Our Readers' Opinions
February 18, 2014
Business buzz – Media strategy

Tue Feb 18, 2013

by Candice Sealey

Many of my articles focus on how businesses should plan their marketing as well as how to use the media effectively. However, in the words of some readers who are also business owners/marketing managers, “what if we don’t have confidence in specific media houses”? Some decision makers have lamented that they are not convinced that advertising really works, because whilst businesses are being encouraged to market themselves, media houses don’t or their content leaves a lot to be desired, so how do they, as businesses, know that their advertising will really work via these media? This is a very valid point because media houses should have a clear strategy to gain viewers/listeners/readers because advertisers depend on their viewership, readership and listenership.{{more}}

A media business, like any other business, needs a plan and a strategy for its continued growth. Here are some tips for media houses to stay ahead in a competitive market, especially when the public is bombarded with many choices, including online TV, radio (including foreign stations) and newspapers, and some businesses don’t see the value of advertising:

1. Set MEDIA GOALS: This is a critical first step in developing a strategic plan for your media company, so that you’re not left behind as your competitors anticipate and respond to the challenges that lie ahead. Do you plan to boost revenue? If so, how will you do this? Do you have media sales’ goals? Do you plan to raise rates? If so, have you considered the increase in the context of the economic situation, your costs as well as your competition and your position in the market? Do you have a plan to get more ears or eyes on your product? Do you have brand building and management media goals? Without a plan you can’t check performance or set a road map for your staff to follow. Don’t expect your sales team to convince advertisers to spend more with you to build their brand if you are not building your media brand.

2. Examine your customer needs: You must examine your customers’ changing expectations – test your product to see if it meets expectations of present and potential customers. If you’re a music oriented radio/tv station or if you have a music oriented programme on your tv/radio station, you have to track tomorrow’s music and cultural trends in order to remain relevant and to replace viewers/listeners who outgrow your station/programme as they get older. Same applies if you publish a magazine targeted at women or fashion conscious individuals. It’s important to target non-readers/listeners/viewers, as well as those loyal to your company. You want to hang on to today’s customers, but luring others is also key to growth, if you take the time to find out what they want.

3. Content is KING – Once you know what your customers and potential customers want from your media brand, you can design content to appeal to them. If you’ve used a hap- hazard approach in the past, it’s time to be specific now e.g. when there are choices to make in covering stories, think of the desired audience you want to reach.

4. Cultivate your Brand – You know your audience so now, it’s time to promote your brand! This can be a tricky area; that’s because to brand effectively, you have to make tough choices on who you’re not, as well as who you are. By saying who you’re not, you are drawing lines that may prevent some people from choosing your company. A decision has to be made about what exactly you want to be known for, e.g. a TV station that wants a brand image of being community-driven may have a competitor who is overly aggressive in news coverage. That rival may encourage its staff to ask tough reporter questions or to focus on investigative work. Viewers may like a particular approach, but the powers that be must know that it has to be true to its image and not copy what the other station is doing. If your media company tries to be all things to all people, it won’t be anything to anyone. Find your spot in the marketplace and stick to it.

5. Manage your Brand well -You may think your media company has the best-known brand because you’re around it every day, but your audience may be indifferent about who you are. Hence the reason for the previously mentioned brand-building goals. In the case of radio, radio stations have to go beyond the music in building their radio brand. Some aspects of brand building may not be as quantifiable as seeing monthly financial figures, but it is what encourages customers to choose your company from the plethora of others providing the same or similar information. Of course, when more and more customers choose your media brand over others, you can then use this information to show advertisers how you can add value to their marketing and help them get the necessary returns.

6. Revenue – Revenue goals should be set as a way to determine if you’re ultimately successful in your media strategy. Every media company has to stay on top of what’s next when it comes to ways to advertise.

Developing a media strategy may often take a backseat, but the time you spend on it will pay off in the satisfaction you get in improving the long-term viability of your media company. Remember businesses are placing their advertising dollars in your hands for a reason!!

Candice Sealey is Founder of Ignite! Full service Marketing and PR Consultancy Company offering tailored services to help businesses succeed. Create new sparks and get better results for your business.

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