There are some things in business that are safe to approach with a DIY mindset. Creating your own logo is a pretty safe bet, as is designing your own business cards. But there are other things that you may need some help with.
For instance, building a website or eCommerce platform is simply too complicated for most SMB owners. Payroll is another thing that many people try to do on their own, only to discover it’s a task best left to the pros.
In our experience, media buying is another marketing task many business owners try to handle themselves. We understand that when just starting out, owners try to save as much money as they can. But the thing is, working with a media buyer really can save you money.
What do Media Buyers Do Exactly?
Professional media buyers work directly with media outlets like television and radio stations, newspaper and magazine editors, billboard companies and website administrators. They spend years nurturing relationships with sales reps at each channel in an effort to buy the most effective and affordable media for their clients.
They have also perfected the art of research and are able to help business owners define their target market and best approach to converting that particular segment.
Still on the fence as to whether or not you could benefit from the services of a media buyer? Here are 4 clues you may need one:
- You Don’t Have the Time to Conduct Thorough Research
Running effective ads isn’t as simple as coming up with a catchy headline and getting it in the newspaper. There is a lot of research that needs to take place during the campaign planning stages.
For instance, you may think because you know that your ideal prospect is between the ages of 25 and 40 and has a college degree that you know enough about them. Wrong. Who are they REALLY? What are their pain points? What keeps them up at night? What do they need help with and how can you offer your product or service using relevant messaging?
You must also spend time researching the absolute best channels to use to reach your particular demographic. Will a billboard work best or an ad in a trade magazine? A radio spot run at 2pm or a radio spot run at 7am?
Media buyers know exactly how to conduct the kind of research that will almost guarantee a campaign’s success.
- You Have Zero Negotiating Power
How much negotiating power would you say you’d have if you walked onto a car lot today and tried to buy a new car at a major discount? Zero.
It’s kind of like that when dealing with sales reps. A salesman is a salesman, no matter if on a car lot or sitting in a back office of a newspaper publisher. The chances are slim that you will be able to negotiate the kind of pricing a professional media buyer could. Media outlets recognize a media buyer’s experience and are far more likely to be flexible with pricing which will save you money in the end.
- Do You Understand All the Media Lingo and Mumbo-Jumbo?
Have you ever tried to order breakfast in a foreign language? You wanted toast and two scrambled eggs but wound up with eggplant and a hammer. There are a lot of “foreign” terms involved in the media buying world: O&O station, break position, points, dayparts, PVT/PUT and on and on. You can either try to learn as you go (and pay way too much for way too little) or you can rely on a media buyer to translate for you and get you the breakfast you really want.
For instance, you may think you made the greatest media buy on the planet, but do you really, fully understand when and where your ads are going to run? If not, you may wind up with ads that will be played at less attractive times of day or in sections of the paper your audience doesn’t read.
A savvy media buyer has no problem being aggressive on your behalf and getting your ads placed in the most advantageous timeslots and positions.
- How Much Time Do You Have to Field Calls from Solicitors?
You do know that when you go it alone and buy direct, you become a target for a slew of incoming calls from other outlets all vying for your ad spend. Yep, once the word gets out that you are looking to buy media... let’s just say the blood is in the water and those big fish with big teeth start circling. When you use a media buyer, he or she fields those calls, negotiates and schedules deals on your behalf so you can spend your precious time running your business.
Don’t think of media buyers as an added expense. Think of them as a trusted and important member of your marketing team. Through their skills and expertise, you can know your ad dollars are actually making an impact and you are getting the ROI your management expects.