Yesterday we started a conversation (and an experiment) about television commercials. I asked myself (and you, as my guinea pigs) why it was that we frequently could not remember what a TV commercial was trying to sell us. Yes, we know that it was about a minivan or a body wash--but how often can we remember which minivan or which body wash?
We ended the conversation by exploring some of the reasons that commercials do or do not reach us and then asking the question: is this the best way to sell a product or reach an audience?
Yesterday we talked about the audience that was being reached by the minivan commercial: someone who was in the market for a minivan. But is there a better way to reach this audience?
To find out, you need to think about where the audience (in this case, for a minivan, in your case, for your product, place or brand) spends its time. Yes, Americans in general spend a lot of time watching TV. You may reach a family audience by choosing to target family shows. Or, for a fraction of the cost, you could target these Americans somewhere else that they spend time--like Google, Facebook or family-oriented websites.
Google, Facebook and the Web
The beauty of the internet is this: targeted marketing. You can buy key words on Google that your minivan audience is searching for. You can have ads on Facebook that target users that have been posting statuses and information about searching for a minivan. You can find car-purchasing websites or car-information websites (like Edmunds or Consumer Report) and do some advertising there.
In doing this, you are narrowing your audience. But rather than just reducing the number of eyeballs--you're targeting the eyeballs that matter. You're targeting the minivan buyers.
Okay, So Where Do Commercials Fit In?
I don't think this means that commercials are of the past. But I do think it means that it's more important, for your brand, to gain a qualified audience, rather than a broad audience, when possible.
When you think about advertising: think strategically. Think about who you are reaching out to and what they're looking for and where they are. Blanket advertising can work--especially if your product (like a restaurant, clothing store, etc.) is something that a very broad audience may be interested in. But, if you know your audience and you know that they congregate in a certain place (book lovers at GoodReads or Amazon.com, car searchers at Edmunds, etc.), reach out to them there.