Is TV Advertising Right for Your Business?

 

Dear Friends, 

 

It's a dilemma: advertising on television might be the easiest way to reach hundreds of thousands of people throughout the state, but it is expensive. How can you tell if it will pay off?

 

Raffi Andonian sells ads and manages ad campaigns for the Hearst Corporation. His clients advertise on KOAT, the #1 rated television station in New Mexico and on KOAT's website, which averages 4 million page visits per month.

 

Andonian is responsible for making sure that advertisers get an incredible return on their investment when they advertise on TV.

 

Businesses who want to add TV to their marketing plan should follow these seven steps:

 

1. Identify your business goals

 

Andonian's first task is to understand the client and their business goals.

 

"Most businesses know where they want to be in a year, but they often don't have the complete picture of how they will get there," said Adonian. "Some businesses want to hold steady with their growth, others want to grow by 20% and others want to be the dominant business in their industry."

 

Once he hears the goals and the challenges he offers a proposal. The proposal may not always include television. Often he uses a combination of television, digital and mobile. Some people choose only digital and no television. Those decisions are partly based on budget, but also based on what the business is trying to accomplish.

 

Sometimes clients will have lofty goals, but bargain basement budgets. Avoid creating an uncomfortable situation by reconciling your goals with your budget. "One company said that they wanted to be the Coca-Cola in their industry," said Andonian,  "but when I came to them with a proposal they said they only wanted to spend $500 per month. That's not realistic. If you want to be the Coca-Cola in your field you have to spend a certain amount." 

 

2. Pinpoint your biggest challenges

 

Before launching an ad campaign, ask yourself, "What is the biggest thorn in my business's side?"

 

"If you own an independent furniture store and a Wal-Mart is moving in across the street, you will take a different approach than if you are a furniture store that recently had a product recalled," said Andonian.

 

There are many problems that can be solved with the ad. If you have a strange location, your ad can focus on getting people in the door. If you're tired of people griping about the price of your products or services, you can make an ad geared toward more affluent customers. The only way you can solve those problems is by bringing them up.

 

3. Identify your ideal client

 

If your answer is "anyone with a dollar" you need put some more thought into it because you don't have the energy or resources to chase every customer.

 

"Anyone can walk into your store, but there is always a specific type of person that will buy more. Who is that person? If you don't have a clear answer you're not ready to advertise anywhere," said Andonian. Luckily, he can help people figure it out. "If a company doesn't know I might go there for a day or two and observe." 

 

You can gain insights on your best and most valuable customers by keeping track of the numbers. What is the one product that creates the biggest profit? How many people walk through the door every day and who ends up buying something? Can you see patterns in the behavior of the people who buy? Are they male or female? How old are they? Do they come in with kids, do they come in as a couple, or are they alone?

 

Examine your product to flesh out your picture of the ideal client. Focus on marketing to people who urgently need your products and who can afford them.

 

4. Target your efforts

 

"People have a tendency to want to be everywhere," explained Andonian, but companies that spread their resources too thin usually fail to consistently reach their target audience.  He always encourages clients to narrow their focus so they can get the highest possible return on their investment. Here's how:

 

Place the ads carefully. After getting to know your ideal customer, find out what they are watching. Each show has a different type of audience, and the time of day can have a huge effect on who is watching. Imagine the difference between the people who watch the NBA game and the people who watch The Bachelor. Imagine how much money you can waste trying to reach professionals who work 9 to 5 jobs with a commercial that runs at 2:00 p.m.

 

Focus and concentrate your advertising efforts. "If you buy 20 ads and place them randomly throughout the day, those 20 spots are wasted because people don't watch TV 24 hours a day," said Andonian. "You need to target the times. You can actually buy fewer commercials and target specific groups of people." 

 

For example, businesses that generate business by setting appointments get 80% of their calls early in the week, because most people write out their to-do lists on Sunday night. Those businesses should not place their ads on Saturday night because their customers are out having fun. Instead, start the ad on Sunday, and run it heavily on Monday and Tuesday.

 

Buying time slots strategically can save a lot of money and help you reach the right people. One of the least expensive slots is the 4:30 a.m. news broadcast, with slots from $50-100. But who watches it? Andonian said, "It's a great way to reach professionals with a high income."

 

5. Concentrate on what you do best

 

"When companies list everything they do in their ad, nothing sticks," said Andonian.

 

If your ads look like a laundry list of services, concentrate on one thing in your next ad and see if you get better results. You can focus on your best-selling item, your most expensive item, or most eye-catching service or product.

 

Do you sell a product that leads to other sales, or can even trigger a buying spree? Focus on selling that product. Andonian said, "Have you ever noticed how some furniture stores will bombard you with commercials and offers for mattresses, but never mention the other things that they sell? It's because when someone buys a mattress, they will buy other things like sheets and bedroom furniture."

 

6. Decide how much you can spend, and be prepared adjust the amount when it's working

 

TV advertising is expensive but it can give you the best return if used right.

 

KOAT's smallest clients are non-profits that pay a few thousand dollars per year to get online ads.

 

Other advertisers spend between $3,000 and $6,000 per month. There is no set formula for how much you can make back, because it depends on the business, the target audience and the offer. It also depends on whether your website or place of business meets the expectations of people who see the ad, and your employees close the sale.

 

Your business has to be capable of making the advertising money back. For example, a car dealer can make $3,000 back by selling one car, but a coffee shop will have to sell $1,000 coffees before they make the money back. If a coffee shop spends $3,000 on ads, they might consider using their ads to sell gift certificates online, getting more catering orders, selling merchandise or bringing in new customers.

 

Some clients might spend five figures per month, but they could see a ten-to-one return on investment. These advertisers figured out what works best for their companies, and they continue to spend money on ads that bring in money.

 

Don't worry if your business doesn't have a five-figure advertising budget. Start with what you have. Andonian said, "We work with independent local businesses more than anybody else, and with all of our media platforms (television, web, mobile) and thousands of products at all pricing levels, we can work with just about anybody to target geographically and demographically while having the highest reach and most efficient cost-per-person of any medium in the market." 

 

"No matter how much you spend, you need to have the right mindset," said Andonian. "The money that you spend on advertising grows your budget. Businesses can't be afraid to spend money to make money."

 

"It has to work for you," he adds, "because if you make money you will be a returning customer. We want you to have a high return on your investment."

 

7. Always measure your return

 

How do you define the success of an ad? You can measure phone calls, foot traffic, ticket sales or web hits. Choose what you're going to measure before you create the ad, and design the ad with a clear call to action. No matter how well the ad does, find ways to tweak it so it can do even better.

 

"I want to do everything I can do make sure that it works and to help people get the returns," said Andonian.

Raffi Andonian.

If you want to get started advertising on KOAT, call 

Raffi Andonian at 505-934-1598 or email him at randonian@hearst.com

 

If you get started with TV advertising, I can help you make sure that your website is ready to convert visitors into buyers, increase repeat business and develop your long-term relationship with customers.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mandy Marksteiner
Copywriter and Marketing Consultant

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