Cable TV, as well as direct mail, refers to the so called niche non - mass advertising media. It was classified in such a way, primarily due to the reason that it reaches specific demographic groups with special interests. Thus, cable television is more targeted than broadcast radio or television. However, if you advertise in a big city area and your media mix already contains broadcast TV, you can get a much more balanced media weight at the end, after starting the cable TV planning.
Adding cable television into your media mix or using it alone can be very effective for several reasons. It can help you reach very special consumers, such as, for instance, young mothers, who are likely to watch programs on baby care, and if you buy time on programs of this kind, you will attract more attention from this group. The same is true for the other clearly defined audience groups, keen on watching programs about auto repair, sewing, interior design, knitting, film reviews, etc.
The cable TV planning may be a better option than buying the time on large TV networks with higher ratings (compared to cable ratings) and higher prices correspondingly. Thus, the cost of buying the cable TV advertising time is lower, as it has a smaller reach than broadcast TV does. Production costs are also lower, but it does not mean that the quality is left much more to be desired. Very often cable production people are more creative and innovative, as they are young, aware of new trends and willing to work to get some experience in this sphere in order to make a lavishing career. One more benefit of the cable TV planning is that you know for sure who will get the message you send - the cable links households that may be located locally. Nevertheless, there are large stations, reaching a lot of people, but the price for their services is higher.
All these advantages of cable television can be viewed as disadvantages: "it reaches specific consumers" - you should read "the reach is limited and who knows whether these consumers are your potential ones or not"; "young creative and innovative production people" - you should think "less experienced production teams". Moreover, cable TV offers a diverse range of programs and it results in more fragmented audiences, meaning that a certain group of people watches several cable channels and shorter viewing periods.
Therefore, to get a maximum from your ad campaign with the use of cable, you should set and pursue a goal of reaching the same people several times and never buy time on a great deal of different networks to show your message at many different times of the day as the result may be really sad - too many viewers will see the message, but hardly will they remember what they have seen. Thus, to give target people a chance to see and remember your advertisement you should over and over again show the ad on the same few channels at the same time on the same days.
Any local cable provider you turn to should provide you with a thorough reach and frequency analysis of the insertion schedule they offer. It will show whether you will be able to reach your target audience at least three times a week fifty-two weeks without a break or not. The schedule must meet these reach and frequency demands; otherwise, all your efforts in the cable TV planning may be useless.