Television advertising is often neglected by small and mid-sized businesses preferring print, radio, and the Internet. They look at TV as too expensive and have a mindset that only large national companies can advertise on it. While that may have been true once, the advent of cable television and the increase in the number of broadcast stations and programming has made TV an advertising medium that is effective for even local businesses — a medium that most businesses can afford. “If you own a small local firm, such as a dress shop or a hairdressing salon, you won’t benefit from running ads nationally,” says Mark Solley, CEO of On The Mark Productions, a DRTV agency that helps companies produce TV commercials and buy advertising. “Cable TV is very reasonable. As opposed to placing an ad on NCIS on broadcast TV, you can take out a local ad on a popular cable show, such as a home makeover show. It all depends on who your target market is.” For certain types of small or mid-sized businesses, television may be a better advertising medium than any other. Television is an attractive use of an advertising budget since it maximizes the reach of a commercial message and provides the opportunity for your potential customers to understand your service or product.
If your product is visually appealing or demonstrable — such as a carpet cleaning solution or an engine additive or an exercise machine — TV advertising may showcase that product better than other media, such as radio. “If you feel your product is better suited to people seeing it as opposed to hearing about it, then TV makes a lot of sense,” Solley says. “Television is captivating and holds an audience’s attention. DRTV could prove to be an outstanding tool in your marketing efforts.”
Typically, an effective advertising campaign that includes TV advertising is expensive and complicated; however it does not always need to be. With some patience, good negotiating skills, and an open mind you can run a TV campaign TV on a budget.
How Much Will DRTV Cost? Before starting a DRTV campaign, you need to understand your budget for advertising. Be sure to include the costs associated with producing your commercial. A typical DRTV 2 minute spot can cost between $20,000 and $30,000 and from that you can create shorter or more traditional spots.
Then there is the cost of the advertising campaign. You typically don’t want to spend your advertising budget all at once. You want to air it with a bit of frequency so that people will see it a number of times and it reaches a larger percentage of your target market. Typically, television stations will accept spot lengths of 10, 15, 30, and 60 seconds, and 120 seconds if it is a direct response ad.
Before launching a TV ad campaign or DRTV campaign, you need to develop a plan for whom you want to reach, where, when, and how. Here are some considerations:
Geography. Options for advertising on TV include national networks, which reach a national audience; local broadcast or independent stations, which reach a regional or local market; and cable television, which can be national, regional, or local. Any one or a combination of these can be used to achieve success.
Target audience. Who is your core customer? If you were trying to sell reverse mortgages, your target audience would likely be adults 65 and older. Do not, under any circumstance, believe everyone is in your potential target market.
Timing and seasonality. Identify any days or seasons that have the greatest potential for increased revenue, i.e. furniture stores target weekends and ski retailers target winter. Something to keep in mind is that rates change every quarter — broadcast TV rates usually rise in the fall when the new season starts for certain shows. Also, when a hotly contested election is on the horizon, demand for TV spots in certain markets may rise.
Now that you know the basics, call On The Mark and find out how TV can work for you.