According to BusinessDictionary.com, a media mix is defined as “the combination of advertising channels employed in meeting the promotional objectives of a marketing plan or campaign.” Years ago, media choices were limited to alternatives such as outdoor, a few broadcast options, and print, both newspapers and magazine. With the onset of major advances in communication technology, in particular, the Internet, media options have exploded and will continue to grow as new technologies emerge.
This rapid expansion of media channels and devices is making it challenging for advertisers to find the right media mix to reach their target audience. According to a 2014 Media Dynamics study, each person is exposed to an average of 362 advertisements each day. Of these 362 ads, consumers “have some awareness” of only 86, and just 12 make an actual impression. Looking at these numbers, you can see the importance of choosing the right media sources to reach your desired audience.
Advertising doesn’t just offer the right product to the right consumer at the right time. Ultimately, marketers want their audience to become emotionally motivated to investigate and ultimately, to buy, the advertised product or service. With our current fragmentation of media, engagement has become extremely important. Increasing engagement and finding the mediums your target audience interacts with can help your ads break through the clutter of the hundreds of ads they are exposed to each day.
Finding that perfect media mix for ultimate impact is something that perplexes many marketers, but it can be done. The process involves testing and analyzing each medium on an individual basis. Your media mix will fluctuate depending on many factors, such as market and time of year, so ongoing testing will be necessary. Often, you will find that it is not just one medium that drives a potential customer to purchase. Instead, multiple media channels work together to influence a target audience and drive a consumer to purchase a product or service.
For example, complementing a print buy with a digital element is great for instantaneous, highly targeted campaigns. Building an effective digital-only campaign is challenging because audiences are small, using multiple screens, and are constantly trying to multitask using Twitter feeds, emails and Facebook news. This is why it is important to couple the engaged audience of print with the narrower, targeted audience of digital. Marketers can tie the two mediums together by incorporating QR codes and personalized URLs into a previously print-only campaign or by creating sponsored content to use in both print and online. This type of approach will increase engagement levels of your target audience and create a higher ad recall for the product or service because a multimedia strategy was used.