83% of advertisers feel that TV is the most effective medium to influence consumers’ buying decision. But does this necessarily mean that TV is the medium where you should advertise for your product/service as well? Not really- what works for others may not work for you. Newspapers, TV, Billboards, Social media…the list goes on. With this multitude of options, how do you make the right choice?

When you start a business venture, advertising is inevitable. Particularly in the  early stages, when you need to build awareness about your product(or service). You may place your product in high-value racks of huge hypermarkets, but you need advertising to make sure your product moves from the racks to the billing counter. You need a sure-shot way to reach your target audience, and gain a considerable response from them that will justify your expenses.

For new ventures, trial-and-error method works the best. Work with different media, and then choose the best one(s) that yields maximum response from your target audience.

Here are some factors that you MUST consider while choosing the right advertising media for your business, be it big or small:

1. Find out where your audience is

All your advertising efforts revolve around your customers, and getting them to become aware of, like, and ultimately purchase your product. So naturally, you advertise your product in places where your target audience is present, and is most likely to see it. You need to be perfectly clear about who your audience is. So if you are a chocolate brand targeted towards children, you would pick cartoon channels to display your product, over newspapers. Similarly, as a B2B marketer, business magazines, trade shows, and digital screens in and around business centers may be your best bet.

2. What is your Message?

Is your message rational or emotional? Are you listing out your product features, or trying to emotionally connect with your audience by showing how your product has shaped their lives? In case of the latter, videos could be used to convey your message effectively through dramatisation.

3. Measure the Returns

Measure the Return on Investment (RoI) for each of the media used. It is better to opt for digital media, where you can track results through metrics such as total ad impressions, dwell time, etc.; which cannot be done in case of traditional media.

4. Cost per Thousand (CPM)

Cost per Thousand is the cost of a media vehicle for reaching 1,000 members of an audience.

For any business, advertising should be an investment, and not an expense. CPM should be justified by the response that the ad gets. This is somewhat tied to advertising in the right place at the right time. By placing the ad where your audience is present, the CPM- high or low, will most likely be justified by the returns. Calculating this metric is easier when you use digital media, but harder in case of newspapers, billboards, etc. where it’s not possible to know the exact exposure gained.

5. Track your Competitors and Market Trends

Keep track of what your competitors are doing. Follow suit, particularly when there is tight competition. If your competitors have started advertising on a new medium, it is wise to consider including that vehicle in your media mix.

Whichever media mix you choose, it is most important to interact with your customers and engage with them. Digital and social media are the best platforms to reach out to your target audience, actively engage with them, and gain valuable insights.