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Understanding the Value of Local TV Advertising

Companies small and large, from the mom and pop drug store to global corporations, have found their target audience (and lots of success) with a TV advertising campaign.


Whether you're in Billings, Montana (a market with 107,420 TV households) or Boston, Massachusetts (the seventh largest media market in the country with more than 2.4 million TV households) placing local TV advertising remains a cost-effective method to promoting your company's services. Many companies who haven't dabbled in this medium assume television is too expensive, confusing, or not progressive enough. Heck, some don't even allocate funding to it as part of their overall marketing budget. But the reality is that it's valuable to understand and be well-versed in the advertising methodology of all mediums so you can make the best business decision for your marketing strategy.


American households have an average of 2.24 television sets, which run for more than 6 hours each day (source: CSU, Northridge). That's six hours of time devoted to the tube, not the Internet. In short, advertising on television may be more economical than you might think.


If you're ready to get your brand onto the airwaves of your local television market, you need to take heed of two major expenses: the cost to produce the commercial, and the cost to air the commercial. If you need a media services company that can handle both the creative and media planning elements to a local advertising campaign, you clearly don't need to look any farther than Blue Dog! Most media companies will evaluate any market by understanding your market in terms of commercial rates and demographics. From here we can craft a strategy of how to give your commercials maximum impact at a minimal cost.


A good media services company knows the rates and rankings of each local affiliate in the market(s) their client is interested in capturing market share. These rate forms outline the costs to place an ad on a television station at the time requested, providing all the juicy metrics that help gauge the value of placing an ad with that station. Ad costs fluctuate week-to-week and month-to-month, so pay close attention to these important measurements:

  • "000" - It looks silly, but this is the number of viewers viewing the specified program. The best indicator of the volume of people likely to tune in to the program you are looking to buy.
  • "Shr" - This is the share (measured in percentiles) of viewing audience at that time. If a program has a 39 share, then 39 percent of people viewing television in your market at that time are tuned in to that program.
  • "PUT" - The total population of persons in that market using television at a given time (measured in thousands).
  • "CPM" - Cost-per-thousand is the most important metric in terms of measuring the value of your advertising buy. It takes into account how much you are spending on the ad to reach one thousand people. This is the strongest indicator of what your ROI could be.

If it falls within your company's budget, local TV advertising is still fertile grounds to reach your targeted demographic and increase sales, or at least brand awareness in the market(s) you operate and do business in.

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Tags: advertising, local, marketing, tv

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