consciousness. It assumes you have not made a decision to buy, and it aims to create that desire and then to channel it towards a specific product or service. Radio, television, most newspaper and magazine ads are almost always intrusive, although classified ads tend to be directional -- people use them to look for something they have already decided to buy.

Intrusive advertising creates a need and then fills it. Directional advertising channels an already defined need in a certain direction. As an advertiser, you have to decide which of these two advertising forms you need, or whether you need a mix of both.

Similarly, advertising media are often classified as primary and secondary. The primary elements are usually newspapers, radio, TV, magazines and direct mail. They are the ones that help you catch the attention of your audience and move it, over time, along the awareness curve. They are the "front line" media, most commonly used and assimilated by most target groups.

Secondary media include billboards, bus cards, point of purchase or point of sale materials, classified, yellow pages, even word of mouth, signage and so on. They support and enhance your main message, reinforcing its key elements over time.

Each medium also has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Newspapers, for example, have the most sustained and usually the widest reach of any medium in the market.

Newspapers tend today to have something for everybody: business, local news, sports, social, etc., thus giving you many placement options. They tend to be read by the more "upscale" market with discretionary dollars to spend. Studies show that about one third of all readers will at least see your ad, which is a good initial contact point. The daily or weekly arrival of the paper gives you a high repetition factor, allowing you to build consumer awareness over time. There are many kinds of newspapers available; they have a great many design space possibilities, and they usually bring a quick response if ads are done well and are supported by a coupon or similar response mechanism.

On the downside, newspapers are becoming increasingly expensive when compared to other advertising options. Line rates have increased, in general, more than rate of inflation in the last five years while overall readership has held steady or, in some cases, dropped. Full readership of a newspaper is very rare: people pick their way through. There is a great deal of competitive "ad clutter" in a newspaper, and it is hard to target specific audiences if you are buying in a family market publication such as those found in many Canadian communities. (In larger newspapers, you can buy by section which helps you target to some extent.) Newspapers are traditionally weak for reaching younger audiences and, frankly, in many communities, the calibre of the publication is so low that you have to ask if you want your corporate image to be associated with it.

Space does not permit a listing of the pros and cons of every advertising medium, but it is important as a marketer to find these out and to exploit their strengths to your advantage. Radio, for example, is a warm, caring, personal, highly targeted and market specific medium that builds great audience loyalty over time, can give you many ways to promote your message, allows you to change your messages quickly (good for planning), is relatively economical and usually has 24-hour reach.

On the other hand, radio cannot be clipped and stored. Its retention factor is weak, requiring substantial repetition of the message. The market is now so segmented that buying in radio can be very confusing and thus, uneconomical. Again, many radio production facilities and talent banks are limited, making it difficult to create the kind of messages, on a low budget, that a small business in particular really needs to stand out from the crowd.

Today there is an extensive amount of research data available to help you pick the right mix of advertising media and to target your message appropriately. In markets where one or two media tend to predominate, it is important for marketers to resist the natural temptation automatically to place the bulk of their advertising dollars into those media.

If your planning shows you that they are the best outlets for you, all well and good. But careful planning, some clear-headed thinking about what you are trying to accomplish and who you want to reach, and a good knowledge of the other media options open to you, may show you that there are advertising alternatives that are more appropriately suited to your very individual marketing needs.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Canadian Institute of Management
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Barrow, Peter
Publication:Canadian Manager
Date:Mar 22, 1990
Previous Article:Total quality: a strategy for organizational transformation.
Next Article:Big Marketing Ideas for Small Service Business.

Related Articles
Constitutionality of in-person solicitation.
Here's how to advertise your business.
Advertising expenditures can be capitalized ... well at least sometimes.
Method for extruding unvulcanized rubber.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters