For example, in some industrialised countries there are not only trade magazines that are read by people in the food business, but separate magazines for people at different levels of the food business processing, wholesaling and retailing.
If one has correctly analysed the marketing communications needs and has identified the target audience, he may find the trade press the best way to reach it at the lowest cost.
These are media which reach large numbers of the general public. Because advertising rates are based in part on the number of people who are reached by a medium, advertising in mass media is usually very expensive.
The cost may be justified if the target audience is the general public (or large segments of it). Even if the target audience is not the general public but a segment of the public such as industrialists, the most effective available medium for reaching them may be one of the mass media.
The great danger in using mass media indiscriminately is that one is likely to waste money paying to reach many people, who need not be reached in order to reach the few who actually are the target audience.
Even when the target audience is the general public, one should identify the particular segment one wants to reach (middle-class women, people who like to travel, etc.) and then choose the mass media which reaches this segment most efficiently.
Media selection is a highly-refined skill, particularly in the case of the mass media, and is best left to advertising agencies or media consultants.
A quick look should be taken at the various kinds of mass media. This will give you an idea of how they can be used.
Newspapers can reach large numbers of people at lower cost than most other mass media. Some newspapers have the further advantage of being very selective geographically-for example, one could advertise in a local newspaper to support a store promotion in the same town. One disadvantage of news paper is that each issue is thrown away quickly-and the advertisement with it.
Using magazines can be more selective in communicating with the particular segments of the public than the newspapers. This is because many consumer magazines are aimed at particular kinds of people for example women, people with special interests for example dog owners.
Another advantage of consumer magazines is that they usually offer excellent colour reproduction, which can be important to show off a product.
They are often suitable for advertisements that convey a large amount of information. Magazine readers will often take the time to study such advertisement if they are designed to attract the interest of the reader.
In most industrialised countries, television is the medium that reaches the greatest number of people, and has the greatest impact. It is also one of the least selective media, and the most expensive.
Moreover, TV advertising must be sustained to have an impact over a period of time. The high cost of TV advertising rules it out for companies with small advertising budgets.
The spoken word can be a valuable advertising method. Many countries have commercial radio stations which include advertisements in their broadcasting. Some have national coverage; most will offer local or regional coverage. Radio can be particularly useful where there are few newspaper readers.
Most cities have cinemas which show advertisements between the main films. This can be very useful for local advertising. It can also be used for national advertising where the advantages of colour and sound are required. In some countries, cinema reaches mainly a young adult audience. In others, it is seen by nearly everyone.
Posters along roads, railways and in shopping areas-anywhere where large numbers of people gather are an excellent form of advertising. The effectiveness of the poster depends on its size, its presentation and the number of people who pass by and see it.
Posters are usually most effective as reminders (“Buy oranges today!”) or to help build brand familiarity.
The trade press is often interested in giving editorial publicity to a new product or to important developments in the existing products. More general media-such as news papers and radio and television-may also be interested in reporting new products but they are interested in only unusual and newsworthy, events.
For example, if a person is trying to introduce an unusual or unexpected product into a new export market, then the newspapers in that country might be interested in reporting this.
The company may also get useful publicity from press reports, if it is taking part in a visiting trade mission or is about to start a new export drive or open a sales office or appoint an agent.
A person should think carefully about his relation with the press and the value of editorial publicity. Public relations have been described as being a good way of getting credit for the product. Editorial publicity is a good form of public relations because someone else is giving one the credit.
It is important to have a close understanding with the press in each of the export markets. In the case of trade papers covering the exporters type of product, the exporter should visit the editor and talk with him as soon as possible after he enters the market.
In this way the editor gets to know the company and feels able to refer to its products knowledgeably or even to telephone the exporter or his agent for a comment when there are developments in that industry or in the marketing.
It is also advisable to take the salesman or agent along to establish good relations with editorial staff. Indeed, a good agent will almost certainly have already met the editor and be well placed to introduce the exporter to him.
Another important reason for making contact with trade press editors is that they can be valuable sources of information on the state of the market.
Every opportunity of meeting journalists from the general press and from radio and television should be taken, though they will not be very interested in the technical details of the products.
They will be more interested in the effect of the sales effort on the locality. For example, one may be trying to get their readers or listeners to eat a new kind of food or start to wear a new kind of clothing.
Local newspapers are likely to be particularly interested in any kind of news which has local interest. It is much easier to get editorial publicity in local newspapers than national ones.
Good relations with the press are very important when one wants editors to be interested in a particular story. It would be unrealistic to expect that by issuing press releases and holding press conferences it is possible to win space in the mass media. But the news may be worthy of mention in the trade press.
Editors of trade publications are interested in news that affects-directly or indirectly; the business interests of their readers. For example, the news that a new supplier is entering the market, that an established supplier has increased his sales, or has increased his plant capacity; or has introduced a new product, and so on. The news does not have to be earth-shaking, just of interest to the specialised readers.