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For example, a franchise had expanded quickly into North Carolina by opening locations in several cities. When it came time to advertise, they found the mass media cost prohibitive and difficult to challenge their competitors. Working with them to identify additional locations, they were able to continue to grow and gain media efficiency.

A client, looking to add a new location, gave us a list of markets they were considering. They asked for radio and television costs in each market and were greatly surprised to see the variation of costs. In some cases, the smaller markets were actually more costly, a result of the number of stations and ownerships. In another situation, several markets had similar population and cost, however one market consisted of just a few counties while another was spread out over more than 20 counties. Knowing that people would only drive a certain distance for their product/service, this information helped them determine the best location. By knowing more about the media coverage, they were able to choose more cost effective markets.

Even though radio and television costs are negotiable, supply and demand are another factor to consider. Demand drives up costs. National brands have their favorite new product test markets. The car dealerships eat a tremendous inventory as does political special interest money. Knowing how stations manage their inventory and how they respond to high demand , can sway a planner to recommend one market over another.

Other factors might impact the broadcast media plan, such as hyphenated markets in which news focuses on different geographic areas. A perfect example would be Greenville, SC-Spartanburg, SC- Asheville, NC in which the cities are 60 to 100 miles in separation.

Costs can also vary for digital advertising. For example, pay per click can be more expensive in one market than another based on the amount of actual searches and bids for keywords for that industry. The bids may not be coming from competitors within the market, but by online advertisers who have discovered that market's efficiencies. Knowing the bidding and search activity within a specific market can be a strategic advantage.

There are obviously many factors that enter into determining a store location. Just make sure that media planning is part of that process! Let us know if Media Power can help you plan your next location. A small fee can save you thousands of dollars!

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  • Have you ever wondered if you are really getting all the media exposure you pay for? Do you know where the hidden costs are if your staff or your ad agency is not skilled at forecasting rating points? Do you know how often the stations on your buy run the wrong traffic or fail to deliver the planned GRPs?

    Do your customers allow YOU to charge for products and services that weren't delivered as ordered? Do you know many ad agencies and advertisers do exactly that? You shouldn't pay for media that doesn't run as projected, negotiated and ordered; but you probably do if you aren't conducting media performance audits.

    One client hired MPA to conduct a sample audit of their in-house media department. They selected three markets- Dallas, Charlotte and Pittsburgh. We audited their entire process – from plans to buys, from invoices to payment vouchers.They advertised weekly entertainment events so it was important that spots run as ordered. Most radio stations demanded payment in advance because entertainment clients are considered "transient" advertisers.To our client's surprise (but not ours) the media performance audit revealed that not one single radio station ran their schedules as ordered. Traffic was wrong, critical days were missed, the number of spots varied, but the client was paying 100% for the advertising as ordered.

    I thought we were running a pretty tight operation until MPA conducted a performance audit. The annual impact of this slippage easily cost our company over $250,000 per year. We believe in the MPA way of guarding our money.

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