For better negotiations, a mid-market company and their media team need to consider “time” when planning a strategic cost-effective media campaign.
In media buying, typically there are large national buys that come into media outlets with a large budget able to buy massive amounts of inventory or a local small business that cherry picks a specific outlet, time, and location or two to promote themselves. But what happens when a mid-size company doesn’t fall into either of these categories? How do they ensure that they get the proper exposure their product needs in the correct outlets, during the appropriate time and buy enough inventory to compete with a larger share of voice? Time…additional time! Mid-market, regional companies can best combat the national company or the neighborhood company by allowing more negotiating time.
If an RFP (request for proposal) is sent to a media company well in advance of the actual start date of a campaign, the opportunities and inventory are typically greater. The premium spots aren’t sold out and the media outlets have more to offer when responding to the request. Additionally, GSMs love getting an early jump on their selling season and appreciate the opportunity to secure a portion of their budget goals well in advance. Increased inventory opportunities allow for a mid-market regional company to pick better placements at lower rates which is better for their campaign results and ROI. Ad inventory is very often like airline seats. The fewer that remain the higher the cost.
Time also allows for stronger negotiations and better rates. Good negotiations can’t be rushed, and great negotiations need even more time. This is a critical element for a mid-market business needing to secure the best placements at the best possible rates. Since companies this size must be very responsible with their ad budgets being timely, efficient and remaining fiscally conservative will only increase ROI.
Starting a conversation with most media outlets with only weeks remaining before the campaign is set to begin, doesn’t leave the appropriate time to negotiate. Except in rare cases, if a company waits too long, they will lose prime inventory and receive remnant opportunities or overpay for premium placements.
Planning a campaign well in advance is easier said than done but being prepared, knowing the campaign dates and giving your media buyer ample time will usually garner better placements for less. Of course, you need a strong negotiator in your media partner. If they don’t use the time to negotiate harder than none of this matters.
Make sure they spend your money like it was their own. Time is paramount to a regional company’s media campaign. Without it, you’ll lose much of the premium inventory or only secure remnant opportunities and in most cases over pay for both!