Mid-market and regional companies need to have a well- rounded perspective of their media campaign before going all in on any media.
National companies typically have extremely large media budgets, unfortunately most mid- market and regional companies can’t say the same. They need to be nimbler and thorough in their evaluations, goals and objectives before spending any of their budget.
National giants like Bud, Coke, Apple and P&G have budgets so large that they can slice off a percentage of their overall budgets and hand each division their own portion to spend and monitor. They also are fortunate enough to afford separate divisions (traditional print, radio, TV, digital and social) to monitor their various media sector spends. Most regional companies barely have enough people in their marketing and media department to remain on top of current media trends and sales, let alone have individual divisions.
Therefore, it’s much more important for a regional company to look at their entire plan as one large jigsaw puzzle rather than individual pieces. To do so first they must substantiate all the available choices they can afford and then run a diagnostic evaluation of the benefits and detriments of each.
Once they have vetted each media medium, they need to prioritize their spend based on the potential that each will have in affecting their bottom line and sales goals. This is not an easy task and requires working with an agency that can waddle through the media muck and sales stats and never lose sight of the goals.
Next, they need to see how creating different combinations of mediums will make their media investment puzzle look and perform, and which ones can be adjusted the quickest and easiest if they need to redirect their plan. Finally, they need a plan A and B, if final negotiations and planning don’t go as well as they hoped.
Too often companies silo everything from their data to sales departments. A regional company is well served not to utilize this model. More often than not, it will create a serious company disconnect and surely condemn the media plan and sale goals. Instead they need to bring in all departments when sorting their media options and evaluate their options based on the criteria each department has, instead of the criteria only appealing to the marketing department.
True story: I was discussing plans with a CMO of a company we represented, and I asked him how we would determine if the plan was a success. He told me that if his plan was executed as drawn up then he would consider it a success because he wasn’t concerned with the sales results because that wasn’t his department. What? Seriously? I damn near fell off my chair! I suggested he never utter those words in front of the owner unless he was resigning his position.
However, this isn’t an isolated situation. It occurs more than we would imagine and typically sets the winners apart from the losers. Regional and mid-market companies should think big and shoot for the moon, but they should act their size and keep their feet on the ground if they want a winning combination between marketing and sales.