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Measure Your Own Media Consumption!

Start With Tracking The Way You Use Ads

The question I get asked the most often is how I choose the media platforms for the particular client I happen to be working with. Well, there is a lot that goes into that question, but I have a short answer that I can share with you if you are trying to figure out how you should market your contracting business.

Watch what you do!

OK, what the hell does that mean, right? Here is what I am talking about. Take the next few days, maybe even a week or two and look at the way you consume advertising. Nothing else, just advertising. I want you to pay special attention to the way you either take ads in, or blow right past them.

For example, this weekend I was trying to catch up on some shows me and the wife watch that we recorded with our DVR. I DVR shows for two reasons, one, I charge a lot for an hour’s worth of my time, so why should I give 20 minutes away every hour to a TV show for commercials? And two, I haven’t been engaged by a TV spot in a long time, and I don’t think I will be while watching MadMen.

So everything I want to watch get’s recorded on the DVR and I fast forward right past the ads. I am a disinterested consumer when it comes to most television advertising. Then Sunday morning rolls around, and like most living rooms mine is littered with the remains of the Sunday newspaper. Now, nothing get’s used less in my house than a newspaper, but there is a vibe attached to chilling out with a cup of coffee and a Sunday paper that is going to be hard for Apple to beat with their iPad. Now, you need to keep in mind that I drove to the store to get the paper in a car that has satellite radio, so I never heard a radio spot during my drive.

While reading the paper, I stop occasionally to take a look at a few of the wireless ads (because I am a geek at heart) and a few car ads (only to make sure my dealer didn’t rip me off when I bought my CTS) but for the most part, I didn’t consume many ads in the paper either.

Now it’s Sunday night, and I am planning my week on Google Calendar and my mind starts drifting to the new laptop I want. Understand, this isn’t just a typical computer purchase, I am thinking of making the leap from PC to Mac, and I am doing a ton of research. At the same time I am being exposed to many different ad messages in the form of Google Adwords, banner ads and books, CD’s and DVD’s over on Amazon.com on how to migrate over from a PC to Apple.

The point is, in this economy there is no wiggle room to play the branding game. All of your advertising has to make a difference to your company’s bottom line. If it doesn’t, then it has to be cut. Using me as your guinea pig, I spent not one second watching TV ads or listening to radio spots, I was barely paying attention to the ads in the paper, but I was consuming ads like crazy online while trying to learn as much about who I would buy from as much as what I would by.

So, to market to me, you better be doing it online! How about you? How do you consume media? If you spend some time tracking that answer you may be surprised at the results!