Effect of Media & Consumer Research on Advertising Budgets

Instructor: David Whitsett

David has taught computer applications, computer fundamentals, computer networking, and marketing at the college level. He has a MBA in marketing.

Do you think companies blindly put ads out in the hopes you might be interested? That's not how it works! In this lesson, we'll discuss the role of media and consumer research in budgeting and planning advertising.

Your Attention Please

If you're not paying attention to advertising, it doesn't do the advertiser any good. So how do advertisers improve their chances of getting you to look at their ads? For one thing, they need to understand how and why their ads work. Marketers want to know (as much as possible) what you might be interested in finding out about or seeing. Focus on consumer preferences is very important, so businesses have to find out what consumers want.

That's where the research part comes in - advertisers need reliable data they can use to decide where to spend their budgets, and management certainly wants their ad spending to generate some sort of return. Where does this data come from? Companies can ask consumers directly through surveys or focus groups (a group of consumers pulled together to give feedback on a product, service or idea). Surveys typically generate more quantitative data (numbers and statistics) and focus groups generate qualitative data because they ask open-ended questions about thoughts, feelings, etc.

In addition to researching consumers' preferences about what they want to see in ads, companies must also consider where those ads should be placed. What is the most effective medium to reach the targeted customer? If you consider all the possibilities - print, online, television, outdoor, sponsorship, etc. - you'll realize this is a daunting question.

Choosing the right ad medium will keep the message from being lost in clutter
Ad clutter

MRI In Advertising

MRI in advertising has nothing to do with the famous medical procedure - MRI in this case stands for Mediamark Research and Intelligence, an advertising company that annually runs one of the largest consumer surveys, called the 'Survey of the American Consumer'. According to MRI, they interview more than 26,000 consumers about their thoughts and opinions on over 6,000 products in 550 categories. They can then extrapolate based on the data and make predictions about what the larger American buying public thinks and feels.

MRI can also offer businesses custom-tailored solutions, such as providing lists of clients most likely to respond to a particular message. Consumer information can be provided based on demographic (where you live, how much you earn), behavioral, or psychographic (values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles) segments.

So is MRI the only source for this kind of data? No, there are other market research firms; some offer different services, and using multiple sources can help give your business a wider view of the potential audience. The key is obtaining reliable, actionable data that can be used to determine the best way to reach the target audience and get them to take action (i.e., to buy something).

Using Research to Determine Ad Spending

Monitoring TV viewing habits can provide data on ad spending effectiveness
TV ad

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