The year was 1979. Television had been a fixture in American homes for 30 years. Families spent the evening gathered around the evening news, MASH, and The Jeffersons. The networks– NBC, ABC, and CBS– were the only programming option in town, so everyone watched the same shows at the same time every week.
But all that changed in a convenient explosion of choice and variety known as cable television.
In the course of a decade, cable’s popularity birthed cultural staples ESPN, TBS, and CNN. MTV burst into the lineup with the broadcast of its first music video ironically titled “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Dusty cabinet radios attested to that truth.
In the late 1980s, cable became available to local advertisers, giving businesses a way to target specific demographics such as age and sex. More channels emerged and TV entertainment fragmented further, bringing forth even more audience targeting capabilities to bear.
And then Al Gore invented the World Wide Web.
Since then, entertainment and media have only become more fragmented as the masses stream into cord-cutting culture.
Is traditional media still a good buy?
With endless entertainment choices offered by every streaming service imaginable, it’s tempting to write off traditional media. But older demographics with more money to spend still enjoy watching the tube, according to veteran media consultant Gary Fish of The Fish Agency.
Even better, the Topeka market is especially accessible for small business owners, offering wide exposure. The cost of advertising in Topeka has stayed about the same since the early 90s, making it very affordable.
There’s no doubt that TV commercials are still a viable marketing option for local businesses, but it should be part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Keep these factors in mind when investing in a commercial:
Excellence means more exposure
Local commercials have a bit of a … reputation. But that’s good news because you can stand out from the crowd with a quality production that pitches your product or service with class, humor, and up to date effects. We may or may not know a bit about those things *cough MotoVike Films is amazing at what they do cough*
Use your spot to entertain or emotionally engage potential customers. Make it about them. Do it well. Viewers will perk up and take notice.
Also, a quick word of advice: establish a Callrail number to use only in your commercial so you can measure its success by tracking the number of leads it generates. You’ll be glad to have that data!
Audience quality over audience quantity
Cable offers the chance to narrow your target audience by more than age and sex. You can create an audience by psychographic and qualitative targeting.
For example, it’s more than doable to create a list of networks that target your audience of women 50+ with a household income of over $150k. Keep in mind that you’re buying the quality of reaching your target audience rather than a large quantity of people.
Reaching fewer people, but more who are highly qualified prospects can be a more effective strategy for your media dollars.
Get in the market for a plan
Consumers need seven impressions before they remember a brand. That’s one reason why it’s smart to use multiple platforms to diversify your approach and layer on exposure. That’s where the value of a good marketing plan comes to bear.
A marketing plan will help you identify the most strategic platforms for your marketing budget. A plan will narrow all the possibilities to only the best methods for reaching your audience. Depending on your audience, TV can be part of a complete plan, but it should also include other mediums such as digital and email marketing, social media marketing, outdoor displays, print ads, and others.
For example, when we created a sexual assault awareness campaign on behalf of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation called Yes This Room, we knew we had to reach people from all different angles. We created a marketing plan with strategies including:
Statewide TV Spots
Social media marketing (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat)
Website display ads
Campaign materials (Posters, rack cards, conversations guides)
These strategies put the message in front of our target audiences in ways that couldn’t be ignored.
Your strategic approach will look different, but with a customized marketing plan, you’ll be reaching and influencing your audience quicker than it took for you to convince your sibling to get off the couch and change the channel.
How Winston-Brown used TV to conquer KC
A commercial that resonates with your audience is powerful. Just ask the very busy crews at Winston-Brown Remodeling. They have been updating homes in Topeka and Lawrence for more than 40 years, earning national recognition for excellence.
Last year, they established a new office in Kansas City, focusing some of their marketing budget on SEO and SEM, with a larger portion directed to circulating two commercials on one local KC network.
The results were stunning. They surpassed their goals and are now on track to double revenues in Kansas City in two years.
One well-known Kansas City figure was searching for a remodeling contractor, but hadn’t found one that was a good fit yet. While watching the Super Bowl champion Chiefs, they happened to see the commercial. They copied down the information and hired Winston-Brown.
It’s worth noting that Winston-Browns brand was already built out. They had a gorgeous website. Their logo was fresh and stylish. With those foundational marketing elements in place, they were already ready for primetime when their commercials aired.
Bajillion can help
One of the most important parts of finding success in marketing is knowing who your target audience is. If you’re not sure who you should be targeting much less where they hang out, what you want them to do, or how to capture their attention, hit us up. You’ll be in front of the right eyes in no time, whether it’s on TV or another kind of screen.
Are you a star?
Do you have what it takes to be an actor, model, or voice-over artist? Apply to Join our bank of talent! You could appear in our client work.
Radio is reborn and we’re on it
Bajillion is launching a podcast about talent attraction and building culture! Look for the inaugural episode of the Creating Culture podcast next week! Hosted by Bajillion President Andrea Engstrom and Senior Copywriter and Strategist Ronnie Murphy, the first episode focuses on how they built company culture intentionally as Bajillion started and grew. Future episodes will feature subject matter experts and business leaders talking about creating a culture that fosters big ideas and attracts and retains talent.
Stay tuned for an email when it’s available for listening! Don’t start dusting off your cabinet radios though, it’ll be available wherever you get your podcasts.