Choose Your Media Strategically

classic mickey mouseAfter having your market research and honed your message, you need to get the word out about your business. But what if you have a limited budget?

Can you believe Walt Disney faced the same dilemma?

During the early days of Mickey Mouse, Walt was often burdened with debt and had to find creative ways to advertise what he was doing.

During the 1920s, when most moguls shrugged off sound films as a fad, the relatively unknown Walt Disney saw an opportunity. He committed himself to producing the first fully synchronized sound cartoon. Walt incorporated technology to sync the sound to the animation, and distributed the third of his Mickey Mouse cartoons, Steamboat Willie — the cartoon that would put the mouse on the map.

Being that Walt was a visionary, history repeated itself in the 50’s when Walt understood the power of a new and exciting medium: television. He embraced it as a way to provide entertainment to the public and finance his idea to build theme parks.

More than half a century later, the Walt Disney Company continues to deliver first-class entertainment in their theme parks and with strong brands like the Disney Channel, ABC, ESPN, Marvel, and Lucasfilm.

Just like Walt Disney

Advertising media is the vehicle you’ll use to deliver your message to your target market and just like Walt did, you need to carefully select and manage it to ensure the best return on your investment (ROI). Regardless of the media you choose — radio, TV, print, social media, SEO, content, or email — you need to understand the idiosyncrasies of each.

Measure the success of your marketing campaign

Remember that what gets measured gets managed. Here’s how you can measure your campaigns:

Did the marketing campaign make you more money than it cost you?
What was the return on investment (ROI) of that campaign?

If the cost is bigger than the revenue, consider it a failure. If it’s costing you less than the profits it’s bringing in, then it’s a success.

Instead of trying to “get your name out there,” concentrate on getting the name of your prospects to your business

Mass marketing is, in other words, a campaign focused on getting your name out there, on just letting people know you exist and hoping someone responds. This type of marketing is best left to big businesses with big enough pockets to try to reach everyone. If you’re a small to medium business you shouldn’t be trying this method. Instead, get to know your customers and target them.

A real-life example on how you can keep a campaign accountable

conversionTake a car wash, for example. Social media and online advertising are two great ways to advertise this type of business. The figures below are rounded for simplicity.

For every 10,000 online impressions that the campaign collects in a month, 1000 people respond, giving the car wash a pretty decent 10% response rate. Out of the thousand people who respond, 25 converted into customers.

This method allows the car wash to calculate its customer acquisition cost. The 25 new customers that resulted from a campaign with a total cost of $300 makes their customer acquisition cost equal to $12.

Customer acquisition and the lifetime value of a customer, combined with the best media for your message, are three of the most important components for your marketing accountability and effectiveness.

Going back to our car wash example, if the product or service this business sells to its clients made them less than $12 throughout the customer’s lifetime value, this was a losing campaign (negative ROI).

Typically, you can get a basic car wash for around $6 to $9, the price often doubles if you want “the works.” But even if a first time client doesn’t spend the $12 to break even with the price of their acquisition, the customer could fall in love with the product and service, and continue to buy from this business, completely changing the economics of the campaign.

The average driver washes his or her car every two weeks. If each car wash is $7, the value of this customer per year is at least $168, bringing $156 of nothing but profits to the business (positive ROI). If she washes her car once a week, Revenues jump to $336. Can you imagine the profits if you’ve got a customer for life?

Most Common Digital Media

Digital media allows for laser-focused targeting and provides an effective and concise way to deliver your message. But my favorite feature of the newer digital media is the way it allows you to track every single detail of your campaign. Here are five of the most common digital media where you can market your business and keep track of your investment:

Social Media

Social MediaSocial media gives you the chance to ‘humanize’ your business; the chance to connect with people in a personal way, a very powerful tool for your marketing.

Take advantage of every option out there and communicate with people as a representative, rather than a faceless company. Remember that at the end of the day, we’re all people. If you personalize your interactions with your audience, you’ll get better results.

Social Media Advertising

Many page owners think that organic reach in social media is enough to make an impact. This was true during the first years of social networks, but unfortunately that’s no longer the case. Facebook and many other social media networks have become pay-to-play.

Every social media network is working on algorithmic feeds, meaning posts are shown to the user based on past behavior and preferences. Organic posts from your Facebook page will only reach a fraction of your followers, and that number is dropping, according to Brian Boland, leader of the Ads Product Marketing team at Facebook. (You can read the whole article here.)

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for acquiring, engaging, and retaining customers to help your business thrive. This is a direct and personal way to engage with prospects and customers, and with the increased use of smartphones and mobile devices, pretty much everyone has their email within easy reach.

Effective email marketing will help you increase retention, engagement, and revenue for your business.

Consumers still prefer to receive brand communications via email, according to recent research. Email is the most preferred brand communication channel for respondents of the study in all generations, from baby boomer to Generation Z consumers.

Content Marketing

Content Marketing StrategyThis is a marketing strategy focused on providing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain your market, ultimately increasing your profits.

You are providing truly relevant and useful content to your prospects and customers, making you an expert in your industry. There are at least three main reasons — and benefits — for businesses to use content marketing:

  1. Increase in sales
  2. Decrease in costs
  3. Higher customer loyalty

Google Adwords

Adwords allows your business to show up and be seen by prospective customers at the very moment that they’re searching on Google for the things you offer, helping you:

  • Attract more customers
  • Reach the right people at the right time
  • Advertise locally or globally

Best thing: You only pay for results, when your audience responds.

The most dangerous number in marketing


One is the most dangerous number in your business. You cannot depend on just one source of leads, only one major supplier, one customer, one type of product, one type of media. A common mistake when it comes to media strategy is to have only one source of new business.

It’s a very tough situation to end up in. A business that has a single point of failure is brittle and a small change in its circumstances could have devastating effects. Look at what happened to the Death Star in Star Wars: one little flaw can bring it all down.

Starwars Death Stars

Never put all your eggs in one basket

In his book The 1-Page Marketing Plan, Allan Dib recommends that small businesses should have at least five different sources of new leads and new customers. That way if the laws change, if the advertising world is revolutionized again, if rates go up, if all of a sudden your best strategy stops working as well as it used to, your business will still be safe.

What media will you use to reach your target market? Let us know in the comments.

Photos courtesy of: Jason A. Howie, miniyo73, katerha.