Henry Ford said this, and it’s as true today as ever: “A man who stops advertising to save money, is like a man who stops the clock to save time.” The fact is, most businesses need to advertise in order to grow profits, pay employees and partners, and develop new markets.
- Avoid the big agencies. You can save significant money by avoiding the high costs and slow development time frames that big agencies introduce to the media buying process. (As an independent media negotiation firm, Vision Media typically saves clients 20% to 30% on costs and countless wasted hours.)
- Demand accountability. You need to set objectives with your media buying provider and make sure there’s a feedback loop in place to measure results. When it comes to identifying progress, nothing works better than good planning and strategy – and the right measurement tools. Most companies know just enough about media buying to be dangerous. You need to have a partner that’s in the trenches every day to help you understand what drives sales and how to get the most for your media spend dollars.
- Work with small, experienced teams to get results faster. This is related to tip #1. If you avoid the large hierarchies and college-grad staffs at the big agencies, you’re going to save yourself some headaches. You don’t want to deal with junior level account managers, assistant media buyers, assistant planners or media supervisors. What you need is a small, nimble team with 15, 20, 20 plus years experience in the media industry.
- Try not to develop personal relationships with media reps. Media sales people working for radio, television, newspaper and digital outlets all have one objective. They want to sell their solution to potential advertisers so they can get paid. In some cases, they may be selling a solution that’s perfect for a client, but in many cases, they’re selling a solution that isn’t anywhere near perfect for the client, but they need to sell that solution whether or not it’s to you or to another advertiser. It doesn’t matter. They’ve got to be out there selling what they have to offer. Vision Media acts independently. We look at opportunities and objectively tell our clients whether or not something makes strategic and financial sense. You want to avoid getting emotionally involved with reps. This business is very straightforward and numbers-oriented business. You can get deals by sticking to rational buys.
So the net take-away here is to continue advertising but do it smarter. Vision Media can help if you need assistance. Keep checking in with us here for more tips and best practices. We’ve got plenty more coming. Please comment below, too, if you have additional tips or input.
Here are some more media buying insights in audio form. It’s an interview with Vision Media president Steve Reed. Check it out, download it to your phone, and please share with your associates!