One of the biggest mistakes I see small business owners make is that they allow themselves to be sold media instead of buying it.
When you’re sold something you get all caught up in the relationship you have with the salesperson and whether you like who you’re buying from. You allow that person to give you information from their point of view instead of from yours. When you’re sold media you usually don’t have a clear marketing plan in place and the timing is set by the person selling it instead of you!
Start today, to buy your marketing products and services. Here’s what you have to do to turn on the new switch.
1. Create a marketing plan. Your budget should be set by a percentage of sales. For some companies that’s 10% of their gross sales and for others it’s 2%. There has to be a logical reason for the budget that you are working with for your plan. If you’re just starting out you might take the amount you expect to make in the first year and create a percentage for marketing based on that.
2. Do your research. Determine your positioning strategy and be sure that you know who your target market is. I mean who your target market REALLY is. What age is she/he? Where do they live? How much money do they make? Do they have children? What are their hobbies? What type of job do they tend to have? What desire or need does your product or service fill for them? If your target “persona” didn’t spend their money with you, where would they be spending it?
3. Once you have your target “persona” do research on what type of media they interact with. What radio station are they most likely to listen to, what trade publication, what television show, which websites do they visit, are they using Facebook (just because you may not be, doesn’t mean they aren’t, right?). Search deeply for information not confirmation.
4. Call the media sources you think might be best and have them give you the information about the listeners or viewers for their programs or stations. See which one matches the best to your target “persona”.
5. Once you’ve chosen a media source, get their advice on what has worked for other businesses that have spent a similar amount of money. Be sure to see, if your spending level is high enough, if they have any “added value” they can include in the overall campaign. Added value are additional spots added to your paid schedule or a promotion that you can team with the station on.
There’s a whole lot more to being good at buying media but this is the foundation. If you have a sizeable budget, you might consider hiring someone to help you through the process… well, like me 🙂 Give me a call at (540) 815-1300 if I can answer any questions for you or be of any assistance.