Most of the clients we have worked with over the years have all had one thing in common, and that is a desire to grow from a local business to a regional, or in some cases, national brand.
While to some this growth challenge may seem impossible, we know firsthand that the right strategic media campaign can help a small fish turn into a big fish. Having said this, developing and launching a winning media campaign is not as easy as you may think (or wish). This is in large part thanks to the fragmented advertising landscape.
With the ever-growing mass of media channels available, most business owners can feel alarmingly overwhelmed making the right decisions that will help them get a solid return on their marketing investment. This is where a professional media buying agency can come in handy.
But choosing the right media buying agency can be almost as confusing as choosing the right media mix. Here are a few pointers on how to choose the right media buying partner for your company.
- They Should Listen More Than They Speak
Upon your first meeting with a prospective media buyer, they shouldn’t tell you exactly what they are going to do for you. How on Earth can they come up with a personalized media plan without first learning your brand?
Your media buyer should take the time to understand your company’s goals, vision, roadblocks, competition, budget, etc. During the first meeting, they should definitely be asking you a lot of questions and diving into your overall business objectives that your marketing program hopes to achieve. They should also want to do a review of your business environment, including (but not limited to) sales, distribution, competition, previous advertising efforts and your industry’s current trends and climate.
- They Should Understand Money and Budgeting
It’s imperative that your media partner understand financial concepts. Not only should they have a firm grasp on the things like the lifetime value of a customer, the breakeven point of a program, and profit margins, but also things like the benefit of acquiring new customers vs increasing the interaction with existing customers and the length of your average sales cycle.
- They Understand How to Combine the Right Media Mix
The right media mix can make you top of mind with your local market while at the same time increase your bottom line. The wrong media mix can waste a lot of time, energy and money.
A good media buying partner understands that it doesn’t matter how cost efficient the media buy is if it isn’t at all effective.
What ultimately makes an effective media buy? The campaign reaches your target audience with the right message at the right time.
To get the job done, your media buyer will have to have comprehensive knowledge of how to do proper research. Feel free to ask your prospective partner how he or she handles market and consumer analysis. How much experience do they have with the proposed media? And what kind of examples of programs can they offer that they’ve run for other clients? What was the success of these programs?
- They Understand the Importance of Testing
A great media buyer does not believe in taking a once-size-fits-all approach with media buying. They understand that each client’s program will need to be customized to ensure it will deliver quantifiable results.
To do this, they will have to test various media combinations to gather useful insights that will lead them to just the right mix. Ask them how they test.
- They Have Experience with Multiple Media Channels
We’ve seen it many times: a media professional from one specific medial outlet decides to become an overall media buyer. The problem is, they only know how to sell their own services to clients. There is an inherent conflict of interests in this scenario.
Be sure your media buying partner has a vast and varied background with all types of media, including traditional channels such as TV, radio, out-of-home, print, direct mail and digital media like online video, publisher sites, and ad networks.
- They Can Offer Creative Input
While your media buyer shouldn’t be expected to write outstanding copy and create dazzling designs, they should be able to offer creative recommendations based on their insights from successful campaigns.
For instance, a buyer may be able to recommend a :30 second radio spot over a :15. They should be able to read a print ad’s headline and know quickly whether it works or not. The more insights they can offer, the more effective your campaign will be.
- They are Skilled Negotiators
Most media buyers will boast about getting the best pricing for clients. But that’s only half the equation. You also want your buyer to get you the best PLACEMENT.
If, in your first meeting, your buyer is going on and on about “best rates,” ask them what they can do to help you get the absolute best placement for your ad. Getting an excellent rate on a :30 that runs at two in the morning doesn’t mean a hill of beans if your audience isn’t up at that hour!
Before signing on any dotted line, make sure your prospective media buyer offers all of the above abilities. If not, keep looking. You will need the person in your corner to have the right set of skills to help you reach your goals.
We’d love to toss our hat into the ring. Reach out to us so we can schedule a time to hop on a call. We’d love to help you grow your business and become a bigger fish!