People that plan advertising campaigns often spend a lot of time focusing on the negotiation and mechanics of purchasing ad space/time. It’s easy to get caught in this trap. Business owners naturally gravitate towards numbers as do the sales reps selling the products. Answering the “how many spots, banners, column inches, clicks etc. can I get for my budget” question seems like a logical way to gauge the kind of deal you are getting. There are two main problems with this philosophy. The first is that it is rarely useful or even possible to make a true value judgment about what you are purchasing using basic calculations such total budget/total units. The second – and most important – reason is that what you do with the advertising you purchase is infinitely more important than how much you actually buy.

Time and time again we have seen business owners or marketing directors spend months negotiating contracts and then scramble once the deal is done to come up with content. The message is almost an afterthought. This is a big mistake because the content of your message is the primary ROI driver. It does not matter how many extra commercials or other freebies you get if the messaging does not initiate a response. On the other hand even a terrible ad buy can often be salvaged if the content is remarkable.

If you are going to spend money marketing your business your focus should be on creating a relevant message that your customers will respond to. Do not make the mistake of spending all your time trying to figure out the nuances of negotiating advertising contracts or, even worse, delegating the task to a lower level employee. Find a professional media planning service that can create an optimal plan for your situation and let them do what they do best – negotiate great deals on your behalf. This frees your time to work on your message to make sure that the money you spend reaching out to your customers comes back to you in the form of increased sales.

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