Making the most out of your advertising budget: the television way (1)

In recent times, the argument about Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) has been a heated debate in Ghana with opposing views as to how it must be handled to the benefit of Ghanaians. The presumption that a Chinese company may be allowed to operate that space does not resonate with some Ghanaian television station owners. A succinct education has not been well advanced by policy makers thereby throwing the debate into abyss. The outcome of doing business on Ghanaian television stations is the reason for this survey.

This survey follows immediately after the one on radio. The radio survey was so apt that our result was further cemented by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) Award of Bernard Avle as the Journalist of the year 2017. Same personality came top of our radio survey. Making business decisions based on a scientific study limits loses of the business and gives a projected view of how certain operations of the business should be navigated.

This is not to downplay the option of gut feeling but would you rather leave your business to happenstance or on grounded research? I will advise you take the later. Particularly, doing business in an environment where information is hard to come by, getting hold of an independent survey must be embraced with full arms.

In the face of the increasing economic challenges, squeezing advertising budget by organisations to make the most out of the advertising budget is what all organisations aspire to. However, such an attempt may only be a wishful thinking if the right steps are not taken.  This survey is conducted to help organisations narrow their choices of television stations for advertising based on responses from the survey questionnaire.

The survey applied a quantitative method of data collection. Five (5) close ended questions were broadcasted to a population via WhatsApp. Responses were collected within twenty four (24) hours of the broadcast. The population for the study was three hundred (300) active WhatsApp users with a responded sample size of fifty six (56).

The respondents represented a sample size of approximately 19%. The sample size is good if juxtaposed to the 10% minimum recommended by some research scholars. Though the 19% respondent rate is not bad, the percentage of non-respondents shows a higher level of non-interest in television broadcasting in Ghana. Reasons attributed to this are not immediately known to this researcher. Comparatively, the 25% response rate of the radio survey shows that Ghanaians listen to radio more than they watch television.

The five questions used in the survey are:

Question 1: What is your favourite television station in Ghana?

Question 2: What is your favourite television programme in Ghana?

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Question 3: Who is your favourite television presenter in Ghana?

Question 4: How many hours do you watch television in a day?

Question 5: What day of the week do you watch television the most?

The five questions above will be the pivot of this study. They will be analysed in a step-by-step methodical approach and given an interpretation to how they impact organisations advertising budget.

Table 1: Gender distribution of respondents

Gender No. of Respondents % of Respondents
Male 32 57.1
Female 24 42.9
Total 56 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2018

Table 1 shows the gender distribution of respondents in the survey. It is evident by the difference between male and female respondents that Ghanaian male watch television more than their females counterparts. However, the percentage female who watch television are far more than the percentage of female who listened to radio in our last radio survey were 29.3% of female and 70.7% of male respondents listen to radio.

Invariably the comparison of female respondents’ interest in television shows that products targeted at female consumers will do better on television advert than radio advert. These must cognisance of the right television station on the right programme. This evidence will be shown in later part of this survey report.

However, the relatively high number of male respondents indicates that products advertisement on television should be directed more to men than women. Though the radio report showed that men listen to radio more than women, the percentage difference in men to women who listened to radio is wider than the percentage difference in men to women who watched television.

Conversely, it also stands to reason that because a good number of Ghanaian women are decision makers in home management, it is possible that products such as food stuffs, clothing, detergents, etc. may be patronised in high quantities by women than men. In that case, the number of women respondents in the study may have little significance in their response to television advertisement to some products than their male respondents. Let me point out quickly that my reference to “products” is both tangible and intangible.

The author admits that a gap in the survey was the negligence in assessing the male to female ratio of the population. A future study on the subject will delve deep into this area probably to make the population an equal ration of men to women.

Table 2: Age distribution of Respondents

Age Range No. of Respondents % of Respondents
18 – 25 yrs 5 8.9
26 – 35 yrs 12 21.4
36 – 44 yrs 15 26.8
45 – 54 yrs 21 37.5
Above 55 yrs 3 5.4
Total 56 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2018

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Table 2 shows the age distribution of respondents in the survey. Age range of 18 – 25 years constituted 8.9% of respondents this can be attributed to their young age and perhaps not living on their own so they do not own a television or have the comfort of watching television. Also because they are more likely to still be in school, watching television studying is preferred to watching television.

It is generally agreed that young people are more fascinated by the internet for which reason their sources of information will be those spread by their peers on social media rather than watching television for information. Also there are television applications on smart mobile phones that give mobile phone users an option to watch some television programmes on their smart mobile phones. It must be noted that reference to television in this survey refers to the traditional television.

Age range of 26 – 35 years constituted 21.4% of respondents higher than the 20% of same age range in the radio survey. At this age, respondents may be working and even if schooling they need information for decision making so they turn to watch television more than listen to radio as one of their sources of information. Television advertising products targeted at this age group is likely to make some impact if the advert is well packaged for the right television stations on the right programme.

According to the survey, the age range 36 – 44 years who watched television often was 26.8%. The most active age range that watched television often is 45 – 54 years. They constituted 37.5%. Respondents in this group of ages have purchasing power and are at decision making positions in various organisations. They are the group of people who are likely to take judicious notice your products adverts shown on television on the right programme at the right time.

Per the respondents, this is the critical age group to be considered when making decisions as to what to advertise and which television station and programme to consider. Respondents above 55 years constituted 5.4% of the sample size that watch television. This percentage is by far an improvement of same age category that listened to radio which had only 1.3% respondents. This shows that more Ghanaian adults at that age prefer to watch television more than listen to radio.

Organisations are encouraged to make use of research findings for their television spending other than the rhetorical gimmicks of advertising sales persons who are under pressure from their management to sell advertising space on their network.

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