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What Media Do I Use to Promote my Product or Service?

by Newman P. Mallon

Exactly what media you use to promote your business depends primarily on the type of business and who you are trying to reach.

If you want to walk like a duck, talk like a duck, act like a duck, look like a duck and sell to ducks, then you hang out or advertise where ducks hang out. Pretty simple isn't it?

Basically, if you have a new golf gadget, then advertise in whatever medium golfers read, watch, listen to or cruise, such as specific golf web sites, TV shows or magazines.

Weighing Audience Reach, Cost and Quantity

Of course, you want the largest audience for the least cost. If there's a million readers but only 10,000 golfers amongst them, then your audience is only 1 per cent of the total, but with a million readers the cost is let's say $20,000 for a one page ad. The cost is high since it costs a lot of money to distribute the publication to the 990,000 readers who are not golfers.

The best way to measure value is often on a cost per thousand basis of targeted readers or in the example above, $20,000 divided by 10 (thousands) or $2,000 per thousand. You will likely do better advertising in a golf magazine with 10,000 readers who are all golfers for say $3,000. Your cost per thousand targeted readers would then be $3,000 divided by 10 or $300 per thousand.

The Internet

The Internet or a web site has become as essential as a business card. Your information is available 24 hours a day just like it might be if you gave someone a business card. Trouble is, first you have to meet or find a potential client to hand them a card.

With a web site, however, the customer can find you if your site is properly optimized for search engines. The difference between print and the net is that someone may be browsing a magazine but not really looking for or even need your service. The same is true for the net, but if a person searches the net then they are specifically looking for a product or service just like or very close to yours.

Local Media

Also, consider local media. If you're a retail shoe store then the local newspaper is probably a good place to be, since your store will be conveniently-located to the readers and everyone of them will need shoes at one point or another. Since the readership is likely smaller, the ad will likely cost you less than a newspaper that covers the whole region or city.


Again, local radio may be a good play, or you may want to appeal to a younger audience to promote your blue jeans and T-shirt shop. So, again, advertise where your potential customers are. The ad person can provide figures about the age of the audience and many other factors.


Television is also very effective and very impactful, but it can be very expensive. That is why most TV advertising is for products or services almost anyone can use such as, deodorant, banking services, laundry detergent, food items, etc. However, it can also be good for more specific products such as a fishing lure if there is a fishing show that particularly appeals to fishermen or women.

As with radio, certain channels such as Much Music may be watched by younger people or other programs or channels might appeal to other age groups that might be appropriate to advertise specific products or services.

Media Relations

Media Relations can be very cost effective if you have an interesting story and your press release or article is targeted to the right magazine or program. Not many people or media might be interested in a new technical product used in a specific industry, but if you do a photo and press release and send it to a magazine in that industry, then they will be interested.

The same applies with an article. Perhaps you can write an informative article on a subject you are an expert in and gain some exposure for you and your business that way. Or, maybe the editor may be interested in writing an article about how you solved a problem for a client. The story will be about your client, the problem and the solution and how it was solved by you. This positions you as an expert in the area.

These are only a few quick points to remember when advertising. There are many more details needed to make your campaign effective. If you didn't know these hints, then you don't know what you need to know, and should seek advice from a qualified marketing professional.

Copyright 2011 by Newman Mallon You may download or print a copy of this article for your own personal use, or reviewers may quote brief passages of 25 words or less in a review with credit given to the author. For other permissions or reproduction rights please call Newman Mallon at (416) 285-0911 or e-mail him at

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