Years ago, marketers jumped on the “Media Mix” bandwagon. It became the in-vogue advertising trend for large marketers. The idea itself is actually borrowed from Japanese culture, specifically from the rise of Japanese anime, like Pokemon. The idea was to disperse content and disseminate information across multiple media channels. On the surface, this sounds like a great plan. Being in more places increases the opportunity for people discover and use your product or service. But, like any good theory, the practice of the media mix has been misinterpreted.
In the financial world, it is solid advice to diversify your portfolio to mitigate risk – most financial planners will tell you the proper ratio of fixed and variable assets needed to correspond with your comfort level of risk. As a Lafayette advertising advisor, I will never offer anyone the same advice, if they are looking for success in local advertising. The reason is: you can’t afford the media mix theory. The amount of money it would take to dominate all of the “mixed media” is really out of reach for most companies, outside the Fortune 500.
The use of the media mix model relies on the purchase of messages for all potential consumers, across targeted media, in varying stages of the purchasing funnel and then matching the medium with the message most impactful for it. While this is a good “end game” idea, it is not a good launch strategy – as the practice dilutes the message to the point of being ineffective. The media mix concept REQUIRES that you have adequate financial resources to deploy this strategy effectively. This means buying enough of each mixed media to be important. Most companies don’t commit the financial resource necessary to buy enough of any one medium to be effective, let alone multi-media.
In practice, what happens is someone reads about the media mix concept in some business book and gets convinced it is the “right thing to do.” They allot a certain amount for marketing and then divide that number up, sometimes equally, sometimes unequally, into multiple media baskets. They pay this theory of media mix homage, so much so that they dilute the investment to the point that not one single medium becomes effective for that business. As the business owner or manager, you deduce that advertising is ineffective and therefore cut back even further or stop the practice of advertising, entirely. And the next thing you know, you have no business.
Instead of dominating any one or two media, we cling to this theory of media mix and automatically apportion the amount allotted for marketing, even before analyzing what it takes to be effective using any particular media. Thus, arbitrary “budget” constraints are established before understanding what is needed to actually use media effectively. While we should not abandon the concept entirely, as it does have merit, we must understand the application of “media mix” can only be applied after use learn to use each media effectively. We have to make that choice.
That choice should start with owning what we buy. Buying enough of it to be important, to be a loud voice in/on that medium. Dominate the space you occupy, if it is the media delivery vehicle you want to use, as a business. Dominate and saturate that audience before you add a second outlet. Then dominating both one and two before adding 3, so on and so forth. This is the practice of concentrating your efforts rather than diluting them. Don’t start the process by buying a little of all three, as that will lead to the argument that “advertising doesn’t work”…or…”I tried it once and it didn’t work.”
I often tell Lafayette businesses I can do one of three things with their advertising. I can have you win the Super Bowl, just sit in the stands watching the game or put you on your couch at home eating pork rinds…which would you like? If the answer is win the Super Bowl, and it should be, then the only choice is to concentrate your efforts to dominate the messaging game. This will siphon resources from any Lafayette media mix plan, as those resources will be needed to dominate my medium (or any other one). With success, we will be able to add to the mix, at a later date. But this practice takes patience and adherence to the dogma of concentrating your efforts to be the loudest voice. Do you have that patience to dominate what you purchase?
Not sure how to proceed? Lets have a conversation – call me directly at 765-637-2143 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule time to discuss your situation. We can give you solid advice about your next move and how to succeed with local Lafayette advertising.
Neuhoff Media Lafayette
Certified Radio Marketing Expert