Rule #1: Everything is Negotiable
The key is to find out what the real bottom point is on pricing… what the media outlet will REALLY sell it for. Some programs have higher demand than others which can mean higher rates. It’s like tickets to the Super Bowl… if it’s sold out and you want tickets, you can probably get them, but you will pay a premium price. It is important to see in 60-seconds or less if you are currently over-paying and if so by how much. This is step one to form a baseline on cost controls. Once you have determined your score, call your favorite media negotiator, or contact us, and we will show you how to use the chart to lower your ad costs.
Many media companies are controlled by Wall Street with quarterly numbers and budgets to make, and if there is unsold inventory, they will almost always sell it at some price because all inventory is perishable. Once the time period has passed, the media seller can never recapture that revenue. Most media groups teach yield management to their sales managers…how to maximize the inventory they have left to squeeze every available dollar onto the books. So don’t be intimidated about what a media company says it won’t do; we’ve walked away from placing thousands of dollars in business and sometimes get a manager’s call to see if there is any last adjustment that can be made to pricing. There is almost always a method to find fair ground to get you what you want and for the media outlet to get what they want.
Critically important to save your hide: negotiation should only commence after the creative message has been formed and tested. Media works. If it didn’t, it would be out of business. What doesn’t work is poor creative no matter what media is employed or how much you spend.
Here are just five of the negotiation techniques we use to lower your costs instantly. I’ll use radio as an example, but these techniques apply to most all media in any situation:
Five Negotiation Techniques We Use to Lower Your Costs Instantly
- Convert schedules to preemptible (meaning that a higher-rate advertiser can take your slot) and pay a lower rate. Buy more commercials for greater reach and frequency without increasing your budget. Chances are that the lower-rate preemptible spots, if you buy enough of them, will deliver close to what you were paying high dollar for.
- Buy the first two weeks of the month when demand is less when compared to the last 15 days of the month. Automotive dealers buy a ton of the last two weeks inventory to make sales numbers. Their vehicle allotments depend on their sales.
- Insist on value-added merchandising, free 10-second announcements such as “This sports update is brought to you by (the name of your business and what you do)” as part of your buy.
- Spots priced to clear (meaning that the commercials will air), spots with a 50% to 70% chance to clear and
- Spots that have a 0% to 50% chance to clear. If the order is big enough, many times a significant number of the spots will clear, and the average cost per spot comes way down while the reach and frequency (the average number of times that the prospect will hear your ad) goes up.
- You can listen to an example below to learn how much you may be over-paying for your advertising.
- Adjust advertising schedule to a three-tier pricing mix:
- Manage preemptions daily and move preempted dollars from one station to another. This daily move management ensures that your reach and frequency do not suffer as you move the same dollars from station to station on those stations that fit your demographic and qualitative target.
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