I’ve been involved in hundreds of television advertising campaigns since 1990: first as a cable television advertising account executive and, since 2002 as the owner of an advertising agency specializing in Austin television and radio advertising campaigns. Some of the campaigns were successful and lasted for years. Many were failures and for obvious reasons lasted a short period of time. A few of the successful campaigns were for advertisers that were customers of mine when I was in sales for Time Warner Cable and became clients when I started Frink Inc. Advertising. The causes for a campaign’s success or failure were varied but the successes all shared some common fundamentals.
Fundamentals for Success in Television Advertising
1. Define Success:
Why are you investing in a television advertising campaign? Is television advertising your primary tactic in generating leads and making sales or is it just one of several tactics and mediums being used in your overall marketing and sales strategy? Having a well defined purpose for the campaign and how it fits into your overall marketing and sales strategy as opposed to a general purpose of getting our name out there is the foundation for building a successful campaign.
2. A compelling product or service:
Television advertising is relatively expensive so I advise prospects and clients that unless you’re comfortable with no return on your investment you should have research or evidence that there is a demand for what you’re selling.
3. A clear Call to Action:
The message has to be clear and concise. The audience has to know what’s in it for them and what you want them to do about it. Call, come in, visit your website, or all of the above.
4. Professional production:
This starts with the writing or concept. The simpler the concept is to execute the better. You need broadcast quality professional lighting, cameras, editing equipment and operators who are professional and committed to making your commercial a success.
5. Media Placement:
First know your target, demographically and geographically. Each local station and cable network have programming that serves specific core demographic audiences. You need objective audience research to pick the programming suitable for your campaign. Local cable provides an option to target an audience geographically.
You must have an adequate budget to achieve frequency and to sustain the campaign for several weeks. A benchmark for a minimum length of a campaign is about three months. For a new campaign if you’re not getting some tangible results within three weeks I recommend pausing and re-evaluating your strategy.
In the digital and YouTube age television is still a compelling medium that can be an incredibly effective advertising and marketing tool if you know how to use it.