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Surveys, focus groups identify market potential.

Choosing where to advertise and what size of budget to inject into an ad campaign is not a game of chance.

Each medium has its selling factors, and as Victor Fedeli, president of Fedeli Advertising Corporation in North Bay, points out, "Somebody's disadvantage could be someone else's advantage."

Before all else, a business must determine its advertising goals. Does the advertiser want to increase sales or improve the business profile?

Once goals are set, the next step is research, says Jim Thompson, account director with Henderson Delta Lakehill Marketing and Advertising, in Sudbury.

How else do you find out your target market?

This information, whether collected through market surveys, focus groups, or telephone surveys, is essential to developing a marketing strategy, says Thompson.

In-store surveys, through balloting or notations of customers' purchases, supply often surprising information, says Fedeli.

Making assumptions about one's market can lead to business loss because of failure to cater to a specific sector.

Some additional means Fedeli offers for sniffing out the market are common sense and industry association statistics.

"Once you identify your goal and target your audience, after that it's easy, because there are only so many ways to reach that audience," says Fedeli.

When developing an ad, says Thompson, the business needs to look at several factors.

"They are, with their product or service, trying to fill a need. They are trying to show the prospect, or market, they are indeed filling that need."

The "need" could be anything from saving money to a more efficient way of doing something.

Fedeli uses a hypothetical example to illustrate how businesses should think when developing an advertising campaign.

A tire company decides to purchase one of the advertising spots available on either the inside or outside of buses. But which is best, inside or out?

Most people riding a bus do not have a car. It is a waste of money trying to sell them tires.

However, the car following the bus may need tires, so exterior advertising would be beneficial.


While limited funds often determine the medium, it is important for businesses to know how much to spend. Fedeli says there are several incorrect formulas, such as a percentage of sales, in use.

"Spend what your competitor spends," and "Spend what you can afford," are popular theories, but not necessarily wise ones, adds Fedeli.

"If you're only spending when you have money, you're spending at the wrong time," he adds.

Fedeli has found that industry association is a good source of statistics on average advertising expenditures within a given industry.


Advertising campaigns often incorporate more than one medium. Newspapers, notes Fedeli, provide immediacy and, because of the local news aspect to a newspaper, there is a "certain air of authenticity and respect."

In smaller-sized Northern Ontario newspapers, advertising linage is relatively inexpensive compared to large city papers.

"It is meant for local companies to be able to give their advertising messages to the local citizenry," Fedeli says.

Trade publications cater more to select readership.

Meanwhile, magazines can offer high-quality color advertising that newspapers cannot match. However, color is not practical for every business.

Billboards are too expensive for local businesses because of the cost of producing an image. However, for national advertising, it can be cost-effective.

Billboards are often used in conjunction with other advertising media to build recognition of a product or business, explains Fedeli.

"A lot of these (advertising media) could not stand on their own. They need to be done together," he says.

Radio provides the extra advantages of sound and frequency, while television is the ultimate agent because it combines color, motion, sight, sound and special effects.

"But for local advertisers, television is their worst enemy," according to Fedeli.

Fedeli explains that the highly polished radio and television ads of national companies and franchise companies often make advertisements for local companies look inferior. Local businesses do not have the funds to compete in those two media.


In addition, if an advertiser opts for television or radio, he or she must be sure the chosen time spot targets the right market.

There is no point in trying to push tires in the early evening on radio, because that is when the teens are listening. Teens do not buy a lot of tires.

The Neilson ratings for television and the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement for radio can provide statistics on popular programs and the demographics, says Fedeli.

Trade shows are another form of advertising. Whether industry or consumer-oriented, they bring businesses close to the prospective customer, and give employees an opportunity to promote in bulk.

Direct mail - not to be confused with junk mail - is an effective means of advertising which Fedeli feels is under-utilized.

Thompson notes that direct mail is most effective when targetting a specific group or introducing a new product to an existing client list.

Other, and often annoying forms of advertising include telemarketing and fax advertising. Having to pay for the fax paper makes the latter one particularly irritating to fax owners.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Laurentian Business Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Marketing Report
Author:Smith, Marjie
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Previous Article:Lean times create the need for innovation in advertising.
Next Article:Industry's survival credited to self-unloaders.

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