what is designated market area

What is Designated Market Area(DMA)? Everything you need to know.

Among different marketing strategies that work on the principle of attracting the audience and selling the product and service, there is another marketing called the designated area market which not only promotes the product among the target audience but also measures the product performance. If you want to know what is designated market area (DMA) and other prominent keys always then you must read the entire blog.


what is designated market area

A designated market area is a geographical area where the residents can receive the same local TV and radio stations. This may also include other types of media like newspapers and internet content. Designated market areas are also called TV markets, media markets, or broadcast markets as well.

These can also be similar to the contents perceived by any other metropolitan area or rural regions with immense populations that are designated as markets.

These markets are ranked on the basis of their population size and not any other niche.


Designated market areas are often used as a marketing technique to counting audiences. It includes research that will look at the demographics and topology of the audience and at the same time identify the product that they use like TV shows, local news, etc.

Thus, designated market areas are an efficient way to target your audience, promote your product and increase sales.


what is designated market area

Certainly, you might have heard of the Nielson research group, they usually provide the television ratings. Nielson research group uses the designated market area technique to compile ratings and then decide which show is viewed by people and must stay and which is not doing well hence must go off the air.

There are currently 210 DMAs nationwide. Their name is given based on the largest metropolitan cities. In the case of rural areas, they are often combined to make one designated market area.

Designated market areas also help establish the cost of advertising in a particular area and you might see a significant difference when you go to buy television ads in different designated market areas. 


  1. IT REVOLVES AROUND THE MAIN CITY– as mentioned above the designated market areas are named after the largest metropolitan city. For example some parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania are also a part of designated market areas of New York but the area is named as NYC i.e. after New York City. New York is the largest broadcast market in the United States. If you wish to know more about the different cities and which Designated market areas they belong to you can check the Nielsen company’s website .
  2. IT IS THE MEASURE OF THE AUDIENCE– In order to know what do consumers like, designated market areas are designed. They measure the demographics of the consumers and according to their taste and wants make and approve content decisions. Some advertiser’s might use DMA numbers to place ads at a particular point of day considering the fact what section is watching the television during that time, and this is how their product actually reaches the targeted audience.
  3. IT ANALYSIS PRODUCT PERFORMANCE– designated market areas are a great way of analyzing how well your product is doing. The Nielsen group displays daily ratings at each hour of the day. This allows the broadcasting agencies and TV stations to understand what interest’s people and what kind of Stories are ATTRACTING NEW CUSTOMERS. The advertising agencies also get an idea which channel is likely to get more views and then show their ads on those channels more often. Obviously an ad during an ipl match will make more money than the ad displayed at night since more people would be watching the ipl match. These all numbers are based on research derived from designated market areas.


One needs to remember that classifying cities as designated market areas are, of course, a measure of the audience but its aim is no different from other marketing techniques i.e. promote and increase sales.

It’s harder to get attention from viewers residing in a metropolitan city than viewers residing in rural areas. It is also difficult to create effective media coverage for your items or service.

Since there are a lot of things happening in cities and the mainland, therefore, the media should know that it cannot cover everything and hence needs to be selective about what they cover and telecast. There have been many incidents where events that needed attention were overlooked and some non-important issues were given extreme attention.

One must also realize the fact that the larger the designated market area is the more competitive it is likely to be. DMA certainly can be used to reach target demographics but giving an impactful message is also important for your brand reputation.


what is designated market area

The designated market areas have witnessed a significant change in the past years. The way of targeting the Audience has changed and the way the audience perceives news has also changed. The Audience watches the news from any DMA that they choose and have an interest in.

Social media and online streaming services have also caused a change in the traditional way of perceiving designated market areas. As of now people often ignore watching channels on television due to living streaming on many online platforms. The paid radio service also has an equal contribution.

As a result, Nielsen had to make several changes in order to record correct ratings and estimates of each region. They also measure the views of programs watched on tablets, phones, and recorded televisions as well.

