First and foremost, you deserve an agency that gets to know you and your business before coming to you with ideas on the best way to market it. Beyond discussing your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, target customer, competitors, etc., they should also want to know what tactics you’ve used and the results you’ve seen from them.
Before developing a media plan, agency and client must agree on the target demographics as well as define the metrics for success. A good agency will have access to unbiased ratings and research that will help determine the most appropriate marketing and media options. If the agency believes your expectations are unrealistic, they will tell you so upfront and work to set realistic expectations of performance. A reputable ad agency won’t just spend your money; they will work to make sure the campaign has every chance to succeed.
A good buyer will provide clearly written plans that include goals, target demos, target markets, spot lengths, flight dates, and budgets. The plan should also include options that were considered but not recommended and the reasons why, such as budget constraints. The plan will be realistic and based on your budget and/or the budget the agency believes is needed to be successful.
A good buyer will be motivated to spend your money like it’s her own. That means digging to find the best programs that reach your target, and then negotiating hard to get you the very best prices possible. It means never being satisfied with just meeting the goals; she wants and needs to exceed them.
She provides a detailed schedule to you prior to booking it, and is available to review her recommendations with you to make sure you’re comfortable with them. She should be able to provide clear answers to any questions or concerns you have, and be conscious of your level of familiarity with media industry terms shown on the schedule. You should never be made to feel like you’re being pressured to sign off on something you don’t fully understand.
A trusted media partner will stay on top of what’s happening in your markets and the industry in general. If there are changes to your schedule, she’ll keep you informed. If a station doesn’t deliver what was expected, she will make sure they do or you will be credited. She maintains good relationships with media reps so they will want to go the extra mile for her, which will ultimately benefit you. In short, she cares about the work she is doing for you and continually strives to excel at it.
And lastly, a good media agency is transparent. Not all of them are. Some refuse to show client the actual prices they paid for media used in your campaign. You may not even know if all of it aired as scheduled. But a good agency will review and reconcile all invoices to ensure that your schedule ran as ordered or credit your account for any spots that did not run as scheduled.
You have every right to expect this level of service from your media team. Just as you have every right to find a new media team if your current team isn’t providing this depth of dedication to transparency, service and success.
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Linda Gaglione is a Media Strategist at The Radio Agency, a national advertising agency 100% focused on creating and managing sound advertising campaigns through the medium of radio. You can reach her at Linda@TheRadioAgency.com.