How to assess the return on investment for a single media campaign like the Olympics

There are 385,470 TV homes in Huntsville & Decatur and it’s estimated that 24% of those will be watching the Olympic games opening ceremony! Many local business owners are asking themselves, “Is worth it for a local business to get in on this prime viewing opportunity?”

The answer is a resounding- maybe!

Yes, it is truly frustrating when you get a ‘maybe’ for an answer. But the truth is that advertising is still largely a numbers strategy. If your budget allows for buying enough frequency during the two-week extravaganza & your profit on what you sell is large enough, then buying TV ads in the Olympic games may be a great opportunity.

However, if your budget is limited, and your net profit for each sale is low (think restaurants, hair salons, plumbing companies, automotive oil change services, etc.) then the Olympic games are probably not a good fit. I can hear the media people cringing as I write this because they will tell all potential customers, “There is SO much exposure, and the business will reach SO many people!” And while this is true, there are a few crucial considerations that must be factored in.

Key Questions to ask before advertising a the TV station in your market-

1)     What percent of the watching audience will NEED your business’ products or services right then – during the campaign?

2)     What percentage of people watching are potential customers? This is different from how many need your product… And how many of those potential customers would the business have to process in the month the campaign is airing to break even, or profit?

3)     Has your business ever done that volume before? (Yes – do the math!) If not, what makes it look like the Olympic games TV schedule (or a 10-20 day campaign) will cause that volume to happen this year? And If so- are the same conditions present for the same volume to repeat itself?

This article is not designed to be negative, or discourage local businesses from advertising during a phenomenal event. In fact, advertising during the Olympic games can give your business incredible exposure & visibility during a family-friendly event. But advertising in the Olympic games should be a strategic marketing decision that is part of an over-all plan. An Olympic games media buy should not be a company’s only media buy. Just like a super-bowl commercial should not be the onlycommercial a business buys. Frequency still matters. Frequency is still what will generate leads for your business.

The Olympic games are a great event! This is must-see TV at it’s best. However, it is not a ‘must buy’ media plan. If you want to check out the Olympic viewing schedule you can find it at

If liked this post, please leave a comment. If you want to learn more about how strategic advertising can help generate more website traffic and more leads, send me an email and let’s chat! If you want to learn if your business can capitalize on this year’s olympic extravaganza, send me an email now to get your free media campaign ROI guide to see how your company can evaluate media advertising. And let the games begin!