Strategy of Advertising Media Selection Based on Consumer Behavior



Received in: 04/14/2014

Accepted in: 09/03/2014

Introduction: This paper offers an investigation into the strategies of selecting advertising media, based on consumer behavior. Our primary axiom is to accept the fact that this is a competitive world, in which only those organizations, which make their decisions and acts strategic and choose the best possible strategies will be successful and will survive. One of the key issues that organizations are facing with is the choice of an appropriate strategy for advertising. With the same token, one of the essential parts of the advertising strategy is the strategy of selecting an appropriate media for advertising. Accordingly, the main objective of this paper is to provide a scientific approach to the selection of advertising media from among various advertising companies. We also wanted primarily study various types of media in a company operating in the field of automotive parts industry. Secondary objectives of our research included: studying the impact of the target audiences on the selection of media, rankings various media in the industry in terms of access to audiences, and allocating the budget between various media by an imaginary (hypothetical) company in the automotive industry.

We utilized the concept of media allocation in our research, in order to study the strategy of selecting advertising media. To do so, we evaluated advertising media in four categories as follows: television, radio, newspapers, and the internet. First, through using a telephone questionnaire we determined the level of audiences’ attention given to each of the target media. Then, using the output of the first stage, multi objective linear programming model was implemented for the media allocation. The paper includes problem statement, theoretical framework (which presents a review on the concept of advertisement, and then presents the theories on media allocation and related approaches in this field), research methodology, analysis of findings, and conclusions and discussion.

Theoretical framework: Scholars have offered several explanations and definitions on advertisement strategies. The choice of advertising media is a common point, which is noted in the majority of these definitions. To plan an advertisement program, marketing manager should make five decisions which involve: determining advertising mission, determining advertising budget (money), determining advertising message, selecting media, and evaluating the advertisement (measurement). Accordingly, an integral component of advertisement is to select the advertising media. Advertising media is a communication tool that is responsible to transmit messages to a group of audience. Various categories of advertising media have been proposed by previous studies. These categories include various types of media such as television, radio, newspaper, billboard, print, and email advertising. Because there is a variety of media in place for managers to choose from, the subject of media allocation is very determining. Media allocation is the selection of appropriate media and the calculation of costs or the number of advertisement cases in each media. Media allocation should be applied so that the message reaches the target audience. Accordingly, to select advertising media the field of activity of advertising company should be considered. In addition, the media preferences of target audiences and consumers should be taken into account, and it would be determined based on the question of which media can better cover wider range of consumers.

When reviewing the literature we realized that the majority of models on media allocation are quantitative models. Quantitative models in the literature which have been used to solve the problem of media budget allocation are classified into simulation, heuristic, and multi criteria decision making. Some studies have used a combination of such methods. Among the quantitative methods used whether in theoretical and/or in practical studies on advertising media allocation, we noticed that multi criteria decision making models have been used more than other types of statistical programming approaches. Among the multi criteria decision making models, linear programming model is more common.

In view of the theoretical basis, this research aimed at utilizing the multi objective linear programming model for the allocation of advertising media. Our hypothesis is that the multi objective linear programming model is a suitable model for media allocating.

Research Methodology: The research methodology of this study included two different steps. Firstly, through using a telephone questionnaire we evaluated the population of consumers in the automotive parts industry and determined the level of audiences’ attention paid to each of the four targeted media i.e. television, radio, newspapers, and internet. In this part of the study, car owners were selected as the target audience. Samples were randomly selected from among all car owners in Iran. After determining the sample size, which amounted to one hundred and eighty-five individuals, we decided to increase the reliability and accuracy through increasing the number of samples. That was the reason that the final sample size increased to one thousand and six hundred and six people. After collecting the data, we calculated the average time devoted to each of the desired media by the target population, and the percentage of target population that used each of the desired media.

In the second step, using the output of the first stage, and taking into account the views of managers, multi objective linear programming model was implemented and media allocation was carried out via running the model.

Conclusion and discussion: Some of findings including the results of the telephone survey, indicates that the average times devoted to TV, Radio, newspapers, and Internet were 65.74, 37.67, 17.52, and 9.35 minutes, respectively. In addition, some tables were produced to show the percentage of people using a composite media. The results indicate that the percentage of people who use TV, Radio, newspapers, and Internet were 67.47, 43.3, 44.42, and 8.44 percent, respectively. Subsequently, we took into account the hypothetical limitations of the management - which included five limitations – and implemented multi objective linear programming model. According to the results of the model, from the total budget of fifteen billion Rials, 9 billion Rials had been allocated to television ads, 4.2 billion Rials to radio, 1.8 billion Rials to newspapers, and zero Rials to internet.

According to the results of this study and based on the theoretical foundations, the selection of advertising media for companies should be based on the target population and audience in the target industry. It is of utmost importance to determine what type of media the target audience uses and which ones are more accessible to them. As was observed in this study, since TV media has taken the major part of attention of the target audience in the automotive industry, our model indicated that the highest amount of budget of the hypothetical company was also allocated to the same media.