Alternative Media

Written by Linda Alexander
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Alternative media marketing uses non-standard media to advertise; it is a lower-cost method and a more creative way to reach consumers than traditional media. Consumers are constantly inundated with classic advertising methods; alternative advertising seeks to break through the noise by using different outlets, such as ads on pizza boxes, coffee sleeves, and restaurant placemats.

Poster sniping and sticker, flyer, or postcard handouts are all means that will allow you to reach your target market for just pennies per person. With today's rising postage rates, many companies share mailings. You can either include your ads with someone else's mailing, or buy ad space on their envelopes. Both companies win this way, because they both get their message to customers and share the cost of the mailing.

Alternative Media and Alternative Distribution Methods

Other forms of alternative media include package inserts, bind-ins, or blow-ins. Co-op advertising, where several companies share ad space, is still another way to save money and directly reach consumers. Because your message is not the only advertising message in these programs, you need a particularly strong message on a colorful piece in order to stand out.

Alternative media programs work best for inexpensive consumer products, but they can also be successful for a wide range of industries as long as the piece has been tested for that specific media. As with all advertising, you have to test your copy, your offer, and the media to find a combination that works for you. But once you do, you may find that using alternative marketing will be successful for you for years to come.


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