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The 10 Myths of Media

The most common misconceptions derived from hundreds of interviews with business owners and marketing directors.

1) The largest agencies get the best rates
This is very logical and wrong.  Volume can mean higher prices in the media world of limited inventory.  Getting the best rates is really a process of understanding and comparing true media value and analyzing many options.  Cost cutting at the largest agencies means less time spent in this process.

2) Work direct for the best rates
The role of the media rep is to get the business.  The role of the sales manager is to sell their limited inventory at the highest rate possible.  Working direct doesn’t change this dynamic, it only limits your resources to leverage the best rates possible.

A good agency has excellent relationships with the media properties.  Understanding true media value, analyzing relevant marketing research, and ultimately leveraging existing relationships yield the most effective media spend.

3) If we outsource our media planning and buying we lose control
If you don’t know what you’re really getting or if there’s a better choice, how much control do you really have?  A media specialist can give you the tools and options you need to make an informed decision.  Now, that’s control!

4) You get what you pay for
What’s true for cars, furniture, and houses must be true for media right?  Wrong!  Commodity pricing only works when true value is easily measured.  Too often media properties will price at the highest end of what they think the market will bear. 

5) Cable is cheap 
Cable’s CPM makes it one of the most expensive forms of advertising available, but with the power of television, demographic, psychographic and geographic targeting it sometimes is well worth the premium.

6) Broadcast is expensive
Cost of entry can be high, but on a CPM basis, broadcast can be very inexpensive.

7) Declining ratings are a bad thing for advertisers
Actually, they may be a bad thing for media owners, but they can be a good thing for advertisers if you know how to recognize opportunities.

8) Traditional advertising doesn’t work anymore
Traditional advertising is anywhere people expect to find advertising and product information.  That includes the Internet - it’s not new media anymore.  The most effective adverting utilizes multiple traditional media to reach potential customers.  Nontraditional advertising is anywhere people do not expect to find advertising.  With this approach, your advertising is either amusing or annoying. 

9) My customers are just like me
There is a tendency for business owners to assume their customers consume media in the same way that they do.  A good media plan carefully targets demographic, geographic and psychographics to reach likely consumers.  

10) If we don’t work direct we lose our free tickets and trips
While it’s never the best reason to purchase media, advertisers who are interested in media perks have equal access with or without an agency.