In Marketing battle: Use only one tool as your weapon

Marketer’s work is never done. Your mind will be always juggling with questions like ‘Which area do I focus on? What messages do I send to customers? Which medium takes priority? What kinds of tools do I need?’. You may be confused. You may approach any marketing consultant in desperation, and they will tell you to advertise your products and services through all mediums with various marketing tools available out there. To confuse you more, they will lay out an ocean of opportunities with a plethora of marketing tools from online to offline. But who has the luxury to advertise everywhere with these tools?

It may be possible to optimize medium by allotting funds across media, business units, brands, products, and location. We may hand over our marketing budget to Marketing agencies by the recommendation of a Marketing Consultant such as 40% online, 30% print media, and 30% Youtubers. However, such approaches will not maximize the return on your marketing investment. In fact, you should be in charge of your budget supported by the facts and figures and take informed decisions.

To improve and drive your marketing performance you need to choose one marketing tool, say SMS, Apps, TV, Radio ads, Email, or Leaflet, etc. Then, you should be more specific and precise as possible about your target group. This is because the reach of one tool is very different for different target groups, and the total reach of a tool can be highly misleading. For example, in radio ads, you may get maximum reach when you place an ad during day time when your prospects commute to work, however, are these really the people who matter to you? To get a more realistic reach figure for a particular marketing instrument, subtract those who are not in your target group for a given product or campaign. Subtract all those who don’t fit the age, gender, income bracket, etc.  The result of this process is often referred to as “relevant reach”. When you are done, select the tool that gives maximum relevant reach to the available people.

Now there is another challenge. For example, you must have seen big hoardings by the side of the road. How many times do you drive past that before you even notice it? Most people will need multiple opportunities to see a hoarding before they actually notice it, let alone recall what it says. It means just narrowing down the total reach to relevant reach for a given marketing tool is not enough, you must ensure that they are seeing your ad multiple times because multiple ad impressions are required before someone actually gets to see and absorb an ad. You need to switch to the marketing tool which gives maximum recall with fewer opportunities to see the ad.

The next step, analyse the full cost associated with the selected marketing tool. To avoid distortion, you need to include all costs that can be linked to a given tool– be they internal or external, variable or fixed-cost. Some tool comes with the additional costs such as rent for advertising space or additional annual fee for the software subscription. Choose the tool that gives the least total cost for a qualified reach to the relevant group.


  • Know your target group. Avoid everyone outside your target group to get from total reach to relevant reach for each tool.
  • Select tools that give quality reach. Most marketing tools require repeated exposure before an ad actually capture with the user mind.
  • Take a full cost perspective. Capture the total cost of advertising of each marketing tool.

Once you identified these three elements you can choose one tool that gives relevant and quality reach with less cost. You do not need to invest in all marketing tools.

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