Should You Advertise on TV?

When people discover my background in advertising, the questions flow. One of the most frequent questions is “Should I advertise on TV?”
I can’t answer that questions until I ask a number of questions first.
Do you have an advertising plan?
Are you working on a firm budget?
What are you trying to accomplish with your advertising?
Where are you spending your money now?
Usually by the 4th question the happy face becomes one of disappointment.
Contractors don’t build a building without a plan, and you shouldn’t advertise without a plan. The first action is to determine what you want your advertising to do. Most small and medium businesses do not have the bucks for long term image, so they focus on a call to action or proclaiming benefits (not features).
Can TV do that? Probably. Can you afford it? Probably not. Local TV ads even in the smallest of television markets are expensive. You can buy cheap ads, but the cost is factored to the number of viewers. The cheaper the ads, the fewer the viewers. How many folks do you know are glued to the tube at 5:45 AM?
You can get on TV by using the Cable TV in your market. With Cable, you can buy a package that’s spread over 15 or more cable channels. Beware the number of viewers and the shoddy production.
Some people in business believe you haven’t “arrived” until your business is on TV or on a billboard, or both. Funny, I know of hundreds of businesses making big bucks that don’t use either.

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