Too often, agencies and advertisers end up doing business with a media partner that leaves them feeling like they didn’t get the service or communication they needed. Or even worse, they feel like it was a huge waste of their marketing dollars.
Whether the media company was pushing a package of the week, wanted to make a quick buck without truly understanding the business that they were advertising, or simply can’t compete in the local market that your business needs to reach out to, there are a lot of potential pitfalls when picking a media partner.
While of course, the medium and audience they reach are key–sometimes you have options even when it comes to that, and it’s important that you choose wisely. Here are six things to look for in order to find a flexible, reliable and talented advertising ally.
There’s nothing worse than signing a contract with a media company and finding out later that they don’t know anything about your particular industry. Before you find an advertising partner, ask for references specific to your industry and examples of ways they’ve delivered results. It might be easy to assume that any TV, radio, print, or online organization would have experience in every industry–but that’s not always the case–especially on a local level.
While many media buyers and marketers view partners simply as order takers, it’s important to realize that in many cases this couldn’t be further from the truth. Most professional, experienced Account Executives are well versed and trained in helping their clients develop strategic and effective marketing campaigns.
This is especially true when it comes to using their particular medium and reaching their particular audience. If your partner can’t offer strategic-level input, find one that can.
For instance, most of our clients at The Weather Channel work closely with advertisers to utilize the data and assets we have properly in order to plan out the right campaign for their particular needs and goals. This is a must regardless of what media company you are working with — they should truly be strategic marketing experts and an extension of your team.
It’s one thing to offer advice, but being able to back up their ideas with research is another level of service entirely. There’s no reason to trust your client’s business with some someone’s best guess. Find a media company that is willing to do their homework and back up their ideas with hard data.
Micro-targeted, hyper-local advertising campaigns are becoming a way of life, even for small and mid-size businesses. You need a partner who can do more than get your name in the paper or on a popular website, you need one who can pinpoint and hit an exact demographic.
While there is a time and place for reaching a larger audience, which certainly shouldn’t be ignored, it’s important to have partners that can deliver a variety of options and help you shape your advertising for each one based on your needs.
Nothing is more important than being responsive to your customer. Unfortunately, working in the advertising industry you’ve probably learned that lesson over and over again. There’s no reason to trust your advertising budget to a company who can’t even be bothered to pick up the phone or respond to your emails in a timely manner. Find a marketing partner that you can reach whenever you need them.
Of course, it’s important to note that there are exceptions and normal business hours to adhere by, but a general rule of thumb should be some type of response with 24 hours on a business day. Even if this means them telling you they received your note or voicemail and that they’ll get back to you as soon as they can.
Why is this so important? Despite it being incredibly annoying to work with anyone who is unresponsive, there’s also many scenarios where you need a quick answer or turnaround. You don’t want to miss a deadline for your own client because your media rep didn’t get back to you when they said they would.
Never trust an advertiser to simply tell you how great your results are. In order to know what was effective or what wasn’t, you need to see the numbers. Look for a media partner who will break down the data for you, and offer solid information about your key performance indicators. You need to know the basic information about the successes and setbacks of your campaign, so find a partner who will keep you in the loop.
On this same note, your advertising partner should be asking up front about your goals and how success will be measured. If this isn’t happening then you can almost guarantee the end of campaign follow-up won’t happen either.
With advertising budgets shrinking and marketers being held more accountable for results, choosing the right media partner could actually be your saving grace. Find a company who understands your industry and needs and works with you toward the same goal…results! You might be surprised at how big of an impact choosing the right media partner can make.
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