How Much Should a TV Campaign Cost?

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How Much Should a TV Campaign Cost?

One of the biggest questions any new advertiser has is “How much is it going to cost?” Obviously there are too many factors in play for there to be a simple answer, but at Mark Thomas Media, we want to help you understand how we come up with budgets for different facets of your comprehensive campaign. 

How to Start TV Advertising

One of the most frequent questions we get as an agency is “Where do I start?” Many TV beginners assume they need tens of thousands of dollars to get started, when in reality it all depends on the goals they are trying to achieve. At Mark Thomas Media, we have a team of experts who can help your business identify your goals and implement strategies to achieve them as efficiently as possible. Below are a few factors we consider when developing your custom TV campaign. 


What geography does your business primarily cover? Is your business a local mom-and-pop restaurant that reaches a 15 mile radius, or is it a multi-faceted conglomerate that stretches across multiple markets or states? What you may not realize is that you can buy TV in your local area, a whole DMA (designated market area), statewide, regionally, or even nationally depending on your needs. This will obviously affect the cost of your campaign immensely, depending on how much geographic coverage you need. Additionally, the market you are targeting will affect cost. If you are trying to buy advertising in one of the top 25 markets — such as New York City, L.A. or Raleigh, NC — airtime costs significantly more than if you want a TV schedule in Greensboro or Wilmington, NC. At Mark Thomas Media, we partner with many clients across many markets and are able to get competitive rates in both large and small markets to help you spread every dollar as far as it can go.

Type of Business

What type of business are you in? Are you a bathroom and kitchen remodeling company whose average customer is making a large decision that takes time? You probably need a long-term campaign with a lower frequency so that people are seeing your brand consistently over time and building trust. If you’re selling a low-cost item and need to sell bulk, like a popular animal shaped plant toy, you’re going to need a shorter campaign with a much higher frequency to move items quickly. The length and depth of your campaign determines your cost almost as much as your geography.


What are your competitors doing? Market saturation also plays a key role in determining the amount of air-time that needs to be bought. Automotive, for example, typically needs to buy more air-time in a market to be noticed and set their brand apart than most other industries simply because there are so many other auto dealerships in the area competing for the same customer. However, you don’t want to buy one commercial for every ten your competition is running or you will get lost in their mix and your ads won’t be remembered. We always work with our clients to ensure that their campaign is in correct ratio with competition to ensure that no client is tossing their advertising dollars in the wind hoping something sticks.


Who are you trying to reach? The more targeted you can be in who you need to reach and how to reach them, the more efficient you can be with every dollar that you spend. At Mark Thomas Media, we put extensive research into making sure that your target audience is reached as efficiently as possible.


Does your company or brand have co-op dollars available? Our team always looks for every opportunity to save you even more money by utilizing resources you may not even know you have available, such as co-op funds. We work with auto dealers, flooring companies, HVAC companies, and furniture stores who all have different co-op programs that put free advertising money into your pocket if the correct requirements are met. We take these requirements extremely seriously and have helped many clients place TV ads that have gotten co-op reimbursement up to 100%!

Television Advertising Made Easy with Mark Thomas Media

These are just a few of the many factors we consider when we are putting together a TV campaign for our clients to help us determine what the RIGHT spend is for YOUR company, whether it be $1,000 or $100,000. Every client has different needs, and at Mark Thomas Media, we have a team of experts who can help your business identify your goals and reach them as efficiently as possible. Give us a call and let us know how we can help you break into TV advertising!

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