Advertising Strategies - Alternatives to Print, Alternatives Within Print


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Is print advertising headed for extinction? No way, but I am seeing more and more companies pulling dollars from their print advertising budgets and moving them into other alternatives. The reason? To brand their product or service more effectively by balancing their ad campaigns and reaching their targeted demographic audiences from different angles. And even within the print medium, the playing field appears to be changing. Newspaper and Yellow Pages advertising has suffered a blow from the growth of the internet. Googling, Yahoo-ing and online news sources are pulling from their numbers. With internet research more easily available, more advertisers are targeting their prospective customers with direct mail campaigns which gives them the ability to pinpoint the demographic they are trying to reach by age, gender, income and location.

The internet is a growing alternative. Google Ads and Yahoo Sponsored Search “Pay Per Click" advertising is grabbing a growing share of ad budgets. This new medium gives you the ability purchase a keyword and only pay for it if someone clicks on your website. The way it works in a nutshell is, when someone does a search using your keyword, your website url and a three line promotional ad appears on the right side of the search results page. It can be as inexpensive as a nickel per click and you can limit what you spend per day, so that Google/Yahoo shuts off your ad campaign for the rest of that day when your budget “limit" is reached.

Outdoor advertising and signs on buses and transit systems is often in the mix of successful advertising budgets.

Radio utilizes the magic of music and imagination to reach an audience in a lasting way. Of course this is one of my favorites because music, jingles and ad production are what I do. But all bias aside, radio is a way to reach a broader audience with the ability to drive home a message.

One lesser know alternative within radio broadcast advertising is the traffic or weather sponsorship. This is a ten second (or less) message that is read within the traffic report: i. e. “Today's traffic is brought to you by _ “. Metro Networks, the Westwood One company created the traffic sponsorship industry years ago by putting a fleet of planes and “news" copters in the air to monitor traffic in the largest US cities. Instead if selling their services to the radio stations, Metro made a trade for advertising “air" time. So most of the flying traffic reporters that you think work for your local radio & TV stations are really Metro Networks employees who have cut a deal with the local stations. The local stations also sell traffic and weather sponsorships but they are usually not during the report, they come before or after it. So if you hear two traffic sponsorships for the same report, it probably means one was a Metro sponsorship and the other was a station sold sponsorship.

Television advertising is a traditional advertising medium we all know well but the advent of cable television has changed the face of the industry. With cable advertising, you can now reach a more targeted demographic, very similar to direct mail, by age, gender, income & location and it can be done on a smaller budget. *If you decide to go in this direction, or in the direction of radio advertising check out my site and drop me a line. I will be happy to go into detail about branding alternatives to help you get maximum effectiveness from your campaign.

With all these advertising options, it's best not to put all your eggs in one basket if you have the budget. The most successful advertisers use a balance of advertising mediums to reach their audience creatively and consistently.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email: .

Hope this helps. . . Good luck with your campaign!

Barry Volk is a former producer/staff songwriter/producer for ABC/Dunhill and Screen Gems-EMI Music Publishing, a 20th Century Fox solo recording artist, Musical Director for the West Coast Theater Company and National Director of Marketing for Metro Networks/Westwood One. His music production company, Barry Volk's Sound Advantage , creates and produces jingles and custom music and comedy spots for radio and TV advertisers worldwide from small market to national in scope.


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