Watch this: Television advertising is the right choice - sometimes
If you are in a geographic location where the television signal reaches the entire area that you serve, then tv is a possibility. Make sure your target audience watches the tv station you're considering running ads on. Again, the cost to reach 1,000 people is lower than through direct mail. However, many of the viewers you will be reaching live in apartments, may be out of your geographic area or don't have the cash to afford your products or services. Therefore your true cost per 1,000 people may be a lot higher.
Network tv advertising can be very expensive. The cost to advertise for 30 seconds on many popular tv shows is more than $300,000 - out of the reach of most contractors. However, the cost to advertise on the local evening news is within the budget of most contractors.
Cable tv rates are even lower. In addition, you can choose specific programs that your target audience is likely to watch. Traditionally, contractors like to advertise on sports and weather shows. But also consider running ads on financial programs and shows watched by women. People who watch financial programs are likely to understand terms such as return on investment and appreciate lower utility bills.
Reach your audienceWomen make the telephone calls for service when systems are not working. They are also the main influence and often the final decision makers on replacement. So it makes sense to place advertisements where women can see them. Cable channels with high numbers of female viewers, such as Lifetime, Home & Garden TV and the Food Network are all potential places to advertise in addition to the financial channels.
The research I've seen in respect to the weather-oriented channels says that most people who watch these channels do so for two reasons: they are looking for weather information on places they are going or there is a major storm in their area. Very few people, except for "weather junkies," watch the channels on a regular basis. Also, people can get weather information very easily on the Internet. So weather channels may not be the best place to put your advertising dollars.
Another advantage of cable advertising is that it can be very inexpensive to use. A contractor in Texas is paying 25 cents a commercial for the next two years. You can't even buy a Coke for a quarter these days. The cost for producing the commercials was only a couple hundred dollars. Yes, the contractor is in a smaller geographic area. However, the contractor blankets his area for only a few hundred dollars a month.
In larger markets, the cable costs are higher, but still well below network tv rates. And with cable, you still have the ability to choose a specific geographic area as well as a targeted viewer.
Like radio, part of the tv commercial you create should be a catchy jingle. It should appear in all advertising that you do. And, again you must commit to frequency. This means run ads continually for a year. Don't just do them for a week or a month. You'll know whether its working if you track where your customers come from.
Where network or cable tv covers you geographic area with a station or programs that your target audience watches, television can boost your company's sales.
Copyright 2001, Ruth King. All rights reserved.
Ruth King's American Contractor Exchange
1650 Oakbrook Drive, Suite 405
Norcross, GA 30093