Small Is Beautiful – even audiences…

This is the third part of a series of articles looking at how social media and more traditional methods of advertising overlap – or don’t – and what it means for small and medium sized businesses needing to promote their products and services to highly targeted audiences using the digital world.

Advertising revenue represents a large part of the income stream of most media and it’s possible for anyone to buy their own advertising campaign; however, the inexperienced can make costly mistakes especially with more traditional types of media such as Press, Radio, Posters and TV.  These media generally require a commitment prior to the delivery of the campaign which places the burden of risk on the advertiser.  Traditional media deliver large audiences so you generally have to pay a significant sum of money even for a small campaign.  If your business would benefit from advertising on these media it’s advisable to employ an expert, a media planner, to evaluate the best coverage and value that you’re likely to get for your money.

Online media allows the advertiser to choose specific targets which they will pay for only if the audience is reached.  The campaign targeting is achieved by tracking actual rather than predicted user choices making it a highly accountable medium and less risky to buy your own campaigns.  It is possible to buy this highly targeted advertising in very small chunks so the actual sums of money involved can be small.

The online medium is developing a stage further.  Media content is created to cater for the individual by algorithms tracking their preferences.  Instead of searching for a newspaper that reflects your personal preferences you can become a publisher of your own newspaper with  If you can’t find a radio station that consistently plays your kind of music iTunes Radio will learn your preferences and play the kind of music you like.  These new personalised media offer very specific profiles for advertisers and the accurate delivery of particular audiences is an efficient method of targeting advertisements.

Mark Coles recently created a series of 4 programmes on the World Service which you can still listen to about how the traditional media are in some cases struggling and in others evolving online.

West Lexham, Norfolk, Autumn

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