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Media Selection & Factors that Govern Choice of Media in Advertising

The success of an advertising campaign is largely dependent on the correct selection of advertising media and media vehicles. It is the job of Media Planners to work out optimum media schedules on the basis of certain important parameters, the aim being to achieve anticipated exposure among target audiences. This is why the role of media planners is so important.

What is Advertising Media? Advertising media refers to those media vehicles that carry the advertising messages across from the advertiser to his/her target market. Using these media vehicles, the advertiser is able to communicate to the prospective consumers, the product's uses, features, benefits, availability, etc. The right choice of media helps in closing the gap between customers & product owners by creating a need for the product, informing and educating the prospective consumers about the benefits of using the product, and prompting a pruchase. Of course, Media Planners also have to work around tight budgets and ensure maximum exposure & widespread reach in the least amount of time. This is when scrutinising media reach becomes imperative. Some popular advertising media vehicles include - Newspapers, Magazines, Television, Radio, Billboards, Digital & Social Media Advertising, Internet Advertising (Web). Internet Advertising is here to stay!


What is Media Selection? Media selection refers to the decision regarding the selection of a specific medium of advertising for a particular advertising campaign. This can be radio, television, print, outdoor, mail or digital advertising. The right choice of media plays an important role in the overall success of advertising and its results thereafter. What makes this decision truly complex is the fact that no single media tool is ideal in all situations and for all products/ campaigns. Hence, the media planner must make careful analysis and then select the best media mix.

Here are some factors that effect the choice of media -

1. Nature of Target Market - While choosing a suitable media, the nature of the target market should be kept in mind. Since each media tool has a different coverage, the advertiser should know whether the target market is composed more of women, children, old people, businessmen, working class individuals or professionals.

For example: while advertising make-up brands and products, the first choice should be womens' magazines such as FEMINA, Cosmopolitan, etc.

2. Nature and Type of Product - The type of product to be advertised also determines the choice of media. Industrial products and products of technical nature are advertised through trade magazines and journals which daily use products should be advertised on television.

For example: Toys and dolls for kids should be advertised on channels which are watched by kids such as POGO, Cartoon Network, etc, in between cartoons and children's programmes for maximum reach.


3. Nature of Distribution Network - Characteristics of distribution channels also effect the choice of media. Distribution channels may be classified into Local, Regional or National. When the target market is limited, it is better to reach them through direct mail or journals. In the case of print advertising, colored newspapers and advertisements are better as they attract greater attention as compared to b/w newspapers.

4. Overall Cost of Medium - A very important factor which determines the choice of media is the availability of funds with the advertiser. If the producer's promotional budget is large, various media options are available - Television, upscale magazines etc which are relatively more expensive. However, if a company is facing shortage of funds for promotion, it has to restrict itself to less expensive media and concentrate on only one medium.

5. Media Characteristics - Certain important media characteristics too must be kept in mind while choosing an appropriate media for communicating adveritisng messages. These are -

a) Frequency refers to the average number of times different households or individuals are reached by a medium during a given period of time.

b) Durability of the message as a media selection factor refers to delivering the same message more than once. Broadcast media does not offer the durability which an ad on tv offers.

c) Flexibility while choosing a particluar media vehicle, the media planner should see how flexible that medium is. It should be capable of adjusting to different conditions and requirements.

6. Media Life - Another important factor governing the choice of advertising media is media life. How soon the advertising message is sent by the advertiser and received by the prospective customers makes all the difference in making the ad campaign a success.

7. Competitive Advertising - Each advertiser must keep him/herself updated about their competitors and their advertising strategy. This helps in planning one's own choice of media and its resulting effects on target audiences.

Contributing Author: Akanksha is a freelance content writer. An Advertising graduate, she writes articles on advertising, content writing, travel, home improvement etc. [email protected]

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