Marketing Mediums

Marketing and promotion can take place on a variety of mediums or platforms.  The traditional mediums include print, radio, television, direct mail and telephone; while the online mediums include email, social media, pay per click marketing, search engine marketing, and mobile marketing.  There are benefits and costs to each type of marketing so it is critical to understand the objectives of each marketing campaign and utilize the medium that best facilitates them.

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Newspapers, magazines, printed telephone directories and billboards all fall within the category of print media.  Although many of these media outlets have dwindles in market penetration but retain key importance with certain demographic groups.  For example telephone books have become almost antiquated as the majority of the country utilizes online resources to locate contact information, yet a large number of consumers in rural communities and internet starved areas continue to depend on them.

Newspapers still retain considerable prestige and relatively high consumption rates in some areas.  Many groups of consumers including older, more tradition bound consumers continue to receive their daily news in a printed, hard copy format, but there is no doubt that the trend is for printed papers to reach fewer consumers. Publishers have tried to counter this by publishing a large portion of their content online.  Marketers who wish to reach certain market segments may wish to consider utilizing this form of print and online marketing.

Many magazines have also migrated to the online format in order to reach their target audience and reduce publication costs, but many of the more established, mass market magazines continue to publish in printed format. Like newspapers, the segment of the population that consumes news and content in this format is dwindling but certain groups of consumers remain loyal to this medium.

Billboard marketing has not seen the reduction in effectiveness that other print mediums have, primarily due to their limited marketing function of creating marketing impressions on drivers.  This form of marketing has been effective for some types of brand awareness and local event promotion, which should continue in spite of the rising popularity of online marketing platforms.

A broadcast medium like radio can be extremely effective in reaching a key demographic.  Because most radio stations are limited to a particular genre of music like pop, classical, urban or country, their listeners often possess similar characteristics.  In combination with accurate marketing research, a radio marketing campaign can communicate a promotional message to a target segment with a high degree of success.

This is one of the most expensive marketing platforms and requires considerable preparation in researching the peak times for reaching the target consumer as well as in production of the commercial, infomercial or product placement.  Television remains the most powerful form of marketing despite the advent of the internet, with most Americans spending more than four hours a day viewing TV programs.  Purchasing ad time is a huge investment for many small and mid-size companies, so a well strategized marketing campaign is essential.

Direct Mail
Direct mail marketing utilizes flyers, letters, and catalogs to reach a target consumer.  Despite the popular impression that direct mail is widely dispersed and inefficient form of marketing, many successful direct mail marketers employ highly sophisticated marketing techniques that use detailed profiles of potential customers to improve conversion rates.  Direct mail has continued in its effectiveness due to the value of tangible advertisements which are in contrast to the ephemeral nature of online promotions.

Telemarketing remains a robust form of marketing due to its push nature and the introduction of new technologies, like automation and cross channel lead generation, which has enhanced conversion effectiveness.  There has been a number of consumer protections implemented which have limited telemarketing, but it still remains a highly effective way to connect with consumers and induce sales.

Online Marketing

Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing utilizes paid and unpaid mechanisms for improving visibility on a search engine results page.  This increased visibility translates into higher traffic for the ecommerce site and enhanced revenue.  These mechanisms may include SEO techniques like keyword insertions, backlink building, and content optimization.  Paid techniques include paid inclusion, link farming, and content marketing.

Pay per click Marketing
Pay per click is often associated with banner ads, pop up ads and sponsored links.  This form of marketing is commonly priced upon the number of clicks upon the ad or link.  PPC marketing remains important for its ease of use, highly measurable effectiveness and modest ROI, but the PPC model of marketing has diminished in importance as consumers have become inured to ubiquitous use of ads and links.

Email Marketing
Email marketing has been an essential medium for marketing strategies since the inception of online marketing.  The use of ads, newsletters and other content that is directly sent to consumers who have expressed interest in the product or business remains a very successful way of generating consumer interest and maintaining a relationship with customers.  Due to the narrow window of consumer responses, email conversion rates can be measured with a very high degree of accuracy, which allows marketers to develop very sophisticated metrics and strategies for this important medium.

Social Media Marketing
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have huge followings that present enormous marketing possibilities for businesses.  The ability to gauge consumer interest in products, brands and social trends offers a huge amount of valuable information that marketers can utilize to create effective and narrowly targeted marketing campaigns.  There are considerable costs and challenges associated with the use of these platforms, but a highly successful social media marketing campaign can produce enormous consumer interest.

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Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing is an emerging form of marketing that is wholly dependent on the use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.  Although all of the previously mentioned mediums of marketing can be applied to mobile devices, due to application and technological constraints, there are critical differences that must be identified and incorporated into a mobile marketing campaign.  The growing popularity of this form of marketing is related to the trend line of a steep increase in number of consumers using their mobile devices to acquire marketing information and make online purchases or other online activities.

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