Part III: Media – Retail Media Buying – Audience vs Spots

By | March 14, 2015

PART III of V: 5 Advertising Mistakes Retailers Make

Let’s avoid textbook definitions of GRPs, reach and frequency, CPP and CPM and get to the point.

The vast majority of retailers do not have a clue when it comes to buying media.

They often assume that because they listen to a particular radio station or read a newspaper that everyone else does.

In larger metro areas, the media choices are extensive so the retailer who makes this kind of media choice better be prepared when results suck.

From car dealers to fast food operators, clothes stores to services, almost every one we’ve ever dealt with (literally hundreds) thinks media buying is about how many spots or insertions you can get for a given price.

Hold on there bucko, we can buy one radio spot that reaches a larger audience than your ten or twenty spots.

And that brings me to the whole point about media. Buying media is about buying audience. It is not about seeing how many spots you can get.

Stations sell announcements; you are buying audience. Newspapers sell space; you are buying audience.

The reason some papers or radio stations or TV stations cost much more than others is because of audience – much, much more audience. It’s the same reason you pay much more rent for a store on Main Street than Mud Street – audience. A spot is not a spot. It is about the quality of it. Like location for a retail store, buying media is audience, audience, audience.

The principle of buying audience should be easy enough to understand even for the more blunt of us.

Now here’s the part that not a single retailer we’ve ever dealt with here at Calexis really comprehends. Advertising agencies have studied the science of audiences since Madison Avenue was invented. We study studies, do surveys, examine the human brain, observe peoples’ habits and then fashion brilliant strategies from all this human data just so we can tell you who is going to want your product. And where you can reach them.

Media buying is pure science with a dose of judgment and gut feel. That is why Calexis employs media experts whose sole job is to buy media for our clients. These are experts who do this for a living.

Before concluding this little blog, it behoves us to bring up another observation we make time, after time, after time. Retailers love perks. Media salespeople know this very well.

Listen again if you are a retailer. You do not have to give up the trips, golf games and dinners. We may actually be able to get better perks for you if you want them. But ask yourself whether your personal enjoyment is more important than your business benefit. And see Part II of this series.

If you want to squeeze absolutely everything you can from your budget, professional media buyers perform miraculous feats negotiating added media value you couldn’t dream of and do a great job finding and reaching your audience.

If you learned something from this, check out the other parts in the 5 Advertising Lessons for Retailers:|

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