It’s where you spend it.

As a small business we know how important it is to find the most effective way to reach our target audience to sell our product. We have that discussion nearly every day.

When you advertise your business, what medium do you use? They all have their plusses and minuses, they all work to a certain extent, so the question becomes:

Which is the most efficient advertising medium for my business?

Over the years, the most effective and efficient forms of advertising and marketing have changed as one new technology or another took hold. We’ve gone from flyers pasted up on walls to newspapers in the 1700’s. In the 1800’s magazines were added to the mix and print media held sway for nearly two centuries until 1920 when a new medium, radio, first hit the airwaves in Pittsburgh, PA. Before long, radio became the preferred advertising advertising medium even while print was still a very popular choice.

Radio’s glory days as an advertising medium was of a shorter duration as 20 years after the first radio station hit the air, the first television station started broadcasting in New York in 1941 ushering in, perhaps, the most effective medium for selling products ever devised. Television to this day is still one of the most effective forms of advertising, the challenge is that it is also one of the most expensive.

The Internet and smartphones have changed everything! Technology changed the way we use nearly all other forms of advertising because consumers are in control and they can pick and choose what message they want to hear and when they want to hear it. They can also decide to ignore it altogether! What can a business, particularly a small business, do to get their message to their targeted consumers?

Internet advertising

“What? Spend my media budget online?”

This is where the Internet and technology become your friend and ally.

The reality is that the traditional medias mentioned like radio, television and newspaper have no idea of how many people actually see your ad. Anything they tell you is a best guess based on ratings surveys and historical data.  They can give you an age range; they can give you a general idea of sex, an even lesser idea of income levels but, realistically, they really don’t have a clue.

Internet marketing and advertising, on the other hand, is targeted directly to whoever and whatever type of customer you desire. On the Internet, you can narrow your target to your most likely prospects based not only on the age or sex, but their interests and affiliations all the way down to the zip code they live in!

You can buy a television commercial that may cost you thousands of dollars (not counting the cost of making the commercial in the first place) and it may reach 100,000 people. 100,000 people that you really don’t know if they may be interested in your product, let alone if they are ready to buy.

It’s a crap shoot.

When you purchase ads on the Internet, you narrow your target, reaching only those most likely to buy,

AND…you only pay for your ad when someone shows interest in your ad and  clicks on it! Now, that’s a customer getting ready to buy!

So, what’s more efficient, spending thousands of dollars and hoping? Or, spending far less and getting just the customers you want?

Oh, and that television commercial you spent thousands on? We can run that online too…for free… and invite your prospects to watch. What could be better?

Today you have options that you may not have thought of that are far more cost efficient and effective than how you are currently advertising.  I’m not saying you should completely stop what you are doing now, particularly if it is working. Just suggesting you should put a little of that budget into where the largest audience is now.

Don’t give up on a medium that works for you, but I do want to leave you with one final thought:

“Adults ages 18-49 are voracious consumers of media with frequent exposure to myriad marketing messages. Most adults ages 18-34 own a computer, and young adults are 68 percent more likely to make an online purchase than the average Internet user. Over 80 percent of young adults use social media. Digital advertising is a solid medium for reaching young consumers. Paid search, such as search engine optimization or pay-per-click, Facebook ads and email marketing are all effective ways to reach an audience 18-49.” (source: Chron)

This audience isn’t going to give up their devices as they age. They grew up with them. They are simply going to rely on them more and more!

That was then. This is now. Who knows where it will be tomorrow? You just need to be there when it happens.

Your customers are online. Are they finding you, or your competition?