The Best Media Buys to Get Your Customers’ Attention

Media Consumption 2011 InfographicWe keep trying to figure out the next big marketing wave so that we can ride it first. But there’s a lot of benefit in maximizing what’s here now.

In the Media Consumption 2011 Infographic, Ad Age, Magid Generational Strategies and MBA Online present an hour-by-hour look at media habits based on age. And four things quickly caught my eye.

RADIO:  The Early Morning Commute

From 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., radio is the number-one media outlet, with Generation X consuming the most radio, followed closely by the Baby Boomers.  This lets me know that the morning commute could yield a captive audience and a smart marketing choice depending on the product.

TELEVISION:  A Distracted Captive Audience

In the evening, television is the number-one media outlet. From 5 p.m. till bedtime we are in front of that tube, with Baby Boomers racking up the most time, followed closely by Generation X (age 30 to 46). If you are going to advertise on local TV stations, there’s no reason to run your ad until everyone is home to see it.

But keep in mind that this a distracted captive audience that may be multitasking their media engagement.

In fact, the study says percentages in each section do not add to 100, since members of each generation may use more than one media type during that time slot. You know the deal — searching the Internet while watching television or texting on your phone.

INTERNET:  Engagement With The Internet Is  Steady

Online engagement in various forms (news, entertainment, social media) shows up in the top three activities throughout the day for Baby Boomers, Generation X and Adult Millennials. The Internet is a smart marketing option with a learning curve.

But the fact that it gets our steady attention throughout the day says that online positioning matters.

PRINT: What’s Happening With the Newspaper?

The newspaper ranks much higher among Baby Boomers than any other group. That’s good to know, because if you want to get the attention of a Millennial, then a newspaper ad is probably not the best choice. But if you’re going for his grandparents, it could be a great way to get their attention.


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

16 Reactions
  1. Thanks for this great data.

    I don’t know about you-but I can’t watch more than two TV spots in a row without feeling that there’s absolutely no truth in what they’re pitching me?

    Does that make sense?

    TV spots are about the worst, followed closely by radio my Royal opinion.

    The Franchise King®

  2. Was there any data in the study that accounted for people watching DVR’d TV and ignoring the commercials entirely?

  3. I think that there are certain business types who fit perfectly well in the traditional marketing mix, and those who do great in social media marketing. I’d say it’s a combo-plate of both that will help give your brand a competitive edge in today’s cutthroat economy. Just a thought.

  4. Don’t you even CONSIDER signs?!? They advertise for you 24-7, 365 days a year on your building, vehicles and of premise if you desire. A good sign is the FACE of your business that you show to every customer. You are ignoring a GREAT marketing tool!

  5. Argh. Before you do any of these things, figure out which media influence your target audience to buy your products or services. Ms. J’s recommendations are slanted towards retailers.

  6. What’s your opinion on dual medium media such as internet radio? Newspaper ads with URLs?

  7. I think Aaron and John hit the nail on the head. One would have to have proper analysis and planning of a customer and their customer segments before completely writing off any media channels.

  8. Robert Brady had asked what our opinion of mixed media, such as internet radio and url’s in newspaper ads. Again, it comes down to whether your target market listens to internet radio, and what the cost/M is for the ads. We haven’t had any clients use internet radio yet, but our clients are mostly b2b, and they’re not likely customers.
    As for the url, we think it should appear in every customer facing item, from newspaper ads to radio ads to company stationery. If it’s a long url, it’ll be hard to use on TV and radio, and get it right. Even our short url for the school, which was picked to rhyme, is hard to get across in radio.
    Hope this helps.

  9. Jane Diaz sounds like the rep or owner of a sign company! Yes, we consider signs, mostly on the freeways around Phoenix, where we’re based, but it’s hard sell, because of the audience factor (we’re normally looking for targetted media) and signs normally don’t work out on a CPM basis, even if we’re looking for a broad vehicle.

  10. Joel, have you noticed the TV spots that are beginning to take on a movie short or mini-documentary style? I can watch those, they keep me focused in but otherwise I’m gone, doing something else, reading something else until my show comes back.

    As with everything we do in business, it’s about how we shape the message. Everything has to be planned evaluated and improved on. That’s business.

    Phil, they didn’t break down the DVR stats (that I saw) but I find myself watching the first and last commercial (if it’s engaging) and skipping the rest. I would love to see some research on that one too.

  11. Hi John,

    Regarding solutions for retailers vs. service based businesses: As you said it’s about “which media influences your target audience to buy” – you have to know where your audience is. I am noticing service based companies who use the same kind of marketing mentioned in the study – like organizations that help with debt relief and roof repair.

  12. Thanks Jamillah for the response. To find out what media influences your target market to buy, ask them: What brought you in today? What do you read/watch on radio/tv/internet? Do you use/follow social media?
    If you have sales reps, they should know what motivates their customers and prospects and, in fact, they should be key influencers. There’s a whole wing of market research devoted to figuring out what media to use and what works on your target market.
    Hope these humble ideas work; they’re just a start.
    John Heinrich, Chief Mentor
    American School of Entrepreneurship

  13. Interesting post. I really gave radio a thought after reading your article. It is a great channel of communication or advertisement of your business, and what could be better than morning freshness adding on to it?!! Thank you for sharing.

  14. I still believe in advertising and exposing your company/business in TV, radio, newspaper and now the internet. TV advertising maybe ignored sometimes, but their frequency can make people realize them and be aware of the advertised product. Radio ads too. Print is very effective as they cannot erase, widely-circulated and even if the papers are already thrown in garbage, they still convey their message if somebody happens to read them.

    Now, the internet. Busy internet enthusiasts can see ads but mostly ignore them if they are just at the sides because user tends to focus on what he works on. Internet advertising has its own way of making effective results. Like SEOs, which deal with consumers who are really focused to search the products they are in need, and about to buy. That is why, SEO is more effective than just side ad printing.

    • JAparri is right, SEO is better than print, but there is a cost factor, which is having someone manage the SEO, or farming it out.
      There’s the whole local SEO matter as well, for those who operate locally. It all depends on what your target market is influencye bf

  15. The best way to advertise is know WHO your audience is first. Then begin to buy online media targeting that audience. If your audience happens to be older, newspapers ads And online targeting could be a good mix. Test small first to determine if there are reasonable profits. If their is a decent profit margin then quickly roll-out fast.