Logo - Vision Media - Be Seen, Be Heard.

Five Ways to Treat Media A.D.D. and Deliver a Better Media Buying Strategy

In a world of DVRs, pay-per-click, and more channels than days in the year, media consumption can start to feel like a case of A.D.D. With so much saturation, it can be tough to break through the noise and capture an audience’s attention.

Fortunately, this form of A.D.D. has a cure. A careful media strategy can command attention and pull targeted consumers from broadcast distraction and into your campaign’s orbit. Consider these five strategies a dose of Ritalin for your marketing budget:

  • Craft distinct spots that resonate with local markets. San Francisco and Decatur, Alabama are very different places. Even if your brand has national reach, think of your campaigns as a constellation of buys in local markets. A place-specific campaign can help you to get the best prices by taking advantage of varying conditions and special deals in each particular locale, a technique at which Vision Media’s buyers are ADD - News Advertising Media Buyingparticularly adept.

Focusing on place-specific platforms can give your campaign demographic advantages, too. A.M. radio might capture the right folks in Mississippi, but local cable news could be a better approach to your target audience in Massachusetts. Plus, no matter the medium, localized content can give you an edge. Bland nationwide campaigns can easily blur together, but when people hear something from a national brand that speaks to their hometown experience, they’re more likely to stop, listen, and ultimately engage.

  • Don’t duplicate. Copy. While reiteration can reinforce a well-crafted message, repeating the same words and images over and over can lead consumers to tune out or click away. Confront this challenge by creating a range of optimized copy for each campaign you run. Aim for four, five, even six variations of the copy you produce for each target audience. Tweak accompanying creative to keep your campaign fresh to the eye and the ear.
  • Think beyond primetime. Primetime remains at the heart of many broadcast strategies, but an excessive focus on a small part of the day can leave the vast potential of other hours untapped. A recent report by market analyst Simulmedia found that “in a given two-week period of TV, 54% of all ad spending (more than $91 million) went to primetime.” That this deluge of spending “only translated into 34% of all impressions during that time,” however. In other words, the 46% of spending at other times was responsible for 66% of total impressions. It’s compelling evidence that non-primetime spending can capture more audience attention.
  • Use different messages for different times of the day. Expanding beyond primetime should entail more than just running the same message morning, noon, and night. Tailoring your message to the specific time of day at which it is broadcast—a strategy called “daypart messaging”—can help keep your spots varied and immediately relevant to consumers. Daypart messaging can be as simple as talking about breakfast in the morning and dinner at night, or as complex as market research-driven optimization based on the different demographics that tune in at different times.
  • Employ new data strategies to reach precise targets. Reaching a target audience used to be all about context—men were to be had on the History Channel, women over at E!, young people on MTV. But television’s big-data revolution, propelled by the arrival of smart TV technology, is making it possible to identify more precise targets and build tighter strategies to hone in on them more effectively than ever before. These “audience buying” techniques, once limited to the internet, will continue to grow more sophisticated in coming months and years, enabling broadcasters to collect unprecedented data about consumer usage patterns and advertisers to focus on market share among increasingly focused target segments.


In 2013, there’s no denying that distracted consumers pose a challenge to even the most skillful advertisers. But with the right strategies to keep your content fresh and your buys effective, you can build a campaign that grabs the attention of even the most A.D.D.-addled audiences.

Stephen Reed is the CEO and founder of Vision Media. Based in Redmond, Washington and established in 2002, Vision Media specializes in local and national media buying, strategy and consulting.