Buying Advertising – Go For the Value, Not the Deal

Buy Value – Not Price!

I want to talk about value in advertising…because I just cannot understand why some businesses buy what they buy when they’re trying to attract more customers. I have met with so many businesses who buy advertising based on three principles:

• I want it cheap
• I want to spread by money around to several media
• I want to market to everybody

Technically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with any of the three by themselves if you know what you’re doing and you have a really big ad budget. BUT….don’t you love those Buts?….it typically does not work.

More than anything, you want the best advertising media VALUE in your market . In some areas, it could be coupons or a niche magazine. But most often, it’s one of two media – cable TV or the internet. Why?

They are the only two media sources overall that are actually growing and are actually changing as the future changes. Most businesses though don’t understand either of them all that well. The Old School Business owner LOVES the newspaper, or any print for that matter. Here’s what I’ll say to that…


Not only are newspapers a really poor value….they are swiftly on the decline as far as usage and cost an astronomical amount for the targets you hit! Let me illustrate –

You buy a 1/2 page ad in your newspaper and it costs $ 2,000. It goes out to maybe 50,000 households. You don’t know which section your ad will be in because most papers won’t tell you. Once the papers are delivered, read, and recycled, your ad is gone. IN ONE DAY – IT’S GONE!

You take that $ 2,000 and put it in cable TV on Fox News, CNN, ESPN….ok toss in a little Food Channel, and you get 200 commercials over a few weeks. Not one day. They have staying power and will most likely reach about 10 times the audience with sight, sound, motion, and emotion.

So What Defines Value?

Value is very simple – how much does it cost me to reach each person in my Primary Demographic Target audience? Your PDT is that group of people where most of your business comes from – that one group you cannot do without – or else! If you are trying to reach women 35-54, it’s a guess whether or not the newspaper will do that for you. However, you KNOW the Food Network, HGTV, Bravo, and Lifetime zero in on that target. That’s Value because you get so much more advertising dollar for dollar AND your target is hit over and over. The definition of advertising is: “The number of times you can hit your primary target over the head when they are in buying mode”.

Let’s go back to the three points – Cheap, Spread Your Money Around, and Target Everybody.

My dad always said, You buy cheap – you get cheap. That’s often true…unless you know a little secret that I’ll reveal in my member lessons. Honestly, you can go into a cable TV or radio station and get really “cheap” advertising. You just have to know a few tricks of the trade. Most business owners just try and get the price down, and that can really hurt your chances of running in good programming.

Spreading your money around is great if you have a whole lot of it and don’t mind flushing some down the toilet. But here’s the secret – do a media mix that makes sense. And one that makes sense has two ingredients – Reach and Frequency. You can “reach” your target audience on any budget and you can do it “a lot of times” if you are in the right medium. If your media doesn’t do this, cancel it!

If you want to target everybody….I can honestly say to you that you need professional help marketing your business. It’s not that you don’t WANT everybody, you can NOT spend your hard earned money trying to TARGET everybody. You absolutely have a PDT – Primary Demographic Target. We’ll spend some time later defining that more….but take some time and find out who you really need to go after. Who’s the Bread & Butter Client? That’s where you need to spend your energy….others will come too, but go for the Bread and go for the Butter and we’ll talk later about how to get more on your sandwich than just butter!

Have a great week and have fun!