If Advertising Mediums Were Superheroes…

There’s no denying that media buying is a science, complete with important stats, formulas and terminology that the informed media buyer must know in order to effectively plan and execute a solid marketing strategy. Words like “cpp,” “reach,” “frequency,” “cume” and “rating points” are just a few of the terms you’ll hear in the media world or on a Tapscan media schedule. The best businesspeople and market leaders are often also the ones that recognize when they need to hand a project over to the right partner, which is why clients trust our media buyers to navigate the details so they can focus on running a successful business operation that retains the new customers they gain as a result of a marketing push.

Knowing the ins and outs of media buying, along with the oh-so-complicated jargon, is our specialty, but any businessperson can benefit from a foundational bird’s eye view of the different advertising mediums we buy. A healthy marketing mix is crucial to the success of any media campaign, but each advertising medium has specific strengths and weaknesses which can be best explained with a little help from their superhero counterparts.

Television: When it comes to media buying, almost every company aspires to be on TV. It’s where their brand’s story can come to life, where they can showcase their product in front of family and friends with the credibility TV commercials lend. Yes, TV is as trustworthy and dependable as the one-and-only Superman. Virtually every target demographic in every geographic area can be reached through a TV media buy, whether you’re looking to sell glasses to Clark Kent or spandex to his crime-fighting alter ego. No other advertising medium allows companies to piggyback off the cinematic glory of blockbusters, the suspense of reality TV and the nail-biting action of live sports, aligning these brands with the emotions programming brings to our lives. It’s also why every February when it comes time for the ultimate TV advertising showdown, we’re united by a common feeling of awe: “it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a new Super Bowl commercial.”

Billboards: There is one advertising medium that is largely regarded as the sexiest placement of all: the one that generates the most buzz and makes any company feel like they’ve made it. That medium my friends is the notorious billboard, passed by millions of consumers on their daily commutes across America’s busiest highways. Billboards are a great media buying choice when it comes to increasing brand awareness, particularly if the company’s brand is already known or can be described quickly in a few words. They’re like the Hulk: impressive, pack a punch, hugely impactful, attention-grabbing. But like the Hulk they are also an advertising medium of few words, and the bigger or simpler the better. Do not buy billboards to try and introduce a new innovation or explain a revolutionary scientific discovery; that would be like asking the Hulk to assemble an intricate bookcase from Ikea with tons of tiny bits and pieces. Play to their strengths and buy billboards when your brand wants to smash a simple message into a lot of people’s minds.

Radio: Traditional radio advertising provides more flexibility and adaptability than the aforementioned mediums while still reaching masses of people with branded messaging. While TV commercials and billboards may take a lot of time and expense to change, radio spots can be swapped out much more quickly and at a fraction of the cost (if any). Like Spiderman shooting from skyscraper to skyscraper with a flick of his wrist, radio spots afford media buyers the ability to develop sophisticated plans that can fit a variety of company needs without breaking the bank. The types of music broadcast on individual radio stations are also more specific from country to rock to news talk, making it easier for in-the-know media buyers to use their spidey senses when selecting the right format to reach the target audience with less overspill to unnecessary demographic groups. Just remember media buyers: with great reach and frequency comes great responsibility.

Print: Whether in the form of newspaper or magazines, print is an advertising medium as tried and true blue as good ole’ Captain America himself. Seeing a print ad conjures up feelings of a simpler time for most, but they’re good feelings. Just like the Captain gets nostalgic for days gone by, older demographics still love their newspaper and read it just as reliably as ever. The price should be right when buying print media, but if the numbers are there and the people you are trying to target are of an age where they remember life before the world wide web, it can be the perfect star-spangled addition to your media mix.

Digital Media: Buying digital ads allows for more specific audience targeting and more delivery options than any other advertising medium. With new innovations on the horizon every day, and the ability to hone in on the time, place and person receiving your ads, using the right digital strategies to reach any target audience is a skill. Much like choosing the right gadget from your stash is key if you’re Iron Man. Channeling your inner Tony Stark to not only stay ahead of the game, but change the way it’s played is paramount in buying digital media. It can be the most precise medium for generating conversions if bought correctly, but in the wrong hands these strategies can backfire completely and dry up a brand’s flow of business.

Social Media: Last but not least, we can’t forget the most elusive of all advertising mediums: social media. When it comes to advertising on any social media platform, from Instagram to Facebook to Twitter, a company must ask if its product is one people would naturally be interested in hearing about without being paid to. Some brands have blown up because of successful social media efforts, others have learned how to use paid ads with specific user targeting to deliver the right message at the right time. But many companies are simply not interesting enough that people care to interact with them on social media – and that’s okay. For this medium to be the right choice for a brand, it has to be as buzzworthy as the many faces of Deadpool. Provocative, intriguing, comical, friendly, sensational. No matter the occasion, Deadpool always gives the people something to talk about. Brands that can do the same will do great on social.

If you’re looking for someone to assemble a super marketing mix for your company, look no further and contact us today. At InnoVision, we would be thrilled to rescue your marketing investment and protect it from going to waste at the hands of villainous media planning gone wrong.

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