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Hammock Advertising Answers your Questions

How Much Will My Advertising Cost?

Every campaign is different and every client's needs are different. Goals and objectives might be short term, promoting an event, or they could be longer term to achieve building a brand. Here in the Houston market for example, radio averages around $3500 per week, per station. Zoned cable runs on average $1800 per week. Broadcast Television can be budgeted at $5000 per week. Print (Chronicle, HCN, etc.) runs the range of $1000-4000 per week. The Internet and social media costs can be estimated at $500 per week. These are all estimated costs and vary, depending on media placement, and the specific need or goal of the campaign. We have taken the time to define specific media scenarios as they relate to a campaign's goals and just as important, the kind of business that would best be suited by specific media placement. You will find more on that, just below.

How Can I Plan a Marketing Budget?

Spending money for advertising means you desire to see a return on your investment. That's the bottom line, but calculating just how much you need to spend is a more personal decision. Planning an advertising or marketing budget begins with looking at your previous years of growth and setting a goal for future growth. There is no magic formula, but you can use these guidelines to help set up a basic budget. In the competitive service industry a business needs to consider spending 3-5% of gross sales, just to maintain market share. If you are looking to grow that market share number, you would look at spending 5-10% of gross sales. In the retail category, look at 7% of gross sales to maintain. Growth in the retail segment would take a more aggressive 12-15%. But here's the key. Your budget needs to be a realistic commitment that you are able to maintain every month, without fail. It then becomes our responsibility to define, negotiate, execute, and measure that budget number, making sure that it effectively achieves your growth goals.

What's The Best Medium for Me?

Every media outlet has its benefits as they relate to specific opportunities to get the word out most effectively. Radio, for instance, is a very powerful vehicle for sales, and immediate response. Radio delivers a loyal morning audience, a great fan base for at work listeners, and a captive audience for the afternoon drive. On the right station(s) with the right message, and the proper frequency, radio reaches the right ears without having to spend an enormous amount on ad dollars. Zoned cable is an efficient medium for an advertiser looking for a more targeted approach to advertising. Zoned cable is also inexpensive, relatively speaking, with spots costing much less than general market television. Benefits beyond cost include a much more targeted approach, being able to define an audience by program usage and geographic location. General market television is an incredible branding vehicle. With the proper frequency and compelling commercials, there is no better branding vehicle. The decision to choose general market television is most defined by budget parameters. Print advertising has traditionally been a good direct response medium, but has seen erosion specifically to other forms of print related social media. Many print publications have responded to this change and can still deliver a positive response for their advertisers. Social media is the most challenging and most promising new medium for advertisers. As new applications like Facebook and Twitter evolve, more and more advertisers are reallocating budgets to use this resource. Any of these, or a mix of a few really depends on what your advertising objectives are. That's our job to help you.

The Economy, Is This a Good Time to Advertise?

There has never been a better time to launch a marketing campaign. This is not the first recession we have gone through, and it won't be our last. The key here is to maintain presence. It has been proven time and time again that those who maintain that bond with their customers during the tough economic times, have a quicker recovery cycle. Those who don't, have to spend more to get back into the marketing race. It doesn't make sense to spend yourself into oblivion, but it does make perfect sense to find a comfortable budget and stick with it.

What Is a Successful Advertising Campaign?

Very simply, successful advertising reaches objectives defined and agreed upon prior to executing the campaign. Okay, maybe that's a bit simple, but here is what we mean in a broader sense. Goals quantify the marketing investment. Defining a goal is probably our most intense part of a relationship. Some advertisers have a hard time sharing explicitly what their expectations are. Other's have not clearly thought through the process, but are in a hurry to get the campaign going, because their competition beat them to the punch. Most advertisers don't know or understand their target audience, and most do not know how to talk, or communicate their message. Some advertisers have unrealistic expectations about the impact of advertising. Others aren't prepared to launch a marketing campaign because of issues relating to their products and services being readily available. Have we ever walked away from a marketing opportunity with a client? The answer is, yes. If we are unable to define clearly your goals and objectives, or if your expectations or budget is unrealistic, or, if you are considering marketing when your ability to generate a positive RIO can't be accomplished, we tell you so and will re-visit your ideas at a later day. Successful advertising is a win-win for you and for us.

How Can I Become a Smarter Advertiser?

Being smart is not over-spending, and not under-spending on an advertising campaign. Being smart means understanding what to look for as a campaign is rolled out and responding to metrics that can be specifically tied to your business. Being a smart advertiser is educating your staff on all marketing aspects so they can fulfill the sale and the promises made. Being a smart advertiser means trusting in a relationship with your agency that is not only based on fact, but on a deeper sense of commitment and belief in their capabilities. At the end of the day, a smart advertiser should be honestly able to say that they have gotten a good value from the relationship; you got what you paid for, and more.

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