Growing a Biz Results

March 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Front Page, Wright Ideas

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Growing a Biz: Maximizing Advertising & Media Results

Guest post by marketing2020

If you are a business owner, manager, or entrepreneur trying to protect or grow a business with the assistance of advertising, you will 1) need a strategic media plan and budget supporting your marketing objectives and 2) you will also have to buy the planned media from media sellers, e.g., television, radio, print, online, direct mail — on a national or local basis.

Planning and buying media is a highly competitive, tricky and knowledge intensive business with over $270 billion in transactions  So, depending on what you buy, a budget of $50,000, your decisions could have  it the clout of $25,000 or 75,000+


The first rule to buying media is Caveat-Emptor.  Caveat Emptor means, “Let the buyer beware.”  You must understand that the sole purpose of media sales reps is to sell you some of their advertising media inventory (e.g., TV or radio spots, space in a print medium, impressions or clicks on the internet, etc.). They will pitch their availabilities in the most favorable light possible, carefully omitting information that doesn’t support their case. Caveat Emptor.

Media Selling Points

When media sales reps call on  potential advertisers, they  bring a  sales pitch– written, verbal or multi-media. However, media sales reps actually have only three basic arguments to pitch: audience, cost and impact.  A rep may try to convince you that their audience is perfect– in size, demographics, growth trends, etc. Or, they might pitch their cost efficiency, e.g., more audience per dollar.  Or, they might try to convince you that their medium is more impactful than competitive media (e.g., generates more sales, more credibility, etc.) Reps may point to a competitor’s alleged success in the medium (audience, cost or impact?)

Media Buying

As a buyer of advertising media you will examine not one but all of the reasonable alternatives in order to identify the ones which best meet your objectives, e.g., audience profile, impactful in communicating with target, and are  most cost effective, e.g., ROI = Cost/Audience x Impact.)  Ideally, you will make a side by side comparison of media alternatives on which to compare buying decisions for specific media vehicles.


Rate cards are a myth in the 21st century. Regardless of what is printed on the rate card, almost all media buys are negotiable, including price, inventory offered, timing/scheduling, positioning of ads within the medium, audience or results guarantees, value added elements such as merchandising to trade or dealers, promotions, use of on air talent, etc. It is therefore very important that the buyer have a win-win negotiating strategy firmly in mind prior to beginning a negotiation.

Key to Success: Education

Like most things where the stakes and risks are high, planning and buying advertising media requires that buyers really know what they are doing.  For those without experience there is a new college textbook, Media Planning & Buying in the 21st Century (2nd edition) which can help bring readers up to speed. For information, see:

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