Have you ever heard of the term ‘media mix’? It refers to the combination of marketing and communication channels that businesses use to reach their ideal target markets. Depending on the size of their marketing budgets, small businesses and startups can now combine print publications, billboards, radio, television, email, websites, ‘snail mail’, the Internet and popular social media platforms to target potential customers.

Why use a mix-media approach to marketing and advertising?

According to an Ad Age blog, spending less money in more media produces a greater response-per-dollar (or, in our case, per-rand) but the “science [of mix media] is knowing which medium to add and when to add it”.

Here are a few interesting stats from a Bizreport article on findings from a 2013 global survey on what generates new product awareness for a growing business:

  • 77% of survey respondents felt that word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends were the most persuasive information source about new brands and products.
  • 72% found in-store advertising and information to be effective in driving brand and product awareness.
  • 70% of respondents had discovered new products via freebies/giveaways.

Active internet search (67%), branded webpages (55%)  and print ads (54%) were other drivers investigated by the survey. In short, using a mix media approach to promote your brand will greatly increase the possibility of more people learning about your products and services on the channels they prefer.

What to remember for your integrated marketing campaign

As a Small Business blog maintains, for a media mix to be truly effective it needs to deliver the “right marketing message to…customers and prospects at the lowest cost and with minimal waste”. Effective marketing isn’t about loading a generic message into an advertising ‘shotgun’ and then firing this off at random (and in every direction possible) to see who and what you can haphazardly hit. A growing business needs a more strategic and targeted marketing approach for cultivating content and then directing it across the channels that will best reach their ideal customer base.

That being said, according to an Entrepreneur blog, businesses must be sure to employ a central message across all their media and sales channels so that each point of contact with consumers reinforces this creative theme and keeps their brand “top-of-mind”.

A growing business can also match different marketing media with different buying stages in the customer’s sales journey. For example, most customers first gather information to find out what their options are before making up their minds about a purchase. They find this information online, via websites or review sites, or in industry-related publications. What this means for your business is that you’ll need to ensure that your website is information-rich, any marketing emails you send their way add value (i.e. they provide insights and guidance) and that you don’t push customers to make a purchase or sign up for your services before they are ready for it.

In short, your mix media marketing approach must be about meeting potential clients where they are and in helpful ways that keep them constantly engaged with your brand.

Be sure to include print media in your mix

As briefly mentioned above, 54% of respondents to a global Nielsen research survey pointed to print ads as a form of media that made them aware of new products and services. For more information on the effectiveness of print advertising in this day and age, download our State of Print report.

Image credit: ExpertBeacon