• Media Services

Media Services

Today’s media is way too complex and demographically fragmented for the “broad based” media solutions of even a few years ago. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a large international corporation or a small local business, it still takes research and planning, in addition to smart negotiating and a unique message, to drive business forward. And if you think digital media is “the future”, you’re wrong. It’s the present.

Media Negotiation

Media is the single most expensive cost of any marketing campaign, typically accounting for 80% of the dollars. Trying to plan and negotiate without the benefit of expertise is no different than being your own lawyer, accountant or doctor. Media Negotiation is part art, part science and years of industry experience. It has nothing to do with the cost of a media unit. Let me repeat that. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE COST OF A MEDIA UNIT. So if you’re not negotiating dollars, what do the pros negotiate? Targeted Audience delivery! Other factors that are integral to being a media negotiating pro are: knowledge of market rate seasonality, live verses recorded delayed viewing, market programming, vendor ability to run schedules, trafficking history, vendor competition, client competition, the ability to create special and unique promotions, and media relationships. That’s the REAL meaning of media clout. It’s not about having the biggest bat. It’s about knowing how to swing.

Media Buying

Broadcast television, broadcast radio, cable, satellite, syndicated and national television all have their unique audience and all require different skills in planning and buying. Understanding the ratings, seasonal adjustments, developing the buying philosophy for live and recorded ratings, establishing specific buying guidelines unique to every client, building rapport with vendor reps and management, and understanding their inventory demands and sweet spots requires skilled buyers with creative thinking. It's the discipline of checking contracts, getting signed confirmations, scrutinizing invoices to ensure schedules run as ordered, negotiating make-goods and credits, and post buy analysis.

It takes a media team and media software to properly evaluate and monitor the schedules, making a considerable difference in the outcome. A freelance buyer working hourly is going to cut these steps in order to reduce the media fees, which often is penny-wise and pound-foolish. Get a good understanding of your buyers’ credentials and have them explain their process. With approximately 80% of your advertising budget going into media, hiring a media buyer is as important as the creative director. The message has to be right; so does the media buy!

 

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The"Haps"

  • 07Nov2017

    GOT A CALL FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

    When I answered the phone it was a woman from the Department of Justice.  Sure!  I thought this was a prank call.  But then she went on to explain that the reason for the call was to set up a conference call with their lawyers to discuss the upcoming Tribune and Sinclair Broadcasting merger and the impact on my retail client in the Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem market.   How interesting!  In my 35+ years of media buying handling some larger, Fortune 500 accounts, I've never been asked by the government about my opinion. . . .nor do I know anyone else in the industry that has.  What did they want to know?

  • 25Jul2017

    Is Your Corporate Brand a Verb?

    As a marketing consultant one of my most memorable interviews with a new client was when asked his corporate goal, his desire was for his brand to become a verb. I have often thought about that comment.
    Amazing how that works! How does a brand become a verb? Does the company originate the idea or does the public just gravitate to the name? For example, we may say 'Google this' yet we don't say 'Yahoo this', even though Yahoo was founded 3 years prior to Google. When you are about to sneeze, do you say 'Hand me a Kleenex' rather than 'Hand me a tissue'? Wanting an overnight delivery, would you say 'FedEx' or 'US Postal' ? For most, 'postal' has a very negative connotation for co-worker violence. 

  • 25Jul2017

    Four Secrets to Getting Results in Today's Retail Environment

    The news headlines of retail store closings creates concerns about our economy . Well-established brands are closing a significant amount of stores. In 2017, JC Penny is closing 138 stores; Sears and K mart closing 265 stores; Macy's closing 68 stores; and Payless Shoe Source closing 512 with another 300 anticipated.

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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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