The Smart and Simple Guide to Advertising Media

Confused with all advertising media

So much advertising choice, so little time! What’s a brand to do?

The advent of our digital age has unlocked such a varied choice in advertising media that even the most well informed marketing and advertising agency could sometimes be stuck wondering which path to take.

Of course the best way to know how to get somewhere is to understand the different routes available to you. So here’s our smart and simple guide to the basic forms of advertising media, annotated with a handy trust score taken from Nielsen’s widely respected Trust in Advertising report.

Television Advertising

Televisions – remember them? The reality is that despite our growing joy for digital platforms, traditional television advertising still has an important role to play. Understanding your target audience, the shows they watch, and thus the slots that might best target your message, can provide a powerful opportunity to get big impact in your desired customer.

Obviously advertising slots are sold based on the popularity and reach of a particular show. That means bidding for an advert wedged between steamy incest and fire-spewing dragons on Game of Thrones is unlikely to be cheap. Pick your audience, assess your cost-benefit, and fire up with some delicious multimedia content.

Trust score: 63%

Radio Advertising

With the advent of digital radio, radio has enjoyed somewhat of a global renaissance. It’s a more cost-effective broadcast media in many ways than television, not requiring the high production costs of a properly delivered TV advert, and with advertising slots that cost a fair bit less than a popular television show.

Since radio often provides a targeted local medium, it’s also a perfect way to advertise for local businesses. What’s more, over 60% of radio listeners in Malaysia are working adults. That means the people exposed to your advert are more likely to have money in their pocket to spend on your product or service.

Trust score: 62%

Print Media

Print is dead! Long live the internet! Best hold your horses there digital revolutionaries. It’s undoubtedly true that advertising expenditure in traditional print media has fallen in recent years, but this format can still provide a powerful tool to reach key audiences. 

One of the most powerful arguments for print media advertising is the perceived trust it receives, particularly that of newspapers. Newspapers and magazines score higher than any other medium of advertising other than ‘word of mouth’, which let’s face it is mostly just your friends telling you about an awesome nasi lemak they had yesterday. Who wouldn’t be convinced by word of a delicious nasi lemak?

Newspaper trust score: 68%

Magazine trust score: 64%

Direct Mail

Junk mail. It’s a rather unflattering term. But it’s only junk mail if you do it wrong. Direct mail still offers a potentially powerful and targeted opportunity to reach out to an audience with a memorable tactile advertising experience.

Research commissioned by the US Postal Service in 2015 showed that the physical nature of mail advertising demonstrated a more emotional reaction in audiences than digital competition. Simply put – physical objects stir emotion. Direct mail, if done right, is an advertising medium that should not be dismissed because of a catchy nickname.

Positive impression score: 70%*

*Based on a UK Royal Mail survey, 70% of customers note that mail gives them a better impression of a company, and makes them feel more valued.

Online Media

Online media is an area of advertising that covers everything from social media advertising and email lists to in-your-face pop-up adverts. The truth is there’s huge opportunity in online advertising, something we’ve explored elsewhere in more detail than we can go into here.

The real differentiator with online media is the level of targeting that’s available if you know how to do it. Facebook offers a truly creepy level of audience insight, down to age, location, earnings and hobbies. It’s basically a step away from targeting people because of their favourite flavour of ice cream.

One clear distinction in online media trust is the differentiation between media that is paid for, so targeted online adverts paid for by brands, versus adverts that an audience signed up for, such as email lists.

Trust for paid online ads – 46%

Trust for signed-up emails – 71%

Outdoor Media

Surely if you leave your advertising outside, it’s going to get wet? That’s very true. It’s also going to get seen by an awful lot of people. Outdoor advertising has the joint top weekly reach of any form of advertising in Malaysia. Consider also that 94% of the audience for outdoor advertising own a car. That doesn’t just make for a wonderfully targeted automotive billboard, it also means you’re targeting an audience with at least some level of demonstrable purchasing power.

Trust score: 58%

Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising is all about keeping up with the times, it’s a digital evolution of the kind of outreach you see in direct mail. This is all about using mobile messaging platforms such as SMS, WhatsApp and Messenger to provide a targeted advertising message direct to your audience. Given that Malaysian’s spend on average 15.8 hours per week on their smartphones, it’s not a bad way to reach out. The downside – as of the 2015 Nielsen report, trust in this form of advertising was low.

Trust in text adverts: 36%

Speciality Media

Also called added promotional shenanigans. Think marketing paraphernalia at events, membership cards, gift bags, competitions to win unicorns with your logo tattooed on the side, that kind of thing.

Speciality media tends to have a focused reach at specific customer interaction points such as events or in-store purchases, but they’re certainly a medium to consider to squeeze out that extra added value from an audience interaction.

Trust score: N/A (it depends whether you have a unicorn or not)

We believe this simple guide around advertising media will help you find a way around all the channels out there and help your brand to speak to consumers in the most effective way. And if you’d like some advanced help to identify the best ways to advertise for YOUR business, Content Nation is here for you – just book your free consultation and let’s chat!

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