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  • Thom Baker

The Science of Diminished Returns

In today's market it is very important to properly allocate your marketing budget. The choices are many but there are real changes occurring in the effectiveness of old market strategies as there are always newer, fresher ideas in our digital world. The greatest advertising in the world is worth nothing if you don't reach an audience. When I speak about different ways of reaching your audience think about how you as a consumer use these.

Tradition Television - As a video producer I use to do lots of tv commercials. Now however, there are so many choices for the viewer that I advise my clients to keep away from regular tv advertising. How many shows do you watch on NBC, CBS, and ABC and if you do watch the Big 3, how many of you fast forward through the commercials using pre-recording or don't pay attention to the four or five consecutive minutes you are blasted with? It was different when the breaks were a minute or two, you might have paid attention but five minutes of ads, then five to ten minutes of programming, then five more minutes of ads and on and on. Add to that, the quality of programs. Scripted productions take time and money and to decrease their overhead the major stations barrage the viewer with lower production costs fair such as game shows, news programs, reality tv, and other fluff. The biggest ratings are seen mostly on national sporting events and the local stations biggest audience draw is the six and ten o'clock news. The internet and cable stations make the choices unlimited and for a small charge we have Netflix, Hulu and other streaming channels with a variety of programs, no commercials, and we can watch a show when we want.

If you have a modest advertising budget, using commercial television is a waste of your money. Local television ad production, for the most part, are poorly produced and the chance of your ad being seen is limited. Big advertisers, like McDonald's, still spend a lot on conventional television because of their high production value and they can afford to flood the airways, increasing the percentage of viewers who will actual view the ads (if the viewer is paying attention and not checking their email).

Unless you have a huge budget and quality production, forgetaboutit! In today's market, I give this type of advertising a C-.

On my next blog I will express my views on radio advertising.

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