- Why do I need a media agency?
- How can I find the right media agency for my business?
- How can I make sure my media buy is successful?
What are the key elements of an effective media buy? The 3 R’s: sending the right message to the right person at the right time.
But with all the offline and online media channels out there these days, finding an effective combination of all 3 R’s is tricky. Most companies don’t have the time, access, or resources. That’s why a media agency can be a huge asset.
A media agency knows which ad placement will get your target audience to think about and want your product, and understand what makes it different from companies’ products. This can help you get a better return on investment (ROI).
Imagine a headphone company wanted to reach music-loving millennials, so they created videos about underground music scenes around the world. They released the videos online, which were seen over 28 million times. What was the media agency’s role in this?
Media agencies can use data to help brands discover what their audience value, such as certain music trends, and find the right ad placements and partners to work with.
To find a good media agency match, you first have to think about your marketing goals and how an agency can help you reach them.
Then, make a list of potential agencies by searching for media agencies online, looking for recommendations from local marketing organizations, and checking which agencies are winning industry awards for doing successful, innovative work.
Next, think size. A large agency may have more reach and experience with big ad campaigns, but a less personal relationship with you. A smaller, nimbler agency might get up, close, and personal with you, but their reach could be smaller.
Also, think about agency culture. You’ll be forming a relationship or partnership with whichever one you choose, so make sure the agencies you’re looking at aligning with your company’s values.
Tip: Get to know the recent work of every media agency you’re considering, and make sure they’re on top of the latest marketing trends and innovations. You probably don’t want to work with an agency that’s still in the Friendster era of social media marketing.
Once you’ve narrowed down your media agency list, it’s time to create a brief. It’s a set of guidelines that describes your brand, objectives, and the project.
A good way to start your brief is to give the background of your brand, your mission, target audience, things your brand would never do, and what makes your brand different and better than competitors.
Next, give the project details. What are your overarching business goals? What are your marketing goals? What’s your budget and timeline? What are important project dates, deliverables and requirements?
You should also include the research you’ve done that a media agency could help you explore and refine, the media habits of your target audience, and what type of media buy you think might change the way your audience views your brand.
After your brief is ready, prepare a request for proposal, or RFP.
An RFP is a document you send to select media agencies that lets them know you’re looking for a new agency partner. You then review all the responses to your RFP and select finalists who will pitch to you in person.
Your RFP should have your current brand identity and positions, your main products and services, and whether you’re looking to hire an agency or a retainer or for a single job. It should also ask for referrals and examples of previous work.
Your RFP should also ask: Does the agency work with competitors? What are the agency’s strengths? Can they handle media buying across all channels you want to target? Will they push you to create more effective campaigns?
Once you’ve chosen a media agency, brief them at the same time as your other agencies (creative, PR, etc.). This will allow them to discuss the project together. Then if possible, let all the agencies write a formal joint response to the brief with their thoughts.
Once the project is underway, you can take a few steps to help set your media buy up for success.
First, be open to new ideas from your media agency. Remember, you’re working with them because their expertise lets you explore platforms and strategies you haven’t tried or considered before.
Also, choose metrics to measure your goals. For a direct response campaign, you might look at the cost per action for sales, signups, or downloads. For a branding campaign, you could look at brand awareness, intent to use or buy, etc.
Lastly, plan for the future. Is this media campaign a one-off or will it be part of a larger strategy? If it’s part of a larger plan that includes different media and campaigns throughout the year, figure out how all the pieces fit together.
References: Google Webmasters, Think With Google, Google Primer