Monday, March 30, 2015

What does trade mean in media terms?

In media terms, what does trade mean? It can be a really useful way to mutually benefit a client and a media vendor. How does that work?

For the client side, sometimes advertising budgets are very tight and may not allow for a strong buy on media like radio, television, print, outdoor, online, etc. Some clients, usually restaurants or attractions, have an allotment of tickets/coupons, etc. in a trade budget that they can utilize as “payment” instead of real cash. By giving trade tickets to media vendors, the client in return will receive anything like  on-air mentions, an on-air schedule, billboards, ad space, etc. Trade allows clients to stretch the media dollars to really boost the existing cash campaign.

On the media vendor side, trade can be used as incentives for employees, gifts for clients, free lunches for clients, or prizes for listeners/viewers/readers/users, etc. Trade can be viewed as a form of gift card for media vendors.

For media buyers/planners, trade is a different beast than a traditional cash schedule. It’s really important that schedules are separated into different buys, invoices are properly labeled, and trade schedules are tracked to insure that all ran according to the agreement. Another good tip is to always make a contract agreement with trade. That way, both sides understand the expectations. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

How does a media buyer verify that a schedule actually ran?

As a media buyer, there is a lot of interaction between the media vendor and buyer; likewise, the media buyer interacts a lot with his/her client. Part of the job is following up with vendors to verify that the advertising placed actually did run. This is the backend paperwork that is necessary in order to avoid accounting errors and to keep clients updated. Below are a few questions that most media buyers/planners must address for each campaign and define expectations for the client.

How often should I receive online summary reports from my vendor? Some media experts say that monthly reports should be enough to watch online trends. While others, I fall into this category, prefer to see a report every two weeks. That way, if a negative trend is caught, it can hopefully be reversed prior to the end of the month. A buyer should speak to the vendor and client and agree upon a summary report schedule prior to running a campaign.

What should I expect for a proof of posting for an out-of-home campaign? For outdoor billboards, bus signs, train signs, and any signage out-of-home, a proof of posting should be sent to the media buyer. The proof of posting should be a time stamped photograph that verifies the location, panel number, date and time creative was installed. Historically, hard copy pictures were requested; however, nowadays, a .jpg photo is typically fine.

How many tearsheets should I request from the print vendor? Before a campaign starts to run, ask your client if they would like tearsheets of their upcoming ads. If not, request two copies, one for accounting and one for your files. If your client does want a copy, verify how many are needed and notify the vendor. eTearsheets are becoming more and more common place. These are a viable option; however, it is a good idea to let the client know that’s how the tearsheet will be sent.

What is the best way to verify that my spots ran on a broadcast schedule? When a cable, television, or radio schedule runs, a spot log is created. Basically, this is just a listing of each time an ad runs. The report should include the time, date, length, cost, and creative title. A buyer can request this at any time, but it’s typically evaluated when an invoice is submitted by a station.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How do college students get product information?

For advertisers that have a target demographic that skews to younger adults, more than likely, these advertisers are interested in the millennial generation. Approximately 19 million+ of them are college students in the United States. The potential of this population’s spending power is highly attractive.

eMarketer reports on a survey produced by the Student Monitor in fall of 2014. One of the questions inquired how students like to receive information on a product or service. The top five methods were:

Word-of-mouth: 48%

Ad on the internet: 39%

Ad on TV: 31%

Free samples in a store: 29%

Information on the internet: 21%

From reviewing the responses, an advertiser can glean that college students trust peers, the ability to see the product and try it out prior to purchasing, and will notice details in Television and internet ads in addition to websites.

Try working a marketing plan based on those parameters and see if there is a measurable difference between previous campaigns and the current plan. If it helps improve the return on investment (ROI), continue. If it doesn’t, re-evaluate to see what the least effective component to the plan is likely and remove it.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Average Click Thru Rates (CTR) for digital media

What is the average click thru rate (CTR) for a digital campaign? Advertisers want to stay well-versed in regards to tracking the effectiveness of various campaigns. Digitally, one of the parameters used is the click thru rate, which is the percentage of clicks compared to the amount of impressions delivered. Knowing the industry standard can help when gauging how well a digital campaign is performing. Below is a grid based on industry standards and historical data of common CTRs to expect with different forms of digital media:

Average Click Thru Rates
Advertising Unit
Click Thru Rate (CTR)
Run of Site (ROS) Display
.02% - .05%
Targeting Display
Rich Media
.02% - .1%
Video (Pre-Roll)
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing Display

While these are standards, it is important to remember that each campaign may perform differently. A lot of variables are put into place like messaging, rotation, targeting, etc. A campaign with a 1.5% CTR could actually be performing badly in terms of sales, etc., while a campaign with an average .02% could be exceeding expectations. It’s critical for the advertiser and the digital vendor to outline campaign goals and track those throughout the flight.