Before implementing in-house media plans, Mid-Market companies need to consider the time and expense it takes to deploy these steps.
We all know that a great media strategy is a plan of action that assists businesses in reaching their target audience in ways that will help these businesses meet or exceed the final goals and objectives of their campaigns.
When trying to capture the attention of a niche group of consumers, it’s most important to drill down to your specific demographic and figure out what will get their attention in the most effective and efficient ways. Sounds simple, right? Well it’s not!
So, before any regional company thinks they’ll save money by bringing this work in house, the CEO and the C – Team better consider these points.
1) Consumer Polling and Data Analytics
The demographics of any target audience must be a top priority. The more you know about your target market, the more effective your overall marketing and media strategy will be. You need to know and identify with your targeted consumers, where, how and why they spend their time and money, and how this specific audience desires to effectively be reached. Do you have the means and the talent to poll, track, assess and analyze your consumer audience data? If you don’t, remember it still needs to be done.
2) Determine Legitimate and Measurable Metrics
Two concerns you must keep in mind during the strategy process are the overall marketing objectives and sales goals. The goals you set need to be specific, measurable and legitimate. Vague goals like making more money or increasing sales are nice, but bogus, if you don’t have measurable metrics to post them against. After all, these are the goals of every business, whether they advertise or not.
Specifically, they must be more detailed and realistic. Assuming all things are equal, an example of a specific goal might be to; “Increase sales by 3% in Q2 YOY (year over year)” or “Increase overall occupancy rates by 5% in July.” Assuming these are realistic goals from a sales perspective, then these goals are much more specific and realistic and introduce a time element. This will allow you to focus on lead times necessary to create advertising traction and then the ability to create a workable time table and post specific sales periods against media expenditures and efforts.
3) Know Your Budget as Well as Your Audience
To craft a legitimate regional media strategy, you must consider your marketing budget. Without an ample budget to adequately accomplish your media goals, tough choices must be made. If your plan includes an advertising assault on four media fronts and in six markets, however, your budget only allows for three mediums to be purchased in ample scale in five markets, then a new plan needs to be developed from the ground up. You simply don’t lop off one form of media and a market like two amputated arms. It’s not that simple.
You need to reevaluate everything, or you could blow hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars on an issue without ever achieving a successful solution. Devising a set budget encourages you to think each tactic and market through carefully and be much more creative in your problem-solving.
By setting a budget, you are also protecting yourself from overspending on tactics that may not be helping to meet your objectives. Do you have the proper personnel?
4) Learn from Your Results
The most effective media strategies are those that evolve over time and are analyzed every step of the way, adjusting as necessary. If a regional company launches a strategy that doesn’t produce the expected results, the company needs to adjust quickly and learn where it may be going wrong and shift strategies and budgets to improve subsequent placement and budgets.
It’s one reason why creating realistic and measurable results are so important. They provide extremely valuable data that can be analyzed, digested and implemented into future media strategies to make them better. Do you have the pros for this job?
In another blog I will cover all the business reasons and cost factors that must be clearly identified before a decision is made to move media buying completely in house. For now, just remember good media professionals are true professionals. They study, work, live and breathe media. They are as experienced at their craft as your attorney or accountant.
Whether you’re a regional or mid-market company chances are you have less internal resources than national brands, so what may seem like a money saving decision, may prove to cost you much more in growth than is lost on commissions and expertise.