What To Watch For

When you give a description of your budget and audience to the cable sys-tem's advertising sales representatives, you should receive proposals outlining the reach (the percentage of your audience the proposed programming will attract) and frequency (the average number of times your audience will be exposed to your message) they'll deliver. Cable TV spots are usually sold in broad "rotators," such as from 7 p.m. to midnight, which makes it more affordable than buying time on a specific hit show. But you may have to police the channel to make sure you're getting even distribution during the allotted time-you definitely don't want all your spots to air one minute before midnight, when viewership is considerably decreased. And if you're a retailer using cable TV to promote a special sale, for example, you'll want to call and check your air times daily. Then monitor your results and adjust your air time schedules as necessary.

If you're considering adding cable TV advertising to your marketing mix, contact your local cable franchise. To advertise on multiple cable systems, look for an "interconnect" company in your local telephone directory or in the Standard Rate and Data Service Directory, located at many major public libraries. To place national cable advertising, you or your agency should contact each network directly.

For more information and to access profiles of more than 60 cable networks, visit the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau at or call (212) 508-1200.

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Kim Gordon is the owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson. Her latest book is Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars.

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This article was originally published in the March 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Cable-Ready.

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