I shake my head in amazement nearly every day. Because on a regular basis, I speak to clients and potential clients who truly don’t understand what lies behind the curtain and yet they think they know the media industry as well as a veteran seasoned ad expert.
They either make their own buys or have internal marketing people handle it for them. In a few rare cases I have met companies that are as efficient at media as a media expert, but it’s a very rare occurrence.
This phenomenon amazes me but also clearly outlines what they truly don’t know about our industry. And it’s not just in one area of planning and buying, it lies everywhere through the entire process.
During a discussion they’ll explain their research process and what software they use. I often don’t hear them mention anything important in their specifications. But aren’t things like literacy, work schedules, traffic flows, income, religion, past times, seasonality, and behavioral patterns important? They must not be, yet these areas are rarely the same market to market and have everything to do with the success of a campaign in one region compared to another.
Then we discuss bumps. 50% of the folks have no idea their media purchased may not run where promised. The only guarantee your media will run typically is if you pay close to rate or overpay. But if you want to truly extend your budget and increase your buy, you need to negotiate and negotiate hard! If you are haggling over rates and want much more for your money, then bumps and make goods are a real concern. They happen every day. Do they understand what is a comparable replacement or just bottom lining their ratings and calling it settled?
When “added value” is discussed rarely does anyone care much because it’s only a no charge line item that typically the vendor nor the client shows much concern over. Yet in many instances guaranteed added value can increase or extend a buy an additional 10-15%.
I also run into so many that use a dashboard and then “set it” and “forget it”. Are they checking the delivery and impact results daily? Do they have a certified understanding of data and the relationship it takes to use those dashboards and increase their results? Haven’t met many.
The newest sentiment is believing that only trackable media is useful media. WRONG! First, some businesses are not suited to be able to track every one of their sales to a specific media or ad, unless they are more e-commerce. Does that mean traditional methods are passe’? Many think so, but companies like Netflix, Verizon, Facebook, Google, Samsung, T-Mobile, AWS, and Apple don’t think so. What do they know? They know you need a well-balanced campaign to be truly effective.
Finally, the discussion turns to reconciliations. Nearly every company bottom lines everything. If it matches, they’re good but are they really? In one year, we returned $5M to a single client due to true under delivery that by bottom lining looked as if it balanced. 5 million dollars!
When companies have a legal issue the first thing they reach for is their attorney. When it’s tax time, they have a slew of accountants. But when it comes to media, they’re good on their own. That’s not only hurtful to professionals that have spent their entire careers mastering their craft and staying current on all trends, tools, technology, and vendors. It shows their lack of industry knowledge and is a bad decision for their company.
You have an attorney to keep you out of trouble and you have an accountant to save you money. Well, a superior media planning and buying agency does both!