Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Broadcasting vs. Niche-casting

Currently I earn my living in the radio advertising business. This is one form of Broadcasting in the traditional sense. Television is another form of traditional broadcasting. Let's take a moment though and define Broadcasting vs. Niche-casting:

Broadcasting does not discriminate. It is not picky. Anyone that has a radio or television can tune in and your advertising and marketing messages will be received by the masses that are tuned in. That's why this is also called mass marketing. Traditional daily newspapers are also part of this mass marketing broadcasting. So are Billboards, direct mail, and many other forms of traditional mass media marketing... they usually fit into the broadcasting definition I've described, that is they reach a broad audience with very little discrimination.

Compare this with Niche-casting, also known as narrow-casting. Niche-casting is designed to reach only those who are likely to use your product or service. The Internet is in the process of designing search engines that do a decent job of niche-casting. Cable TV is offering shows that Niche-cast. Newspapers and print publications are trying to do this with specialty publications and advertising sections devoted to a particular niche.

A radio station format is supposed to be a niche. On one of my radio stations, we have created some more specific niche's with some specialty talk shows and features that are designed to a very specific audience.

Your business needs to be a niche. There is too much competition for peoples money and time to be bland, vanilla, and general. You will fade into the woodwork, unseen, ignored, and die a fast or slow, but painful and expensive death.

So, how do you determine the best way to find your customers? Find out what sources they are using for gathering information. Radio, TV, Billboards, Print, Direct Mail can still work if you use it properly and understand what you are getting. They are still where the majority of your customers are.

But that is changing. Sunday's Superbowl tv ratings show that 97 million people tuned in for at least 5 minutes of the telecast. ( That's how the ratings work. Ask me and I can tell you more.) The highest rated tv show ever was supposedly the season finale of MASH in 1983.

But if you have a smaller budge than 2 or 3 million dollars to run per day, than find your niche.

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