gets the phone ringing and the orders coming in like lots of big media
advertising. Newspapers, TV, and major Internet sites reach thousands,
even millions, of potential customers around the clock.
the breathtaking development of the Internet, Television remains the
king of media. Almost 99% of North American homes have at least one
television. The average person watches TV seven hours each day. And
people consistently say they get most of their news and information
from television, especially local TV news.
is also very expensive. With prime-time 30 second commercials in medium-sized
cities costing several thousands dollars each, broadcast TV ads are
out of reach for most small and medium sized businesses. Mass appeal
television lacks the ability to closely target the audience. Even if
you can scrape together enough for a few TV commercials, much of your
investment can be wasted on thousands of people who aren't interested
in what you sell.
provides a solution, especially for small business. Cable TV ads tend
to be dirt cheap, even though their audience is huge. Over half of all
American homes subscribe to cable. Cable's subscribers watch more television
and have higher incomes. Cable also has the ability to send your commercials
to specific parts of town and neighborhoods.
COST AND TARGETED
experts are recommending cable TV advertising to their clients. "Prime
time spots on broadcast TV cost $2,000 to $3,000 in this area. Prime
time cable spots go for $175," says Leslie Speidel, a media buyer
in Raleigh, North Carolina (www.TheMarketingCoach.com).
on cable systems in the suburbs outside New York City are cheaper. Your
30 second spots run on CNN and ESPN for $25. Nick goes for $20 and TNN,
BET, and VH-1 are $15 per commercial. Expect to get better rates when
you buy packages of multiple spots.
cable prices are even lower. It is not unusual to buy commercials for
$2 to $3 in a town of 40,000 people.
of the commercials on cable TV programs are national spots for major
corporations, four to six commercials per hour are made available to
local advertisers. New digital technology allows many cable systems
to easily and accurately schedule your commercials on specific channels
to be seen in chosen communities and neighborhoods. "This new digital
capability is great for placement purposes. The target is very focused.
The geographic area is as big or as small as you want," Speidel
points out. "Plus, the price of spots is affordable."
to target specific groups of viewers is one of cable's most important
advantages. A clothing store specializing in kids cloths can advertise
on the Family Channel. A pool maintenance service can put their spots
on the Weather Channel. In most cases, regular broadcast TV with more
general programming would be inefficient advertising for specialized
businesses like these. Take claims of big audiences with a grain of
salt. It's not the number of eyeballs watching but a carefully targeted
audience that gets results for your business.
YOUR ORDER AND PRODUCING YOUR COMMERCIAL
like everything in media, are highly negotiable. Some channels will
cost more than others. The zones you choose to send your spots to, the
size of your town, and the time of year will all have an influence on
the spot price you pay. Don't wait until the last minute to place your
spots. Plan weeks in advance. Placing your order early will ensure you
get the times and channels you want at a lower price.
Call the sales department of your local cable operator. Find out spot
rates and coverage areas. Take some time to build your plan. Media sales
people are good at devising clever strategies to use your entire ad
budget, so trust your own instincts and stay in control of the process.
your commercial produced can be expensive and time consuming. A razzle-dazzle
TV spot will easily cost thousands to produce. Keep costs down by planning
your spot carefully. You won't want to make costly revisions while the
production crew is there with the hourly meter ticking. Look into small
one and two person TV production services popping up in many cities.
commercials with actors are best left to the networks. For a small business
on a limited budget they rarely work out and often look amateurish.
Keep your concept simple. Limit the number of locations. Budget time
for changing lighting and mics from shot to shot. Shoot outside to avoid
indoor lighting hassles.
FUTURE BRINGS MORE FEATURES
leading the way to a digital future when "smart" TVs will
be coupled with a computer. Cable has the ability to transmit Internet
web sites 33 times faster than a phone line. TCI Cable's @Home Internet
service paid almost $7 billion for Excite, one of the most popular sites
on the web. Cable TV is rushing to toward a high-tech future where your
TV, computer, and the Internet all work together to provide more choices
and better targeting for advertisers.
how large or small your ad budget, check out Cable TV. The power of
television to demonstrate your products and services is hard to beat.
Low cost cable is a sure winner for small business.
Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses and
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