An advertising model is the strategic use of an advertising medium, with the goal of reaching a specific target audience. An advertising medium is the type of media or vehicle the advertising is placed on. Understanding the target market helps to create an effective message and helps to determine the appropriate advertising medium. In order for a model to be effective, you must clearly understand the advantages and limitations of each medium.


The most traditional use of advertising is found in newspapers and magazines. Newspapers and magazines are highly targeted to a specific audience, thereby making your advertising efforts more effective. Print ads require eye-catching, concise messages that engage your target audience and the use of a call to action. Newspaper ads are great for reaching local customers but have a short life. Magazines ads expand your advertising message nationally or globally but don’t guarantee your placement is effective.


Broadcast advertising models allow you to reach your target market via television and radio. These mediums focus on audiences that have an interest in the shows and programing offered. If your product or service is connected to a specific program, you can broadcast your audio or video based message with your call to action to that specific audience. Television advertising involves all the senses but can be very expensive. Radio advertising can be a low-cost method, but listeners can have a lower attention span than television viewers.

Direct Mail

The direct-mail advertising model includes all promotional materials sent through the mail. It usually targets its readers through purchasing or acquiring a list of ideal customers. Traditional direct marketing uses postcards, fliers, coupons or newsletters related to products, services or current promotions. Direct marketing allows you to personalize your message without competition on the same medium. However, direct mail can be viewed as junk mail.


Service providers depended upon the use of Yellow Pages directories for advertising their business for decades. Every home in America owned a phone book that listed businesses in their local area that solved their problems. The emergence of the Internet caused the traditional phone book to evolve from a printed book to an online version. Yellow Pages is a trusted way to reach local markets; however, the competition is fierce. Search engine companies are now creating their versions of this model for those who search for local vendors.

Earned and Paid Digital Media

Advertising through earned media requires a strong content building program and social media outlets to share that content. Search engine traffic is another aspect of earned media. This not necessarily a true advertising model as customers are not acquired at a dollar rate however it can be combined with paid search campaigns to drive traffic and increase customer acquisition and conversions. Paid social and display advertising campaigns are also common forms of engaging and reaching digital audiences.