Factors Influencing the Media Selection

Elaborate the factors responsible for selection of media for advertising campaign?

Factors Influencing the Media Selection:

The problem of selection of the best medium or media for a particular advertiser will vary greatly, depending on the particular situation, circumstances and different other factors in which a person is conducting individual business. Media selection involves a basic understanding of the capabilities and costs of the major media. The problems which the advertising has to face in the selection of media are:

  1. Profile of the target market
  2. Coverage or exposure
  3. Frequency
  4. Continuity
  5. Impact
  6. Copy formulation
  7. Media cost and media availability.

In addition to these problems there are a number of other major factors which influence the decision of the advertiser and therefore, the same must be considered while selecting the media. The most significant of these factors are:

  1. Objectives of the campaign
  2. Budget available
  3. Research concerning client
  4. The product
  5. Type of message or selling appeal
  6. Relative cost
  7. Clutter
  8. The potential market
  9. Miscellaneous factors.



The media selecting decisions should be made by having a comprehensive understanding of these factors. But it should be kept in mind that in many cases it is the combination of these factors that determines the selection of media, and not any one individual factor.

The Objectives of the Campaign

This factor is in some respects quite closely related to the preceding factor. In those cases when the advertiser uses a medium to advertise in an area where retail distribution is not adequate, his/her decision on media selection is influenced both by his/her distribution pattern and the objectives he/she has in mind.

The objectives of the campaign also influence media selection from a somewhat different standpoint. An institutional advertising campaign may be run in a different media than would a product advertising campaign for the same company. In the case of product for which the dealer is very important in the ultimate sale to the consumer, and far more significant than the influence of consumer advertising, the advertiser may select media primarily for the effect the^will have on dealers. So, the objective of influencing dealers will be the prime factor in the selection of the medium to use.

The Budget Available:

The advertising budget is concerned with two major decisions about how the advertising effort will be carried out. First, how much is to be spent for advertising in the coming period? Second,, how much budget is to be allocated to different areas within the company’s total sales territory? And how much budget be allocated for media? Because the budget determines the weight of advertising effort which is an important variable in determining the effectiveness of the entire advertising effort. The product might be one for which actual demonstration on TV would be highly desirable. Yet the advertiser would be unable to sponsor (or even cosponsor) such a programme because its cost would exceed the total advertising budget. The advertiser might believe it desirable to use a multi-colour advertisement in a magazine not only to reach desired prospects, but also to influence the trade favourably. But if he still finds that his budget does not permit even that type of ad in the magazine, then the advertiser must turn to a medium in which he can get sufficient participation or a sufficient schedule of insertions to achieve an effective programme. So the availability of funds must be considered in planning-and selection of media.

Research Concerning the Clientele:

A factor that has become more significant is the number of people actually reached by a medium. More and more consideration is being given to the concept that the most significant aspect of coverage from the advertiser’s viewpoint is in terms of the total audience potential/This is indicated by the total number of readers of the print medium

or total number of sets tuned in the case of electronic media. Audience of different types of media cannot be compared directly because of the differences in the kind of advertising message reaching the consumer and somewhat different terms in which audience is measured.

Media Classified by Audience:

In selecting media, the most important determination is the characteristics of the people/audience to whom the medium is directed. Therefore, the print and electronic media classifications are useful on the basis of audience characteristics. Generally the audience characteristics are; direct consumers, retailers, business or trade dealers, industrialists, associations, institutions, end-product users, professionals, international/ national/regional and local customers, customers by direct-response, product or service users. On the basis of audience characteristics the media classification is represented as, Newspapers, business publications, trade and professional magazines, general and specialized magazines, direct mail, form publication as print media, while under electronic media classification are included radio and television, spot radio, spot television etc.

Media Audience Measurement:

For both print and electronic media, three audience measures commonly used by advertisers are (1) the size of the audience (2) the profile of the audience and (3) the distribution of exposures among the medium’s audience.

The Product:

The characteristics of the product have an important influence on the decisions involving the selection of media which shall carry the advertising message. Most media are becoming extremely liberal in their criteria for accepting advertisements. Certain individual media will not take advertising for certain specific types of products. Restrictions also may prohibit use of certain media by advertisers of specific items.

