How are consumers finding your business and deciding whether to purchase your product or service? And how should you be spending your advertising dollars?  The answer is not as simple as even a few years ago, but here are helpful study insights to help guide you through the ad media maze.

Consumers use multiple types of advertising media to research products before they make a decision to buy. That’s why it’s important for small businesses to use varied media mix in their advertising to reach their target audiences.

According to a study done by Nielsen and released in January 2013, in-store discovery tends to be the largest driver of new product awareness. Also, TV and print advertising continue to be leading marketing vehicles for driving awareness. However, small businesses should be aware that word-of- mouth referrals from social media and reviews posted online is growing in importance as well. Just as one might expect, consumers find using the Internet and mobile platforms to research purchases as useful as other more traditional advertising.

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Advertising Mix Graphic Nielsen

To maximize your budget, you need to be smart about choosing the most effective media to reach your target audience. Building an effective “advertising mix” means you are on top of these facts:

  • How many potential customers are actively searching for your product or service in your local area over the course of a year?
  • What media are they using as part of their search?

Take a look at this graph to get an idea of where consumers prefer to find information before making a purchasing decision:

Advertising sources by Emarketer

It may not be the best choice for your business to place all your bets on the one form of media with the most users for your line of business. Here’s why: Advertising using only one media will eventually hit a point of diminishing returns. That means you will eventually be spending more money to reach less people. You can be more effective by spreading the same budget across several media types. Plus, ad studies have shown that there’s a reinforcing effect when any ad message is viewed across several platforms.

But it all starts with knowing where your customers search — track that and you’re on your way to blending a media mix that will maximize every ad dollar you spend.

For a free marketing consultation about the right media mix for your business, contact Dex Media.

Source: Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment, Q3 2012
Adobe, “Click Here: The State of Online Advertising” conducted by Edelman Berland, Oct. 24, 2012