Whether you are exploring media buyers for the first time or looking for a new, more effective media buying agency, start by establishing the criteria your business wants in a provider.
When you begin the process, you may first look at factors like location, experience, size, and specialization, such as digital media buying, traditional media marketing, and experiential marketing. These attributes are important, but they matter less than the approach an agency takes to managing your business and your campaigns.
Instead, consider these three qualities before deciding on a new provider…
Media Buyers Need to Be Strategic
Preliminary conversations are a good way for you to gauge whether a company is the right fit. However, you should be wary of media buyers that immediately begin advising tactics without understanding your business and evaluating what you need to accomplish.
If an agency uses a standard approach to media planning—making the same recommendations to a local B2C business as it does to a national B2B powerhouse—it’s not being a responsible partner. At Capitol Media Solutions, we take the time to understand our client’s business, conduct extensive research, and base our plan on factors such as:
- The time frame of a buy.
- The audience your company is targeting
- The markets for reaching this audience.
- Your budget for the campaign.
- The goals you want to achieve.
This approach lets us evaluate every decision for the buy based on whether that choice is in line with your strategy.
Hire a Consultant (Not an Order-Taker)
Media buyers should do more than just buy media. They should help your company:
- Define the media campaign, including your audience, budget, and goals.
- Find rates and availability to match the campaign.
- Make recommendations to improve your results based on their experience, expertise, and media research.
- Negotiate for the best rates possible and push for value add from media outlets.
- Offer marketing tactics to support the buy, such as attending trade shows or conducting email marketing.
If your company has limited exposure to media buying, there’s one more important way an agency can support you: educating you and your internal team about its work. Your agency should show you the opportunities that exist, explain why certain buys are more appropriate than others, and help you to evaluate for yourself the success of its work.
Choose a Provider that is Customer-Centered
Ring. Ring. Ring.
If that’s what you’re getting when you dial your current provider, or if your email inbox is feeling lonely waiting for a reply, your company may not be receiving the support it deserves.
Media buying is timely. Check out our recent posts on scatter advertising and upfront media buys, and you’ll see how “when” you place your media buys is just as important as the channels you select.
The media buyers you hire to manage your budget should be in regular communication about ways to improve campaigns based on changing circumstances. They should also address your questions and concerns promptly so that you don’t miss out on opportunities.
Just as importantly, media buyers should not keep your advertising program on auto-pilot. Your agency should remain vigilant, make course corrections in the name of accomplishing your goals, and be able to report on the results and the ROI it has achieved. When you hire, choose a good steward with a sense of urgency and the experience and commitment to make effective, strategic choices on your behalf.
To learn more about media buying and the way that Capitol Media Solutions works, give us a call or send us an email.