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WHEN DOES MEDIA PLANNING IMPACT STORE LOCATION?

For example, a franchise had expanded quickly into North Carolina by opening locations in several cities. When it came time to advertise, they found the mass media cost prohibitive and difficult to challenge their competitors. Working with them to identify additional locations, they were able to continue to grow and gain media efficiency.

A client, looking to add a new location, gave us a list of markets they were considering. They asked for radio and television costs in each market and were greatly surprised to see the variation of costs. In some cases, the smaller markets were actually more costly, a result of the number of stations and ownerships. In another situation, several markets had similar population and cost, however one market consisted of just a few counties while another was spread out over more than 20 counties. Knowing that people would only drive a certain distance for their product/service, this information helped them determine the best location. By knowing more about the media coverage, they were able to choose more cost effective markets.

Even though radio and television costs are negotiable, supply and demand are another factor to consider. Demand drives up costs. National brands have their favorite new product test markets. The car dealerships eat a tremendous inventory as does political special interest money. Knowing how stations manage their inventory and how they respond to high demand , can sway a planner to recommend one market over another.

Other factors might impact the broadcast media plan, such as hyphenated markets in which news focuses on different geographic areas. A perfect example would be Greenville, SC-Spartanburg, SC- Asheville, NC in which the cities are 60 to 100 miles in separation.

Costs can also vary for digital advertising. For example, pay per click can be more expensive in one market than another based on the amount of actual searches and bids for keywords for that industry. The bids may not be coming from competitors within the market, but by online advertisers who have discovered that market's efficiencies. Knowing the bidding and search activity within a specific market can be a strategic advantage.

There are obviously many factors that enter into determining a store location. Just make sure that media planning is part of that process! Let us know if Media Power can help you plan your next location. A small fee can save you thousands of dollars!

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