Placement Strategies

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I often am asked, “How do I get the most bang out of my advertising campaign?” or “Can I afford to advertise with a budget of under $3,000 per month and be effective?” Herein lies the answer: the more unique your product or service is and/or the less your competitors are advertising, the lower your advertising investment needs to be.

I use “and/or” because you may own, for example, a patio furniture store with three other competitors in town. Even though you all offer the same type of product, if you are the only one advertising, you can be effective on a small budget.

Using the same scenario, if all the patio stores are advertising and you introduce a revolutionary new type of patio set that truly stands out, your small ad budget will be effective. This is true based on good creative (number one) and good placement.

There are many strategies out there. They all have different names, but can mean the same thing. I will go through them to clarify the strategies and recommend your best alternative.

Vertical Flighting (VF):? VF means you stack your ads on one day. For instance every Tuesday and Thursday your ads would appear once per hour or per half hour. This can be effective if all the programs cater to your audience (daytime for women). This strategy is popular for those who have a larger budget and is very popular with the automotive industry.

Horizontal Flighting (HF):? HF is when you spread your ads over the week rather haphazardly. You have spots on every day in all different times of the day ranging from morning, afternoon, and prime time. This is a terrible plan because your audience will need to see your ad at least three times. With this plan, the odds of accomplishing this are not very good. Beware of the salesperson who comes to you with a “package”. These packages are usually HF structured and are in the station’s best interest to get rid of unwanted inventory.

Optimum Effective Scheduling (OES) /

Linear Placement (LP):

OES or LP is when you pick programs and stick to them, at times even placing two or three spots in one program. With a smaller budget, this is your best plan. Take one program that your target audience watches and be loyal to that show. This must be a program that runs Monday through Friday. Let’s say you choose a morning news show. OES and LP would place your ad twice a day in that show for at least two weeks in a row (on two, off two, etc.). If your budget allowed, you would add another week or pick another program.

Rotating:? Rotating your ads to air anytime between 6 a.m. and 12 midnight is the poor man’s strategy. It will take four to five times longer to reach a three frequency. The advertiser will become frustrated and usually quit before the program has a chance to work. Beware: rotating spots becomes like a drug. “But I’m getting the spots so cheap!”? That’s right, but don’t dream about running in anything worth more than what you’re paying.

Placement is an extremely important strategy in achieving success in your advertising. Don’t go by price alone. Be smart, be consistent, and be unique!

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