Media Buying Negotiate For Success
Media buying is the process of procuring a piece of media real estate within a particular type of media. Media buying is concerned mainly with the negotiation process, including getting the best placement at the best possible price in order to achieve maximum profitability.
Different types of media can include print advertising in newspapers, magazines, and other publications, television and radio spots, internet advertising, and more. These tricks will work for practically any type of advertising medium you can think of, because they are mostly universal. There are a few specialized tricks for particular types of media, but most will work well no matter what type of media you’re buying.
In this post, you will learn some of the top secrets for getting ad space at the best possible prices, including insider secrets for getting the very best positioning at rock bottom prices!
So let’s get started!
The late great John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”
Negotiation is the cornerstone of world-class media buying. If you go into the media buying process unprepared or unwilling to negotiate, you’re never going to get the results you’re hoping for.
If you learn to negotiate well, you will get so much more out of life than you ever dreamed possible. In fact, you can even get much more than you actually deserve if you just learn to negotiate!
Step One: Never Be in Charge
One of the most important things you can do when you enter the negotiation process is never to let on that you are the one who is ultimately in charge of making the final call when it comes to making the decision to buy. If they know you are in charge and you have the final say, your position will be weakened significantly.
What you want to do is tell them you have to take their offer to your boss to see what he thinks. That way, you don’t have to be the bad guy, and you can also give them a reason why you can’t accept their offer.
For example, a conversation might go like this:
You: I’m looking to purchase space in a magazine for my company, and we’re looking at your magazine and two others. I’d like to know what the best price you could give me for a full-page ad would be.
Them: A full-page, four-color ad is $3,000.
You: Ouch, really? That’s significantly higher than other quotes we’ve received. (Wait for their response.)
Them: Well, we might be able to do $2,700, but I would have to talk to my boss for approval.
You: That’s still significantly higher than your competitors. I’ll have to check with my boss to see what he says. Let me call you back. (Fifteen minutes later, call them back.)
You: My boss said we can’t possibly do $2,700. Your price is more than twice the other two quotes we’ve received. We’re really leaning toward your magazine, and personally I greatly prefer your publication, but my boss has the final say. Is there anything you can do to get the price down close to the other quotes we’ve received? I’d really like to get this done before your deadline so we could be in your next issue, if possible.
Them: Well… I would have to check with my boss about that. Can I call you back?
You: Yes, but please get back to me as quickly as possible. I know your deadline is really soon and my boss is really pushing me to close a deal right away. If you could get back to me with a competitive deal I’m prepared to fax in an insertion order today and I’ll have a check sent by Fed Ex and on your desk first thing tomorrow.
Them: I’ll see what I can do.
(Ten minutes later, they call back.)
Them: My boss said we can do $1,400, but that’s the lowest we can go.
You: Hmm. We’re getting really close to the price of the other two magazines. What if we did $1,250 and you threw in a classified ad? Could you do that?
Them: I can’t possibly go that low, but I could probably do $1,350 plus the classified.
You: Look, I have my boss on the other line, and I can tell you right now I can’t do $1,350. But why don’t we meet in the middle at $1,300? I can get authorization right now and I can fax over that insertion order right away.
Them: Okay, I can do $1,300. I’ll send you the insertion order right now.
Do you see how that worked? Every step you had to check with your boss. That gives you additional bargaining power, because you’re just the lackey who has to live by what their boss wants!
Step Two: Promise Future Business
When you go into the negotiation process, let them know you are considering an ongoing ad campaign that could last for 12 months or more, and that you’re looking to test the water before you commit. By letting them know they have the potential to get a great deal of money out of you in the future, they will be much more willing to bargain with you now to get you a great deal.
Find out when the last possible moment is for buying advertising through their company. You see, ad space that isn’t booked is worth nothing to a company. When you catch them with unsold ad space, they will be much more willing to negotiate a very good price than they would earlier in the process when they still have plenty of time to fill the spaces.
If their deadline is the last day of the month, you might want to negotiate around the 20th, just as their deadline is approaching.
This will give you the best advantage.
Step Four: Never Lay Your Cards on the Table
You never want to be the first one to open with an offer. Always let them speak first. In fact, you should ideally never make a counter offer, either. Instead, get them to make the counter offer by either recoiling in shock that their price is so high, or by telling them their price is much higher than their competitors and asking, “Is that the best you can do?”
The fact is, they may actually offer you a lower price than you were prepared to offer them. Let’s say you want an ad at no greater than $2,000, but their starting point is $3,000. Don’t immediately offer $2,000. Instead, keep trying to get them to give you their best possible offer. They might even go below $2,000!
If they press you to make a counter offer, you should always tell them your boss is prepared to offer substantially less than the price you really want. For example, tell them $1,250 instead of $2,000. They might even go for it! Even if they don’t, you are in a much better position than you would be if you just asked outright for the $2,000 deal.
Step Five: Be Firm
When you make an offer, don’t say “Can you do _____?” Instead say, “If you can do _____, I can make a deal and send a check right now.” This is a firm offer to pay, and people will be much more likely to make a deal as their deadline approaches when they feel they have such a solid deal ready!
Ask for a first-time advertiser discount
Ask if they offer discounts for paying upfront instead of paying on a net-30 basis.
Ask for a discount if you pay for several months at once.
Obviously, you should only do this for media you’ve already tested and found profitable, but you might get a substantial discount if you pay for several months at a time.
If you will be buying an ad in a newspaper or magazine, there are a few tips that can help you get the most out of ever ad you buy.
The most effective ad formations:
- Three single page ads in sequence, all on the right side.
- Two single page ads, both on the right side, but in different sections of the publication.
- Double page spread.
- Single page ad on the right side.
- Single page ad on the left with an additional strip on the right.
Always try to get one of these formations if you can. Remember, bigger is always better in print, and go for the right side!
Tips for Other Media
There are many types of media other than print, including radio, television, and the internet. Ideally, you will want to explore various methods to find out which one works best for your business.
Radio ads can be effective if your business is based primarily in a local area. I wouldn’t bother with radio ads for internet business or mail-order business, but local businesses can do well with radio ads.
Television ads can be extremely effective if you have something that will appeal to a wide audience. It’s difficult to target well with television, so you need a product with really broad appeal unless there is a specific show you can advertise on that is within your niche.
There are many different types of internet advertising available. You can negotiate heavily with many forms, and you can also target very well.
Always be sure to buy advertising only on sites that fit your target demographic. If possible, only buy ads on sites that specifically target your niche.
For example, if you have a weight loss product, buy ads only on weight loss sites. This will ensure the best possible ROI.
Email advertising can be extremely effective.
Make sure you only buy ads in newsletters that correspond to your niche, and buy solo ads rather than spots. When you buy a spot, your ad will be shown in the same email with other ads. When you buy a solo ad, you will be the only company advertised in that particular mailing. It will cost more to get a solo mailing, but it will be far more valuable and effective.
At some point be prepared to get good at media buying if you want to scale to the moon.
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