Regional and Mid-Market companies should hire a media agency based on their buying habits, not size.
If you are a regional or mid-market business, chances are your media needs are not being met or handled properly and there’s several reasons for that. Basically, in the nutshell, the media buying industry wasn’t designed to accommodate the needs of regional and mid-market businesses.
Many times, a company looks for an agency that has prior experience in their field. While I’m not necessarily sold on that idea, that may be a good decision when hiring a creative agency but may not be the best choice when hiring their media buyers. Instead, a regional company should hire an agency based on their buying models, one that fits their company’s need for media opportunities and knowledge of individual markets where their company operates in.
Often, as a regional company grows and becomes larger, they hire a new CMO and typically they immediately want to throw the baby out with the bath water and bring in new folks. They inevitably always believe bigger is better. They assume hiring a larger firm will raise their level of expertise, when in fact it may diminish their overall media performance. Instead a regional company should look for a media company that is well versed in every market relevant to their company footprint.
The agency should have local contacts in every market and be willing to roll up their sleeves and look at all options in each market. Negotiate deals individually, including added value and promotional elements, securing their clients the best available, instead of utilizing a rep firm who will just cast a wide net over the entire footprint.
Larger agencies, especially national and world-wide agencies have an established business model. Instead of meeting the true needs of a regional client they will just slide them into their larger mold, which typically means there is very little customization from market to market. Instead, customization would make for a much better plan.
A term coined by several “regional” specialty agencies well versed in this style of buying is called Micro Market Media. They use specific methodologies created to give regional marketers the strength of national buying pricing with local market control. The approach enables companies to negotiate better prices and placements, unify unconnected market territories and create one unified measurable pricing metric that achieve a better outcome and impact versus traditional media buying results. In addition, Micro Market Media solves the problem of CPP/CPM metric inconsistency.
The process incorporates built-in analytic capabilities that create and reveal precise measurements in each market. So, the company shouldn’t have to relinquish quality for quantity and positively never overpay for media, all the while gaining local media control in every single market.
In addition, Micro Market Media will help regional companies identify and avoid potential problems that hinder your marketing goals. Traditional media buying plans aggregate demographic data and apply that to multiple regions, even entire states, resulting in false assumptions and squandered marketing dollars.
Micro Market Media helps regional businesses overcome expansion challenges that traditional media plans neglect. This process is specifically designed to enable regional businesses to compete with larger national brands on an even playing field. Your brand gets the media buying power of larger budgets and local connections that increase your chances of market expansion success.
In the end, to be truly successful, a regional company should choose their media agency based on buying style over size.