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Is It True- TV and Radio do not pull results anymore?

Here are some tips on how to get the best results from your advertising:

Hire a media professional that can guide you through the changes in media usage.

So many times I meet with a prospective client and the first question is "how much do you charge?" or "how much rebate will you pass along to me?" The more important issue should be "tell me about your accounts and how successful you've been for them". It's not about the rates, it's about the strategic thought-leadership that a good media professional can bring to the table. Rather than focus on how much you are paying, focus on how much you are making!

Rather than determining what media you should use, focus on who you are trying to reach.

In-depth analysis of your target audience helps determine what media to select and when to advertise.

Target audience needs to be defined beyond the standard demographics of gender, age and income. Psychographics are also important: understanding the prospects lifestyle, attitudes and behavior. And, geography. I had a client advertising in his home DMA and the neighboring markets because his data base showed those zip codes. But in scrutinizing his sales, the majority of his business came from only a 10 mile radius. So, we focused his schedule in that immediate area, then quarterly we ran a broad campaign with a more aggressive offer to attract the outer area. Same advertising dollars, but the shift to keep more dollars in the immediate area and allowing the offer to attract new clients in the adjacent area, his return on investment increased considerably.

Have a good website before you start advertising.

Your website is your new storefront. Majority of consumers see advertising and then go to the website to check out the company. If they can't find you, or are not impressed, then you have just driven them to your online competitors. In April 2015, Google changed their algorithm to add importance to mobile-friendly websites. It's no longer 'how do I increase my SEO', it's now 'what needs to be done to not be penalized by the search engines'. Make sure your website is on a responsive format, loads quickly, easy navigation, and has unique content.

Do not place any advertising until you have determined how you will measure results.

Determine how you will measure results and make sure your expectations are reasonable in today's marketplace. What is your purpose? Are you offsetting attrition, building sales, improving your profit margin? Everyone wants increased sales and return on investment. Be specific , put a number to it! Determine a desired level and a minimum level. Project anticipated results vs budget. Is this really attainable?

Have a documented, strategic media plan.

What media is being recommended and how does it reach your target audience. Are you spending enough to achieve your reach and frequency goals? Why is this the recommended plan, what is the media rationale? What are the tactical details? Calculate the numbers. What percentage of the audience reached do you think will respond, what percentage will come into your store, and how much will they spend? Is the forecast of results in line with your budget? Media buying is logical. Invest the time and effort to properly think out the strategy and tactics, determine your measurements, and use the results to improve your future plans.

A boss early in my career used to say "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there!" It's taken me decades to appreciate that wisdom shared!

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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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