There are two basic ways to make sure that you make good media buys:
1. Ask Your Customers
2. Investigative on your own
Ask Your Customers:
It's really very easy to determine where to place your advertising. The very first source you need to go to is your customers (or prospective customers). Here are some questions to ask that will help you:
"What magazines do you read?"
"What radio stations do you listen to?
"Do you read the local newspaper, and if so, what sections interest you?"
"Do you use the Internet, and if so how do you search for information?"
"What books do you like to read?
"Do you attend seminars often?"
"Do you use the Yellow Pages?"
It may also be a good idea to include some questions that pertain to your particular product, service or situation. Even though these questions my seem too easy, it is a fact that a lot of advertisers would rather put their advertising dollars at risk because they assume that their personal opinion (or experience) is just a sufficient as asking their customers.
A good example would be the auto dealership that took the advice of a radio sales person and advertised on a particular radio station. After all, the sales person presented sufficient research and data that supported his claim that rich people listened to his station. Unfortunately the one demographic he left out was the fact that most of their listeners bought American made cars. A simple customer survey conducted by the Lexus dealership would have immediately discovered this problem.
Investigative On Your Own
It is quite easy to improve your chances of success by doing a little investigative work on your own.
Review the medium you are considering advertising in and call a few advertisers. Ask them how their advertising in that particular vehicle is going for them.
Here are some valuable questions you could ask them:
"How long have you been advertising here?"
"Does the investment pay for itself?"
"How many inquiries, leads or sales do you generate from your ads?"
"How long do you plan on staying with this particular medium?"
It's not necessary to talk to all the advertisers, so select a broad sampling. Although some advertisers will not be willing to share this information, enough will, and that will enable you to uncover the real benefit of advertising here.
Another investigative technique is to check how long specific advertisers have been with a particular medium. If it's printed media like magazines, newspapers or yellow pages your local library would be a good source for this research.
Taking a few simple steps to verify the best place to advertise your business will go a long way in providing the best return on your advertising dollar.