Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Are You Reaching Your Potential?

And I'm referring to potential customers?

If you use traditional media like newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, Billboards, and some internet options, they will try and tell you how many people they reach with numbers such as circulation, listeners, viewers and traffic counts.

In reality, this has very little to do with the success of your advertising campaign.

Newspapers often use a formula that multiplies the number of papers printed by a number between 2 and 4 stating that each paper is read by 2 or more people. This math also happens in the magazine business.

Radio and TV stations get their audience info from independent companies such as Arbitron (Radio) and Nielsen (TV). They do surveys of a small sample of people and then use that data to make assumptions about the rest of us. Sort of like political polls.

Billboard companies use info from whatever government department is responsible for traffic counts.

Internet sites can track how many people visit a web page, but there are other issues that I'll share with you about the web.

But first, let me toss in another advertising option: Cable TV.

Cable TV reaches between 80 and 85% of the people in the city I live in. I get 100+ channels.

Cable TV advertising sales people use this type of info to explain why they are the best option for advertising.

All of these are only part of the equation. What ever number you are given is an estimate of the potential number of potential customers that you might be able to REACH with your advertising.

Which is a good number to know.

But the REACH number is only part of the Formula for Advertising Success.

And there are some flaws to using this as the main reason to pick one advertising option over another.

When you last read the newspaper, did you read every section? Did you read all the ads?
When you listened to the radio or watched television, did you listen and pay attention to every commercial?
When you drove to work, did you read all the billboards and signs you passed?

You and I are exposed to 1000's of advertisements and commercial messages every day. Can you write down 50 that you recall from the past 24 hours?

Next time I'll tell you about Frequency, which is one of the reasons you can recall those dozen ads you just wrote down.

And I'll also tell you in the weeks to come the numbers that you really should know first.

Or write to me at Scott@ScLoHo.net if you can't wait.

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