Why You Should Really Care Who You’re Reaching with Your Advertising.

As I shuffle through the day’s mail I’m always a bit disappointed when I come across an envelope that’s addressed to my neighbor.   This forces me to make one of three choices: throw it out, open it to see if there’s anything good inside, or take the 50 yard hike to Mr. Brown’s and hand deliver the errant piece of mail.

advertising-strategyMany times the advertising a business sends out is like stray mail.  The intention is to have the message go to those who would most likely respond.  However, if you fail to do some research, money and time is wasted when that message is delivered to the wrong address, or to put it in marketing terms, or simply in front of the wrong audience.

No matter how precisely you try to pinpoint advertising to valid, potential customers some of advertising is going to land on fallow wallets.  The idea is to limit these misdirected dollars as much as possible.

You’ve heard these terms before:

“Target your market!”
“Zero in on your customers!”
“Hit your demographic bulls-eye!”

Although these messages might seem to condone the abuse of potential customers, the idea of delivering an advertising message to those most likely to respond is valid.

A primary ingredient in a marketing plan includes identifying who customers really are, and not just who you’d like them to be.

When developing the plan you need to ask these questions:

  1. Who are your current and potential customers?
  2. What is their age, sex, profession, income level, educational level and residence?
  3. What are their lifestyle habits, interests?
  4. What’s the most effective way to reach them?
  5. What do they want?
  6. How can you position your product/service to appeal to them?
  7. How will you target? Product line? Geography?
  8. How much will they spend on your product/service?

Once this profile of your potential customer is developed you’ll have a better idea of how and where to send the message.  The temptation in advertising is to throw dollars into several media and hope that something sticks.  Any advertising can be inefficient if the wrong medium is used, even if that medium is cheap.  Especially if that medium is cheap.  Dollars are wasted when we choose a radio station, TV program, or day part if our profiled customer is not part of the audience.  A print publication can be the wrong fit if it doesn’t deliver the right prospects.

Potential customers also judge a business on what medium is used to deliver the message.  It takes a lot of work to build credibility in your business.  The media chosen should reflect and enhance your business reputation.

Not all customer targeting needs to be done in a narrow medium.  Not many businesses can exist only on current customers.  To build business you need to also reach future customers.

Southern Oregon Media Group offers various products that can help you reach your audience.  With a broader reach medium such as the Mail Tribune and Ashland Daily Tidings you can target customers through the message delivered in your advertising.  This not only attracts the attention of those you’ve identified as current customers, but you can reach additional potential customers who can help build business immediately or in the future.

If your marketing plan includes targeting a more specific demographic, such as women, the monthly publication Joy Magazine, read by over 40,000 Rogue Valley women each month, will help accomplish that goal.  Oregon Healthy Living targets those desiring to either keep or increase their health level and mailtribune.com is read by a younger audience with a slight edge toward women readers.

If your target includes a geographic area in the valley, preprints can be zoned to where more of your customers live.  And while the Nickel also has a broader reach, it is read by those who are actively looking to buy; customers we all want to reach.

Being in business you should care about who you’re reaching with your advertising so dollars are spent wisely and with greater effectiveness.  Any of our advertising consultants can assist you in identifying your customer and which products within Southern Oregon Media Group can best fit your marketing goals.

Greg Smith
Account Executive

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