Think about the last time you were in your car. Did you listen to the radio? Pass a billboard? And when you got home, did you turn on the TV? Watch Monday Night Football or Grey’s Anatomy while scrolling through Twitter on your phone? Thought so. Screens and sounds and images are everywhere, even if you don’t consciously notice it.
Media buyers follow trends and study what people of a certain age, gender, education level, etc. tend to watch and listen to and do, so we aim to expose our ads to those people who we know tend to watch and listen to and do those things. In return, by creating that exposure through strategic placement, a media buyer aims to push our brand or event to the top of a potential customer’s mind.
While most people are hanging up their witch hats and thinking about their turkey day plans, media buyers are calling cupid and prepping for Valentine’s Day. In other words, what’s happening now has already passed in the mind of a media buyer. Whether you’re buying for an event or a branding campaign, it’s absolutely necessary to stay two steps ahead and plan exactly what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and how you’ll do it well in advance of it actually happening.
Plus, if you’re working with your sister, PR, timing is key to create a successful campaign. Both sides have the same goal; you each just take different roads to get there.
KNOW YOUR MARKET AND YOUR MONEY
Speaking of timing, if you’re buying for an event on a specific date, it’s important to know everything that is happening in your market on and around that date. Do the Colts have a home game? Is Comic Con or Beyoncé in town? Is it election season? All are important things to know that could help or hurt the event and your media buying ahead of it.
In addition, you also need to know how much a set budget will get you in any given market. Larger budgets will obviously get you more, but when spent strategically, small budgets have the potential to pack just as much of a punch. Is there a certain date that might make a bigger impact? A certain radio station with the right demo to go all-in with? Is there a billboard outside of the stadium where Beyoncé just performed to advertise for the *NSYNC reunion concert next month? No matter the case, know what you can get with your budget wherever you are, and use it wisely.
KNOW YOUR REP
The person who you coordinate your buy with is your gateway into the market, especially if it’s one you don’t typically work in. They know their market, they know what it costs to make an impact, and they are the ones that help you get your message to the audience. Don’t think you shouldn’t do your homework though– it’s also very important to learn about a market for yourself.
So learn from your rep, but know your options. Listen to them, but be ready to negotiate. Be nice, but know that you have the ultimate decision-making power.
The first printing press was put into commercial use over 500 years ago. You know what else happened around 500 years ago? Christopher Columbus came to America.
Print isn’t dead, but it’s certainly changing. Fortunately for media buyers, print has found a way around its own death, with a big thanks to the Internet. Several formerly print-only companies are transitioning to multi-media companies that offer print and online services, amongst others, which make them a force to be reckoned with when utilized strategically. And if your budget isn’t big enough for that, there are several ways to advertise exclusively online. Social media sites, search engines, email blasts and blogs (wink) are all good options. Plus they are environment-friendly, just like us!
All in all, when placing ads through strategic media buying, it’s important to do all your homework, even the extra credit. Ever heard “there is no such thing as bad publicity”? Well, there is such thing as bad media buying, and that’s when nobody sees your message. Don’t let that be you– think ahead and know what you’re getting into to keep up with the ever-changing world of advertising and media buying.
by Christina Saenger
Planning an event in a new market? Hire a pro for events and entertainment promotion, media buying, and more.