In this economic downturn, I’ve heard so much talk about one medium or another making claims that it is delivering all the leads and traffic a company needs. Online selling against Yellow Pages, Yellow Pages selling against newspapers, newspapers selling against online classified sites, and the list goes on and on. The reality is no one marketing medium can deliver the entire prospect audience, nor can it deliver all the leads a small or medium-sized businesse needs in its local market.
The fundamentals of marketing have always been to layer your media choices so they work together and complement one another to deliver the desired amount of awareness, traffic and leads for your business. But instead of taking my word for it or the words from a university marketing professor, I found the advice from a painters blog site, Out of The Bucket, made this point clear and easy for SMBs (and hopefully local media reps) to understand:
The truth is no method of advertising is going to work every time. No method of advertising will create an endless stream of leads without fail (or at least not in the numbers most [painting] contractors need). More than focusing on an individual form of advertising, contractors should focus on a plan—a mix of advertising that creates exposure through a variety of means. I’ve long lost count of the people who tell us that they saw our signs, saw us in the phone book, and then found our web site when they did a search. It is the constant exposure that works, not any one particular piece of advertising.
Local media reps need to keep in mind that while their particular medium does deliver value to an SMB, they must also be aware and be able to explain how it complements or leverages the other media the SMB is utilizing in its media plan.
This is why local media companies whose salespeople offer multiple products are in a better position to serve local SMBs. If the rep acts as a media consultant and demonstrates the value and ROI of a balanced media approach, particularly in delivering leads to a business, SMBs are more willing to listen and find value in the sales discussion.
Media sales organizations that represent single local media products must clearly position how their particular medium works best with other media and be able to comfortably and knowledgably discuss this if they are to have credibility with SMBs.
While local media competition is healthy, understanding how media work together goes a long way in serving the needs of the advertiser.