Is 2014 when your business will become a TV superstar?

If your business sells directly to consumers then at one time or another I am fairly confident that you have thought about TV advertising. You would be daft not to have at least considered it. However, I am also confident that you probably dismissed the idea as “too expensive to be considered with my marketing budget.”

However, with the introduction last month of local TVm this form of advertising is finally an affordable option as Estuary TV went live to great interest from advertisers. Part funded with government money, with the rest coming from advertising, the cost for TV advertising is about to drop dramatically. So should you get your wallet out?

We all know that prime-time slots between popular programmes command a high price for advertisers. It has recently been reported that the most expensive advertising break on British television this year will cost £200,000 for just 30 seconds during the X Factor final. In America, the Superbowl final commands an eye watering $4m tag to their half time ad breaks.

Why do some companies happily spend up to 7 figure sums on TV advertising? Well the answer is simple – they work. So if TV advertising works for the big boys, then in theory it should work for the little guys? Again yes, but the numbers need to stack up.

Firstly, an SME cannot afford to spend large sums of money on just one form of advertising. In today’s digital age there are many advertising options that can get you closer to your future customers. My advice is to sit down and review the whole of your sales strategy, not just your marketing one.

Consider the following:

  • How does your business sell at the moment?
  • How well do you know your customers?
  • How does the market around you affect your business?
  • What do your competitors do?
  • What is the real impact of sales and marketing on your business in terms of sales and costs?

This process will help you work out where you need to invest to get the return on investment your business needs.

A great example is the Lincolnshire Kitchen programme starring local TV chef Rachel Green, which features local food producers and is sponsored by the Lincolnshire Coop. Based in Grimsby, ex Simon Cowell producer Julia Thompson from East Coast Pictures has just produced “Lincolnshire Kitchen” for Estuary TV, which aired for the first time on December 6. Supported by really affordable TV advertising, this programme is promoting local goods and services within the local area that I am sure will deliver an excellent return on investment.

So if like the Lincolnshire Coop your sales and marketing strategy indicates TV advertising might work then you need to calculate the potential costs to produce and get your business on air. The cost of TV advertising around this type of programme depends on where your product is placed and how much you want to spend on production. Remember, George Clooney is not cheap.

Production costs

With professionally produced company profile videos starting from as little as £800, the costs of producing quality TV adverts are probably lower than you might think. Cleverly made so they can be reduced in size to several 10 or 30 second adverts, your business could produce a series of adverts for around £1000 plus VAT. However, if you wanted to test the market with something simple and low cost you could be looking at under £500.

TV advertising costs

According to their website, packages of 12 x 10 second spots with ITV in the Yorkshire Belmont region start from £2,856. Local network Estuary TV broadcasts to over 350,000 homes across North Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire with introductory prices starting from as little as £10 for a 30 second slot with a minimum spend of around £300.

Just like the Lincolnshire Co-op, a business could also become a programme sponsor or pay to feature their product prominently. By offering a location or some expertise for free, you or your business could also gain valuable exposure in a really cost effective way.

TV advertising works

Pricewaterhouse-Coopers undertook a 10 year econometric analysis of over 700 brands in 7 markets and found that, on average, a £1m increase in TV investment yields a £4.5m increase in sales, the highest return on investment of any medium. You don’t need to spend £1m, but the numbers speak for themselves.

Estuary TV is the first local TV network in the UK covering the Humber region, but don’t delay considering TV advertising as part of your sales and marketing strategy. Notts TV is coming in 2014, which will cover Nottingham and the surrounding areas.

We are nearly at the end of 2013 so a perfect time to dust off your sales and marketing strategy to see if your business can be a TV superstar. In 2014 it is certainly going to be more affordable than it used to be.