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Maximum Impact

This isn't a treatise on media buying. This is about choosing which media to use and using them together, bouncing them off each other to have the maximum impact. It's a bigger issue than the media buy; it's the context of how you approach your audience.

The steps in this process are as follows:

  1. Find them—your audience. It's not necessarily a mass audience of millions—just the people who will buy from you. It's not about "eyeballs," as in the dotcom days; it's about revenue.

  2. Get their attention through the clutter:

    • The average American is exposed to 3,000 ads per day.

    • The average snail-mail box gets 150 pieces of commercial advertising every month.

    • If you surf the Net, you're exposed to 950 banner ads every day.

    • American businesses receive 20 million telemarketing calls every day.

    • American households receive 270 billion coupons a year.

That reminds me of a story:

A farmer was trying to pull his stubborn mule along the side of a road. The mule sat and wouldn't budge, no matter how hard the farmer tried.

A salesman drove by and noticed the struggle. He kept watching and then finally got out of his car, approached the farmer, and said, "Sir, I can get your mule to move, if you'll allow me."

Dubious but thoroughly frustrated, the farmer agreed to let the salesman give it a try.

The salesman looked around and spotted a two-by-four lying on the ground. He picked it up, approached the mule, and hit it on the face with a mighty blow.

The mule stood up and started to walk. The farmer was amazed.

The salesman turned to him and said, "The secret is, first you have to get their attention."

  1. Get your audience to buy.

  2. Take care of them so that you develop a relationship with them, and they'll buy again and again.

Whether you're looking to enrich the user's experience or sell something, you can use all the media available to the target audience to reach them by using each medium in a manner appropriate to its strengths and so that each medium we use operates in a symbiotic way with all the others.

Whether you're using electronic media to enrich users' experiences or sell them something, harnessing the strengths of all available media can help you reach your target audience.

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