to Advertise Your Business on
Cable TV--Big Results, Low Cost
by: Dr. Kevin Nunley
gets the phone ringing and the orders coming in like lots of big media
advertising. Newspapers, TV, and major Internet sites reach thousands,
even millions, of potential customers around the clock.
Even with the breathtaking
development of the Internet, Television remains the king of media. Almost
99% of North American homes have at least one television. The average
person watches TV seven hours each day. And people consistently say they
get most of their news and information from television, especially local
TV advertising is
also very expensive. With prime-time 30 second commercials in medium-sized
cities costing several thousands dollars each, broadcast TV ads are out
of reach for most small and medium sized businesses. Mass appeal television
lacks the ability to closely target the audience. Even if you can scrape
together enough for a few TV commercials, much of your investment can
be wasted on thousands of people who aren't interested in what you sell.
Cable TV provides
a solution, especially for small business. Cable TV ads tend to be dirt
cheap, even though their audience is huge. Over half of all American homes
subscribe to cable. Cable's subscribers watch more television and have
higher incomes. Cable also has the ability to send your commercials to
specific parts of town and neighborhoods.
COST AND TARGETED
Many media experts
are recommending cable TV advertising to their clients. "Prime time
spots on broadcast TV cost $2,000 to $3,000 in this area. Prime time cable
spots go for $175," says Leslie Speidel, a media buyer in Raleigh,
North Carolina (www.TheMarketingCoach.com).
Commercials on cable
systems in the suburbs outside New York City are cheaper. Your 30 second
spots run on CNN and ESPN for $25. Nick goes for $20 and TNN, BET, and
VH-1 are $15 per commercial. Expect to get better rates when you buy packages
of multiple spots.
Small town cable prices
are even lower. It is not unusual to buy commercials for $2 to $3 in a
town of 40,000 people.
While most of the
commercials on cable TV programs are national spots for major corporations,
four to six commercials per hour are made available to local advertisers.
New digital technology allows many cable systems to easily and accurately
schedule your commercials on specific channels to be seen in chosen communities
and neighborhoods. "This new digital capability is great for placement
purposes. The target is very focused. The geographic area is as big or
as small as you want," Speidel points out. "Plus, the price
of spots is affordable."
The ability to target
specific groups of viewers is one of cable's most important advantages.
A clothing store specializing in kids cloths can advertise on the Family
Channel. A pool maintenance service can put their spots on the Weather
Channel. In most cases, regular broadcast TV with more general programming
would be inefficient advertising for specialized businesses like these.
Take claims of big audiences with a grain of salt. It's not the number
of eyeballs watching but a carefully targeted audience that gets results
for your business.
YOUR ORDER AND PRODUCING YOUR COMMERCIAL
Cable rates, like
everything in media, are highly negotiable. Some channels will cost more
than others. The zones you choose to send your spots to, the size of your
town, and the time of year will all have an influence on the spot price
you pay. Don't wait until the last minute to place your spots. Plan weeks
in advance. Placing your order early will ensure you get the times and
channels you want at a lower price.
Call the sales department
of your local cable operator. Find out spot rates and coverage areas.
Take some time to build your plan. Media sales people are good at devising
clever strategies to use your entire ad budget, so trust your own instincts
and stay in control of the process.
Getting your commercial
produced can be expensive and time consuming. A razzle-dazzle TV spot
will easily cost thousands to produce. Keep costs down by planning your
spot carefully. You won't want to make costly revisions while the production
crew is there with the hourly meter ticking. Look into small one and two
person TV production services popping up in many cities.
with actors are best left to the networks. For a small business on a limited
budget they rarely work out and often look amateurish. Keep your concept
simple. Limit the number of locations. Budget time for changing lighting
and mics from shot to shot. Shoot outside to avoid indoor lighting hassles.
FUTURE BRINGS MORE FEATURES
Cable is leading the
way to a digital future when "smart" TVs will be coupled with
a computer. Cable has the ability to transmit Internet web sites 33 times
faster than a phone line. TCI Cable's @Home Internet service paid almost
$7 billion for Excite, one of the most popular sites on the web. Cable
TV is rushing to toward a high-tech future where your TV, computer, and
the Internet all work together to provide more choices and better targeting
No matter how large
or small your ad budget, check out Cable TV. The power of television to
demonstrate your products and services is hard to beat. Low cost cable
is a sure winner for small business.
more articles by Dr. Kevin Nunley
articles by Other Authors
for New Subjects
articles on marketing and business appear each week on Prodigy,
Staples.com, DEMC, Home Business Magazine, Money & Profits, Opportunity
World, and 100 others!
Nunley provides marketing advice and copy writing for businesses
and organizations. Read all his money-saving marketing tips at:
to use this article?
You may freely reproduce this article for use on the internet or
for your training materials as long as credit is given to the author
and the above author description and contact information (including
links or web addresses) are included.