I’ve Got a Guy (or Gal) for That

Jackson-Alissa-RicciBy Alissa Ricci, Media Supervisor

I love being able to say “I’ve got a guy (or gal) for that.” When it comes to fixing my car, I’ve got somebody that can get me the friends-and-family discount. When it comes to fixing my hair, I’ve got somebody that does it perfectly for a fair price. And I love recommending those people to my friends.

When it comes to my clients’ advertisements getting in front of the right audience, I want them to say “I’ve got somebody for that.” I want to be the person they call and recommend to their friends because of the excellent value services I can provide.

But many people don’t even know that they need a guy for that. So what is it that media buyers and planners do, exactly? And how does it benefit our clients?

mediabuyingResearch and planning. The deadliest words for an advertising campaign are, “I know this is what my audience is watching/reading/listening to. I know because that’s what I watch/read/listen to.” While you may be right, there could be other options out there that would be a better or more efficient fit for the audience. It’s a media planner/buyer’s responsibility to be knowledgeable about your business, your target audience, the latest media opportunities, their benefits and pitfalls. Before a recommendation crosses a client’s desk, the planner/buyer has done the dirty work researching and planning the right media opportunities and the most efficient media combination to reach your goals. It’s like somebody doing your homework for you, but you won’t get in trouble with the teacher!

Negotiation. “But what I do have is a very particular set of skills—skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.” While I’d like to think I’m Liam Neeson in Taken when I negotiate, this isn’t exactly how it goes when media buyers work with vendors on your behalf. But it is true that they have been trained and acquired negotiation skills, enabling them to develop a partnership with vendors and get their clients the best possible rate and price for the media, as well as added value (no charge) placements. They treat the client’s money as if it’s their own, and if they get called a “bulldog” in the process, they’ll take great pride in it. (Yes, I’ve been called a bulldog more than once. #humblebrag).

Execution. Then, of course, there is the huge time saver that a media buyer affords their client by managing the campaign. Once all the research, planning and negotiation are done, it’s time to coordinate all of the placements to make sure the vendors have the right information, the creative gets delivered on time, and the ads run on schedule. This takes a lot of time and attention to detail, and it’s something most clients are happy to have off their desk!

Auditing. How many times have you been at dinner and your meal came out wrong, and your obnoxious friend insists on sending it back or getting it free of charge? While it may be annoying or even embarrassing in that scenario, it’s great to have someone doing that for you when it comes to media. Buyers will check and make sure that all of your placements ran correctly, and if they didn’t, get you your money back or something of equal or greater value at no charge.

So, next time you’re thinking about placing an advertising campaign, consider how easy it would be to say “I’ve got a guy for that” and call your media buyer!