What Is A DMA In Marketing?

Due to its size and diversity of regions, the United States must be approached differently when targeting customers for your marketing campaign.

In order to position your brand and gain visibility, the placement of your clients and business is crucial.

What Is A DMA In Marketing?

The phrase “designated market region” is frequently used. It makes reference to many American states and the methods used to gauge television viewing.

But what does that entail specifically, and how does it help your business?

This article will define a specified market area and explain how to take advantage of it to make your marketing campaign go further.

What Exactly Are DMAs (Designated Market Areas)?

An area of the United States classified as a designated market area, sometimes known as a media market, is used to describe radio and television markets. 

There are 210 DMAs that encompass the entire country and are typically defined based on urban centers, often combining suburbs within. 

The phrase was created by Nielsen and it describes the US’s geographical regions. It’s used to gauge how much local television is watched. 

Any organisation, researcher, or marketer who wishes to use standardised geographic regions for their own business needs the acquired data. 

Nielsen alone is the owner of the data and boundaries. They quantify and examine regional differences in how people watch television.

They have produced Nielsen ratings for US TV stations since 1950.

The ratings that Nielsen receives provide important information on the shows and programmes that are being seen, as well as the demographics of the audience.

An advert will cost more the more viewers there are in a given DMA. Because of this, a television advertisement in New York City is more expensive than one in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Understanding the DMAs you are aiming for and weighing the available chances and prices are crucial when assessing your marketing mix.

Advertisers can assess market competition, demographics, and costs by studying the media marketplaces. Advertisers can strategically time their ads to run in a certain DMA territory and reach their target audience.

The DMA approach has a drawback in that multiple market regions may overlap if they are close together geographically.

A broadcast market’s periphery can get advertisements and materials from other markets.

How DMAs Work

How DMAs Work

In the US, every county is included in a DMA. A DMA frequently includes the surrounding area in addition to the city it is associated with. The DMA is big and encompasses other cities in other areas of the country.

A staggering seven million households were included in a DMA for New York City. Different market regions span multiple cities and multiple states.

For instance, the District of Columbia as well as the state of Maryland are both included in the Washington, D.C.-Hagerstown DMA.

Additionally, Nielsen has the ability to transfer counties from one DMA to another.

The information acquired by Nielsen can be used by media owners to determine which of their shows are working the best and adjust their schedules accordingly.

Based on the data, advertisers may also target their adverts to appear at various moments to target the most viewers. 

It also aids in estimating the price of advertisements in various locations. Advertising in Los Angeles is more expensive than it is in a small town. The DMA data is to blame for that.

What Does It Mean For Businesses?

The specified market environment or media market will be more competitive the larger it is.

It will be more challenging to get your brand, products, or services covered in the media. In comparison to rural areas, cities have more competitive viewing markets.

The media must be selective in what they cover because there is more activity in broader regions. An important noteworthy occurrence can occasionally go unnoticed.

When organising your community outreach and marketing initiatives, take the cost into consideration if you wish to target the right audience in a bigger DMA region.

While DMA data might help you reach target audiences at the correct moment, you also have to create the right messaging if you want to boost lead generation and brand loyalty. 

Since consumers can now view the news from every DMA of their choice, DMAs have undergone considerable changes. That necessitates a shift in the way you target your audience.

DMAs Change Over Time

DMAs are also impacted by paid radio subscriptions and online streaming services. To reliably collect estimations and rankings for each region, Nielsen has made improvements.

Now, in addition to shows seen on a mobile phone or tablet device, their measurements also take into account TV that was recorded.

Additionally, they have launched streaming and on-demand viewing options. Audio signals that are contained in various types of content will be retrieved by various measuring tools.

The Nielsen ratings are then created using this data, which is subsequently safely delivered.

How DMAs Affect PR Efforts

Boosting lead conversions as well as brand loyalty can be achieved by communicating with your target buyer persona at the correct moment. 

This role has gotten more difficult than ever with the popularisation of cable tv, the internet, and social networking sites, where individuals may watch stations and obtain news about almost any DMA they choose.

Significant adjustments to DMAs and your target audience outreach are also required as a result. 

In order to provide a more realistic picture, Nielsen is really trying to modify its long-standing approach to take internet services and network radios into consideration.

These activities will also have an impact on how you budget for and buy airtime.


The Nielsen ratings organization uses a region known as a designated market area to gauge local television viewership.

Although they might include more than one city, designated market zones are frequently associated with big cities. 

The identified market zones are used by broadcasters to plan their programming. When purchasing airtime, advertisers employ specific market zones.

Justin Shaw