Why aren’t you looking for an ad agency? Going from good to great!
One such conversation happened about a week or so ago…when the “marketing” person at this particular company said he doesn't believe we can get better rates on ad space and that he is doing everything right and wouldn't want to risk a good thing. Now, I can agree with not wanting to mess with a good thing, but why would you not want to hear some ideas from experts on the issue and potentially go from good to great? You see, there is a major misconception in the marketplace, namely the Jacksonville market; ad agencies are over priced and don't yield results – this is what we tend to run in to. Well, what if I said HP computers are cheap and wear out quickly — does this mean that a Mac should fall under this category of cheaply made equipment? What about saying I purchased a used Mercedes and it broke down in 2 years, so all Mercedes break down in 2 years? You see there is quite a bit of flaw in my logic if this were the case.
I think it foolish to not take a meeting with an ad agency because the marketplace has made you feel jaded. Not all companies are created equal and to believe so is logical fallacy – as my attorney friends might say. So I pose this questions again, Why aren't you looking for an ad agency? If you are passively looking or waiting for an agency to call you – well you must not care too much about growing your business through advertising. Marketing is a strange game, especially today with the consumer taking in media almost always on demand. Focus on what you do best, whatever that is, and let us be your marketing arm. It's too risky to play games with your money.
Conservative Talk Radio Programming
I think there are a lot of advertisers that choose to align with a show like this. Is it because they are conservative? No it is because one thing – he has an audience! Do you consider what type of audience you are trying to reach with your advertising dollar? I think far too many times companies are choosing to align with a talk show host based on the material…lest we forget the material dictates the listeners? At least in most cases that is. Conservative talk radio is very male heavy with the typical listener falling in to the 35-64 age demo, typically wealthy and college educated. Which I find odd when I hear a potential new client (M 35-64), small business owner – fitting the mold perfectly may I add…buy a program like this. Remember it isn't about what YOU listen too, it is about what your audience listen's to. See with this particular potential new client, who sells tires in a lower income part of town, which is Hispanic and African American heavy, you should never buy a program like this. The moral is please do not buy your advertising based on what you like, unless you are the target demo that is. And always remember…interact, don't interrupt!”
This is a question I hear a lot from a potential new client. How should we buy a market? Well my answer is pretty simple, that's why you hire us…or any agency for that matter. Here is the problem with answering this question – it isn't a simple answer. It is one that requires an in depth needs analysis, understanding how best to negotiate and bring in the market, understanding the medium for which you are buying and why. Let's not forget the target demo and the proper research that goes into understanding how best to reach them. See there are several reasons to hire an ad agency, but at the end of the day it is two things, or at least it should be two things – 1. Creativity and 2. Expertise of the market. There is a ton of waste that is occurring right now in every market in the country, Jacksonville included: DUPLICATED AUDIENCE REACH (DAR). DAR = WASTED AD BUDGET. Did you know that there should always be at least one, if not two rounds of negotiations when it comes to buying a TV or Radio schedule? How much is your seat on the plane worth? To the TV/Radio stations it is worth how ever much they can squeeze from your budget. In radio if you don't know to ask for the “unduplicated” reach you will get a full hour cumulative number on a radio station – which means you are paying for one person counted 4 times. It takes proper understanding and research to craft a proper media plan. Ever more knowledge on how to actually buy the plan…trust me DO NOT try to do this on your own, and please do not try to have a few meetings with some experts and think you are ready to buy the market. It will almost always lead to wasted money!
Making some bold moves – GM
So why do I like these “bold moves” Mr. Ewanick has been making? He is getting some great press for appearing to be a maverick in the advertising world. I agree with him pulling out of Facebook. As a company that has planned and run/currently running Facebook campaigns, I can understand the lack luster results experienced while running interrupting ads on the social giant. There in lies the problem with Facebook and PPC campaigns – they lack interaction for the consumer. In fact they do just the opposite, they interrupt consumers. Think about it for a minute, you go to Google and search for some thing that you know you are looking for, without a doubt you know…then you get bombarded with “sponsored links” and suggested pages…which fewer and fewer people are clicking on each day. So pulling out of Facebook all together? Good idea? Yes, check! Pulling out of the Super Bowl – The jury is still out on this one. I think companies have not truly utilized this massive audience yet. Running a :30 spot during the Super Bowl can sure be memorable, but does it drive sales? I think in the past companies like Monster have been the beneficiaries of these overpriced pieces of advertising real estate, but does Coke, Pepsi, Budweiser, or GM truly benefit from spots that run in this game? I say NO. It is a great platform to “spring board” a new campaign, new product or service, or change a direction with a new corporate branding campaign. So spring board yes, product loyalty – not really. Mr. Ewanick – kudos for these bold moves, I have some ideas that you have to hear…you are becoming a marketing Maverick, and if you want some “non-conforming” ideas presented to you, please reach out to this bold agency.
Upfronts: Selling the Sizzle
You may find yourself asking what in the world is an upfront and why is it important to me as a local business. Well upfronts are a way for the networks to showcase what is new and exciting, and what exactly they plan to highlight as it relates to…well….what they hope national shops will value as a top dollar item. So talking about CBS first…they have the super bowl coming up and will be presenting their usual stables. NBC is getting crazier with Sunday night football and even more crazy is the fact that NBC is pushing to get Super Bowl rates for the Thanksgiving game. ABC is ABC and Fox is Fox (sorry guys). CW will still be catering to a demographic that is a tough nut to crack in terms of ROI. So “blah, blah, blah-ing” all this info to you does have relevance at a local level. What programming is right for you? Of course this can be a loaded question – and this is my point. DO NOT BE FOOLED IN TO BELIEVING THE HYPE THE NETWORKS WILL BE PUSHING OUT AT A LOCAL LEVEL – LIKE THEY DO EVERY YEAR! I have said this before in a few posts, NOTHING IS DIFFERENT about getting results – good creative and strategic buys will yield results, not “let me tell you about the new fall line-up”. Please please please if you are considering spending your ad dollars on inflated “shrink packages” – talk to us first, I promise you will be shocked by what you hear! Did you know you can buy a market strategically in local news, local programming and sponsorships – and reach the same viewers you are trying to reach in a more expensive prime slot? What I am talking about is efficiency and buying the market smart. The same guy or gal watching Two and Half Men, MNF, Modern Family or even the Simpsons, also watches other programming – and wouldn't you know it…you can reach them more efficiently – and some times get a better frequency while you are at it. Research the market and get a better understanding of what your ad dollars are really buying. “Sizzle” rarely equates to sales. Believe me all the TV stations are trying to sell you “sizzle”.