For many clients, paid media is either a very scary mystery or as easy as buying exactly what they like to listen to/watch/read.
In reality, if you spend money on media placements, it is somewhere in the middle.
As a media planning and buying professional for 40+ years, I’ve compiled a pretty long list of things that you should think about, know about or implement as a regular part of your advertising media spend.
Rather than give you a long list with brief descriptions, this is the first in a series of things you can do today to help optimize your spend.
Media Truth #1: Understand your target customer. Most likely, it isn’t you. Or your spouse.
Lots of people are comfortable only if their advertising is spent on TV programs they watch, newspapers they read or radio stations they listen to. Which is great if your customer looks exactly like you: your age, gender, income and geography. But that probably isn’t the case. Your best customer might be a 21-year-old college student. Or a 35-year-old mother of three. Or a retired 80-year-old man. You need to let go of your notions that you need to see your advertising to think it’s working. It’s working if the people who buy your product or service see it.
Media Truth #2: The lowest price isn’t always the best deal.
As in most things in life, there is a relationship between what you pay and what you get. For example, radio buys. If a station comes in and tries to sell you a package with a lot of “broad rotators” (spots that can air across a really broad time period like 6am-Midnight), ask if they guarantee a minimum distribution across the better listened day parts (morning drive, afternoon drive). If not, you are paying for time periods with high listenership, but being placed in time periods with lower listenership. Lower listenership time periods are not necessarily a bad thing. But you would probably pay less per spot if you just purchased that time period rather than have it bundled in with higher priced time periods.
These are just the first two “truths” that help you spend your money more effectively. Check out future posts for more media insights on topics like old versus new media, connecting your creative with your media placements, and looking at media companies as a partner and not a vendor.