Buying media today is more complex than ever… print vs. digital?
What is the right mix? How to measure results? How to negotiate for the best overall value?
When it comes to determining the right mix of media for your business, we recommend these steps:
Define your target audience
This is the start, and one of the more — if not most important — steps in the process. Defining your target audience includes asking a series of questions: Is there a particular market or industry to focus on? Are you looking for OEMs or end users? What are the job titles of those people you want to reach? What are the demographics (age group) of your targets? What are the countries or locations of interest? Can you identify specific companies and their locations?
Define the goal/objective for each market (audience) as well as each media event — In most cases, this can be one of two possible outcomes or some combination of each
Increase Brand Awareness
This can result from the ad message itself or by driving traffic to your web site. In most cases, a positive experience at your web site will contribute far more to building awareness than the reader seeing a single ad message. Options include: print advertising, banner ads on publication web sites, content in publication newsletters, ads in publication newsletters, sponsoring a webinar hosted by a publication, and Google and Bing pay-per-click programs. For all digital programs, there should be a target cost-per-click you are willing to pay.
We find in most cases “pushing” a message to your audience will result in more leads vs. waiting for them to come to a web site and clicking on your ad. There are many options to consider including:
- Banner advertising on publication or association web sites or newsletters that either captures names of those clicking through or leads to a landing page on your web site that encourages registration in exchange for content of value
- Product promotions emailed by publications, with the publication capturing the names of the readers who click on your product
- Purchasing email lists and pushing messages directly from you that drive the reader back to an offer and registration page — Pinpoint Technologies is a good resource
- Pay-per-lead programs offered by some publications as well as third party web sites and services such as: automation.com, Emedia, Eng-Tips — this is truly a pay for performance program and assures you get the intended result
- Google and Bing pay-per-click programs that drive traffic to your web site and encourage registration for content
Selecting the right partners
For each market, select the right partners to carry your message. Narrow it down to the top three publications or associations that appear to reach you desired audience. From there, determine what you are willing to spend for that market to meet both your brand awareness and lead generation goals. Inform all three publications of your total spend as well as your goals. Be sure they know they might get all the business, or a portion of it, depending on their proposal. We find that the salespeople know their publication and the performance of their different offers far better than we do. Rely on them to ensure that you meet your goals, as well as get them to take ownership in your/their program. After all, they want you to be a repeat customer not a one-and-done transaction. Review all the options offered and determine how to allocate your spend, based on maximum reach, minimal duplication, best value and assurance of success. If the spend is large enough, require a brand awareness study be included on an annual basis.
Clearly measuring lead production per event is easy and of little cost. The only concern is that you delete all the “leads” that are of no value before concluding the success of any event. There have been cases when we have seen 35-40% of all leads coming in to be of no value vs. what the publication concludes. So, we need to be sure that we measure the net value.
Measuring digital media comes down to cost per click to your web site. So, we need to establish targets on what a “click” is worth. Again, if you can drive the ad click to a registration page, the measurement of the lead component of the ad is easier to determine.
Measuring brand awareness requires a study before and after programs on an annual basis. This will allow you to determine if your overall effort in a given marketplace is “moving the needle” in a positive direction. In most cases, any publication getting a reasonable spend of $30,000 or more is willing to provide this survey at no cost. It is suggested — and a good idea — to spend $300 on each survey offering an incentive to get the readers to respond.
Some facts we use to aid in program planning and selection
- If a prospect knows the type of product they are looking for they will use Google or Bing for a supplier far more often than a publication or Buyers Guide portal web sites. Almost 100% true for engineers under age 35.
- Engineers in the under 35 age group are far more likely to read a publication on-line vs. accept or subscribe in print format. To affect their brand awareness you will need to be present on publication web sites.
- Engineers over age 35 rely on print publications more than online publications. The over age 35 age group is also Internet active. But more for searching for solutions vs. reading online.
- Most publication newsletters have an open rate of 20-25% per issue. So we should not assume sending it once has effectively reached all readers. Also keep in mind that approx. 30-35 % of the print subscribers get a newsletter. So it is important to understand what readers are getting a newsletter.