5 Rookie Media Buying Mistakes

When executed properly, advertising campaigns can be a powerful way to increase sales, but the flip side of that equation is that media buying mistakes can turn it into a big waste of time and money.  In our decades of media buying experience, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, and we’ve compiled some of the most common rookie media buying mistakes for you to review.  Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned media buyer, avoiding these mistakes will greatly increases the chances of your campaign being successful.

1. No defined media buying strategy.

This is a biggie! If you’re going into any type of media buying, whether it be digital, TV or print, you MUST determine what your strategy is. Are you looking to re-brand? Are you trying to reach a specific audience? If one type of media isn’t working, do you have a back-up plan?

2. Not eliminating personal bias/preferences.

We all have our own preferences when it comes to media. Some may like to read Car & Driver while others like being on Facebook. However, no matter your personal choices, what is important is the media that will work best for your product.  In order to determine this, you must have a very good idea of who your ideal customer is, including demographic information and buying habits.

3. Cutting ad spending without correct analytics.

So your media campaign has been successful and now you want to trim excess cost. Make sure you’re not looking at only recent activity. Print ads especially may still be responsive four years down the road as magazines often sit in offices and wait rooms.

4. Forgetting frequency.

Don’t forget about measuring frequency! Your campaign may be gaining momentum, but it could easily be cut short by not measuring frequency. You should be looking at your ad’s exposure, number of a particular media your ad is running in, clutter from other advertisers, your ad’s message complexity and other important factors that will affect the frequency of running your ad.

5. Best rate-think again.

We may have beat a dead horse with this one, but we cannot say it enough: the rate you are getting alone is unlikely the best rate you could receive.  Remember–the media sales rep’s job is to close the deal with you while making you think you got the best rate in town, but if you don’t have anything to compare that rate to, how can you be sure how good it is?  Many advertisers think they can bypass media agencies and go directly to the publication to get a better rate. The fact is, agencies have a higher volume and relationship status with those publications and thus are able to get better deals such as volume and remnants.

Media buying can be an effective way to increase your company’s rewards and outreach. If you don’t do your research, though, you may find yourself making one of the media buying mistakes mentioned here. Don’t jump in feet first. Instead, take your time, wade through all the information you can find on media buying and determine what works best for your strategies.