Television through cable

Cable can be a supporting player in a media buy if broadcast television is the leading player. Access to various networks, including ESPN for sports fans, HGTV for home and garden enthusiasts, CNN for news junkies, and Animal Planet for animal lovers, is available through cable providers.

The attractiveness of cable advertising is similar to that of broadcast. Still, instead of reaching a broad geographic region as broadcast stations do, the cable can target smaller geo-areas, particular “zones,” while programming focuses on viewer interests. Despite the recent fall, 60–65% of homes still receive cable television today. The number of “Cable Nevers” (Millennials who have never had cable and are not interested in subscribing), “Cord Cutters” (Millennials plus Boomers who do not want to pay incremental fees), and “Cord Shavers” (many Boomers and other affluent households who wish to keep some level of “tiered” cable service plus explore other options) is pretty significant.

Purchasing cable is slightly different from purchasing broadcasts because you can buy a specific show (at a more excellent price) or more extended periods (such as 4:00 pm to midnight).

There are a few distinct ways to order cable: one is a spot (or linear) buy when schedules are set on particular networks or programs, and the other is a digital line buy, which functions similarly to an OTT buy (read on to learn more on this topic).

You can select networks using “linear cable,” which makes persona-based advertising targeting simple for a marketer. For instance, if your target audience is younger and more into DIY, you can decide to place your advertisement on the DIY, HGTV, and TLC channels. Although you can purchase particular programs at higher spot fees, since all the programming on these networks is tailored toward certain audience preferences, you might not need to do so. Purchasing a specific show may not be required since viewers interested in cooking can find a wide choice of content on the Food Network. Running a broad rotator might be a better alternative. Along with the fact that advertisers are purchasing smaller geographic areas, this is one of the factors that makes the cable more affordable than broadcast television.

Advantages: Targeted reach using zones or counties with more precise geographic boundaries; excellent method for increasing the frequency of an advertiser’s message

Cons: Loss of viewers/subscribers to alternative viewing choices

Best-Use Case: Persona-specific brand awareness initiatives in a given county or zone

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