Q: My MD has just allocated a marketing budget and wants me to develop an advertising campaign - something I've never done before. We have a good designer in house but I can't decide where to place our ads.

Is there a tried and tested formula I can use?

A: Unfortunately not. It all depends on what you are promoting, whom you are trying to reach and the size of your budget. Start by clearly defining your target audience - perhaps they are art dealers or antique collectors, or women organising their home insurance. Next, research the media that they consume, from the publications they read and websites they visit to their favourite TV and radio stations.

Much of this information can be acquired from the advertisers themselves. Once you have a clear picture you can begin investigating the costs of advertising in each medium, calculating the proportion of your target audience you will reach, against the expense.

Remember, though, that it isn't always necessary to undertake national advertising. Sometimes regional campaigns can have the desired reach too.

Also, don't dismiss TV, local radio or the internet because you assume they are too expensive. You might be surprised to know that nce you've created your ad, buying a two-week campaign on a niche digital channel can cost as little as £2,000 and could take you directly into your target audiences' living rooms.