The other day I met my friend, Dino he was telling me how he had become a pro in negotiating his advertising rates with the media houses. Dino has recently joined this IT start-up and for him to talk with such confidence on his media buying expertise surprised me.
He winked and said; “ I go rate shopping and ultimately get what I want.”
Sounds Simple….Right? But trust me being in the media buying industry for over a decade now I can assure you there is nothing better than creating competition to get the best rate for your Ad.
Media Sales competitions have been around for decades not only within the media houses but mostly across media houses. Most great sales professionals are naturally ambitious and incentive-driven. In fact, their desire to meet their target deadlines is a blessing for us as advertisers.But even though sales teams have an innate competitive drive, getting best rates from them is truly a challenging task.
Our recent research on a set of 1000 advertisers shows that over 55% of advertisers renegotiate — 30.5% successfully get a lower rate due to market competition quotations. However, if the environment is too intense, sales reps near the top of the performance ladder voluntarily share the lowest rate with you due to prevailing cut throat market competition.
In a competitive market, getting the best rate is a daunting task. Fortunately, these six strategies will help you deal with your media reps better:
1) Understand what you need
You need to advertise only if you think you should advertise and not simply because others are advertising. Every business has a different objective: brand awareness, sales promotion, creating buzz, etc. Based on your objective determine what are the media options available – premium to average. If you choose a premium brand justify as to why you want to advertise there.
For eg: Swiggy wants to reach the people of Baroda, Radio Mirchi being the leading radio station of India. It would still prefer to advertise in Red FM or Big FM. Your media platform should fit in well in accordance to your target audience persona.
Every large brand is not the key to campaign success nor is every average media option the solution to a cost-effective campaign. You need a smart media plan.
2) Approach preferred media house for rate
Once you have determined the media option that would work best for you, contact the media house to get the rates for your desired media plan.
Considering Swiggy as the example, Red FM quote is requested. Mr.Bhatia, Red FM (Baroda) Sales Manager quotes Rs 210 per 10 seconds for the campaign.
3) Get rates from other competing media houses too
Now once you have received rates from say Red FM as desired, you now need to contact other competing media houses of the domain for the same media plan.
Swiggy now gets rates from other competing radio stations like Radio Mirchi, Big FM and Radio City.
Rate Shopping is no crime. So, relax do not hesitate or give in to confirmation to any of them yet.
4) Evaluate and Compare
You cannot evaluate the rates of new and low rated channel with the largest premium brand. Choose your media competition carefully, evaluate and compare the rates of other media options.
5) Negotiate with preferred media house
Staying mum with the rep of your preferred media option might seem counterintuitive: After all, if you are willing to advertise you have to reason with the rep for the premium amount that you pay for your Ad in comparison to other options.
Here you get one of the two: a proper validation for the higher amount that you might pay or you would receive a lower rate.
So, now Swiggy is in the stage of negotiating with Red FM based on the rates received from others.
6) Get Best Rates
Discussing the competition rarely works in the salesperson’s favor. If he criticizes them, he’ll come across as just another rep happy to sling mud. And even when reps can identify a clear opportunity to provide value, doing so takes time, energy and moreover the dangers of losing you to the competition.
Media reps value customers and would do their best. Negotiating based on competition doubles your chances of getting the best market deal like Swiggy.
In media buying, knowledge of media rates is the true weapon. Knowing market rates space inside and out enables advertisers to reason and get the best out of the deal.
If you’re not sure how to create that media competition, ask your agency to help. The modern advertiser has plenty of choices. To win their business, reps would do everything in their power to have them in their clientele list.