• Gary E. Mincer

The Myriad of Media Choices

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

What’s the best path to my customer?

In 1989, you could probably reach 90% of men ages 18 to 34 years old in Cleveland on a media buy that included a radio schedule on The Buzzard/ WMMS, a broadcast TV schedule which included a Browns game, Monday Night Football and Saturday Night Live. Just to be safe, let’s add a print ad in The Plain Dealer sports section on Sunday and some Outdoor static boards in high traffic commuting routes. And a Yellow Pages listing.

In 2019, how could you possibly reach 90% of that same demographic? I don’t know if you could.

Take a look at this image to get a better understanding of the media choices:

Media Buying Choices
Media Buying Choices

Yellow Pages (when’s the last time you saw or opened one?)

A quick aside on Yellow Page usage. True story, I once played golf with three friends (you know who you are) from the radio industry at a Country Club in Connecticut just outside NYC. We were walking that day and carrying our own bags. One friend kept complaining about how heavy his bag was. At the end of the round, he learned that another “friend” had put two New York City Yellow Pages books in his bag pre-round. (So you see, there is still a viable use for Yellow pages!).

Media Complication

The point of the 1989 versus 2019 media comparison is that while today's fabulous choices make affordable, efficient ways to reach your customers, those vast choices make things waaaay more complicated. The ability to target today is so much better than anyone in media ever imagined. Why target 'Men 18-34', when you can target ‘People who want to buy Ford Explorers in the 15 zip codes that surround your dealership’? You can very well be more efficient and spend less on advertising if you do it right, but you can also waste money and Not reach your customers as easily.

What You Do Best

While people in 1989 had limited media choices and predictable media usage, today there are infinite ways that people spend their time with media. To stay top of mind, you want to reach your customers however they use media throughout their day.

Unless you study media and have lots of time to put together media plans, and then know how to buy that media at the most efficient rate, you may be better adding an expert to your team to put their sole focus on implementing your strategy. In other words, concentrate on what you do best (sell cars, run restaurants, see patients, build houses)!