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7/24/2012

MBA Notes - Media Characteristics

Question - What is Media? What are Media Characteristics?

Answer
The word media comes from the Latin word “middle”. Media carry messages to or from a targeted audience and can add meaning to these messages.

Media Terminology


Media Planning - Media Planning is the process of designing a strategic course of action that shows how advertising space and time can be used to present the message in order to achieve the advertisers goal.

Media Objectives - Media objectives are goals to be attained by the media strategy and program.

Media Strategy - Decisions on how the media objectives can be achieved.

Media - The Various category of delivery systems including broadcast and print media.

Broadcast Media - T.V., or Radio network or local radio station broadcast.

Print Media - Publications like Newspaper, Magazine, Direct Mail, etc.

Media Vehicle - The Specific Message Carrier, it can be a specific Television Show, or a Specific News Paper.

Coverage - Refers to the potential audience that might receive the message through the media vehicle.

Reach - Reach refers to the number of people that will be exposed to a media vehicle at least once during a given period of time.

Frequency - Frequency refers to the average number of times an individual within target audience is exposed to a media vehicle during a given period of time.

Media Characteristics

There are two types of media for communication - mass media and interpersonal media. Interpersonal media is an expensive medium but highly useful for focused reach. On the other hand mass media like television, or radio, or newspaper are cost efficient and characterised by wide reach. Now, let's examine the characteristics of each of the mass medium.

1. Television
Following are the specific characteristics of television:
  • It is more impact-full as it is the combination of sound, sight, and motion,
  • It has broad reach and mass coverage,
  • It is highly intrusive medium,
  • It has high absolute cost but cost per thousand is moderate.
Television Characteristics
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Mass Coverage 
  • High Reach 
  • Impact of sight, sound, and motion 
  • High prestige 
  • Moderate cost per thousand exposure
  • Low selectivity 
  • High absolute cost 
  • Short message life 
  • High production cost 
  • Clutter

2. Radio
Following are the specific characteristics of radio:
  • It can reach out to remote audiences, 
  • It is most cost efficient among all mass media,
  • Radio can reach mobile population,
  • Radio has local market identification.
Radio Characteristics
AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Local coverage
  • Low cost
  • High frequency
  • Low production cost
  • Well segmented audience
  • Audio only
  • Clutter
  • Fleeting message

3. Newspaper
Following are the specific characteristics of newspaper:
  • Newspaper is a better option to provide detailed information,
  • A publication have different editions for different areas, so there is a geographic flexibility in newspaper,
  • Newspaper have different sections, so there is opportunity of targeting special interest groups,
  • Newspaper are vehicle for coupon delivery.
Newspaper Characteristics
AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • High coverage
  • Low cost
  • Short lead time for placing ads
  • Ads can be placed in interest sections
  • Timely or current ads
  • Can be used for coupons
  • Short life
  • Only visual
  • Clutter
  • Poor reproduction quality
  • Selective reader exposure
  • Low attention getting capability

4. Magazine
Following are the specific characteristics of  magazine:
  • There are magazines for sports, corporate, business, women. children, etc., so we can say magazines have specific audience selectivity, as they are specialised,
  • Magazines have longer life,
  • Magazines provide them opportunity for message scrutiny, and geographic and demographic flexibility.
Magazines Characteristics
AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Segmentation potential
  • High information content
  • Longer life
  • Compatible editorial environment
  • Multiple readers
  • Quality reproduction
  • Only visual
  • Long lead time for ad placement
  • Lack of flexibility

5. Outdoor 
Following are specific characteristics of outdoor media:
  • Outdoor media is easily noticeable, and it provides 24 hours coverage,
  • Outdoor is location specific media, it has local market presence,
  • Outdoor media is Cost efficient medium,
  • It can be good reminder media.
Outdoor Characteristics
AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • 24 hour coverage
  • Location specific
  • High resolution
  • Easily noticed
  • Cost efficient medium
  • Short exposure time requires short ads
  • Poor image
  • Local restrictions

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