How To Plan a Media Buy-Part 1
Planning and discipline. That’s all you need to make an effective media buy. There are more options than ever to buy advertising media. It seems like overnight the pie has gone from just a few pieces to several thousand. It would be impossible for you to buy advertising on all of them, even if you spent just a few dollars, which would never work. You can still make an effective buy. You just need to have some planning and discipline. (Download the media buy checklist HERE or by clicking the image below).
- Know and Stay Within Your Budget
The general rule for establishing a total advertising and marketing budget is allocating 3.5-5% of your annual gross sales. There are also periods of the year called “Spikes” that you will want to allocate 8-12% of gross sales. “Shoot when the birds are flying.” When more people are in the buying cycle for your products and services you spend more. When less are naturally buying you spend less.
Your company may be below the average of 3.5-5%. If that is the case, don’t over spend right away, especially if will cause cash flow problems. A properly planned media buy, even under the spending standards can yield results and allow you to increase your budget incrementally year to year.
- Define Clear Expectations based on ROI
Take your monthly budget and determine how many prospects and sales you are going to need to break even. This should be your minimum goal for new business. You can download a return on investment calculator on our website if you need a tool to use. It is important that you set a sales goal for evaluation purposes. If you are not achieving your goals, it is an indication of three factors: 1. You are buying the wrong media. 2. You have a bad message. 3. You aren’t spending enough money. Typically you will find this answer in numbers 1 and 2.
- Research Your Target Market
Developing a clear definition of your buyer’s personas will allow you to eliminate the majority of media available to you. You will be able to narrow down the top options available to you, and begin to do a competitive analysis of them. Many media offer qualitative data that can guide you or confirm your decision to use them. Don’t be afraid to ask for this. Many times common sense prevails over anything else. If you are selling yard equipment, E! or Food Network wont’ work, but NASCAR and College Football will.
- Compare Apples to Apples
Don’t’ make the mistake of getting rates or a proposal from one company. Get rates, ratings data, and proposals from as many comparable companies as possible. Most of them have data on each other. You can ask that they provide competitive information. This will allow you to identify discrepancies in the data given to you, and give you negotiating power in making your buy.
But that’s not it! There are 4 more steps you’ll need to follow to plan a media buy. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s part 2 and we’ll finish it up. In the meantime, take a look at our eBook, “Guide to Creating the Perfect Commercial or Corporate Video.” Download it HERE or the image below.