They have also altered the tradition of transferring the measured rating data and using different measuring tools that can also record audio. They have also introduced the feature of on-demand streaming service also is there one of the many new features.

They have also begun measuring the out-of-home viewership which is basically the television that is watched in waiting rooms, sports bars, clubs, etc.


In order to receive brand loyalty you need to follow the key rule to marketing and this is to reach the target audience at the right time and with the right propaganda.

Now, with the upcoming changes in designated market areas over the last few years where the people can watch the news or channel of any DMA the task has become hectic and complicated.

Many other agencies have taken advantage and come up with an oath to provide real media coverage and articles from the right media outlets and provide it for benefit.


Leverage designated market areas – when we talk about media markets obviously all the demographics that public and media and marketers need can easily be available but what requires your attention is leveraging the information that the designated market areas provide. Leveraging the information that the designated market areas provide to alter the advertisement and products is what can actually Ace your motive. In order to reach your targeted audience, you must know the right time when your targeted audience is most active and feature the program they are interested in during that time.

Examine costs– it’s a certain fact that the cost of entering the market is itself specific for specific markets and changes from one market to another. Thus, you must be aware of which Designated market areas you are targeting and investing into. With the conventional belief that larger areas mean a higher cost of living, the Public relations and marketing budget must be directed to the most popular designated market areas where the target audience is most likely to view that particular content. In comparison to this, the firms with a smaller budget must target the people residing in smaller designated market areas.

Pitches to Designated market areas– as discussed above the larger designated market areas have a lot of brewing stories and topics and everything cannot be and should not be covered hence the media outlets of the large designated market areas are very much selective of the stories and the pitch they cover. Therefore in order to compete in the broadcast market, the advertiser must present pitches that draw the media outlets and journalists in the target audience. One such way to reach is to alter the pitch according to the needs and wants of the target audience.

Hire media specialists– looking at the tough competition existing between different advertisers and demand for a worthy pitch, getting hold of firms specializing in connecting marketers with the right designated market areas is an immense blessing. A slight mistake of not choosing the correct designated market areas can result in a huge loss of money as we saw in the above paragraph how costly it is to enter and create an impact in the designated market area. Thus, it is important that the company must enter the right designated market area with the right motive and for this, it must hire a media specialist.


It’s a misconception that designated market areas are more about how well the product is doing than actually promoting the product or service. Of course, knowing the status of your product is an amazing Marketing strategy but there are much more advantages that you can reap out of the designated market areas.

We also noticed the changing course of designated market areas. It has now become more complex with the coming of various online streaming platforms like Netflix, Hotstar, etc. It’s hectic to know the number of views that the show or channel is actually getting because of these platforms and paid radio service.

But the Nielsen Company has also assured to take several alternative measures to know the performance of the show and their efforts are commendable.

Many ways have also been suggested to produce great quality content in designated market areas. Also one must know the right designated market area to reach their targeted audience as an incorrect choice can incur huge losses.

A conclusion of this entire blog is that if chosen correctly and used in the right manner, a designated market area strategy can work wonders for your product and service otherwise it can be a huge risk to take as it is quite a heavy affair when it comes to entering the media market. Also, it requires constant creativity to produce contents and pitches that the media outlets will ultimately like and telecast.


What does the acronym PR stand for?

The acronym PR stands for public relations.

How many homes are covered in Hagerstown designated market areas?

Washington D.C’s Hagerstown covers more than 200 million homes in Maryland and the districts of Columbia.

Why are television ads more expensive in Los Angeles than in Texas?

Television ads are more expensive in Los Angeles in comparison to Texas. The reason is that different designated market areas have different costs depending on the size of the population that it comprises.

Since when the Nielsen company has been generating television ratings?

The Nielsen Company has been generating television ratings since 1950.

What are some of the alternative names of designated market areas?

Some of the alternative names of designated market areas are given below;
● Designated market region
● Media market
● Broadcast market
● Television market area

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