Does Your Media Buyer Make the Cut?

Have you ever heard the phrase: Google will provide you many answers, but a librarian will give you the right one? Much like a librarian, your media buyer will give you the right campaign strategy. Maybe this is your first time considering a media buying agency, maybe you have had experience in the past.  Whatever your background, you have certain expectations of what you want out of a media buying agency.

But does the agency with which you partnered make the cut? How should your agency measure up? There are many ways an agency can help your ad campaign and, depending on the media in which you plan to advertise, there are different parameters that agencies should work under. Here are six crucial points to consider when working with a media buyer for a print ad campaign:

1. Discounts. Your media buyer should be looking for discounts. In an interview with Lindsay Morrison, VP of marketing communications at SRDS/Kantar Media, she reported that most media buying agencies expect a 29% discount on average; and, they expect to not pay the rate card rate. Make sure to check in with your agency to see if they are looking at cost per thousand and discounts on rate cards.

2. Analysis and review. Professional agencies make a point in reviewing the background of their clients concerning such things as: sales, distribution, competitors, and previous and current ad campaigns you have run. Your agency should have a comprehensive grasp on your objective before moving forward with ad placements.

3. Testing and scale. An agency should test your ad to ensure it is being ran in the proper publication for the market and demographics that fit your brand/service/product. This means it should not be a huge role out of ads. A successful test will pave the way for a gradual roll out of more ads in multiple publications; whereas, testing with multiple ads in multiple publications could prove disastrous and ineffective. If you want to run multiple products/services, then it is best to test small markets first with one or two, then expand as per the success or failure of the test.

4. Negotiate. We often focus on price, but negotiation of placement and value is just as important. A great ad placed in the wrong area of a publication may miss optimal performance. Your media buyer should be up to speed on what types of placements work best and what stipulations, if any, from the publication may affect your ad’s placement.

Related: Effects of Print Ad Placement on Readership

5. Roll with the punches. The print advertising landscape is constantly changing. Your media agency should be, too. These changes might come in the form of buying year-long rather than the traditional fall/spring periods based often on the needs of the advertiser. Publications may get bought out, moved around or all together canceled. A media agency needs to be prepared and stay up-to-date so they can approach the situation in a way that benefits their clients.

6. Experience. Last, but certainly not least, media buyers should have experience with different products and clients while maintaining long lasting business relationships. These relationships should not only be developed with their clients, but also with publications. A good media agency will function ethically and ensure their clients’ needs are met rather than piling new client after new client. If you’re new, check out if the company has testimonials from their clients; or, check-in with your current media buyer to measure your level of satisfaction.