Matt Jensen Marketing has clients across town, across the U.S., and even across the pond. Because we do, we’re often researching media costs for different markets.
When marketers reference “media” they’re traditionally talking about a combination of tactics like billboards, radio spots, television commercials, and digital ads. There are increasingly more media options for advertising, but those are the main ones.
While the costs from different markets vary widely, the same two questions kick off every media plan we pull together. The first question to ask is what does it cost to “play” in the market where your media will appear?
This is a ballpark estimate that should be based on:
- Reach – how many people will see or hear your message;
- Frequency – how often your message will be seen or heard; and
- Placement – where it will appear (radio, television, billboards, or online).
Knowing what it costs to get attention in your market is a big part of answering the second question: what is our company willing to spend on media advertising? When you’re new to media buying, the costs can seem unexpectedly high. Prices vary by tactic, time of day, demand, and frequency. In other words, the price of an ad at 7:30 a.m. can be higher than it is at 2:30 p.m. even though it runs on the same radio station.
It’s also important to consider that the media ads you buy this month aren’t likely to yield noticeable results until 6-12 months later. You need to sustain your spend for several months so that it isn’t wasted. And, while it’s tempting to snag the most affordable placements and timing, you need to consider if those are actually reaching your target audience or not.
Recent work with one of our clients demonstrates the importance of beginning with these two questions. As part of the company’s 2022 marketing mix, its leadership team was interested in billboard and radio ads. Our team pulled together a plan that included baseline pricing, scheduling, and placement in the specific suburbs they’d chosen. The company is in one of the most expensive markets in the U.S. – easily a $50,000 monthly spend to get any traction at all with their target audience.
The client, however, only wanted to spend $15,000 per month, not nearly enough to get the exposure they want. It was an important discovery – one we’re glad to have made early – so that we could hone in on a more effective way to spend those dollars. In this case, it was choosing just one tactic and being very specific about where those ads were placed. The added benefit of this process is that, when they are ready to make a larger investment, they’ll be better informed thanks to MJM’s research.
Looking to begin or refine your media buying? Get started by contacting the experts at Matt Jensen Marketing.