Buying Media – Should I Do It Myself or Should I Hire a Media-Buyer?
Tricks, Tips and Hidden Secrets
In this article, we will break down the pros and cons of buying your own media and what you may need to know before taking the plunge.
The Direct Sales Approach
When it comes to buying media, lots of companies are tempted to make their purchase directly with the TV or Radio station that calls and presents them with a buying opportunity and the deal of the day. Lots of times, this includes the incentive to sell at a cut price and provides the station an opportunity to push inventory that otherwise would have been used as extra space for existing customers.
The Boss Wants Action
Another example is when a company has an issue where they are not getting the return that they need and want to experiment with other forms of media such as TV, Billboards, Radio. The owner assigns the project to the marketing department, who decides to do it themselves and place media based on contacting a station and telling them what they want. Many times the station will provide a good buy with what they have, but it can be so much more comprehensive when buying multiple stations.
For example, the station can only provide the audience that the client is after based on their own inventory. A media buyer can plug in the demographics for a whole market to determine the best programming no matter what the station. In some instances, the top station in the market may not be the best station for the audience depending on programming. This is the software advantage that media buyers use to help determine the buy across all platforms. The benefits of the technology that a media buyer can provide with the applications that they use to plug to find the audience that will work best for the customer, as well as evaluate the inventory that is available on the market. An independent station, can only do that based on their own inventory and convince the client that they can get it done – leaving some obvious holes.
What’s more – media buyers buy constantly and likely already have relationships with stations, so the buyers know them and are quick to work with them and not waste time educating or walking through the process with a marketer that doesn’t have media buying experience.
A media buyer takes all emotion out of the equation to provide the best buy for the client needs across many platforms, stations, etc. The benefit, media companies happily take 15% off of the price for their service, which is standard across the all media. You’re paying the same price, but often don’t get the same quality and get filler spots during programming that you don’t want. Media buyers don’t let stations get away with that type of activity and can minimize waste. Even more, since they are likely buying from that station already, you will even get better pricing based on volume that they bring to the table.
Know What You’re Getting
Buyer beware – some media buyers charge a management fee as well, so just be sure you know what you are getting in advance. We don’t. Other secrets revealed – do media companies such as TV, Radio and Billboard companies like to work with media buyers. The answer is yes because, if the media buyer is good, then the station reps know that the marketing will work and they will play the long-game for the client and likely develop a successful plan that works for the client and will end up running the buy for longer due to better strategy and results.
We write this article to educate clients and potential clients on the benefits of using a media buyer and the pitfalls that you can likely avoid if you try to go alone. In many, many instances we find out during engagement what clients do and much of this is lessons learned. We’ve uncovered all kinds of gems in the media buying process and have plenty of instances of clients that have been taken for a ride that decide never to buy again because the experience didn’t work well for them. If you’re going to make the investment, get more bang for the buck. More spots, better spots, and pay the same price that you would have otherwise.