With the end of another year quickly approaching, businesses spend a great deal of time reflecting on the previous year’s advertising successes and losses. Probably while chugging caffeine. When thinking about the improvements you want to make ask yourself this question: Have you updated your strategy and media tactics to reflect the ever-changing consumption habits of today’s consumers? If not, we know someone who can help. Spoiler: it’s us. Reach out.

Thinking specifically about your media mix, it’s important that a business give their consumers the right message in the right place at the right time. A balanced media mix is critical.

Television

Television is an inherently credible medium. It’s got the mass audience, the ability to engage a large audience and the dynamics of a visual medium. Plus, being on set means tons of free snacks. Aside from sugar rushes during shoots, the benefit of television’s broad reach can be outweighed by the complexities and heavy costs of production and media buying.

Print

Print continues to have a valuable place in media. It’s not dead yet, people. It’s a connection to the community, a time-sensitive medium with an “expiration date” — great for retail promotions and a direct injection into a consumer’s home. However, the audience for many print-media has dwindled and it can still be expensive.

Digital Video

Digital video is growing like mad. As a visual, creative and compelling platform, digital video is a very targeted and cost-effective alternative to television that can deliver a specified audience. When produced (which can be expensive) it can also be used in a variety of platforms — pre-roll, social media and more. It’s like grandpa’s Honda Civic — gotta lotta mileage.

Radio

Radio has changed more in the past decade than Lady Gaga’s hairstyles. With formats like digital, satellite and traditional broadcast, it continues to maintain strength in its frequency. Radio is a routine for listeners (morning, afternoon, commutes, etc.) and provides an advertiser with the opportunity for a great narrative. Buying for radio, however, is a little more complex, expensive and there is the minimal cost to record.

Digital Display/Retargeting

Display is another modern media platform. It gets your business in front of the right people online based on context, behavior, geography, demographics and more. It allows a consumer to link directly back to an advertiser’s site with the added benefit of tracking exactly how they got there.

It’s not as Big Brother as it sounds.

Creative is important here — you’re meant to attract a consumer’s attention and you have to be aware of where your ads appear. This media can be quite cost-effective but requires an added layer of responsibility.

Paid Search (SEM)

Paid search, search-engine-marketing (SEM), pay-per-click (PPC). Sound familiar? These are all ads tied to the delivery of impressions at no cost and require payment only for consumers who actively click on ads. Search is the perfect environment for reaching those consumers who actively seek for your product. It lands back on an advertiser’s site and is an essential piece to maintaining market share. It requires consistent monitoring but is well-worth the investment.

Social

Social is where content is top dog. A great platform for growing and/or small businesses, social was once considered “free” but has quickly become a pay-to-play environment. Social content creates a unique tie to its audience and gives any advertiser the opportunity to give a credible tie back to its product. With such a conversational nature, social media is where loyal customers can be very quickly gained or lost.

Outdoor

In the words of Disney’s Ariel, you want to be where the people are. Outdoor (billboards) provides mass appeal and statement. There are complexities in buying and production — so investing in someone with creative experience is very important. However, there are huge reach, frequency and credibility benefits associated with outdoor advertising. Bonus if there’s a traffic jam.