MMW Op-Ed: Top Five Media Buying Mistakes And How to Avoid Them

MMW Op-Ed Top Five Media Buying Mistakes And How to Avoid ThemThe following is a guest contributed post from Rick Wyerman, SVP of Product Services at I.Predictus.

When it’s time to build your brand, promote your product, or rollout the next big thing, you’ll need to engage in a media buying strategy. Whether you carefully plan a formal launch or dash off a back-of-the-envelope proposal and forge ahead immediately, everything will hinge on optimizing price and placement.

But how will you know if you’re getting the best value for your dollar and reaching the largest number of potential customers? How can you avoid making a major media buying mistake? Here’s a list that can help: A rundown of the top five media buying mistakes – and how to avoid them:

1. Lacking a clearly defined strategy: Too many media buyers fall into the trap of launching a campaign without specific, measurable objectives. Before you make your media purchases, analyze the data and identify whom you want to reach by demographic group and lifestyle pattern. Plan your media outreach carefully, and make sure you have clear goals.

2. Not reserving money for testing in the budget: It’s advisable to be budget-conscious when planning a media buy, but unless you set money aside for testing, you’re being penny-wise and pound-foolish. Keep in mind that up to 90% of commercials fail. If you conduct testing, you can focus on the approaches that succeed and adapt your strategy to generate positive results.

3. Putting all of your eggs in one basket: When planning a campaign, it’s important to diversify your media spending so that you cast a broader net. Spread your media spending out, avoid loading up in one area, and then monitor response pockets so you can refine your approach and target the most productive regions.

4. Cutting ad spending without in-depth analytics: As the ad campaign progresses, you’ll likely take a look at your spending and identify areas to make cuts. Don’t make the mistake of only viewing the most recent activity and basing your decision on that alone. Media responses aren’t fixed and predictable – they’re volatile, which means you’ll need in-depth analytics to see the big picture.

5. Inadvertently stopping momentum: To accurately evaluate campaign effectiveness, you’ll need to measure frequency. Too many media campaigns that are just starting to gain momentum are cut short by media buyers who fail to fully analyze frequency, and thus miss the signals that a campaign is gaining steam. Make sure your analytics solution measures frequency.

Launching a media campaign is exciting – and a great opportunity to deliver brand impressions and build product or service awareness. But before you get started, it’s important to think through every phase and plan ahead to ensure that you get the maximum value for your ad spending.

By starting off with clearly defined goals, diversifying your media spend, testing for effectiveness, analyzing thoroughly before making cuts, and measuring patterns, you can improve your odds significantly. To make sure you’ve achieved optimal price and placement, avoid the top five media buying mistakes, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful campaign.