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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

Cable Provider Launches Self-Service Ad-Purchasing Platform for SMBs

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simpson33/Getty Images
  • Aimed at small and midsize businesses, Comcast Spotlight offers ads for as low as $250.
  • Businesses can choose between running their own ad or having Comcast produce a customized spot.
  • Along with helping produce the ad, Comcast will provide regular updates on how the advertisement is performing.

Getting your business in front of a large audience requires effort, but there are countless services to help get the job done. While social media continues to grow as a popular place to spend ad budgets, television ads are still a strong avenue to pursue. Earlier this week, Comcast announced an effort it believes will reduce the barrier of entry for getting your business onto the small screen.

At its launch this past Wednesday, officials said the Comcast Spotlight TV Ad Planner is a self-service ad-buying solution that lets small and midsize businesses owners "plan, design and manage advertising campaigns with a few clicks of a mouse."

With Americans spending an average of nearly five hours a day watching television, according to Nielsen, television ads remain an important advertising tool for businesses. Hank Oster, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Comcast Spotlight, said the new service will be a huge help for local business owners within the company's 63 markets.

"TV Ad Planner provides a seamless, independent experience, allowing all customers, regardless of size, to use one of the most influential and powerful mediums to grow their businesses," he said.

Through Comcast Spotlight's new service, businesses owners that sign up have access to a self-service portal that lets them choose how to proceed with their ad campaign.

You'll use the platform's website to select a location, as well as a coverage radius, where you want the advertisement to run. Then, you select your target audience based on some key demographics. Finally, you'll be asked to provide specifics about your company, your advertising budget and how long you want to run the ad. There's a minimum two-week run time and $250 budget.

If your business already has a TV ad shot produced, you can use Comcast Spotlight TV Ad Planner to get it on the air. As long as the ad fits Comcast's content guidelines and specifications underlined in the company's media kit, officials said any premade ads will work through the service.

If your business is new to TV advertising, or if you need help creating TV ads, Comcast's new service will help produce a custom advertisement based on your specifications. The company offers three production options with varying degrees of customization, with each one taking 48 to 72 hours to make for less than $700. All they need, officials said, are details about the business and any images or logos you want to use.

When an advertising campaign is ongoing or at its end, it's important to know how much of a return on your investment you're getting. Without the right data to support your efforts, you risk running another ad campaign that could fall flat and not reach the right people.

To that end, Comcast officials said the new platform tracks and illustrates how an ad on its service performs. Throughout the process, you can see the percentage of homes the ad reaches in the area you chose, how many impressions the ad delivered, which networks are airing your ad and the average number of commercials delivered to each home.

Through the Comcast Spotlight TV Ad Planner platform, local businesses are now capable of running the commercials they want to the customers they directly want to reach, said Maria Weaver, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Comcast Advertising.

"From education to execution, the online portal guides clients through the full process of planning, buying and airing their TV campaigns," she said. "This experience enables businesses to use data-informed TV schedules to reach their target customers and achieve the results that only TV can deliver."

Andrew Martins

Andrew Martins is an award-winning journalist with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Before joining business.com and Business News Daily, he wrote for a regional publication and served as the managing editor for six weekly papers that spanned four counties. Currently, he is responsible for reviewing tax software and online fax services. He is a New Jersey native and a first-generation Portuguese American, and he has a penchant for the nerdy.