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When it comes to marketing there are many ways to get the word out. The question is; “What marketing methods are best for your business?” 

The infographic below illustrates how consumers in the United States find out about new products and services and may give you some insight as to how you can get the word out about your business, service or product.

According to a survey by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange in July of 2013, television was the number one source for US consumers when it comes to finding out about new products and services. (Note: For some reason the makers of this survey chose to omit newspaper and radio that does not mean that they are not viable advertising choices.)

Interestingly enough, word of mouth from friends and family was the second most popular way that people found out about new products and services.

The data is great, but the question is; what kind of advertising will work best for your business? Here’s a breakdown to help you decide.

Television advertising: (68%)

According to a recent survey from the Nielsen Corporation, people are watching live TV just as much as ever before, at approximately four hours per day or 28 hours per week. The number go up as the population ages with people over 65 watching as much as 46 hours per week. That does not include time spent watching a program recorded from TV on DVR, or a program on DVD.

Since the birth of cable television, television has gotten increasingly more segmented. It used the be that all there was Network TV, I.e., ABC, CBS & NBC. But then that all changed. Now viewers have more channels to choose from than ever! As it is TV reaches about 88 percent of all people in the US over age 18 every day.

TV ads work well for businesses who have a geographically large customer base because television reaches a large viewership both in number of viewers and geographic area.

For example, if you own several auto repair shops scattered throughout the area in which you live, television might work well. Or, if you own a business that people will drive for many miles to visit, television might be a good choice. However, if you own a general dental clinic with only one location, you might be better off choosing a television station or program that has a more targeted viewership. For example, your community might have a Community Access Channel on cable TV.

And don’t leave out cable television advertising as an option. If you specialize in home repair products, an ad on the Do It Yourself channel might be a good fit.

Friends and Family (Word of Mouth) (54%)

Interestingly, friends and family or word of mouth was the second most popular way that people find out about new products and service.  So how can a business tap into word of mouth to spread the word?  Giving away free samples or having a contest are two great places to start! Also, make sure that you ask your happy customers to give you an online review or testimonial that you can use in your marketing.

Internet: (54%)

While Internet use is increasing, time spent on the Internet is about 3 hours per day. According to the Television Bureau of Advertising, over 73 percent of people are on the Internet every day. There are several ways to reach Internet users including email newsletters, social media, display or banner ads, directory listings, online review sites such as Yelp, blogs, video and search engine optimization. The use of Internet advertising is increasing with advertisers spending almost as much in Internet ads as for television ads, according to a report by Interactive Advertising Bureau in 2012.

The Internet can be an effective and affordable advertising solution for small businesses because it can be easily segmented to reach those types of customers you want to reach in the places that you want to reach them.


How Consumers Find Out About New Brands and Products

Neilson Cross Platform Report, September 2013

Media Comparisons Study -Television Bureau of Advertising

IAB Internet Advertising Report 2012

Note: this image is copyright 2013 by 23 Kazoos LLC. Use of this image is permitted with a link back to

How do US Consumers Find out about New Products and Services