You’re ready to advertise. You’ve got a slick new commercial or a snazzy print or online ad and you’re ready to rock and roll. Now what do you do?

When choosing placement for your advertising, there are a few factors that must be considered.

  • Who is your target audience?
  • When is that target audience more likely to see or hear your message?
  • How can you be sure they’re seeing your message?

WHO is Your Target Audience?

This is one of the first questions we ask any business owner…ever. If you don’t know who you’re catering to, then what’s the point? Being specific in knowing who your target demographic is will be extremely important when choosing a medium that will work for your ads.

If your target is women, can you be even more specific? What is their ideal age? What kind of lifestyles do they lead and is that important – stay-at-home-moms? Working women? College students?

If you’re selling a luxury item and looking for prospects, would they look more like men & women over 45, who’ve gone to college and live in an affluent neighborhood or more like crazy teenagers with no disposable income, living with mom and dad?

WHEN is That Target Audience More Likely to See or Hear Your Message?

Once you’ve determined who your specific demographic is, now you need to figure out when to advertise to them.

If you’re targeting stay-at-home-moms, you will probably stay away from advertising on radio, considering they are probably too haggard to listen, but you might consider advertising on television. And even more specifically, you might consider advertising on channels like Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, simply because those are more than likely the channels they are watching. Online advertising might also be an option, considering many moms are connected to their computers when they get some free time.

Targeting working men? Consider advertising during the morning and afternoon rush hours. (We call those times drive times because most people are in their cars commuting to an office.) ESPN and any other cable sports network is also going to be a great medium for that demo. Live sporting events are also going to be huge for you!

Are you aiming for kids? Well, let’s just be honest, they don’t have any money. So, you’ll want to target their parents on family-friendly channels that those kids are also watching.

Let’s not forget about all of your online options, either! Options like Google AdWords & Facebook ads allow you to target extremely specific demographics directly through their platform. Whether you’re looking for men, women, kids, old, young, in-between, you can utilize online marketing to directly target those people, too.

How Can You Be Sure They’re Seeing Your Message?

While getting succinct, statistical information from traditional mediums is tough, you can still, internally, work to know if your advertising dollars are being spent wisely.

Are you asking every customer how they heard about you or your service? If you’re not, then you have absolutely NO idea where those leads are coming from. Most times, when people are buying something they need or want, they don’t voluntarily tell you that they heard or saw your commercial, so ASK THEM!

We’ve had clients who’ve told us that specific forms of advertising ‘just didn’t work’ for them. When we asked them why, they said, “Well, I spent all this money and nothing changed.” When we asked them if they tracked where those customers came from, they would tell us, “No.”

If you’re spending the money, then you also need to put in the work of asking every person who calls or walks through your front doors how they heard about your or how they got there. Now, I’m not saying to do it every single day of every single year, but if you’ve just started a campaign, you want to be sure you’re monitoring your progress.

(Unlike traditional mediums, online mediums offer instant tracking and analysis. If you’re not seeing the clicks you’d like or if you’re not seeing any movement on your ads, change them immediately.)

You might also consider things like, “Take advantage of this offer now. Mention ‘SUMMER’ to your cashier for a 10% discount!” Giving your audience a call to action might alleviate your need to ask the question every single time someone walks through the door.

Wading through all of your options can be daunting. We know that. So, if we can be of help, let us know!

Written by Danita Maldonado, Director of Social Media, SDB Creative Group

SDB Creative Group is a full-service marketing and advertising firm. For more information about SDB Creative Group, check out our

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