by Jon Burgess
The Inland Empire has always had challenges with its small media market, even though we have a large media population. The Inland Empire would be in top 20 DMA’s in America, but it isn’t considered DMA (Designated Market Area ). Inland Empire advertising has been primarily relegated to print, radio, outdoor, and cable. The IE, and Orange County are the children of Los Angeles, and thus, we don’t even have our own local TV stations.
Yesterday, I attended the American Advertising Federations Inland Empire’s Media Buying Panel in Corona. It was good to hear from some of the panel experts that sell Inland Empire advertising.
Scott Welsh, the Director of Sales for Clear Channel Media in the Inland Empire pointed out that while our market may be limited, “it still is a great advertising value, because our media coverage is still reaches the population.” I think what he was alluding to, was that because of our small media market, we don’t have the competition among media outlets that you may see in other standalone DMAs, thus our media is consumed fairly well.
It was also interesting to hear from Matt Strohfus of Lamar Advertising in the Inland Empire about “Outdoor” and “Billboards”. We all know that with all the miles of roads, there is a lot of opportunity for Inland Empire advertising. Matt reminded us about changes in billboard digital advertising. He said, “We are finding that digital billboards are more viewed because the viewer does not want to miss the next ad.” So, I tried it on the drive home, and he is right, I think people are focusing more on the digital billboards than printed billboards.
The other Inland Empire advertising growth area is online. You see growth coming from the downside of having a small media market, we don’t have enough public relations outlets. We have seen a lot of new “hyper-local” websites popping up to provide the missing content. Sites like InlandEmpire.US, where it will publish any Inland Empire content, or like IEShineOn.com, who has built a following around providing events and things to do with in the Inland Empire. Advertising on the online channels is far less expensive, and with Google continuing to increase its search effectiveness, much more targeted advertising.