Types of Communication Media in Marketing

by Scott Christ ; Updated September 26, 2017
Broadcasting towers are used in communications media like television and radio.

Communication media in marketing is the collection of various media companies used to promote their products and services to customers. Traditional media types include print advertising in newspapers and magazines; television and radio; and direct mail, while "digital" media includes Internet-based tactics like email and social media marketing. Each each of these media types has its own unique benefits, however, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for marketers. Choose the media types that fit within your strategy and budget, and measure and assess the effectiveness of each marketing campaign.

Print Media

Traditional print marketing is a type of communication media that you can use in a variety of ways. Use billboards to reach a broad audience with a simple, direct marketing message. Advertise in magazines and trade publications to reach a highly targeted audience for your product in service. Advertise in newspapers to reach a large audience at a low cost in specific geographic locations. Although print media is still prevalent, the rise of the Internet has resulted in marketers having to really "break through the clutter" to reach consumers via print-based channels. This means setting yourself apart from the competition by providing highly targeted, benefit-driven content that is useful to consumers.

TV and Radio

Television and radio are two other traditional types of communication media. Marketing via television ads can be costly but allows you to reach a huge audience. Also, you can place your ads on stations that your target audiences tends to watch the most. Marketing via radio is less expensive than television, but radio lacks the visual benefits of television. However, advertising over the radio allows you to select specific stations that cater to your customer demographics.

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Direct Mail

Direct mail is a form of print media in marketing in which you send targeted marketing messages via postal mail to a select group of people. One of the biggest benefits of direct mail is it is directly measurable. A well-written direct mail piece should contain a "call to action" at the end, in which you ask the reader to do something specific, like visit your website or place an order. This allows you to track the percentage of people who respond to your offer.

Digital Media

Companies use digital media communication to promote their products and services online. Email marketing is a digital communication platform companies use to form relationships with customers. Companies collect email addresses from their customers, then send weekly or monthly emails that include relevant content, brand updates, and special deals and discounts. Social media marketing is another communication media type and involves using social websites like Twitter and Facebook to interact with customers. For example, some companies create a Facebook "fan" page, where customers can sign up to receive brand updates and deals. Another type of digital communication media is search engine marketing, or SEM. Companies develop ads that appear when prospective customers search on a specified set of search terms. This media type allows for a highly targeted marketing message to a customer who is searching for your type of product or service.

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