In some ways, it doesn’t matter what you are selling as long as you get your marketing right. Obviously, it helps if you have a good quality product or service and are reliable in delivering it. But what is the best way to market what you have? You want to attract attention initially and then draw potential customers in to make an enquiry or simply to buy because they like what they see or hear.
In a way, there is no “best” method for marketing. Back in the day it was all print (newspapers, magazines, posters, flyers), because there was nothing else, then radio muscled in and was then outdone by television, though radio is still a very useful medium in the traditional marketing sphere.
Television is still the dominant advertising channel, according to a report by eMarketer, but the rise of the Internet and devices that can connect to it and receive marketing information has been a major new growth area for marketing spend.
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You might think that marketing solely to multiple devices – smartphones, tablets and laptop or desktop computers – would be the way to go for maximum reach. However, when you consider how powerful television is throughout the world and that newspapers have both physical and online presences, there is a lot to be said for taking a broader approach to your marketing and using a mix of traditional and digital approaches.
The medium is the message – or is it?
The Canadian writer and philosopher of communication theory, Marshall McLuhan, suggested that it was the medium itself rather than the content carried by it that was the key to how the message was perceived. However, the majority, if not every marketer, might argue that content is king. There are many different means through which your message can be communicated, and restricting it to only one could mean you lose out on many potential customers.
Younger people in particular are major users of digital technology – it’s not difficult to spot people on trains, in bars or just waiting around to see the connectivity they have, with texting, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (to mention just a few of the social media available). They’ll watch TV, but often it will be on catch-up, and they may not be great readers of newspapers and magazines, except online.
Older people certainly use digital devices, more often than many might think, but they are also more likely to watch TV, listen to radio and read newspapers. Thus, a cross-platform approach to your marketing is more likely to garner a wide spectrum of potential customers, especially if your content is highly attractive.
A focus on TV
TV should not be your only focus but it is a vitally important medium for your marketing. When you consider a thriving sector such as As Seen on TV, where television advertising is paired with online retail, you can see what a powerful strategy you can buy into for your marketing, promotion and selling. Remember too that there are many thousands of TV channels worldwide, all of which (apart from the ad-free ones) are looking to fill their slots with commercials. Many of these attract audiences looking for nostalgia, re-running classic detective or comedy series, and providing an excellent opportunity for niche marketing.
Print and radio
They may not have as much of a reach as TV but these are useful media to communicate marketing messages. Radio, in particular, is ideal for when people driving can’t access anything else, and print can be designed to put across powerful communications both visually and textually.
Messages that you want to be digitally cross-platform need to tie your brand in with all the other marketing you do. Creating your slogans, your unique content – including visuals and text – needs to be easy to access on all platforms. That means your IT people, whether in-house or outsourced, need to understand how to realize and standardize the message across those platforms. If a smartphone gets a different look and message from a laptop, your branding is being diluted.
Work smart across media
You’ll know that people have short attention spans, especially when it comes to marketing messages. By running your digital and traditional marketing in tandem, you have a much better opportunity to get your messages across to multiple audiences across multiple media, ensuring that your brand becomes easily recognized, however people choose to access their information.