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3 Steps to Finding the Right Media Buyer for Your SMB

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, May 22, 2017 @ 02:09 PM

We’re often asked why a company should work with a media buyer when they can execute their own media buys. After all, media buyers are an added expense to a sometimes already-tight advertising budget.

Think of it this way: you can technically gut your home and renovate it yourself to save money, but you’ll often end up paying more for your mistakes and the results will not be nearly as good (or livable) had you worked with a reputable and qualified contractor.

Media buyers eat, sleep, and breathe media. They make it their business to understand advertising trends and channels, and have spent sometimes years building relationships with publishers and sales reps. All of this means they can negotiate the best contracts on your behalf and help you choose a strategy that will reap the biggest rewards.

If you’re tired of struggling with your media buys and would like to work with a professional buyer, here are 3 steps to find the right buyer for your SMB.

Step 1: Know What it is You Need

Each media buying agency is unique and offers different levels of service and expertise. Before you start meeting with prospective buyers, sit down with your team and determine what it is exactly that you need help with. If you determine you need help with just about everything, from planning to post launch, make sure your media buyer is able (and willing) to help you on all fronts.

Step 2: Ask the Right Questions

Eventually you’ll sit down with a few buyers to see who might be a good fit. When you do, be sure to ask the following:

Will they customize a plan for you? A one-size-fits-all solution won’t cut it in advertising, so be sure to ask if the media buyer is willing and able Orange Button with Customize on Black Computer Keyboard. Business Concept..jpegto customize a plan specifically with your goals and budget in mind.

What do they specialize in? If you know your target audience can be reached more easily via traditional channels like radio and print, then a buyer who specializes in digital media won’t be a big help to you or your budget. Find out whether the agency specializes in a particular area.

What’s their track record? Like any other service provider, it’s important that you know two things: 1) how long they’ve been in business and 2) what kind of successes they have had in the past.

While every media buyer is going to be new at some point, you want to make sure you work with someone who has at least a few years under their belt. You also want to know if they have a history of helping companies like yours with similar goals. Ask for references before signing on the dotted line.

Do they keep up with changes? The world of advertising is always shifting and evolving, and you’ll want someone who devotes time and energy to keeping up with new trends and technologies. Ask if there are any new trends or platforms they think might be useful to your organization’s goals.

Step 3: Communicate Effectively

A doctor can’t help you if you tell him, “I don’t know, I just kind of hurt all over.” You need to be as specific as you can be so he can prescribe the right tests and medication to correct your health issue.

Once you select your media buyer, it’s up to you to communicate with them in a way that they can ensure the health of your campaigns. Don’t be vague. Communicate as clearly as you can and use numbers if possible. Don’t say, “It doesn’t seem to be working.” Instead tell them, “We’ve only seen a 3% increase in foot traffic in the last week, “or, “Our online sales have remained consistent.”

A good media buyer will watch vigilantly over your campaigns. They will want to test and refine your campaigns to get the biggest ROI. But they need your help in diagnosing any issues or areas for potential improvement.

If you follow these three simple but necessary steps, you’ll be able to choose the right media buyer for you and nurture a lasting and mutually-beneficial relationship with them.

Do you need help with your campaigns? Want to work with a media buyer with experience helping local businesses get the right message in front of the right people? Get in touch with us.

Topics: integrated marketing plan, media buyer, media planning, media planning agency, partnership

How to Select the Right Media Planning Agency

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Wed, Sep 02, 2015 @ 09:17 AM

If you’re a small- to medium-sized company, you know firsthand that a careful and strategic media campaign can help grow your business from a local player to a national brand. That’s the good news. The bad news is, launching a successful media campaign is one part art form, two parts science, and a whole lot of skill and knowledge.

Today’s media landscape is utterly confusing with new channels being added regularly. It takes a sophisticated media process to execute a successful campaign in the current marketplace, which is why many organizations are reaching out to professional media planning agencies.

But how do you choose the right agency for your particular campaign’s needs? The most experienced and qualified media specialists generally follow specific steps when they plan a media buy.

When speaking with potential media partners, make sure they follow these best practices:

market-analysisThey Conduct a Thorough Market Analysis

Solid media planning does not exist in a vacuum and a qualified media agency will, without question, complete a background analysis of your company before developing any sort of media buying plan. This analysis will take a strategic look at your business objectives as well as review your business’ sales, distribution, and competitive environments.

They Understand Financial Concepts

When speaking with your potential partners, make sure they understand basic financial concepts such as lifetime value of a customer, profit margins, the breakeven point of a program, seasonality of purchases and your sales cycle length. This is important because your planner will need to develop a strategy that aligns with your budget so you can get the greatest ROI possible.

They Use the Right Tools

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to find the right media partner. For example, you should ask which analytic tools they use to determine which market to target. These tools should be able to tell them what your target market’s media habits are. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at a media program if your message isn’t delivered to the right audience.

They Should Match Target Research to the Proper Media Mixmediamix

As we mentioned up top, the media landscape has become much more complex with fragmentation. A great media planner knows it doesn’t matter how cost efficient the buy was if the buy isn’t effective. If your targets aren’t reached, your campaign was all for not (AKA worthless).

Matching target research to the proper media mix is the foundation of every good and effective media program. Speak with your potential media partner and ask how they build a media mix. What experience do they have with the media they are proposing? Also, ask for specific examples of programs they’ve planned and run for other clients using the same channels.

They Believe in Testing

A professional media planner knows there is no one-size-fits-all approach to media buys. They believe in customizing plans for each and every client to insure their program uses the budget effectively and efficiently while delivering quantifiable results. Your media partner should embrace testing various media to find just the right mix for your objectives.

They Have Established a Successful Negotiation Process

handshakeEvery single media planner you sit down with will tell you the same thing: they negotiate the best price. Well, they should, or why are they in business in the first place? However, great negotiation is about much more than getting the best price – it’s also about getting the best placement.

The best media planners and buyers negotiate with one objective and that is to deliver BOTH the best price and the best spot where the target customer will be able to engage with your messaging. Brilliant concept, right? Don’t settle for anything less!

Choosing the right media planning agency for you can at times seem daunting. If you follow these guidelines you should be able to select the agency that will offer you a higher level of success and greater ROI.

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Image Credit: "Handshake" by EDHAR / shutterstock.com

Topics: media buying, media planning, media planning agency