The general characteristics of the product may also strongly influence the type of media used. That is, if the product has a certain personality or image, certain media may be appropriate to maintain or develop that image; whereas other media may tend to diminish or distort this personality or image. After having the understanding of different types of product one can solve the problem of choosing the media best suited for the product. The types of product may generally be expressed as, consumer product, consumer-durable product, mass product, luxury product, industrial or technical product, ethical pharmaceutical product, service product, and public service product.

Besides defining the types of product, the different types of campaign regarding product advertisement would influence the decision about media selection. These campaigns may be summed up as an image building campaign, an up-market or down-market image campaign, a direct sales campaign, a prestige campaign and a trade campaign.

Type of Message or Selling Appeal:

The remarkable thing about advertising is that it can prompt people to buy a specific advertised product. Thus an appeal or advertising appeal is any statement designed to motivate a person to action. In seeking to move a person towards buying a product, the advertiser likewise must appeal to some of the manifold motives i.e., the functional needs and psychological needs of a person, that prompt a man to act — as a desire to fulfil a hope, ambition, need, interest or goal. The central premise of the advertising appeal or message is its promise of a benefit the product will render to the buyer.

Desirable Characteristics of Message or Selling Appeal:

Three characteristics that a message or appeal should have are (1) what makes an appeal or message meaningful? (2) what makes an appeal or message distinctive? (3) what makes an appeal or message “believable”?

The advertising message or appeal construction demands special skill and careful attention in the selection of media.

While constructing a message or appeal the media selecting persons must keep in their minds the nature of message and appeal.

The type of message or appeal believed most effective in selling the product or service will, in many cases, dictate the type of media to be used to carry the advertising campaign, i.e., which media or media mix is most appropriate for conveying the particular advertising message or appeal to the target public.

Relative Cost:

The relative cost is another factor which influences the selection of media. The total budget available and the ability to do an effective job of advertising within that budget in a particular type of medium is significant. When the type of media has been determined, then the cost factor becomes a matter of the relative cost of the individual media, In case of newspapers, this relationship is determined as per centimeter per column, and in the case of magazines, the cost per page is worked out.

In case of radio and television, when data is available, comparison can be made on the basis of cost per commercial minute per thousand listeners or viewers. However, it should be stressed that relative cost is only one factor to be considered and that usually many other factors will be more significant than this matter of relative cost. But in those cases where several media appear approximately equal on the basis of all other criteria used, then the advertiser probably would select the medium which is most economical on the cost comparison basis. .


In any medium, the advertiser’s message must compete with other advertisements for the consumer’s attention. Media in which the advertiser must expect a great number of competitive messages are termed as “cluttered”.

Most newspapers are highly competitive cluttered media vehicles. In developed countries large departmental stores frequently purchase multiple full pages or, at least, an advertisement size that dominantes the page.

This competition for attention places a considerable burden on the creator of the advertisement to develop an approach that somehow stands apart from the clutter. The problem is particularly acute for the advertiser who cannot afford to purchase large space units, but somehow must avoid being burried by the advertisements of the large retailers.

Potential Market:

Market can be viewed as a group of people (i) who can be identified by some common characteristics, interests, or problems; (ii) who could use our product to advantage; and (iii) who could afford to buy it i.e., potential market. And the marketing mix is referred to making plans for marketing a product. In which many elements are involved including brand policy, pricing, distribution, sales representatives and advertising etc. To seek and persue the potential market one must have a clear idea of different types of public.

The public should be classified in the light of three categories of people, which can be found in each of these different types of public. These categories of people are: (1) those who know you and like you (2) those who know you and do not like you and (3) those who neither know you nor care to know you. The selection of media should be made keeping in view these different types and categories of people, because different types of people can be reached by different media. According to the definition of market these public are or may be the heavy users of some product or service. If the advertiser’s product is such which goes to a limited and easily identified segment of the market, the problem of media selection may not be too complex.

However, for most products, the market is not so easily identified for a specific segment, and hence, the media may reach somewhat similar people who do not fit closely with the profile of the advertiser’s market.

It is essential for the advertiser to identify the perspective customers as accurately as possible in order to select a medium that will carry an effective message to them most economically.

Miscellaneous Factors:

Several other factors which sometimes enter into the selection of media, are not of enough significance to warrant lengthy discussion, although they may be of some importance in specific situations.

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