Trust But Verify

Trust But Verify

John Haggard

When we enter orders, we always ask for a sales order confirmation so that we can compare what we bought versus how the media entered the order. A media rep’s best of intentions can still cause an order to be entered incorrectly, and if you do not catch it immediately, you could be running (or even worse NOT running) where you are scheduled TO run. Over the years, we have found a number of mistakes that have added up to thousands of dollars had we not caught them. And while you don’t pay for mistakes, those mistakes cause lost sales opportunities for you for placement that you did not order or for placement that was ordered but did not run. One of the ways we verify that orders are running properly, even after receiving a sales order confirmation, is to ask for daily spot times. And in addition to the spot times, it is very important to get the ISCI code, or cut number, that is running as well. We continue to find instances where the media runs outdated copy which can also upset your customers if the offer that caused them to contact you is now no longer valid. Even in this age of high computerization, it is still “GIGO” — garbage in garbage out. Catching mistakes early can help you achieve the sales goals you have projected. Never assume anything in dealing with the media, regardless of the automation process. If a multimillion dollar robot can cause an operational glitch on an automotive assembly line, a several thousand dollar computer and software system on the media level can cause similar damage to you. Make goods on the backend is really not good enough; it should be right the first time. As President Ronald Reagan once said, “Trust but verify.”