How to pick the right media for your shows.

I’m on a media kick this week, with yesterday’s rant about disappointing email blast returns, and today’s with a simple trick on how to go about picking the right advertising media for your shows (and since things come in threes, you can bet there will be another media blog tomorrow – it’s like my own Media Miniseries!).

I was observing an ad meeting a few weeks ago for a show I’m doing some consulting on, and when discussing media choices for the on sale, one of the partners spoke up about his desire to have them take an ad in a certain publication.  He was pretty adamant about it, even though there wasn’t a lot of theatrical advertising in this mag, and it was also pretty expensive.  Honestly?  It wasn’t a bad idea . . . it was an interesting one, actually.  But upon a deep dive of the demos and the potential ROI on the big investment, it just didn’t make sense.

But the partner couldn’t understand that . . . because he read this publication every day.  And he swore it would work.

The Producers decided not to do it.

We all have our unique perspective but it’s essential as a Producer to remember that how we see the world is not necessarily how the audience sees the world.  The media you see, is not what your audience may see.

In other, slightly sassier terms, it’s not about you.  Producing is about your audience.

You shouldn’t put money in the media that you interact with.  You have to put money in the media that your audience interacts with.  How do you find that out?  Well, you ask ’em.  Do surveys.  Do online look-a-like advertising.  Do trackable tests and find out what works and more importantly, what doesn’t.

But don’t just make choices based on your preferences.  See, there is no I in producing.

Wait, there is an I.  Crap.  You know what I mean.

(Stay tuned for Part III of the Media Miniseries tomorrow!)


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  • Spot on. There are also producers addicted to what I can vanity advertising. Perhaps insisting that they are advertising in the Playbill to every Broadway show (instead of just the ones that fit their market), or that they MUST have a Times Square billboard, even if it’s 2/3 of their marketing budget. Often that money is better spent on things that aren’t as sexy, but return better.

  • Bobbi Smith says:

    Just curious, will you be having anything to do with “Robber Bridegroom”? I’m just asking.

  • Tom Hartman says:

    This reminded me of the old saying that a mention in the “Lifestyles” section of the paper is worth two mentions in the “Arts” section.

    So, what did you learn on your learning trip to Chicago. A conflict came up and I couldn’t attend. Next year, though….Israel…or Moscow

  • Quick fix: There is no “i” in producer. But I have a feeling you figured that fix out, and liked what you said better, lol. Sometimes getting caught being wrong has more charm. But you clearly know that.

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