One of the most cost effective media right now is viral video. There may be a cost in the creation of the video but there doesn't have to be.
When Susan Boyle (a now famous singer from Britian's version of American Idol) sang on the stage looking ugly, but singing angelically, the world was pleasantly shocked. The youtube counts of playback were in the millions within 24 hours. Word-of-mouth is the best advertising you can do. Today people do that by emailing, posting, embedding and hyperlinking video so their friends and colleagues see it.
Today, people are raising money for the victims in Haiti through Facebook, MySpace and Youtube. So, here's the deal: only a specific amount and type of people are that media savvy and social. Facebook seems the be the cross-generational leader here. High school students to folks in their 70s and 80s are on Facebook with of course younger generations being more apt to use it regularly.
In general, the most effective forms of media are visual ones. Television is very effective, but also very expensive, and each ad slot must be bought individually.
Radio is fairly cheap but the target audience is narrow and limited, so that often times, multiple ad slots must be purchased.
Billboards are thought to be one of the most cost effective means of advertising, as a flat fee will present your ad 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to everyone who drives by it. The cost to produce a billboard is relatively low, with no actors or studio costs to consider, and it can be left up for months at a time. The target audience for a billboard is everyone who drives a car or rides in one, which is automatically almost everyone in the country. Placement of the billboard, of course, is extremely important in determining its effectiveness.
It is impossible to answer this question accurately without a great deal more information than is available to us.
Your target market is, of course, the people or firms you wish to sell to. However, I cannot know your target market unless I know at least the following information:
- What good or service are you selling?
- What are the demographics of your area -- who can afford such a product, etc?
As far as what media is most cost-effective, this again depends on having a lot of information. You need to know:
- Who is your target market?
- What media do they consume?
- How many consume each type of media?
- How much does an appropriate advertisement cost in each of these media?
The most effective media, that is communication channel, to reach the target market depends on characteristics of the target market s well as the purpose of communication. If the target market consists of a very large number of customers, a mass communication channel such as TV and printed publication is likely to be more effective. In contrast if the target market consists of just a few large customers, face to face communication is likely to become more attractive. To reach a widely distributed market it may be necessary to use a channel with a wider channel such as those having national or international product. In comparison a cinema hall advertising schedule of the movies to be screened only need to advertise in a local news paper. When the target audience consist of specialist or people with some special interest, advertisement in technical journals have a better reach at lower cost.
The purpose of communication is also important. If the communication is just to inform the customer, then non-personal and non-interactive channel such as TV and newspaper advertisement may be good enough, but to actually make the customer book an order face to face communication, or some other interactive form of communication such as telephone may be required.
On medium that is now becoming increasingly popular for all types of target market profile and objective of communication is the Internet. It is cost effective for a small customer base as well as a big customer base irrespective of the location or extent of dispersion of customer. With increasing interactive capabilities of computer software, the Internet is being used increasingly for informing as well as for booking orders.